Friday, September 24, 2010

Overlake Squadron Civil Air Patrol Cadets Meet at LW School District Offices

Overlake Squadron CAP Color Guard in Safeco Stadium --  will perform in community upon request
from the desk of Mike Holliday....
One of the best kept secrets in town is the Overlake Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. CAP has been around since 1941 and has 60,000 members across the country in 1500 Squadrons.

The Overlake unit has been here for 15 years and is mainly a Cadet Squadron made up of young people aged 12-18 operating from the Lake Washington School District Resource Center located in the Redmond Town Center.

The unit meets throughout the year on Tuesday evenings from 6:45-9:00pm. CAP operates like a military unit, wears the USAF uniforms, but is an all volunteer civilian organization with no obligation for military service.

The Squadron is holding a recruiting campaign during the month of September for new cadets as well as adults who support the operation. Of particular interest are adults who are pilots, medical, web-site design, and emergency services personnel.  Email Mike Holliday at:

We welcome the public to attend a meeting during the month of September to see the cadets training and to learn more about the Civil Air Patrol.   Read More details of the program and FAQ from Mike >>

MICHAEL B HOLLIDAY, 1st Lt, Civil Air Patrol
Commander PCR-WA-050
Overlake Composite (Cadet) Squadron
Civil Air Patrol

Mike Holliday runs the local Overlake Cadet Program.  Mike lives in Kirkland and is a PTSA member.   Meetings are held in the LWSD L.E. Scarr Building every Tuesday night from 6:45 to 9:00.   Adults and youth (age 12 -18) are welcome.  

MESSAGE FROM  1st. Lt. Mike Holliday, Squadron Commander, Civil Air Patrol

Here are some notes that I have put together on the program. I have also included a couple of links to our national, state and local organizations.

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF)

CAP is a volunteer organization with aviation minded membership. Civil Air Patrol performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services which includes search and rescue and disaster relief, aerospace education for it's members and the public and cadet programs for teenage youth.

CAP was created on 01 December 1941, just a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. During WWII, CAP was seen as a way to use America's civilian aviation resources to aid the war effort. The organization assumed many missions including anti-submarine patrol. CAP pilots sighted 173 enemy U-boats and sank two.

Our local Overlake Composite Squadron was formed in 1995 and is primarily a Cadet Programs unit which prides itself on training and mentoring outstanding leaders.

Each year Eastside Overlake Cadets provide thousands of man-hours of community service across the east-side area.  In return for their hard work and dedication these cadets (aged 12-18) have open to them exciting and one-of-a-kind opportunities in leadership, aerospace studies and engineering, travel and flight.

The unit meets year-round on Tuesday evenings 6:45- 9:00pm at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center located in the Redmond Town Center.

Cadets and Senior Members are authorized to wear the USAF dress blue uniforms and battle dress uniforms (BDU) while in the performance of their duties and training.

Overlake Squadron has an outstanding Color Guard which is available to perform ceremonies throughout the community upon request. There is no charge for this activity but because the Squadron survives on fund raising, donations are appreciated.

The Color Guard recently performed for the opening of the Bellevue Census office in the presence of Congressman Dave Riechert, the Seattle Museum of Flight on Veterans Day, at Safeco Field to open the Mariners game on Mother's Day, Kirkland 4th of July Parade, and at the opening day celebrations for the Kirkland Little League.

New cadets who join the Squadron enter 'Tango Flight' as a Cadet Basic where they learn the fundamentals of being a good Cadet. Once they have mastered some basic drill movements, have their uniforms squared away, and pass a written test and promotion board review they become a Cadet Airman and are transferred to 'Alpha Flight'. Cadets generally are in Tango Flight for 3 months.

Alpha Flight Cadets do more advanced drill, Color Guard training, physical fitness training, and start to develop their leadership skills. A Cadet would be in Alpha flight for probably a year before being considered for a Cadet Staff position.

The unit currently has 6 Cadet Staff positions filled. Each Flight has a Flight Sergeant and a Flight Commander, there is a Squadron First Sergeant and a Squadron Cadet Commander.

The Squadron currently has 40 Cadet and 15 Senior Members. In addition, eight new Cadet recruits have been attending since the beginning of September, 3 girls and 5 boys aged between 12-15.

One of the best parts of the CAP experience is the opportunity to attend a wide variety of summer encampments across the USA and the international cadet exchange program.

This past summer three Overlake Cadets attended 'Desert Eagle', the WA Wing Flight Academy at Ephrata, WA. The 28 Cadets from across the state flew gliders or powered aircraft every day during the 12 day encampment and several flew solo.

Cadets are eligible to attend the glider camp at age 14 and the powered flight course at age 16.

"I like to tell the story of how my son went solo in a CAP glider before he went solo in the family car" said Lt Mike Holliday the Squadron Commander.

The Cadets take aerospace education classes throughout the year during the regular Squadron meetings taught by Senior Member (over age 21) pilots who volunteer with the unit.

There are many national cadet activities as well held mostly at USAF installations across the country. There is the week long para-rescue course for those Cadets who like to survive off the land, sleep on the ground and eat bugs. The national emergency services encampment where members attend to practice their search and rescue skills.

The USAF runs a camp for Cadets interested in space and satellite at it's space command facility in Colorado, the fighter pilot familiarization course at Lackland AFB in Texas, and several leadership courses taught by USAF instructors. There are over 2 dozen national activities.

Before a Cadet can attend any of these national activities he or she must attend the Wing Basic Training camp - think boot camp, but toned down for teenagers.

The Squadron always welcomes new members to attend a meeting to learn about the Civil Air Patrol and throughout the month of September a recruiting campaign is underway with the Lake WA School District and the Bellevue School District.

"We had a 15 year old female recruit attend our meeting last Tuesday who told me that her grandfather had been a volunteer CAP pilot in WWII" said Lt Holliday.

The Overlake Cadet CAP Website:

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