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Civil Air Patrol celebrates awards

On Thursday, June 6, the Table Rock Lake Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol celebrated several awards both for squadron accomplishments and several individual cadets, in a ceremony held at Hollister High School.

The Civil Air Patrol was founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later. It is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit organization for purposes of youth development, aerospace education and promotion of general aviation. In its auxiliary role with the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training and education, and is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives and shaping futures of young people. More than 64,000 members selflessly devote time, energy and expertise toward service and promotion of aviation-related fields. The Table Rock Lake squadron is open to area students ages 12 through 18, including homeschool students.


Many of the nation’s astronauts, pilots, engineers and scientists first explored their careers through the Civil Air Patrol. As cadets participate in the goals of CAP, they advance through a series of achievements and increasing responsibilities, often earning significant honors along the way for demonstration of leadership, aerospace fitness and character. The June 6 ceremony celebrated the following awards for the Table Rock squadron:


·       Civil Air Patrol Squadron of Distinction as a National Finalist

·       Civil Air Patrol Squadron of Distinction for a 7-State Region

·       Abigail Nievar, 7-State Regional Cadet Squadron Leader of the Year  

·       Rihan Fletcher, 7-State Regional Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year  

·       Eli Stein, earning Private Pilot License as a cadet

·       Lucas Orr, earning Private Pilot License as a cadet

Squadron awards are determined at the national and regional levels by a series of measures of squadron strength and growth, including the individual accomplishments of each cadet. Presenting the awards were Region Commander Col. John O’Neil; Missouri Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col. Raun Hamilton, representing Missouri Wing Commander Col. Jen Smith; and Hollister High School Assistant Principal Roger Brallier.


Squadron Commander Steve Meinzen said he is grateful for the amazing partnership with Branson Airport and the Hollister School District. The airport provides use of hangar space as well as space housing the squadron’s flight simulator; Hollister High School provides meeting space and also offers a summer flight training ground school, which Hollister students may take for credit but which is open to other squadron members as well.


Learn more about the Missouri Wing, including background on the three-fold mission of Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services, at

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