Local CAP squadron reflects during observance of CAP’s 76th anniversary, Cadet Program

MARTINSBURG, WV – The Martinsburg Composite Squadron, along with other units of Civil Air Patrol across the nation observes the organization’s anniversary.

Civil Air Patrol was founded Dec. 1, 1941, by a group of aviation enthusiasts and private pilots who wanted to donate their time and aircraft to protect the nation’s coastlines during World War II and to perform other critical civil defense missions. Also, CAP celebrated this past October 75 years of its Cadet Program, which was implemented on Oct. 8, 1942.

During Tuesday’s weekly meeting, Major Frank Panek, Deputy Commander, reflected on CAP’s 76th anniversary. “Our squadron has a proud heritage of a strong cadet program. We are stronger because of out cadet program”, Major Panek explained. He also mentioned that “we have been fortunate to provide the abilities for our cadets to grow and move onto military academies and in other military services”.

Cadet First Lieutenant Trinity Gray, cadet commander, also offered remarks during the meeting. She noted that CAP’s Cadet Program is actually older than the U.S. Air Force itself. “I found that fact to be impressive”, Cadet Gray said. “The people that have come out of the Cadet Program have impacted society in a positive way. They go on to be leaders in many fields, officers in the military and CAP provided them with that leadership”.

Some notable people that are former cadets in CAP are Astronaut Eric Boe and first female Thunderbirds pilot Nicole Malachowski.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 58,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit http://www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.