8/15/2009–Westminster, MD–The 2009 Civil Air Patrol National Honor Guard Academy graduation ceremonies were held on July 25 in Baker Memorial Chapel on the campus of McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.
Seventy-four cadets representing 29 states from across the country and Alaska converged on McDaniel College for two intense weeks of instruction from experienced and trained staff including four days with the United States Air Force presidential honor guard, in the four Honor Guard elements of flag history, public speaking, etiquette and the characteristics of an Honor Guardsman.
As one of the national special cadet activities, youth from the age of 13 to 20 choose the National Honor Guard Academy to learn and participate in providing specific honors and respect for humbling events such as presenting the colors, burial detail and even greeting returning veterans from their duties overseas. During the two weeks, these elements were actually performed as the colors were presented for a packed room of future leaders attending the Student Leadership University forum at the Washington Hilton Hotel; performed ceremonial honors for funeral of Louise Doyle, long time Civil Air Patrol member who toured and sang with the USO band in WWII; and greeted 308 soldiers returning to BWI Airport from their tours in the Middle East.
Meticulously groomed, crisp detailed uniforms, white gloves and ascot, the cadets stepped up and out to demonstrate what they learned for those attending graduation. From sharing the history of our nation’s flag, carrying a flag-draped casket and then folding the flag for presentation to a recipient, and the exciting basic, intermediate and advanced rifle drills, each cadet represented a proud history and future.
Lt Col Jonnetta Mayhew, academy director said, “just look at those cadets, and they’re just 13 and 14 years old, I’m so proud of them” speaking of Atlantis Flight, named the academy’s Honor Flight. Each of the five flights, Mercury, Endeavor, Atlantis, Apollo and Eagle were named after their association with aerospace history. The academy also yielded another extraordinary opportunity as aviation pioneer and humble mentor Mary Feik, presented a special program on her career in WWII from flying and refurbishing aircraft and instructing others. Cadet Miles Kiefer of Alaska stated, “she challenged us to aim high and reach for our dreams.”
Each flight also had their own award winners for their contribution to the team, Honor and Pride, Sprit, and Honor Cadet. The overall cadet award went to Cadet Michael DiMercurio of Hagerstown, Md., was named the Academy’s Honor White Hat Cadet.
Special guests attending the ceremonies included Civil Air Patrol National Chief of Staff, Lt Col Russ Chazell; CAP-USAF, Lt Col Kevin Hubbard, Middle East Liaison Region commander, U.S. Presidential Honor Guard, Col Mary Feik, Col Len Blaskoviech, National Historian, Mr. Mike Simpkins, National Drug Demand Reduction manager, Maj Sean Lee and Maj Ian Fredericks of CAP-USAF, Lt Col John Knowles, Maryland Wing Vice Commander, and Maryland Group 3 Commander Lt Col Wes LePre and several Middle East Region staff personnel.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a non-profit organization with a volunteer force of almost 57,000 members nationwide. Members perform 90 percent of the continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited with saving 91 lives in 2008. CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education, and conducts a multifaceted cadet program for more than 22,000 young people 12-20 years of age. Members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 67 years.
For more information please visit www.mdcap.org, email email@example.com, phone Maryland Wing headquarters at 410-553-6394 or visit www.gocivilairpatrolcom.