6/9/2006–Middle River, MD–Maj. Christian Ready accepted command of Group II in the Civil Air Patrol’s Maryland Wing during a ceremony at Group II Headquarters located at Martin State Airport in Middle River on May 4.
Ready, who had been serving as the deputy commander of Group II, stepped up to the command position vacated by Col. Gerard Weiss, who recently accepted command of the Maryland Wing. During the change of command ceremony, Weiss transferred command by symbolically handing Ready the Group II flag.
“I am proud and honored to serve as your group commander. Group II has come a long way under the leadership of Col. Weiss, and together we will continue to set the standard for excellence in the Maryland Wing,” said Ready. Referring to the recent search and rescue mission conducting by the wing, Ready said, “We will continue to make mission readiness the primary focus for Group II. The events of the past week demonstrate that we cannot do enough to be ready to serve when called.”
Following the transition, Ready assisted Weiss with a cadet promotion and recognition for a squadron in the group.
Cadet Matthew Hughes, of the Easton Composite Squadron, was promoted the rank of cadet captain and received the Amelia Earhart Award.
The Carroll Composite Squadron received Squadron of Merit 2006 for Maryland Wing, with Ready reading the citation while Weiss placed the streamer on the squadron guidon.
Ready joined the Carroll Composite Squadron in 1994, where he served in many positions, including commander, until he became the deputy commander of Group II in 2004. He holds senior ratings in both cadet programs and professional development. Ready has been a regular aerospace instructor at the annual Tri-Wing Encampment and is the webmaster/designer of the Maryland Wing website. His emergency services qualifications include ground team member 2, mission scanner, and mission observer. Ready is also an operator for ARCHER, the Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance system used in search and rescue that can detect small objects on the ground from 1/2 mile altitude. Ready is also a graduate of the 2004 Region Staff College.
A resident of Westminster, Md., Ready moved to the area after graduating from Villanova University with a degree in astronomy and astrophysics and accepting a position working on the Hubble Space Telescope. He currently is an independent web designer, developer, and consultant.
Ready lives with his wife, Jeri Smith-Ready, and their two dogs and two cats. The couple fosters dogs with the Tails of Hope dog adoption agency.
Ready has announced the following Group II staff appointments:
Maj. Chris Howell is appointed the new deputy commander of the group. Howell was the former commander of the Towson Composite Squadron and the group administrative officer.
1st Lt. Sherry McManus, of the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron, has been appointed Group II administrative officer, filling the post vacated by Howell.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 57,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.
Last fiscal year more than 1,800 of CAP's dedicated members helped hurricane victims; CAP aviators and aerial observers flew more than 1,000 air missions; ground teams performed 131 missions and visited 4,266 homes; and other volunteers distributed 30,000 pounds of relief supplies. CAP members also conducted 2,507 search and rescue missions, saving 73 lives. Throughout the year, CAP also took part in important homeland security missions; many CAP pilots flew target-intercept training for U.S. fighter pilots.
Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 23,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 65 years.
There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds. For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit http://mdcap.org/ or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:
In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at http://mdcap.org/radio/ and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.