8/19/2012–Edgewater, MD–The Annapolis Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing celebrates the second anniversary of its monthly guest speaker program. Since its inception, the squadron has hosted a number of speakers who talk to the squadron on a variety of topics.
Capt. Charles Cattano, health services officer at the Annapolis Composite Squadron, began the monthly guest speaker program for the squadron in May 2010. The squadron has found that there are two key ingredients for the success of this program. First, the speakers are scheduled well in advance. This allows Cattano to adjust the speaker roster if time conflicts occur. Second, speaking sessions are limited to 30 minutes including questions and answers. The 30 minute block allows the speaker to present the main points while giving the squadron enough time to accomplish all of the other cadet activities during the meeting.
The squadron has hosted a number of speakers. Some of the squadron’s most popular include Ms. Becca Sepan, a space craft analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. She spoke about the mission operations teams she is part of - New Horizons mission to Pluto and MESSENGER mission orbiting Mercury. Sepan had excellent advice for those cadets who wanted to follow a similar career path.
Maj. Gen. James Demeritt, USAF, whose son is a member of the Annapolis squadron, dialoged with cadets about “Leadership vs. Management” and discussed current celebrities and the images they project as role models.
Col. Mary Feik, CAP, gave an inspiring talk about her professional dreams of working in aviation in the 1940’s, how she achieved her goal and went beyond her dreams, and continues to volunteer today.
Maj. Amy Farrar, USMC, is a US Marine Corps Reserve F-18 pilot. She spoke of the qualifications and competition to become a Navy pilot, training in dog fights, and harrowing landings on aircraft carriers.
According to Cattano, "Hosting top-notch guest speakers has become a routine monthly highlight for the Annapolis squadron and something our cadets and seniors alike look forward to every fourth Tuesday evening. The program is a terrific recruitment incentive for prospective members who attend our guest speaker sessions. As Chief of Medicine of Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, I meet many prominent individuals and am especially gratified by their interest when I invite them to speak inspirationally to our cadets. Both speakers and attendees to our guest speaker program truly benefit from the personal interaction and connection."
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Nearly 1,600 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 29 search and rescue missions and were credited with 13 finds saving three lives. Maryland Wing flew over 160 missions for the State of Maryland resulting in 2,222 hours flown. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.2 million. For more information contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org.