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Two Gainesville Cadets inducted into Florida Wing honor society

posted Oct 7, 2012, 7:16 PM by William McCombie   [ updated Oct 7, 2012, 7:19 PM ]
Two teenagers in the cadet program of the local Civil Air Patrol squadron, Stephanie Redmond and Ben Foster, became the 223rd and 224th members to be inducted respectively into the Florida Wing Cadet Honor Society. Formed in 1998 as part of the vision of then Florida Wing Chief of Staff, Lt. Col Matther Sharkley, the society aims to help cadets like Redmond and Foster gain academic recognition and credit for educational and scholarship purposes. “I love that this opportunity is provided by our Wing and this is one of the things that pushed me to excel in my achievements” stated Redmond. “This is something that everyone should go for.”. Getting into the society is not a simple task. In addition to being in good standing, a cadet must score 90% or higher on three consecutive achievements or milestones in the cadet program. “It is an honor to be the 224th members of the Florida Wing Honor Society” said Foster.

The Cadet Honor Society is not the only achievement attained by these cadets. Foster flew a Cessna 172 aircraft “solo” in 2010, earning his “Solo” wings, and Redmond is on the squadron Color Guard team, which represented Florida Wing at the Southeast Region cadet competition in Alabama after winning the Florida competition last November.

The Gainesville Composite Squadron meets every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the Southwest United Methodist Church on Williston Road and operates a Cessna 172 aircraft based out of the Gainesville Regional Airport. The squadron regularly participates in CAP's three core missions, Aerospace Education, Emergency Services, and Cadet Programs.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. 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. Visit for more information.