Scott County now has its own Civil Air Patrol Squadron as the Elkhorn Cadet Squadron received its official charter and flag, called a guidon, bearing its colors and seal Tuesday night.
Col. Darrel Williams, wing commander for Kentucky’s Civil Air Patrol (CAP), made the presentation to Scott County KY225 Squadron Commander Christine Hutchinson.
The CAP was formed in response to the Junior Air Force ROTC program being disbanded at Scott County High School. Many of the ROTC members have joined the Elkhorn Squadron as cadets as they pursue their interest in the military and ways to serve.
“I am very excited about this and think it will really be fun,” said Zac Hulett, one of those former ROTC members who had earned a high ranking. “I’m looking forward to encampment this summer and hope to participate in search and rescue operations.”
Hulett hopes to get his pilot’s license through the CAP and attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Another former ROTC member, Emily Spencer, liked that she wasn’t starting over in a military organization and looking forward to expanded opportunities.
“I like it is similar to ROTC, but it is different and we can do things we couldn’t do,” she said, adding she also is looking to pursue a military career.
The Elkhorn Squadron met Tuesday night and the Boone County CAP squadron led training on properly wearing the uniforms, ranks, military protocol and courtesy. Parents met with squadron leaders and Group IV Commander Lt. Col Jaimie Henson on how they can support the program.
“This Squadron was officially formed on April 29, and now the cadets are working on getting their uniforms and making plans to attend Summer Encampment at the Wendell H. Ford Training Center in Greenville at the end of June,” he said. “That is when they will go through their Basic Training, but this isn’t like the military. We don’t allow in-your-face yelling.
“Because many of the cadets have been in the ROTC program, they will be familiar with some of the basics, but there are some subtle differences.”
Adults and cadets were learning some of those subtle differences Tuesday, such as they can only wear black boots and they have to wear different color socks than the ROTC.
“They have a good handle on what they need to do to have a successful squadron. They are asking the right questions about community service and looking for opportunities to serve in the community and give back,” Williamson said.
A huge factor in any squadron’s success is community support, Williamson said.
“The community needs to be open to the organization, much like the (Scott County) Fire Department opening their doors for them to meet,” he said. “Monetary support is vital as well to help kids get uniforms and attend opportunities. Reach out to the squadron and find out how you can help them.”
Civil Air Patrol is congressionally chartered, the only youth program in the country earning that distinction. That means squadrons can be called out in support of the Air Force and participate in exercises such as the search and rescue operations.
He told the squadron they are already making a name for themselves and people are watching to see them succeed.
“People are already noticing that something special is happening in Georgetown,” he said.
Steve MCClain can be reached at email@example.com.