Civil Air Patrol cadets have connected minds, some say. An open house will be held April 29.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
If the area were to be hit with a major hurricane, knocking out communications, or if an airplane were to crash within 100 miles of Ormond Beach, you may be surprised who would step into action.
That would be the Ormond Beach Civil Air Patrol, and its teenage cadets.
Hosting an open house 7 p.m. Monday, April 29, at 760 Airport Road, Air Patrol instructors and cadets will explain the program and benefits, as well as try to clear up a misconception that the program is meant to prep local kids for military service.
“We want to build better citizens,” Maj. Mike Goblet said. “We’re not looking to create folks in the military. In fact, while it may be likely that a slightly higher percentage of cadets ... might enter the military service, it is not significantly more than the general public.”
The program uses military standards — discipline, communication, service — to develop some of the same characteristics of other youth organizations, like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and team sports.
“You do put a lot of time into it, but you get a lot from it,” said Cadet Master Sgt. Devon Giles, of the group's color guard. “You have so much fun at the practices.”
It’s the camaraderie, cadets say, that also adds to the popularity of color guard. The hours spent in practice builds bonds. And then there are the trips to competitions, where they get to perform in front of crowds.
“It’s the best feeling, when you’re marching out in front of a judge,” Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Brittani Giles said. “You all hit that pivot point at once, because we’ve worked so much together our minds are pretty much connected. It’s the coolest thing.”
Cadet Col. Daniel Fry, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student, has achieved the highest level within the cadet program, which Goblet said fewer cadets achieve than Boy Scouts earning the title of Eagle.
Fry, a Tennessee native, contributes to the peer-to-peer leadership atmosphere the program encourages. He said he’s on track to graduate Embry-Riddle in 2015, and then commission into the Air Force.
Call 316-9782 or email [email protected].