by C/Capt Elizabeth Nelson
The first Monday of every month at the Omaha Composite Squadron is a cause for celebration. On December 3rd, 2018, a total of 16 cadets and 2 senior members promoted, coming close to the record 19 who ranked up earlier in 2018 in one night. Nonetheless, it has been a record setting year.
Cadet promotions on December 3rd ranged from C/A1C to C/1stLt. It isn’t uncommon to see a wide difference in the progression of each cadet on ‘blues’ night.
C/1stLt Reid Sherman is no stranger to ranking up. He said that he always had an interest in flying, but with the military style environment in Civil Air Patrol, he just had to join.
“I was amazed at how far I had come in Civil Air Patrol, and I was able to look back at all that I had accomplished in the cadet program to get this far. It’s a rare treat when you get to think about what it took for you to get where you are, and all the people that helped you on the way. I encourage all cadets to stop, just for a brief moment, and remember what it took to earn each accomplishment,” C/1stLt Sherman said.
C/SrA Ariana Bryant, who joined CAP after speaking with an Air Force Academy Liaison Officer, visited OCS once and knew it was for her.
“When I promoted, I was very happy. It is a recognition of the work that has been put in. Promoting means you are one step closer to achieving your goals. It is also a motivator to keep working to earn the next promotion,” C/SrA Bryant said.
The OCS Squadron Commander, Major John Pineda, cited the need for more cadet officers on the promotion packed Monday, and encouraged cadets to keep continuing through the requirements of each achievement.
“I’m very proud of the cadets for taking charge of their promotions and continuing to advance in their respective achievements. They will all benefit tremendously as they gain new leadership skills and responsibilities, but they serve as role models for the new cadets who are just now being introduced to the program,” Major Pineda said.
The senior members have their own promotions track, each achievement harboring a new set of tasks and a sense of higher responsibility.
Major Christopher Criscuolo has a son at OCS who promoted the same night, and received a challenge coin from Major Pineda.
Captain Christopher Pineda, a former cadet who achieved the highest award within the cadet program, became a senior member and began sharing his knowledge and experience with newer members.
“Stepping into the position of squadron leadership officer as a newly promoted captain gives me a deeper appreciation for what I worked so hard for as a cadet. I’m excited to start working with the cadets from a higher level than I could in the past and help them develop into strong leaders,” Captain Pineda said.
OCS looks to shatter more records in 2019, expanding the aerospace education, emergency services, and cadet corps. The squadron is constantly looking to better itself, and its members never settle for anything less than excellence.