Civil Air Patrol cadets advance in rank

HILLSDALE — The Hillsdale Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol (CAP) held a Promotion Ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

A record-number of cadets were promoted, said Cassie Hambleton, senior member of CAP.

“Commander Tritchka and Senior Member Hambleton were surprised by the number of members who qualified for promotions,” Hambleton said. “Promotions are based on time in grade, accomplishment of academic materials and testing, achievement of military activities, and Commander’s Recommendation required of the next higher grade.”

CAP is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force designed to teach young people  in communities across America leadership, aerospace education, and emergency services.

Hillsdale's Civil Air Patrol Squadron recently held a promotion ceremony for several cadets advancing in rank.
Hillsdale's Civil Air Patrol Squadron recently held a promotion ceremony for several cadets advancing in rank.

Hambleton said they were surprised by the number of promotions.

“Protocol directs that cadets inform the squadron prior to these ceremonies of their eligibility to be promoted, and only a few cadets had done so,” she said. “In a spate of energy, fourteen cadets provided late advice that they had completed eligibility requirements for this ceremony.”

The cadets promoted were: Cadet 2nd Lieutenant McKimmy; Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Smith; Cadet Chief Master Sergeant H. Rorick; Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Whalen

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant G. Rorick; Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Miller; Cadet Technical Sergeant T. McDonnell; Cadet Technical Sergeant V. McDonnell; Cadet Senior Airman Hambleton; Cadet Senior Airman Holm; Cadet Airman 1st Class E. Defina; Cadet Airman 1st Class McKelvey; Cadet Airman 1st Class Sayles; and Cadet Airman 1st Class Reamsnyder.

Lt. Heather Tritchka,  squadron commander for CAP, said she is proud of all the cadets.

“This is a great group of kids who work hard, support each other, and have a lot of fun with the program,” Tritchka said. “I am not surprised that such a large number of cadets were promoted, they are driven!”

Hambleton said she is grateful for the support from the community.

“Hillsdale has been extremely supportive of the squadron, with the city and county including the CAP Color Guard in multiple ceremonies and parades throughout the year,” she said.

American Legion Post 53, Jonesville American Legion Post 195, Hillsdale County Community Foundation (HCCF), and Hillsdale College have all helped support the program.

Tritchka said she is proud of how driven the Hillsdale CAP is.

“It is unusual for any CAP squadron to have cadets who are promoted on every promotion month. This group keeps up with their testing, their drill, and their leadership responsibilities which allows them to promote regularly,” she said. “This record number of promotions is a testament to their dedication and hard work!”

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Hambleton said she hopes more youth in the community will join in the program.

“The Hillsdale Composite Cadet Squadron may not be for everybody, but participation  and membership is open to ages 12-18,” Hambleton said. “Learning leadership, civic duty, and even flying an airplane mark some of the attain goals with which Civil Air Patrol excels.”

All are welcome to check out the program, which meets on Tuesday evenings at the Hillsdale College Bierman Center from 6-8 p.m.

— Elyse Apel is a correspondent for The Hillsdale Daily News. She can be reached by email at

This article originally appeared on Hillsdale Daily News: Civil Air Patrol cadets advance in rank