Civil Air Patrol thanks USAF Honor Guard for volunteerism

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
U.S. Air Force Honor Guard members were awarded at a Civil Air Patrol banquet Saturday, March 12 on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. The six USAF Honor Guard members work hand-in-hand with the Civil Air Patrol to train local youth cadets on military expectations and drill components.

Honor Guard members frequently educate fellow military members about the discipline required to confer honors on our nation's fallen at Arlington National Cemetery and occasionally guard The Tomb of the Unknowns. Honor Guard members also train the aspiring Airmen of the National Capital Wing's Civil Air Patrol ranging from ages 12 to 21.

Airman 1st Class Ethan Terrell was thanked for the 72 man-hours he put into renovating the Civil Air Patrol's drill manuals. These manuals are used for every honor guard unit within it's 61,000 member organization.

"Some of the cadets all had a different understanding of drills and opening sequences," said Airman Terrell. "Standardizing their manuals should go a long way to correcting that."

In addition to having an impact on the national organization, some members worked directly with National Capital Region CAP cadets and trainees.

"There are 160 Capital Wing cadets, and some of them go through a program called Right Start, which is designed to help them learn more about the military in general, and the Civil Air Patrol specifically," said Lt. Col. Ellis Janon of the Civil Air Patrol. "A lot of these kids respond better to the honor guard guys than they do the adult CAP members. The Honor Guard is younger, so I think they identify really well."

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Darren McDew was keynote speaker at the banquet. The general took time to thank the Civil Air Patrol for all they do to support Air Force and Homeland Security operations in the NCR. It is estimated that their volunteer hours are worth more than $105 million to the area.

Every two to three months, Civil Air Patrol cadets are given the chance to train on the Honor Guard compound at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Their goal is to absorb as much drilling precision and military knowledge as possible over the course of a weekend. In addition to this occasional opportunity, many are exposed to Honor Guard discipline at one week-and-a-half program is built to be mini-basic training.

"We demonstrate everything we can on a visual basis," said Airman 1st Class Charles Black. "Once you see it, things become clearer than in the manual."

Airman Black, Airman Terrell, Tech. Sgt. Kelly McKinley, Airman 1st Class Ethan Perrell, Airman 1st Class Andrew Dowling, and Airman 1st Class Brandon Clark have all contributed to the CAP honor guard and Right Start program.