Texas Wing Cadet Programs


 ALS Spring 2018

23 March 2018: As cadets arrived at Texas Wing Civil Air Patrol Headquarters, Spring ALS 2018 had officially begun. At 18:00 cadets moved through in-processing with the help of Administration/Logistics staff lead by C/Capt Joshua Reed, and their senior members Maj. Becca Levesque and Maj. Wendy Cameron who were assisted by C/TSgt Piper Loy, C/SrA Walter Costello, and C/SMSgt Kevin Sirois and Medical Staff lead by C/CMSgt Morgan Jones and 1st Lt Steven Smith who was assisted by C/CMSgt Isabel Castrejon. The cadets got their first taste of intensity and already were learning about customs and courtesies. The students then went to their classrooms where they took their required pre-test. This included general CAP knowledge and gave the cadet staff an idea of how their students’ baseline knowledge was at the beginning of the ALS. From this, they moved on to a safety briefing to ensure that the weekend was as risk-free as possible. This ALS, while it went through some struggles getting off the ground (having had several staff members replaced, locations changed and dates rescheduled), has shown itself in the first day to be moving efficiently. One of the instructors of this event, C/Capt Tomas Maldonado, says, “ALS gives the cadets the information they need to better themselves. The self-discipline, personal accountability, and Civil Air Patrol culture that is taught at ALS will allow them to succeed further at Encampment, Wing, and national activities in the future.” One of the students at this activity, C/A1C Nathan Nielson says “It was kind of confusing and scary at first, but I got used to the intense learning environment and have learned a lot so far.”

24 March 2018 (0600): The morning began bright and early at 06:00, when students were instructed to wake up and begin disassembling their cots. From there, the cadets were moved outside for opening formation with the rest of the staff. Next, the exciting part began: Physical Training (PT). The cadets did several stretches and calisthenics, and once they completed these, they moved on to a formation run. PT plays an important role in this at ALS as well. C/2d Lt Sam Castrejon, Charlie Flight Commander who works with her flight sergeant C/CMSgt Jonathan Jones and her Training Officer Lt Col Ingo Wyman states that “PT is vital to CAP because it gives a chance for cadets to use their self-discipline in their own lives. As far as NCO’s are concerned, they are able to lead cadets on a more personal level.” The first sergeants who lead PT, C/CMSgt Ezekiel Joy and C/SMSgt Ben Stason, state “PT is important because it instills a sense of physical discipline into the kiddos.” The next activity of the day was breakfast, prepared by Mess Staff lead by C/1st Lt Christopher Rickabaugh who was assisted by C/SMSgt Benjamin Guerrero, C/SMSgt Madelyn Guidry and C/MSgt Timothy Smith. After a brief time to socialize and get to know their peers, cadets cleaned up and changed into their utilities. They then went to flight time, where their flight staff helped them to become proficient at activities such as basic drill and ceremonies. C/CMSgt Ethan Cray, Delta Flight Commander, who worked with cadets alongside his flight sergeant C/SMSgt Lawrence and his Training Officer Lt Col Don Gulliksen, says “Flight time is important because it provides a time where cadets can work as a team and emphasizes that working as a team will help them achieve their goals more efficiently.” Their first classes for the day included The Core Values lead by C/CMSgt Joshua Socias, Public Speaking lead by C/2d Lt Cerise Cisneros and Customs and Courtesies led by C/Capt. Tomas Maldonado and C/2nd Lt Dylan German. After this, the cadets were given more flight time, then proceeded to lunch.

