Archive for Seniors

OCS sees near-record number of cadet and Senior promotions

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.


FAA Learns First Hand About CAP’s Mission

Major Dave Cooves & FAA ATC Manager Brian Fabry before orientation flight

Brian Fabry, a manager at Omaha’s Approach Control Facility, took part in an orientation flight on July 31st with the Omaha Composite Squadron.  The purpose of the flight was to familiarize controllers with the local flying area, learn more about CAP’s mission, and to gain perspective about pilot workload.  After completing a normal preflight walk-a-round, Fabry and pilot, Major Dave Coover reviewed approach plates and briefed the flight.  During the mission, Fabry set up and monitored RNAV (area navigation) approaches on the G1000 integrated flight instrument system. He also made the majority of the radio calls to ATC.  Fabry commented that he “…was surprised at how busy the cockpit gets,” especially near the larger airports.  Approaches were flown at Omaha’s Eppley airfield as well as the Tekamah, Fremont, and Millard Nebraska airports.

Fabry is one of the newest managers at the Omaha ATC facility and is always looking for ways to enhance job satisfaction and excitement among his controllers.  He is currently investigating the feasibility of flying new controllers with CAP pilots as a part of a local area orientation.  Fabry believes that “…CAP’s aircraft provide the perfect training platform because their advanced avionics closely mimic systems found in larger aircraft.”  Other potential orientation topics include airmanship, emergency procedures, local geography, and instrument approaches.  Controllers are trained extensively on instrument procedures during their time at the Oklahoma City training center, but Fabry noted there are no actual flights in an aircraft as a part of their syllabus.  After the flight, he commented that he “…really gained a lot of perspective” about the pace of cockpit tasks.

Finding a funding source for ATC orientation flights will be a challenge, but Fabry feels that it is definitely worth investigating.  “Controllers that have actually flown the instrument procedures for which they direct aircraft dozens of times each day obviously have a fuller perspective than those who haven’t had that opportunity, ” Fabry said.  He also is glad to know that the Omaha Composite CAP Squadron is willing and eager to work with Federal agencies like his.  He plans to begin searching for ways to develop a working relationship right away.

Civil Air Patrol, the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft, including 6 in Nebraska. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.