Squadron Meeting and Cadet Promotion Ceremony

Last Thursday night Lt. Col. Tom McGrath presided at our regular squadron meeting.  Lt. Col. Terry Pricer presented a safety brief on seasonal topics.  McGrath presented an aerospace education video covering the basic aerodynamics concepts of lift, weight, thrust, and drag.  Here is that video (approximately 30 minutes) if you missed the meeting, or are interested:

A number of new senior attendees were introduced and McGrath convened a question and answer session following the training presentations to answer any questions prospective members might have about CAP.

Our cadets then formed for a promotion and awards ceremony presided over by Capt. Joseph Murphy.

Four cadets were promoted to Cadet Airman (Maj. Gen. John Curry Achievement), one to Cadet Airman First Class (Hap Arnold Achievement), one to Cadet Technical Sergeant (Eddie Rickenbacker Achievement), and two to Cadet Senior Master Sergeant (Gen. Jimmy Doolittle Achievement.)  Senior members and parents of cadets attended the ceremony with parents pinning on new collar devices in many cases.

C/Amn Zane Brunsman is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Zane Brunsman is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ethan Boyer is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ethan Boyer is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Sam Selby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Sam Selby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ronyn Orrell is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Ronyn Orrell is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Tariq Beval is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Tariq Beval is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/TSgt Stephen Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/TSgt Stephen Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Stephen Gordon is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/SMSgt Stephen Gordon is promoted. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

MVCS Starts New Year with Cadet Change of Command and Awards Ceremony

Last night Mount Vernon Composite Squadron met for a busy evening of training followed by a traditional change of command and awards ceremony for cadets.

Prior to the ceremony, the seniors met for aircrew training and were joined by the cadets for a series of safety presentations covered by Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, the squadron’s safety officer, who addressed winter weather, jumping your car’s battery, safety mishap reporting, operational risk management and more.

Following training, the seniors joined the cadets and a large group of friends and family to witness the cadet change of command during which C/Maj. Clare Porter passed the guidon to C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox.  For her service as cadet commander, Porter received the Commander’s Commendation Award for Outstanding Performance.  Porter made remarks to the cadets and assembled guests, expressing her thanks for the support and mentoring she received during her tenure as commander.  Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis was on hand to make the award presentation.  Deputy Commander for Cadets, Capt. Travis Owens, presided over the entire ceremony.

Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing presented C/Maj. Clare Porter with the Commander’s Commendation Award for service as MVCS cadet commander. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Deputy Commander for Cadets Capt. Travis Owens passes the guidon to C/1st Lt. Nathan Cox. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Following the change of command, three cadets were presented with the cadet recruiter ribbon which is earned for bringing two or more new cadets or senior members to the squadron.  Additionally, three cadets were promoted to C/Amn (Maj. Gen. John F. Curry Achievement), two to C/A1C (H. H. “Hap” Arnold Achievement), and two to C/SrA (Mary Feik Achievement).  C/MSgt Nathan McCale traded his chevrons for those with the C/1st Sgt’s silver diamond.  Following the ceremony, the cadets and senior members enjoyed a reception to celebrate their accomplishments and the health and camaraderie of the squadron.

C/MSgt Andrew Cameron, C/MSgt Nathan McHale and S/SrA Stephen Gordon earned the recruiter ribbon. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, expressed his thanks for the wonderful turnout of parents, friends, and family who came to support the cadet’s ceremony.

A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein's collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion as his brother is also being promoted to C/Amn. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.
A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein’s collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion while his brother is also being promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Jon Rosa has collar devices pinned on by his father. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Jon Rosa is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
New cadet commander, C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox, pins 1st Sgt device on C/MSgt Nathan McHale while Capt. Travis Owens (foreground) explains the significance of the position to those assembled. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
The insignia pinned on the collar of C/MSgt Nathan McHale.

Mount Vernon Superlatives

Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Last Thursday night following both wing aircrew and squadron meetings, senior members gathered with cadets and family members at Davison Army Airfield for an awards ceremony.  We were honored to have National Capital Wing’s Vice Commander, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, with us as a member of the official party to present awards.

Following the arrival of the official party, Mount Vernon’s commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, opened the ceremony.  C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate was presented with his Billy Mitchel Award certificate for which he had been recognized in a previous meeting.  Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky was presented with CAP’s Meritorious Service Award for his time as the squadron’s commander.  C/TSgt Ryan Porter was recognized for promotion to his current rank.  C/2d Lt. Brokate took a moment to call a departing cadet, C/SSgt Adam Nazar, front and center to be recognized, and thanked him for his service to the squadron.

Prior to the ceremony, the squadron’s safety officer, Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, reminded squadron members that school is back in session and to take extra care traveling during this busy time in our area.  Following what’s been one of the hottest summers in many years, avoiding heat injury gives way to the elevated risks of distracted driving, pedestrians in school zones, and loads of school work and after school activities for our cadets.  Lt. Col. Porter closed the ceremony by thanking family members for supporting their cadets.

Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

Another busy squadron meeting

Last Thursday night, MVCS gathered for its first meeting with its new commanding officer, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter.  Porter delivered opening remarks and then the senior members immediately split up into groups for emergency services training.  Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky worked with a group on Mission Observer training while Lt. Col. Adam Booth took another group aside to cover Mission Scanner training.  Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Tom McGrath used a G-1000 simulator on his tablet to train a third group of pilots on the flight planning features of the Garmin software installed in the National Capital Wing’s Cessna 182 aircraft.

Many of the training materials for CAP emergency services missions can be found at the web site of CAP’s National Emergency Services Academy.

Lt. Col. Tom McGrath discusses the G-1000 software with other senior members. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Tom McGrath discusses the G-1000 software with other senior members. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

If you’ve never flown in one of our Cessnas, you might enjoy a video by a member of CAP’s Missouri Wing.  The member was on his first flight as a Mission Scanner.  The crew is flying a Cessna 172 on a training mission in their normal area of operations.  Although not conducting traditional search and rescue maneuvers, the view from the backseat, radio chatter, and a couple of takeoffs and landings gives one a feel for flight operations in CAP aircraft.  Filmed in the fall of 2013, the video is just under 17 minutes in length.  Check it out.

Following emergency services training, Mount Vernon cadets joined the senior members for safety training.  Lt. Col. Terry Pricer discussed hurricanes, heat, and humidity, insuring that squadron members are prepared for some of the risks common to the summer season in our area of operations.  Pricer also provided an update to a previous lecture topic, the Zika Virus, advising members that the latest and greatest information could be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website.  Cadets asked questions about heat injuries as they prepare to participate in many of CAP’s summer training opportunities which occur when the weather is the warmest.

With safety training complete, the cadets stood in formation in front of their families for an awards ceremony.  Lt. Col. Porter presided over the ceremony assisted by C/Capt Clare Porter.  C/Amn Dien Dewever was awarded the Curry Achievement.  C/SSgts Nathan McHale and Ryan Porter were presented the Wright Brothers Award.  C/SSgt Porter also received the Basic Ground Team Badge.  C/2d Lt Michael Brokate was presented with the Billy Mitchel Award, which accompanies the transition from cadet senior non-commissioned officer to officer rank. Finally, Lieutenant Colonel Brokate, U.S. Army, presented certificates of appreciation to two cadets for their assistance with a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) dining in.  A dining in is a formal military ceremony for members of a company or other unit, which includes a dinner, drinking, and other events to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps.  Brokate also presented DLA “challenge coins” to the cadets.  He informed the assembled squadron members and their families of the significance of the challenge coin, the history of which can be traced back to the time of the Roman Empire.

C/Amn Dien Dewever is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Dien Dewever is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Nathan McHale is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Nathan McHale is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Ryan Porter is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Ryan Porter is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. and Mrs. Brokate pose with newly promoted C/2d Lt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. and Mrs. Brokate pose with newly promoted C/2d Lt Michael Brokate.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
MVCS family members watch the squadron's awards ceremony. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
MVCS family members watch the squadron’s awards ceremony.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Additional photos can be found at the squadron’s Flickr site.

Latest promotions

On Thursday night, C/2d Lt Harrison Cox and C/Amn Peyton Burns were promoted to their current ranks.  The promotion to C/2d Lt accompanies the Billy Mitchell Award, while the promotion to C/Amn comes with earning the Curry Achievement.  Congratulations to our squadronmates on a job extremely well done.

C/2d Lt Harrison Cox is promoted.  Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/2d Lt Harrison Cox is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/Amn Peyton Burns is promoted. Lt. Col. Brian Porter (left), MVCS Deputy Commander for Cadets, affixes new collar devices.  Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.
C/Amn Peyton Burns is promoted. Lt. Col. Brian Porter (left), MVCS Deputy Commander for Cadets, affixes new collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Adam Booth.

Promotions and Awards

Four MVCS cadets were recognized last Thursday evening at our squadron meeting.  Promoted to their current rank were C/A1C Nathan McHale (Hap Arnold Achievement), C/MSgt Matthew Cox (Lindbergh Achievement), C/1 Lt Anith Muthalaly (Mitchell Award).  C/1 Lt Clare Porter achieved Flight Commander and was also awarded the Ground Team Badge.

Preparing for promotion and awards.  C/A1C Nathan McHale, C/MSgt Matthew Cox, C/1 Lt Anith Muthalaly, C/1 Lt Clare Porter.  Photo by 2d Lt Mark Patrick.
Preparing for promotion and awards (not yet wearing new devices). C/A1C Nathan McHale, C/MSgt Matthew Cox, C/1 Lt Anith Muthalaly, C/1 Lt Clare Porter. Photo by 2d Lt Mark Patrick.