Civil Air Patrol

Squadron News

75 for 75 Challenge Continues

A Note From Maj Gen Mark Smith
CEO/National Commander

Oakland Composite Squadron needs to step up to make this drive successful. Several of our members have already started working and taken the challenge up. Let’s get a prominent mention from Gen. Smith in his next update.

Congratulations to the 600+ cadets, seniors and squadrons that have accepted the #75for75Challenge. Civil Air Patrol has raised over $60,000 to date with over 1,000 individuals and corporations across America donating to the CAP Cadet Program. A shout out goes to our top cadet challenger to date – C/SrA Brock Thompson of the Naples Cadet Squadron — whose efforts have raised $5,245 so far. Cadet Thompson is well on his way to reaching his goal of $7,575.75. Many others have either met or exceeded the goals that they set for themselves.

The participants – including the cadets and donors as well as the constituents who have hosted our cadets as speakers – have generated impressive testimonials that clearly substantiate the tremendous value and significance of this campaign. Not only have these conversations and interactions strengthened CAP’s brand identify, but they also have generated much-needed revenue that will be used to support the cadet program needs of participating units nationwide.

As a result, it makes sense to keep the momentum alive by continuing our celebration of cadet programs with ongoing implementation of this initiative. All cadets, seniors and squadrons now have approximately six weeks – until February 28 — to accept and complete the #75for75Challenge! If you have any questions about how to get started Talk with C/Capt. Sherman.

For squadrons and cadets that have not yet accepted the Challenge, I encourage you to embrace this unique opportunity to put our cadet program front and center in your communities. Go and tell CAP’s stories of service and patriotism and, in the process, provide needed funding for your local unit. And for those of you who are already rocking this initiative, the sky, as you know, is the limit.

Accept the Challenge at . If you have any questions, send an email to:

For non-members who would like to show their support for the squadron and cadets please contact Capt. Bill Carson, Public Affairs Officer, Oakland Composite Squadron, 248-762-8990 or .


Operation Good Cheer a Great Success


Operation Good Cheer was a massive success this year. More than 19,000 wrapped Christmas gifts were loaded onto trucks and into airplanes for delivery across the state to children who might not have had a joyous holiday otherwise or who are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Operation Good Cheer is a state-wide effort, now in its 46th year, coordinated by Child and Family Services of Michigan. Children and adolescents are provided with gifts each year to open on Christmas morning. Since 1971 almost 93,000 participants have had their Christmas wishes come true as a result.

CFSM encourages children to create wish lists for gifts they want and distribute those lists to individual and group donors, numbering more than 260. The donors purchase the gifts, wrap them and deliver them to FCSM. On operation-day the gifts are sorted and loaded into trucks and planes to be delivered around the state so the children have all of them by Christmas day. Trucks are donated by various companies and individuals; private pilots donate the use of their planes and flight time. It really is a tremendous group effort.

Civil Air Patrol cadets and senior members, headed up by OCS, have taken part in the staging and loading of gifts for this operation for more than 10 years. Making a difference in the community has always been a core goal of CAP and will continue to be a priority well into the future.

See photos of this year’s event here. Photos can be downloaded for free by right clicking the image and selecting “Download”.


Wreaths Across America

Oakland Composite Squadron participated one again this year in Wreaths Across America at the National Cemetery in Holly. The purpose of the event was to recognize, remember and honor those who have served the nation and to remind the community they have not been forgotten.

This year more than 13,800 wreaths were laid at grave sites throughout the cemetery by CAP members, family, friends and other service or community organizations. Following the wreath laying a recognition ceremony was held at the park area of the cemetery recognizing each of the service branches. Col. Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski (USA RET) served as emcee for the event along with community and government representatives. The squadron’s Cadet Capt. Sherman lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Service wreaths were presented for each respective branch; each escorted by one of the CAP cadets and an active or former service member.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to WalMart corporation for their national support of this program and of Michigan Wing CAP. The company donated trucks and their drivers contributed their own time to drive the five semi trucks from Maine to the cemetery to bring the wreaths to Holly. The same occured at cemeteries across the nation. Thank you WalMart and drivers!

Please view photos from the wreath laying and recognition ceremony by clicking on the Wing photo gallery Click Here. All pictures are downloadable by right clicking on the photo or clicking on the download icon in the upper right of the screen.

Its not too early to mark your calendar for next year’s program which will be presented on Saturday, 17 December 2018. We know you’ll take pride in participating to remember and honor those who have served to protect our freedoms.

Bell Receives Recognition

Lt. Col. Mark Bell received the Meritorious Service Award at the squadron meeting on 14 November 2017, for his work as the commander of the Chaplain Corps Region Staff College.

According to the CAPM 39-3, presentation of the Meritorious Service Award is to be “restricted to the recognition of achievements and services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional.” The presentation of this award must be approved by the region commander.

It was the superior leadership represented by Lt. Col. Bell while training the Chaplains of the future that qualified him for this award. When asked for his thoughts, Lt. Col. Bell stated that receiving the award was “very encouraging” for his future in Civil Air Patrol.

Congratulations, Sir!

Members Learn at Comm U

More than 30 CAP members from around the state spent Saturday learning about radios and other communications tools available in an emergency. “Comm U” was the idea of LtCol. Chuck Cook, Michigan Wing Director of Communications, to offer high quality, intensive communication learning for interested members of Michigan wing. Members gathered at the Oakland County Sheriff office in Pontiac for classes for Mission Radio Operators (MRO), and Communications Unit Leaders (CUL), and even offered training for members’ I-Cut licensing making them eligible to use the long list of CAP radios. They learned about what communications equipment is available for use and what equipment is best suited for any particular mission, how to assemble the items, and how to use them and how to assemble antenna systems in the field. Students were also tasked to write a full communications plan for simulated rescue missions including completing necessary paperwork for command purposes. A debrief of he missions was reviewed.


Cadets Recognized At Graduation Of Great Start  Program

Over the past year our unit has implemented CAP’s National program called the Great Start Program. In the resent two quarters we have graduated seven cadets from this training system. Their names are C/Luck, C/Arunandhi, C/Nicholson, C/Williams, C/Fitch, C/Van Leuven, and C/Nelson. Great Start familiarizes and introduces new cadets to the CAP program teaching foundations which will allow the cadet to grow quickly and advance into future leaders.

Since initiating this program, all graduates of the Great Start Program have both continued with their service and are thriving within Civil Air Patrol today.

The core philosophy of the Great Start Program is standardized training and retention through specifically designed exercises and classes to promote team work, followership, and esprit de corps. The best way to retain cadets, is to busy them with worthwhile activities. This course brings a fresh approach to cadet indoctrination through meaningful, exciting, well-organized activities designed to transform prospective cadets into cadet airmen.

Congratulations, Airmen!



13-15 October, several members of OCS (cadets and seniors) travelled to Battle Creek to take part in Operation Timberwolf. Timberwolf is a full-blown exercise including air and ground unit coordination, logistics, planning, finance, communications, and all other aspects of an actual mission.

This type of training allows Michigan Wing to be ready to respond to a search and rescue or other emergency mission quickly and efficiently.




Members of the Oakland Composite Squadron recently took part in the Airport Disaster – Full Scale Exercise – FSE at the Oakland County International Airport in conjunction with Oakland County’s Department of Homeland Security, airport and local fire fighters, Waterford police, and the Oakland County Sheriff.

The airport fire training certification is required under federal regulation for all airports and must be renewed every seven years. Training verifies readiness and preparation of several aspects of airports including Operational Coordination, Operational Communications, Situational Assessment, Fire Management &
Suppression, Environmental Response / Health & Safety, On-Scene Security & Law Enforcement. OCS members handled crowd management, gate access and routing errors.

Emergency preparedness requires constant training and practice and the members of Oakland Composite Squadron maintain the highest level of training in order to be ready to help protect the community, state and nation whenever called upon.