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Civil Air Patrol cadets show off skills during national competitionCivil Air Patrol cadets show off skills during national competition

Leadership, problem-solving among top challengesLeadership, problem-solving among top challenges

Ninety-six Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets from California to Florida, plus Puerto Rico, demonstrated their precision and teamwork during the 2018 National Cadet Competition at Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio, June 30 through July 2.

Civil Air Patrol cadet Beth Nearing stands by a CAP aircraft. Photo courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol.

Young men and women ages 12 to 20 from 14 wings participated in local, state, and regional contests to earn the right to attend the 80-year-old national contest.

Senior U.S. Air Force and CAP personnel graded the six-member cadet teams on leadership and aerospace knowledge, group problem-solving challenges, outdoor color guard challenges, physical fitness, robotics, a panel quiz-style game, presentations from a pre-competition service project, and a uniform inspection.

“As its name implies, this is the premier CAP cadet competition of the summer,” said activity director Lt. Col. Robert Shaw. “These teams train and compete throughout the year in order to compete against the best in the nation.”

The event was one of nearly 50 national cadet special activities designed to help young people explore science, technology, engineering, math, aerospace technology, and aviation careers.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) was awarded the Civil Air Patrol’s Silver Medal of Valor for his actions during a June 2017 shooting at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where members of Congress were practicing for a charity game. Photo courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol.

In other news, the organization in June awarded its highest honor—the Silver Medal of Valor—to Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) for his actions during a June 2017 shooting at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where members of Congress were practicing for a charity game.

Loudermilk was recognized by CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith for his "distinguished and conspicuous heroic action, at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of normal duty.” Loudermilk, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was standing near home plate when shots rang out. He provided a distraction to the alleged gunman, drawing fire away from others huddled in a nearby dugout. He is also a CAP lieutenant and a member of the group’s Georgia wing.

AOPA has also recognized the importance of growing the pilot population and put several programs in place to ensure a robust future for aviators. The goal of AOPA’s You Can Fly High School Initiative is to help build and sustain aviation-based science, technology, engineering, and math programs and provide a quality workforce to the aviation industry. AOPA also supports flying clubs, Rusty Pilots seminars, and other pilot-support mechanisms that make flying safe, fun, and affordable.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Aviation Organizations, Aviation Education Programs

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