Civil Air Patrol

Cadets’ Families take in depth look at CAP’s Cadet Program

Photo by 2nd Lieutenant Patricia Miara - Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Zachary Pederson shows the curious guests how the L-Per works in order to find an ELT.

Eau Claire, Wis. – Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Eau Claire Composite Squadron hosted a family night recently at the National Guard Armory in Eau Claire, Wis.  The seventeen guests were treated to an evening of learning the many different aspects of CAP and its benefits.

The evening began with a pot luck dinner and getting to know the cadets’ families.  Afterwards, as cadets practiced drilling, First Lieutenant Matthew Hooper, deputy commander for cadets, spoke to the families as to the cadets’ activities during the meetings.

Details on numerous CAP events were discussed, such as encampment, aerospace education weekend, the Ground Team Academy at Volk Field, the annual EAA mission in Oshkosh, as well as other search and rescue related missions.

Hooper and Second Lieutenant Patricia Miara, public affairs officer, also used this time to explain the senior member program and the many different levels of membership available.

Each of the cadets presented an aspect of the cadet program to the guests.  Topics included flying paper airplanes, why planes can fly and orientation flights in the squadron’s hi-tech plane, a Cessna 182.

Part of emergency services means learning what an emergency locater transmitter (ELT) is and what it does.  Guests were also shown how a device called an L-Per is used to locate the ELT once it has been activated.

Touching on how leadership is learned through character development, family members also learned that physical training, including push-ups, sit-ups and the mile run, are an important aspect of CAP.

Even for its members, learning about the ranking system and the chain of command can be confusing.  The cadets however did an outstanding job explaining the system to their guests.

Cadets led the families in different drill movements, teaching them how they are done.  Learning how to accomplish left and right quarter turns as well as half turns, how to salute, how to stand at attention, as well as how to be at ease, can more difficult than it looks.

After working together in small groups everyone joined together were they were able to show off the basic commands that Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Alexander Kamstra called out.

Afterwards, the cadets showed the group more complicated moves and impressed their guests.

There are many reasons parents like the cadet program including the opportunity for their cadets to learn to fly.  Building character leads to cadets being more mature and responsible and willing to serve their communities.  An added bonus is having a shy cadet become more comfortable speaking around other people.

Overall, parents commented that their children are more focused and motivated creating a seriousness of what they want to do in their future.  The guests were thankful for the opportunity to understand more about Civil Air Patrol’s programs and are glad that their children are part of the program.

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