6/21/2006–Catonsville, MD–1st Lt. Karen B. Walker replaced Capt. Douglas Barth as commander of the Ft. McHenry Composite Squadron in the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), at a change of command ceremony conducted by Maj. Christian Ready, commander of Group II of the Maryland Wing.
Walker, 47, has served in CAP since May 2001. She is the single mother of Anne, a cadet who rose to the rank of second lieutenant and is now the squadron's cadet commander of cadets; and she has another older daughter.
Walker has served in several CAP duty assignments, including logistics officer, professional development officer, director of Senior Leadership School, and deputy commander of seniors for three years.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be selected to follow in the esteemed shoes of Maj. Tori Steinmeier and Capt. Doug Barth. Both leaders have been excellent role models and dear colleagues of mine, ” Walker said during the ceremony.
In her personal life Walker has worked for the U.S. Department of Defense for 22 years, is an accomplished musician, and is certified as a lay speaker in her church.
Barth handed over command of the squadron after a 3 1/2-year tenure. Under his leadership the squadron nearly tripled in size, moved to permanent quarters in Catonsville, and had expanded involvement in the community in four ways: through membership in the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland State Adopt-A-Highway program, partnering with the American Red Cross to establish an ongoing community center blood drive program, and increasing the squadron’s presence in emergency services. He will continue to serve the squadron as recruiting and retention officer.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 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.
Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 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 63 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.
The Ft. McHenry Composite Squadron meets 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings at Bloomsbury Community Center, 106 Bloomsbury Ave., Room 106, in Catonsville. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.