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Maryland Wing cadets excel at Speak Off

Neidlinger is presented plaque by Weiss at cadet speak off
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Cadet Dan Neidlinger is presented the first place plaque by Col Jerry Weiss, Maryland Wing commander, during the recent Cadet Speak Off. (Photo credit: 1st Lt Brenda Reed)

4/9/2007––Cadets from around the state participated in the recent Cadet Speak Off, an annual speech contest sponsored by the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, held at the Wing headquarters in Glen Burnie, Md. Two cadets took top honors: cadet technical sgt. Dan Neidlinger and cadet Lt. Col. Haley Blevins.

Neidlinger, a cadet from the Howard Composite Squadron, won both the basic and impromptu categories. Blevins, from the St. Mary's Composite Squadron, took first place in the advanced category.

Awards were presented to the winners by Col. Jerry Weiss, the Maryland Wing commander.

The basic category consists of 3-5 minute prepared speech on an aerospace topic. The advanced category is a 5-7 minute prepared speech on an aerospace topic. The impromptu category is a extemporaneous speech, lasting 2-3 minutes on a topic given to the participant. The speaker has up to 30 seconds to gather their thoughts.

Participants were judged by a panel of four judges from the Fort Meade Toastmasters Club. At the end of the competition, the judges gave some informative tips to the audience about speech making and public speaking in general. Master of ceremonies was cadet colonel Jake Reed, who also served as project officer for the event.

The winners will now proceed to the Middle East Region Cadet Speak Off, held in late April at the Middle East Region Conference in Richmond, Va., where they will face cadets from the seven CAP wings in the region.

CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 63 years.

There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds.

For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:

  • Annapolis, MD - WYRE-AM 810, 8:00-8:30AM ET
  • Baltimore, MD - WFBR AM 1590, 8:00-8:30AM ET
  • Ocean City, MD - WKHZ-AM 1590, 7:00-7:30AM ET
  • Potomac, MD - WCTN 950 AM, 6:00-6:30AM ET
  • Rockville, MD - WLXE-AM 1600, 7:00-7:30AM ET
  • Washington, DC - WZHF-AM 1390, 7:00-7:30AM ET

In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.

Maryland Wing Public Affairs also offers an e-mail alert system for news releases. When news breaks, a subscriber receives an automatic e-mail with a summary of the news release and a link back to the story on the MDWG web site. Signing up for e-mail news alerts is easy. Just go to: and fill in your e-mail address.