MIDDLETOWN — The Pathfinder Composite Squadron held its awards ceremony in Middletown, with State Representative Tim Derickson giving the keynote address.
Cadet Captain Stephen Garrett, of West Alexandria was presented the highest award that evening, the Civil Air Patrol’s Amelia Earhart Award by Senator Bill Beagle. Less than 5 percent of cadets nationwide achieve this award.
Cadet Captain Stephen Garrett was selected to attend Cadet Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery Alabama this summer. “I’ve always been interested in aerospace and excited for this opportunity,” Garrett said.
Cadet Officer School is patterned after the USAF Squadron Officer School and is an academically challenging course for cadets 16 and older. COS is an in-depth study of the skills of leadership. The course is divided between lecture, seminar, and hands-on training.
Instructors guide cadets through the Air Force approach to the psychology of leadership, problem solving techniques, effective writing, speaking, and group dynamics.
In addition to classes and seminars, a wide variety of top military and industry leaders come as guest speakers to discuss their experiences with the cadets. Topics include human relations, critical thinking, leadership and national security issues.
In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America’s call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.
After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.