24 March 2018 (1300): As lunch was finished, the cadets moved on to their uniform class directed by the instructors. This covered the basics of Dress Blue Uniforms, ABU’s, and uniform hygiene standards. While this was happening, the Flight staff and Training Officers worked together as a team to enhance their training program for the students. Then, after these rotations were finished, the cadets put into action the public speaking skills that were taught to them in the morning to good use by doing group speeches on what qualities make a good leader. After these were completed, the students worked in groups to perform several Group Leadership Projects (GLP) such as the toilet paper knot here cadets were to tie a knot of toilet paper between them without ripping the toilet paper at all. After this, cadets were moved into the classrooms for a class on the history of Civil Air Patrol. After the very interesting class had concluded, cadets were moved outside for flight time and knock-out drill. C/SrA Jose Requena of Delta Flight lead by C/1st Lt Andrew Yalcin and C/CMSgt Nicholas Grant, with the support of their Training Officer Lt Col Jane Smalley, won his flight’s knockout drill. Cadet Requena says “[ALS] is a great learning experience for future cadets of the Civil Air Patrol.” This activity would not have been possible without the effort put in by the Cadet and Senior member executive staff. The Cadet Commander, C/Capt. Emilia McLaughlin, says that “When it comes to planning an event like ALS, you have to get required stuff done as quickly as possible so you have more time to prepare. Communication is key and it’s one of the most notable aspects of this event that worked smoothly”. She worked alongside C/Capt Danielle Franzen who was the Deputy Commander, C/Lt Col Owen Shortt as the Executive Officer and C/2d Lt Josh Bilby as the Director of Training. They worked hard to bring this event to the cadets who attended, which amazingly ended up representing 24 different squadrons and six of the seven Groups in Texas Wing. Despite all of the challenges that that were faced getting this event off the ground, the 75 cadets that were expected after the rescheduling skyrocketed to the 90+ that showed up. This is what Bravo Flight Sergeant C/CMSgt Gabriel Iglesias, who was assisted by Bravo Flight Commander C/1st Lt Hudson Ford and their Training Officer Maj. Scott Knightly, calls “squared away and outstanding” And as the cadets pack away their dinner and move on to their Form 60’s class, the cadet staff gathered to have a group conversation, which allowed them to regroup after the hectics of the day. Group III ALS was not only a learning experience for the cadets but for the staff as well. Lastly, a special thanks go to the senior members that I have not previously mentioned. Capt. Lana Holub served as the Activity Director who says, “This definitely was an action-packed weekend. Overall, the event ran smoothly, and staff and basics alike learned a lot. I want to highlight our mess staff, they did an awesome job with the highest level of independence.” Capt. Mark Holub served as the Chief Everything Officer, along with 1st Lt Bo Korpman as Safety Officer. Capt. Heitzmann, who will also be serving as the Texas Wing Summer 2018 Encampment Commander, served as the Chief Training Officer helping to advise the other TO’s. The last thank you I would like to give is to my Public Affairs staff, C/TSgt Dejana Bukovac and C/TSgt Trieu Tan who helped make these articles and pictures possible. 

Photo/Author Credit:

C/CMSgt Kimberly Buchanan 

C/TSgt Trieu Tan

C/TSgt Dejana Bukovac

ALS 2017

ALS is an event in the Civil Air Patrol that prepares Airmen for future responsibility. By exposing the cadets to an environment in which they can learn, advance, and gain the confidence they gain a better understanding of how the world around them works. 

Article 1
23 SEP 2017, the first day of Group III ALS at Fort Wolters officially begun. Participating basic cadets were greeted by a wave of intensity during in-processing, soon mobilizing into formation. This is where cadet staff came in. The flight line staff began drilling their cadets in basic drill, and prepared them for the next event of the day, PT. PT began with exercises including push ups, jumping jacks, and a run. Cadets are pushed to perform their very best, as flight staff and fellow flight members encourage and motivate them. After PT was completed, the basic cadets were marched indoors to begin classroom sessions.

You may be wondering,  how does an event like ALS become reality?  Cadet Captain Harrison took on the role as Cadet Commander and quotes, “[ALS] prepares for intensity, it prepares you to think on your feet, prepares you to plan ahead, to think of scenarios, to be cognitive- Even right now I’m listening to three other conversations so I know everyone’s doing their job.”

Article 2

23 SEP 2017, within a few hours, basic cadets have learned effective teamwork skills, drill, customs and courtesies, how to wear their uniform properly, and other valuable criteria. They pushed through both rigorous training and informative classroom sessions. Though a bit weary, most, if not all, cadets feel that their ALS experience has been worthwhile.

Cadet expressed an appreciation regarding their experience during the ALS. “I have learned more on what CAP entails. Its core values and what it intends on teaching with its program are endless. I also learned what encampment is going to be like. I really like how organized everything has been.” C/Amn Breese stated. C/AB Womack expressed, “A lot of the cadets are friendly, and the flight sergeants are doing a great job.”. And lastly, C/A1C Weaver conveyed, “I wanted to come because my unit commander and all of my senior members said “Go for it. It’ll be fun and you’ll enjoy it.”

The basics weren’t the only cadets learning from this experience. C/CMS Bibly, an instructor, revealed, “I’ve learned a lot about talking and how I can explain things better because what makes sense in my head doesn’t always make sense to them.” and C/SMSgt Jones, an administrator, voiced, “The people are the whole environment. Everyone was super nice and seemed to know one another while I didn’t. It was a little freaky at first, but then I got really into it.”

All of the cadets, staff and basics found this experience so far worthwhile. The purpose of ALS is made to open the minds of cadets to the wonders of CAP. It has done just that. And tomorrow, when the cadets go home to their families and squadrons, they will extend information and refined ability that they can use to better the cadets of the future.

Photo/Author credit:
PAO OIC C/SMSgt Adam Steele
PAO Assistant C/SrA Emma Herrington
PAO Assistant C/SMSgt Hosanna Johns

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