Cadets finish boot camp |

Cadets finish boot camp

Capt. Sharon Reardon, Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol Cadets from the Blackhawk Composite Squadron at South Lake Tahoe recently graduated from the Nevada Wing Encampment at the military training facility at Stead, Nev. This weeklong mini boot camp is offered to cadets ages 13 to 21 from Nevada and neighboring states. Nevada cadets attending the program this summer were from Las Vegas, Reno, Truckee, Minden, Elko, Portola and Lake Tahoe.

The encampment training is required for cadets to become an officer and for cadets who wish to attend summer special activity courses offered at locations across the country and the International Air Cadet Exchange Programs in host countries. Also, graduation allows cadets to apply for a staff position at future encampments.

During the Nevada Training Exercise cadets learn team work, drill, military protocol, leadership, moral leadership, customs and courtesies and aerospace. They also participate in physical training every morning, which culminates in the final test before graduation. Cadets must attend required classes to complete the encampment.

Cadets get a great insight on a real military boot camp experience. They live in the barracks, eat in the mess hall and rise in the morning to reveille. They are assigned to flights under the command of a flight sergeant, flight commander and squadron commander. These flights are under the guidance of the Deputy Cadet Encampment Commander and the Cadet Encampment Commander. All cadets are then supervised by the senior staff, adult CAP members, while implementing their duties.

Staff cadets are expected to run a smooth “boot camp” while using all the training they have learned during their service in the Civil Air Patrol. It gives them a chance to bring their training out of books and into a real live exercise. The weeklong training culminates in a “Pass and Review” ceremony for the wing commander and the parents and an award and graduation ceremony.

The Blackhawk Composite Squadron is located in South Lake Tahoe and consists of 42 senior members and 27 cadets. Cadet staff attending the summer encampment from the Blackhawk Composite Squadron include Cadet Maj. Patrick Reardon, standard/evaluation; Cadet 2nd Lt. Matt Johnson, squadron commander; Cadet Master Sgt. Elijah Irons, first sergeant; and Cadet Staff Sgt. Krystal Alderson, operations. Senior member, Capt. Sharon Reardon was the deputy encampment commander under the leadership of Maj. Shyle Irigoin, the encampment commander from Sparks. The basic cadets who attended were Cadet Airman1st Class Arsene Trudeau, third encampment; Cadet Staff Sgt. Johnny Baca, second encampment; and Cadet Staff Airman Steven Gerken and Cadet Airman Jacob Griffin, who were both attending their first encampment.

Civil Air Patrol is an Air Force auxiliary organization for adults and teens, who are entering sixth grade through 21 years of age. The focus of Civil Air Patrol includes aerospace education, cadet programs and search and rescue. Adults interested in volunteering their time to these missions are encouraged to join. Pilots are a great asset to CAP as well as adults who enjoy working with teens.

The Blackhawk Composite Squadron currently is recruiting teens to join the cadet program. Interest in the military, flying and community service are a plus, but not required. Senior meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of each month and the cadet meetings are at 6 p.m. every Monday at the Lake Tahoe Airport. Interested persons are welcome to attend to find out more about this worthwhile program.

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