Civil Air Patrol Cadet Major Jon R. Ball, a sophomore engineering student at WV Tech, was named Cadet of the Year for 2012 at the Boone Composite Squadron’s Awards Program on 26 March 2013.
Having served as the Cadet Commander over the units’ cadet corps for the past four years, this is the third time that Cadet Ball has earned Cadet of the Year honors.
The award is granted each year to the cadet who has the overall best record in all training aspects of the cadet program and who most clearly exemplifies the CAP Core Values of Integrity, Excellence, Volunteer Service and Respect.
Cadet Ball also received the Air Force Association’s Citation for outstanding academics and leadership in Civil Air Patrol.
Lt Col Virgil Martin, Squadron Commander, welcomed members and visitors for the annual awards program and buffet meal at the Squadron’s Lick Creek headquarters.
Additional cadets receiving plaques for excellent performance during 2012 were: C/SSgt Caleb Sydnor, who earned the First Place plaque for Physical Fitness Training, C/Airman Larry Copen took First Place honors for Outstanding Uniform Inspection and C/A1C Matthew Smith tied with C/Major Ball for First Place in Emergency Services training.
One special guest invited to the evening’s activities was Madison Police Department’s Lt John Adams. Lt Adams was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his work with the CAP Drug Demand Reduction Program. He has given several “drug awareness” presentations to the squadron and has included his K-9 partner in most of those presentations.
Most of the adult members of the local unit have served the squadron for many years and one such member was recognized at the Awards Program with a special plaque. 1st Lt Jamie Cumbridge, a former cadet, was recognized for 10 years of outstanding service as a senior member at the local squadron.
Cumbridge presently serves as the unit’s Finance Officer and Safety Officer and has also held the position of Public Affairs Officer and several assistant positions.
Both cadets and senior members in CAP work toward advancement in grade and earn stripes, just as their military counterparts in the Air Force. Three members were recognized for advancing in grade. C/SSgt Caleb Sydnor received his Wright Brothers Award, which is granted upon completion of the first three out of sixteen achievements in the cadet training program.
Adult squadron members Kimi Ball and Chuck Shultz were both promoted to the grade of 2d Lt and their stripes were presented to them by fellow officers in the program.
2d Lt Ball, a teacher at Faith Christian Academy at Van, is the unit’s testing officer. Chuck Shultz, a police officer in the Madison City Police Department, serves as the unit’s Supply Officer, Drug Demand Reduction Officer and Recruiting Officer.
Several other awards were given during the evening. Senior Member Betty White was honored with a Certificate of Appreciation for her excellent work with the unit’s “Bookstore” and her assistance to the Supply Officer.
Second Place performance awards in the cadet program were given to C/SSgt Caleb Sydnor for Aerospace Education, C/A1C Matthew Smith for Physical Fitness and C/Amn Trinity Miller for uniform inspection.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented to non-members Kenda Ball, Brad Ball, John Cumbridge, Paula Fowler and Michael Kirk for their outstanding assistance to the squadron during the Boone County Fair.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011.
Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years.
CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information. Local unit information can be found at http://wvboonecap.webs.com