Cadet Capt. Rachel Leeds and Cadet 2nd Lt. Lauryn Sharp complete a flag-folding exercise. Leeds is a member of the Winchester Composite Squadron, while Sharp belongs to the Lynchburg Composite Squadron.
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Motsarah Caldwell instructs an NCO Academy class.
Airmen from the 633rd Force Support Squadron provide breakfast.
Participants in the Advanced Drill and Ceremonies School – (from left) Cadet Maj. Justin Sweat, Cadet Capt. Rachel Leeds, Cadet Staff Sgt. Robin Banuski, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Raina Hempley, Cadet Staff Sgt. Seth Hatfield, Cadet 2nd Lt. Lauryn Sharp, Cadet Staff Sgt. Gabriel Hoback, Cadet Master Sgt. Savanna Fitts, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Gheorghe Ciobanu and Cadet 1st Lt. Brandon Lawson. Sweat belongs to the Southside Composite Squadron; Leeds to the Winchester Composite Squadron; Banuski and Langley to the Langley Composite Squadron; Hatfield, Hoback and Lawson to the Prince William Composite Squadron; Sharp to the Lynchburg Composite Squadron; and Ciobanu to the Leesburg Composite Squadron.
Participants in the NCO Academy gather for a photo with Langley Air Force Base NCOs.
Photos by Lt. Col. Kimberly Frady, Virginia Wing
Fifty-nine Civil Air Patrol cadets from more than 15 squadrons honed their skills at the Virginia Wing’s Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Advanced Drill and Ceremonies School at Langley Air Force Base.
The Drill and Ceremonies School, which the wing has offered twice annually the last several years, not only helps strengthen cadets’ knowledge of drill and ceremonies but also standardizes how drill is taught throughout the wing. The school is now evolving from providing a simple understanding of drill and ceremonies to focus specifically on enabling cadets to be comfortable with drill instruction and training and use and with applying their skills and knowledge at their individual squadrons.
“I've never thought that I would have the capabilities to drill cadets on my own before, but now I feel more confident and prepared than ever before,” Cadet Master Sgt. Gheorghe Ciobanu, a member of the Leesburg Composite Squadron, said at the conclusion of this fall’s school.
“The cadre did an outstanding job teaching us everything we need to know according to the new manual and giving us the confidence we all needed,” Ciobanu said.
“With the addition of new national curriculum for drill, we are enabled now more than ever to follow the same sheet of music,” said the activity’s director, Capt. Jacob Bixler, Winchester Composite Squadron deputy commander. “I thoroughly enjoy being able to offer this activity at the wing level so that cadets from across the state can share and collaborate their successes and strengthen their leadership and mentorship qualities that are reinforced through drill and ceremonies.”
The NCO Academy was offered at the wing level for the first time in many years. The goal for the academy was to offer new cadet NCOs the basic skills to lead beginning CAP cadets under their guidance.
Basic skills on how to prepare and teach were supplemented with discussions on leadership ethics and responsibilities.
By far the best-received part of the course was the “NCO Round Table” session, with active-duty NCOs from Langley volunteering their time to talk to the cadets about being in charge of others. The discussion could have gone on twice as long as time allowed; both NCOs and cadets enjoyed every moment.
In addition to the cadre, students and staff, the weekend activity was made successful through the support of the U.S. Air Force. The academies made use of Langley’s Raptor Town buildings, providing a place for participants to sleep and eat comfortably.
Members of the 633rd Force Support Squadron gave their personal time to prepare breakfast and dinner for the schools. The directors of both schools personally thanked the airmen and their commanders for their efforts.