The cadet squadron of the Charlotte County Composite
Squadron, headquartered at the Punta Gorda Airport, did not skip a beat just
because it was a new year. The Christmas holiday did not have an effect on
their momentum either.
At the first meeting of the year, command of the cadets
passed from Major Mikehla L. Hicks to 1st Lt Cooper L. Whitten. Cooper
has been a member of CAP for four years. He has moved steadily through the
ranks compiling an excellent record of performing at a high level. He is home schooled
and presently at the junior year level of high school. Plans include
college at FSU majoring in criminal justice and a stint in the Air Force or
The transition of Commanders should go very smoothly as
Cooper is very well trained in all disciplines of leadership. He will now
guide the 43 members of the unit consisting of both boys and girls, ages
The cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good
citizenship in America's youth, using aerospace education, Air Force role
models with emphasis on public service. Most of all, it challenges them
to learn and grow in ways they may have not had the opportunity to were it not
for the program. As each goes through the Motivation Phase, the Learning Phase,
the Leadership Phase, the Command Phase and the Executive Phase, they learn and
grow in endless ways. Their outlook on life changes. They become
more concerned about "others" and working together to achieve common
Seven cadets, who have embraced the Civil Air Patrol
program, were promoted on this night to make a special start to 2017.
C/Major Mikehla Hicks (left) turns over the reins of cadet command to 1st Lt. Cooper Whitten.