Blanton Siblings Commissioned In the U.S. Air Force
Monday, May 15, 2017
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Photo Caption:
Siblings Riley and Bethany Blanton showing off their Air Force commissions.


By Maj. Larry Stewart, Chattanooga Composite Sq.
Chattanooga, Tenn.--On Friday afternoon, at a ceremony held at the Georgia Techís historic Academy of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, seventeen cadets of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. Among them were siblings Bethany Blanton and Riley Blanton, formerly of Rhea County.

Lt Col Juan Silva, commander of Georgia Tech AFROTC Detachment 165, praised and challenged the new lieutenants during opening and closing remarks. During the ceremony, both Blantons were administered the Oath of Office by their former AFROTC commander, Lt Col Michael C. Olvera. Upon completion of the oath, the proud parents, Doug and Becky Blanton, followed long-standing military tradition by pinning the shiny new second lieutenant bars on their sonís and daughterís uniforms.

Following another Air Force tradition, the newly commissioned officers were allowed to choose an active or separated military service member to render a ceremonial first salute. Rendering Lt. Bethany Blantonís first salute, was her first Civil Air Patrol (CAP) commander and former Army Specialist, Mark Landrum. Rendering Lt. Riley Blantonís first salute was Edward Stobart, of Rhea County, former Navy Seaman.

From 2010-2014, while living in Dayton, Tennessee, the Blantonís were active volunteers in the CAPís Chattanooga Composite Squadron. Riley joined as a cadet, earned the rank of Cadet Captain (in record time),and was selected to serve as his squadronís cadet commander before later transitioning to senior member. Bethany, just over that age of being eligible for CAPís cadet program, joined as a senior member, and was appointed to serve as the squadronís Deputy Commander for Cadets, devoting her time to training and mentoring cadet leaders.

The Civil Air Patrol, an official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, has special provisions for cadets with three years of experience, or cadets who receive the General Billy Mitchell Award. These CAP cadets are eligible to enlist in the Air Force with the advanced pay grade of E-3. Further, the Blantonís successful completion of the Air Force ROTC program, along with a 4 year commitment to serve, jump started their military careers with a promotion to second lieutenant.

Both Lieutenants Blanton are graduating this week with academic honors from Georgia State University, having earned their degrees in Political Science. They have been assigned as intelligence officers, and will be reporting to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas for advanced training.
Article Information
Reviewed by: 1st Lt. Morgan Torp-Pedersen
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Tennessee Wing, Group 2
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Origin

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Forceís 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 Patrolís 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 www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Visit the Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol at http://sercap.us and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sercap

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