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Cadet Taylor takes command of Civil Air Patrol Cadets
Cadet First Lieutenant Joseph Taylor appointed cadet commander of Civil Air Patrol's 399th Composite Squadron located in Danbury, Conn. By Major Peter Milano.
By: Civil Air Patrol 399th Composite Squadron
Cadet Commander Taylor joined Civil Air Patrol in May 2012. “The first sergeant at the time actually told me about CAP in the seventh grade. I went to a couple meetings and was on the fence about joining but he convinced me and I joined.” Since then Taylor has held every position on the cadet chain of command. “My first job, as element leader, gave me my first sense of responsibility,”
Taylor received the General Billy Mitchell Award in February 2015 and was promoted to cadet first lieutenant in July 2015. The General Billy Mitchell Award is the second milestone in the cadet program that marks completion of the leadership phase. Only 15% of Civil Air Patrol cadets obtain the award, making them eligible for advanced placement to the grade of airman first class (E-3) should they choose to enter the U.S. Air Force.
Taylor attended three Connecticut Wing Encampments held at Camp Niantic. “I was in Echo Flight the first year as a student and flight sergeant of Delta Flight the following year. We achieved honor flight both years,” said Taylor. This past year at CTWG Encampment he served as the Skills Evaluator Training Officer in Charge. Taylor stated, “I am proud of all I’ve done with the squadron and the achievements at encampment. I’m also proud of achieving the model rocketry badge and getting elected as vice chair of the Connecticut Wing Cadet Advisory Council.” The Cadet Advisory Council recommends solutions and identifies opportunities to improve the Cadet Program.
“I have many goals for this great squadron, establishing a true chain of command and executive jobs such as cadet public affairs, logistics, and administration officers. I want cadets to want to love coming to Civil Air Patrol as much as I do and I want them to bring their friends. With more cadets the squadron becomes stronger and functions better,” said Taylor. “I also want to increase cadet participation and see cadets competing for jobs. I believe this will help cadets develop their skills and advance through the program, and in the end, make the unit stronger.”
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s 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 85 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 70 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 58,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its Airmen 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. Civil Air Patrol received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Congressionally chartered 74 years ago, the nonprofit organization also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.
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Major Peter Milano