Civil Air Patrol Volunteer Now

    Top cadets converging on nation's capital for Civic Leadership Academy

    February 24, 2017

    Twenty-four outstanding Civil Air Patrol cadets from 19 wings are gathering in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Civic Leadership Academy, part of a real-world, hands-on activity long recognized nationally as a top-notch educational experience.

    “If you are interested in politics and careers in public service, this is for you,” said Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP’s national commander and CEO. “CLA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity afforded to our very best cadets, who receive a well-rounded understanding of government leadership, public service and the principles that guide us.” 

    Scheduled to begin Saturday and end March 4, the weeklong academy isn’t the average field trip to Washington. The select group of cadets participates in behind-the-scenes tours and briefings at the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, State Department, Pentagon, CIA, Arlington National Cemetery and other notable places in the nation’s capital.

    Now in its 12th year as one of CAP’s National Cadet Special Activities, CLA allows participants to experience the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government firsthand. It’s an academically intense, interactive study of U.S. government in action, providing participants the opportunity to grow as citizens and young leaders through lessons in persuasive leadership, federal government, public service careers and American heritage. 

    In recognition of CLA’s outstanding academic value, the National Association of Secondary School Principals has again placed it on the National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2016-17. The NASSP’s National Committee on Student Contests and Activities annually evaluates the educational value and organizational structure of school-related program opportunities nationwide and recommends those it finds worthwhile to principals, teachers, parents and students. CLA has made the organization’s National Advisory List each of the past nine years.

    In addition to a blend of lectures, seminars and assigned readings from historic and current sources, the cadets also visit the National Archives, legislative offices and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as the World War II, Korean War, Vietnam Veterans, Women in Military Service and Lincoln memorials. 

    At each of these locations they hear from VIPs who provide insights designed to deepen their understanding of government in action. Their CLA tasks culminate with a final project — a presentation on their CLA experience to their peers in their home squadrons and wings.

    “This project gives our cadets an opportunity to interact with government,” said Lt. Col. Elliott Korona, CLA director. “They learn that individuals and small groups are often the agents for change, and they realize the power of persuasive leadership.”

    On March 2 the CLA cadets will participate in CAP’s 2017 Legislative Day, where they will meet with their elected leaders on Capitol Hill. As part of the annual event, the cadets assist their region and wing commanders in briefing their representatives and senators on how CAP’s primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs have benefited their communities.  

    “Our cadets leave a favorable impression on the Hill,” Korona said. “As part of Legislative Day, they are always eager to meet with their congressional leaders and ready to explain what Civil Air Patrol is all about and what our volunteers have done over the past year.”

    Vazquez said CLA is one of CAP’s most important activities because the 24 cadets chosen for the experience represent America’s future.

    “It is our hope that these cadets will be inspired through CLA and the principles they learn here in Washington,” he said. “We want them to remember these lessons when they return home, and be thoughtful participants and leaders in their communities.”


    Arkansas Wing

    • Cadet 1st Lt. Hannah G. Cheatham, 42nd Composite Squadron  

    Arizona Wing

    • Cadet Capt. Andrew T.G. Varnes, East Tucson Cadet Squadron 

    California Wing

    • Cadet Lt. Col. Nicole J. Khattar, Corona Cadet Squadron 29 
    • Cadet Capt. Samuel Cho Skyhawk, Composite Squadron 47 

    Connecticut Wing

    • Cadet Lt. Col. Keith P. Trotochaud, Danielson Cadet Squadron 

    Florida Wing

    • Cadet Col. Viviana L. Angelini, Clearwater Composite Squadron 
    • Cadet Maj. Mark P. Lyford, Seminole Composite Squadron  

    Idaho Wing

    • Cadet Maj. Jett Hawk, Pocatello Composite Squadron

    Illinois Wing

    • Laivi Y. Grossman, Palwaukee Composite Squadron

    Massachusetts Wing

    • Cadet 2nd Lt. Sally Edmondson, Hanscom Composite Squadron 

    Montana Wing

    • Cadet Maj. Justin Ramey, Flathead Composite Squadron 

    National Capital Wing

    • Cadet 1st Lt. Rebecca A. Jensen, Fairfax Composite Squadron 

    New Jersey

    • Cadet Capt. Daniel A. Lisle, Bayshore Composite Squadron 

    New York Wing

    • Cadet 1st Lt. Joseph A. Wagner, Syracuse Cadet Squadron 

    Ohio Wing

    • Cadet Col. Vincent Allen, Columbus Composite Squadron

    Oregon Wing

    • Cadet Capt. Anna Selchow, Columbia Composite Squadron 

    Pennsylvania Wing

    • Cadet Lt. Col. Connor T. Quinn, Doylestown Composite Squadron 907 
    • Cadet Maj. Mathieu Quinn Barron Armstrong, County Composite Squadron 
    • Cadet 2nd Lt. Samantha Rose Thompson, Williamsport Composite Squadron 401 

    Tennessee Wing

    • Cadet Maj. Lexie J. Higdon, Henry County Composite Squadron 

    Utah Wing

    • Cadet 1st Lt. Colton J. Mansfield, Blackhawk Cadet Squadron 
    • Cadet 1st Lt. Emily K. Miner, Weber Minuteman Composite Squadron 

    Virginia Wing

    • Cadet Col. Sabrina T. Fuller, West Richmond Cadet Squadron 

    Wyoming Wing 

    • Cadet Capt. Tasha McKelvey, Yellowstone Regional Composite Squadron 


    CAP National Headquarters
    105 South Hansell Street
    Bldg. 714
    Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-5937
    Interested in Membership?
    Contact Your Local Unit
    Powered by SiteViz Enterprise Edition
    Copyright © 2017 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All Rights Reserved.