Local Civil Air Patrol holds a changing of the ranks
Lieutenant Jeffery Luke took over the squadron as 1st lieutenant, taking the place of Commander Dave Wharton of Colden.
The CAP is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force and functions as an emergency service. Beyond providing that service to the community, the CAP concentrates on aerospace education and cadet programs.
The cadet programs are available for both young people and adults. According to Wharton, both leadership and obedience skills are instilled in all members. Cadets who wish to move on to the Air Force when they become old enough, have the opportunity to enter at two pay grades higher than individuals who do not have a CAP background.
Although the Civil Air Patrol is part of the United States Air Force, members of the cadet programs and volunteers do not necessarily have a commitment to the Air Force.
CAP Cadets cannot actually execute their emergency response skills until they are at least 18 years old, but may learn beginning at age 12.
“Our primary focus, in the cadet programs, is leadership,” Wharton explained. “Cadets don’t learn by sitting in classrooms. They learn by doing.”
Wharton, who said that he initially took over the squadron in an attempt to preserve it, a vision he said has proven successful, described the commander position as a “great learning experience” and one that he found very rewarding.
The annual Christmas party followed the change of ranks ceremony, which included all members’ standing at attention.