The final scores have been made official and the Great Lakes Region drill team has officially placed second in the nation after the June 20-23 National Cadet Competition held in Dayton.
"Placing second at the National Cadet Competition, a competition of the best of the best from the entire nation, is a major accomplishment," said Paul Creed III, Capt, CAP Commander of the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron. "The team has done their squadron proud, the Ohio Wing proud, the Great Lakes Region proud, but, most importantly, they have done their families proud."
The team began their training after being selected last fall. Since that time they have logged in many hours perfecting their skills.
Photo courtesy of Major James Kalemis
Coached by Civil Air Patrol Major William Hrinko and First Lt. Patricia Hrinko, the Youngstown Civil Air Patrol team has been training for the past seven months to earn their spot as the number two team in the nation. Team members pictured with their second place national trophy are team commander Mercer Martin, team deputy commander Nathaniel Forrider, Vanessa Betz, Megan Beatty of Austintown, Ryan Cain, Daniel Clegg, Emily Conroy of Canfield, Caleb Durfee, Brian Haight, Lauren Holt, Daniel Kennedy of Boardman, Aubry Lindauer, Austen Peters of Poland, and Trenton Wyant. Brendin Peters of Poland was a primary team member at the Regional competition and Joseph Spletzer served as the team’s alternate at the Regional competition. The Great Lakes Region drill team is pictured with the Great Lakes Region Vice Commander for Operations Colonel Donald Haffner and Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron Commander Captain Paul Creed III (left); Ohio Wing Commander Col. Gregory Mathews and Great Lakes Region Vice Commander for Support Col. Fred Rosenberg (right).
"The team had over 30 training sessions with each session lasting at least several hours to an entire day," Creed said. "The training days varied in length with the goals and training venue for that day."
Among part of the competition is uniform inspection. The cadets have to have every button, lapel and crease perfected.
"Each cadet has their uniforms scrutinized for perfection by the judges," Creed said. "In the case of the National Cadet Competition, the judges are members of the United States Air Force Honor Guard. In order to prepare their uniforms, the cadets practice repeatedly on assembling the uniforms to perfection."
Creed said the team's training and the Civil Air Patrol training helps build good military leaders and many go on to seek military careers. Joseph Spletzer of Warren, arrived at the U.S. Air Force Academy earlier this week for in-processing. Daniel Kennedy will be heading to the United States Merchant Marine Academy next week. Both are prime examples of those seeking military careers.
"Even though some of these cadets will not go on to military careers, no matter what career that they choose, they will excel at it because of the dedication and work ethic and leadership that they have demonstrated as a member of the team," Creed said.
Now with the competition over, the team members can go back to their regular training at the Youngstown air base. This fall, try-outs will again be held and the 2013 team will be put together. Some members will come from this year's winning team while others will be new members. This year's team members will help the new members by working as a team with a common goal.