Gold Coast Air Force Association Holds Essay Contest for Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squad
Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Photo Caption:
Photo caption: L to R: Lt Col Montalvo, CAP, Gold Coast President; CAP Cadet Airman Del Campo accepting congratulations from Col Mikelson, and CAP Squadron Commander Capt Traci Cohen. Photo credit: Lt Col Virginia Montalvo

By Lt Col Virginia Montalvo, Public Affairs Officer, Crystal Lake Middle School Cadet School Sqn

In recognition of Civil Air Patrolís 75th years of outstanding community service, the Air Force Association (AFA), Gold Coast Chapter (GCC) members who are active partners with Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Aerospace and STEM Education, proposed an essay competition for CAP cadets at the Crystal Lake Middle School Cadet School Squadron.

Ms S. Phillips, administrator of school gave permission to have a CAP exhibit in the schoolís entry foyer.  The cadets proudly put up the CAP celebration banner; an enlarged poster of CAPís history and a well-known WWII picture of a yellow Piper Cub plane flown by CAP over an enemy submarine. 

The AFA Gold Coast Chapter has been closely tied with the Crystal Lake Middle School Squadron since 1995 when Colonel David Mikelson (US Air Force, Retired) and an AFA member started the School Squadron Group in Florida. By 2006, before moving to Vermont, Col. Mikelson started nineteen school squadrons throughout Florida.  His first two school squadrons, which are the only two still in operation, are the Crystal Lake CAP Middle School Cadet Squadron (CLMSCS) and Miramar High School CAP Squadron.

The CLMSCS Commander Capt. Traci Cohen, as well as three former commanders, have all been AFA members of the Gold Coast Chapter and GCC Teachers of the Year.   It was at Colonel Mikelsonís suggestion that the essay contest was initiated.

The essay was ďHow has CAP affected my life and how will it change my lifeĒ.  Twenty cadets competed and the essay winner was Cadet Airman Del Campo.

At a CAP Squadron Meeting in February, Capt. Cohen introduced Col. Mikelson and Virginia Montalvo, Gold Coast AFA Chapter President to the squadron members.  Col Mikelson was delighted to see how the unit had grown.  He was especially pleased with the number of cadets who had participated in the essay contest and excited to present the award to the winning cadet.  Kudos to Cadet Airman Del Campo!

Article Information
Reviewed by: Florida Wing Public Affairs
Syndicated to: Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 6, Group 7
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Forceís Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually. CAPís 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAPís Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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