SRQ Composite Squadron Cadets Win Statewide Ultimate Cadet Challenge
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Bookmark and Share

Photo Caption:
The Destroyers Team included (left to right) Senior Member David Taylor, C/Amn Jacob Anthony, C/2d Lt Jesse Yong, C/CMSgt Ian Spirduso, C/CMSgt Colt Burch, and C/1st Lt Austin Vore. (Photo Credit: Civil Air Patrol)

By 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll, SRQ Composite Squadron
Sarasota, Fla.--Five cadets from the SRQ Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) won first-place honors at the Florida Wing’s Ulitmate Cadet Challenge competition, held 14 through 16 October 2016 at Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida.

Senior Member David Taylor, who accompanied the cadets as their senior escort, said, “The competition was important in helping to build confidence and reinforcing the cadets’ ability to work as a team. They were successful because they were dedicated, united, and physically and mentally prepared.” Taylor added that the competition gave the cadets an opportunity to put their skills to work in a “real world” situation.

The cadets representing the SRQ Composite Squadron as the “Destroyers” team included C/Amn Jacob Anthony, C/CMSgt Colt Burch, C/CMSgt Ian Spirduso, C/1st Lt Austin Vore, and C/2d Lt Jesse Yong.

The Ultimate Cadet Challenge (UCC) is an annual event, held by the Florida Wing of CAP, that tests the abilities of cadets in all areas of the Civil Air Patrol mission. Teams of cadets compete for the title of “Ultimate Cadet” against others in the wing. This year’s competition included teams from around the state. Events included Emergency Services activities, obstacle courses, written examination, uniform inspection, drill evaluation, and leadership reaction courses.

Taylor said the weather during the competition proved to be one of the unscheduled challenges. Cadets overcame heat, fog and rain and learned how to operate successfully in less-than-ideal conditions.

CAP’s cadet program introduces young people, from ages 12 through 21, to aviation. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, and many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).

Based at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, the SRQ Composite Squadron is one of more than 1,700 Civil Air Patrol squadrons across the nation. The SRQ Composite Squadron includes 102 members: 63 senior members and 39 cadets. Members put general aviation to its best use, dedicated to saving lives, flying counter-drug missions, participating in homeland security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and supporting America’s educators. For information about the SRQ Composite Squadron of CAP, visit

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.
Visit the Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol at and on Twitter at

Copyright © 2007 - 2016 Southeast Region Online News, Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol.