Charlotte County Squadron Cadets Promoted
By Maj. Earle Bretz, Public Affairs Officer, Charlotte County Composite Squadron | Publish: 3/31/2017

Photo: Cadet Lt Col Austin Alonso receives the Ira C. Eaker Award from Charlotte County squadron's Deputy Commander of Cadets, 2nd Lt. Karen Casa.

Punta Gorda, FL -- The Charlotte County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol celebrated the accomplishments of four cadets by promoting them to new grades.

Each cadet career is marked with a personal sense of achievement and the ceremonies which brings a momentary spotlight which shines on each cadet as they stand in front of their peers to be recognized for the progress up the grade ladder. This promotion ceremony is a significant reward in the life of a CAP cadet.

Being a CAP cadet is a rewarding experience and receiving a special award or a promotion in recognition for hard work, effort and success is a special occasion. These cadets may begin their career as young as the age of 12 and many continue to the age of 21. The series of milestones along the way mark grow in character development, leadership ability, physical prowess and greater understanding of the concepts involved with aerospace discovery and industry.

The three following pictures record this magical moment and the pride of cadet achievement.

Picture 1 shows Cadet Tech Sgt Sean Staples left and Cadet Chief Mstr Sgt Tyler Ezzi.

Picture 2 is of Cadet Mstr Sgt Justin McDonald and his proud parents.

Picture 3 is especially remarkable. It is of Cadet Lt Col Austin Alonso and Deputy Commander of Cadets, 2nd Lt. Karen Casa. It is remarkable because this young man has achieved the second highest grade possible in the cadet program, a level that a small percentage of cadets achieve. It was accomplished while Cadet Alonso was battling a non-malignant brain tumor that required two major surgeries in addition to months of rehabilitation.

Despite the challenges, this young man amazed his CAP comrades and seniors as he battled everything that life has thrown at him, staying focused to complete all that CAP required of him and climbed into the stratosphere of a Lieutenant Colonel. A true success story deserving of the highest accolades. His commander commented, "Where he found the drive and energy for all of his accomplishments is amazing. Throughout his cadet career, we have seen this drive in every task he was assigned."

Each of these cadets continue to apply themselves to reach personal goals and in volunteer service. We can all be very proud. Congratulations, gentlemen.

This article was produced from the Southeast Region Online News system. Electronic distribution is made possible through syndicated services. For more information, contact the Chief Editor Lt Col Judy Steele at