In December, 2016, four Seward Civil Air Patrol cadets attended Winter Encampment at the Monmouth Military Academy in Oregon. Encampment is the first major stepping stone in a cadet’s career. It is an intense training experience where new cadets are taught military customs and courtesies, aerospace education, physical fitness training, self-discipline, and how to work as a team. They are constantly under stress, must overcome challenges, and give everything they have if they want to excel.
Of the four cadets who attended encampment, two cadets participated for the second time, training as staff members. Cadet Staff Sergeants Elisha Brueckner and Andrew Milligan developed more advanced leadership skills, working under pressure at a higher level of expectation. Both cadets agreed that, “It was harder work, but more fun.” They plan to attend again next year and serve as staff, hopefully in the role of Flight Sergeants to help train younger cadets.
One hard challenge for the first time cadets, Airman Maranatha Brueckner and Airman First Class Lindy Guernsey were the inspections. In traditional boot camp style, these are when the cadets’ uniforms and sleeping quarters were looked over for precision. They worked with their flight members and, with the time they were given, cleaned their quarters, and perfected their uniform in whatever way they were instructed. They were given scores individually and as a team, and were judged accordingly. At the end of encampment, there was a white glove inspection and a White Glove Award for the flight who performed the best in the final inspection.
Cadet Airman First Class Lindy Guernsey proved her skills in teamwork, by working with her flight, to win the Honor Flight Award. This is one of the most prestigious encampment awards, and is given to the flight who performed the best as a whole. To earn this award, a flight must work hard, be committed as a team, and cooperate with each other. The Seward CAP squadron is very pleased with Cadet Guernsey’s contribution to this achievement.
The graduating ceremony was a proud moment for the cadets. They were glad to have made it through, and were proud to have passed this first major step. They left encampment knowing much more than they did before, and having new skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, and excellence. This experience will not only help them as a cadets, but provided valuable skills that will serve them in their future lives.
For three of the cadets aged fourteen or older, encampment was one requirement needed to be eligible to attend Alaska Wing Glider Academy. This spring, cadets from around Alaska will spend ten days on the flight line at Clear Air Force Station, learning ground crew skills and training with a flight instructor in a glider, or non-motorized aircraft. This incredible experience is often a first step toward a pilot’s license.
The Seward CAP squadron would like to express our best wishes to current Cadet Commander Nicolas Woodard. He has served our community for six years and will continue to serve our country in the US Marine Corps following high school graduation. His leadership and determination over these many years has set a high example for younger cadets. Our deepest gratitude also goes to Senior Members Andra and Morgan Woodard who have provided physical fitness, military customs and courtesies, and leadership skills training to the cadets. Their volunteer service has been invaluable to the squadron.
The Civil Air Patrol cadet program is for 12 – 18 year olds with an interest in aviation and aerospace, military, or emergency services. The Seward squadron is currently seeking senior members to volunteer once a month for the cadet program or are interested in filling an open position. For more information contact Commander Brandon Anderson at 491-0385 or Deputy Commander of Cadets Stephanie Presley at 980-8368.