By 1Lt Ruth Byron, Public Affairs Officer, Lee County Schools Cadet Sqn.
CAPE CORAL, Fla., -
The friends, family and honored guests of members from the Lee County Schools Cadet Squadron were treated to a year-end potluck dinner to celebrate the challenging work and fun exploration that is a part of life as a Civil Air Patrol cadet.
The banquet was held on May 17, 2018 in the media center of Gulf Middle School to highlight the success of a year of academic study, discussions about moral character, physical fitness training, drill pad exercises and field training -- including search and rescue and bivouac skill development.
The Lawrence Kearny Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution was represented at the event by Dinah Osborne, Vice Reagent, and Anne McGuire, Regent. presented the Distinguished Citizen Medal to Lt Col Jim Spieth and Major Nancy Spieth for their years of dedicated effort work to support the squadron, school, community and most importantly, the youth of Lee County.
A record number of promotions and awards presented at this year’s banquet.
Gulf Middle School Cadet of the Year Award: C/SMSgt Ryleigh Pezdek.
Daughters of the Revolution Award: C/MSgt Colin Stalnaker
Air Force Association Recognition Award: C/2Lt Tristan Palmer
Veteran of Foreign War Officer Award: C/2Lt Cooper Bisbe
Veteran of Foreign War NCO Award: C/SMSgt Brandon Stalnaker
To recognize cadets with three or more promotions in the year, Keep on Moving Award: C/2nd Lt Tristan Palmer; C/2nd Lt Cooper Bisbe; C/SMSgt Rayleigh Pezdek; C/SMSgt Brandon Stalnaker & C/MSgt Colin Stalnaker.
This year’s Mitchel Award recipients included C/2nd Lt Tristan Palmer and C/2nd Lt Cooper Bisbe.
Promotions recognized at the dinner were:
Ryleigh Pezdek promoted C/SMSgt.
Brandon Stalnaker promoted C/SMSgt.
Nathan Helm promoted to c/A1C
Mario Lopez promoted to c/A1C
Brayden McPhillips promoted to c/A1C
Devyn Palmer promoted to c/Amn
Anthony Giron promoted to c/Amn
Volunteer service is one of CAP’s four core values. In addition to their focus on advancement through the program, the cadets support in local community events. This year’s activities included Aviation Day at Page Field, local Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies and other events where the squadron honor guard provided color guard services.
On May 23rd, the color guard presented the colors for Military Appreciation Diner for Araba Shrine in Fort Myers. The cadets served the Nobles and Ladies a BBQ dinner. The Shriners provided tips to assist in the cadets attending Summer Encampment. On Memorial Day the color guard presented colors at the Cape Coral Military Museum in Cape Coral. The final color guard event was for the Gulf Middle School 8th Grade Awards Ceremony held at Ida Baker High School, in Cape Coral.
The Lee County Schools Cadet Squadron is one of two school-sponsored squadrons in southwest Florida.
V.I.P. guests included Lt Col Jim Spieth, Commander, FL 816; Lt Col Jim Kaletta, Commander, Group 5 Headquarters; C/Lt Col Mekhela Hicks, Chairperson, Cadet Advisory Council. Also, in attendance, the parents and friends “who lend us their loved ones for two hours, once a week during the school year”. The chicken and ribs for the banquet were donated by Lt Col. Roger Borg, CAP. The parents of cadets provided side dishes.
“I am really proud of these cadets,” said former commander, Major Nancy Spieth. “Congratulations to everyone! These promotions and awards are well deserved.”
DOWNLOAD IMAGE Photo Caption: End of school year awards and promotions ceremony was held at Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, Fla. (Photo credit; 1st Lt Ruth Byron)
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s 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. CAP’s 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 CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.