Why did you join Civil Air Patrol?
I became interested in the CAP when my good friend from middle school, Mathew Smith, intrigued us all with his stories of flying. I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” and was addicted to the program ever since. I joined the Osprey Composite Squadron in Essex, Maryland in 2004. Having the honor of being the cadet commander for the 2009 Tri-Wing (Maryland-DC-Delaware) Encampment. The encampment taught me many lessons as a young cadet in terms of leadership, the hurdles of institutional change, and the importance of earning the respect of your followers. My experience with the Tri-Wing Encampment is only rivaled by the fact that I met my wife as a cadet in
CAP, a fellow Spaatz Award recipient and Air Force Officer.
What is your current career?
I graduated in 2012 from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in Arabic Studies and earned my commission as an Air Force officer from Detachment 330 (The Old Line!) I graduated from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training in 2014 and was lucky enough to go on to fly the mighty F-16. After a two year tour in South Korea, I now fly out of Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV.
What specific lesson/experience from CAP has influenced your career or your life?
The CAP Cadet Program has had many effects on me over the years, but the two greatest that remain today are my love for aviation and my dedication to servant leadership. I learned leadership through summer encampments, squadron meetings, and putting the theory that we would learn through textbooks into practice. I learned to love aviation from orientation flights, special activities such as the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) Program, and most importantly, graduating from the Robert Ayers Memorial Flight Academy in Maryland Wing. Members of the Maryland Wing also had a huge effect, great mentors like Patricia (Filipiak) Limmer, Vernon Sevier, Marty Sacks, Brenda Reed, and many, many others.
Anything else we haven’t asked that we should?
Today, I am an active member of the Las Vegas Composite Squadron and find great joy in mentoring the next generation of young aviators!