4/15/2009–Bowie, MD–The Bowie Squadron has a new cadet commander. Cadet Maj. Joshua Williams was promoted during a recent ceremony in Bowie, Md. A member since 2004, Williams says his goals for the unit include continued membership growth and expansion of the squadron’s ground team program from one team to three.
Cadet commanders are chosen based on a number of factors including participation in CAP activities, knowledge of aerospace principles, self-discipline, teamwork, leadership ability, ethics and physical fitness.
The coming months will be busy for Williams who has been selected by the Air Force, Army and Navy to participate in their respective one-week summer leadership programs for high school students. In addition, the 16-year-old has been chosen to take part in Cadet Officer School, a highly selective training event hosted by the Civil Air Patrol and U. S. Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Outside of CAP, Williams is working toward his Eagle Scout rating, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts and he is a member of his local swim team.
Williams credits the support of his family for his current success. For them CAP is a family affair. Williams’ father, 1st Lt. James Williams, is the squadron's Aerospace Education Officer. His older sister, Cadet Maj. Abigail Williams, is a current member and former cadet commander at the unit. And, his two younger brothers, Benjamin and Jonathan, are also making their way through the program.
Cadet Maj. Williams replaces outgoing cadet commander Cadet Capt. Beau Bustanoby, 16, who served in the position since September of 2008. During his tenure, the squadron saw growth in its cadet membership and the launch of a “Second Hour” activities program which allows cadets to choose a training specialty during the second half of weekly squadron meetings. Cadets can choose model rocketry, ground team or Color Guard training.
The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force, was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U. S. into World War II. CAP is a nonprofit organization with more than 56,000 members nationwide. The organization’s members perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, and were credited by the AFRCC with saving 90 lives in fiscal year 2008. Its volunteers 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. CAP has been performing mission for American for more than 63 years. There are approximately 1,400 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information, visit www.mdcap.org.
The Bowie Composite Squadron meets on Thursday evenings in Bowie, Md. For additional information, visit the squadron website at www.bowiecap.org or contact Capt Jeff Welch, squadron commander, at firstname.lastname@example.org.