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In 2013, for the 14th time our squadron was the recipient of the CAP Aerospace Excellence Award for completion of all phases of the Aerospace program with more tha 90% of our cadets.
The first meeting in June began with a presentation of awards to four senior members for their outstanding service to the squadron this year. Captain Mitchell Sahagian, Senior Members Michele and Ray Renneberg and S/M Virginia Lackey. Each was presented a certificate by Major Gibbs, LI Group Commander.
Next was the announcement of their promotions to Second Lieutenant and the installation of their new epaulets.
Major Ridley then welcomed new cadets Thomas Flanagan and William Outcault to the squadron.
The final awards were the presentation of the Wright Brothers Award to Cadet Staff Sergeant Stratford
and the Mitchell Award to Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Diane Kalladeen by Major Gibbs, who announced her promotion and assisted in the installation of her Cadet 2nd. Lt. epaulets.
After the awards, Lt. Col. Boden gave a talk on the benefits of the Army ROTC program and the importance of leadership.
On Friday morning, March 11, 2011, four cadets and two senior members from our squadron left Long Island and drove to Columbus, Ohio where on Saturday they competed in the National Society of Pershing Rifles First Annual Black Jack Color Guard and Drill Competition for HS JROTC and equivalents. The event began with a military pass-in-review complete with music performed by the 338th U.S. Army Band and our squadron was honored with the lead spot and passed the reviewing stand rendering honors to Brigadier General (Retired) Robert Winzinger, USA before all the other teams; by the time the competition was over they earned the following trophies:
2nd Place Overall in Team Inspection
2nd Place Duet Exhibition (Feuerstein & Disalvo)
2nd Place Squad (Element) Exhibition
3rd Place Color Guard
Their competition were JROTC units from High Schools located in Ohio. During the Individual Drill Regulation Knockout competition the CAP cadets weren't "knocked out" until half of the remaining college and HS cadets were already dismissed, Cadet Patrick Tracy was the last CAP Cadet to be KOd and walked off the floor to a standing ovation from the crowd. Later that evening they attended the annual Pershing Rifles Dining-In and were sought out by BG Winzinger, MG (Ret) Don Jacka, U.S. Army formerly on staff to the Joint Chiefs and Command Sergeant Major Scott Hinton, U.S.A.R. and each one were "coined" by General Winziner. All-in-All Cadet's Max Feurestein, John Disalvo, Scott Ramage and Patrick Tracy walked away with (3) challenge coins each and (4) trophies along with the experience of a life time and some great memories, they can't wait to compete next year! Many in the audience including the Generals and their fellow officers commented on the team's professionalism, military bearing and attitude, it was a testament to the squadron, group, wing, region and yes, even NHQ as they as the only CAP unit in the competition were representing the Civil Air Patrol.
Meanwhile, the rest of the squadron along with the Long Island Champion Color Guard team and members of the Col Francis S. Gabreski Squadron marched for the first time in recent years in the Town of Huntington's Annual St. Patricks Day Parade. In all over 20 members of the Civil Air Patrol marched in unison demonstrating joint squadron cooperation in each other's events.
In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, our squadron earned the CAP Quality Cadet Unit Award. Civil Air Patrol initiated the award to be given to squadrons that meet at least 5 of the following 8 criteria:
1. First year cadet achievement - 33% of first year cadets must earn the Wright Brothers Award
2. Cadet Officers - At least 4 cadets in the unit must earn the Mitchel, Earhart, Eiker or Spaatz Award during the calendar year.
3. Orientation Flights - 40% of cadets in the unit must receive at least one Orientation flight during the previous calendar year.
4. Encampment - 40% of cadets who were in their first or second year of membership during the previous calendar year must have completed an encampment as a first-time attendee.
5. Aerospace - The unit must have earned the Aerospace Excellence Award (having completed 6 AEX activities and a 2-hour aerospace event) during the previous calendar year.
6. Membership Growth - The unit must show cadet membership growth of 10% for the previous calendar year, or a growth of 10 cadets for the previous calendar year.
7. Membership Retention - The unit must retain at least 40% of the first year cadets from the previous calendar year.
8. Adult Leadership - At least one senior member on the unit roster must complete the Training Leaders of Cadets course during the previous calendar year, or the unit must have three senior members on its roster who have completed TLC in the previous two calendar years.
We are already well on our way to meeting the criteria for next year.
Six cadets and three seniors complete achievements
Five cadets and 3 senior completed their achievements and were promoted during the closing ceremony at the last meeting in March. Cadets Agulnick and O'Brian were promoted to C/Airman; Cadet Tracy was promoted to C/A1C: Cadet Stratforf was promoted to Cadet Senior Airman and Cadet Lee was promoted to Cadet Chief Master Sergeant. Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Diane Kalladeen also completed her Armstrong and now needs only one test for her Mitchell award and promotion to Cadet 2nd. Lieutenant. 1st. Lt. Mitchell Sahagian was promoted to Captain; 2nd, Lt. Greg Gunderson was promoted to 1st. Lt. and S/M Freire was promoted to 2nd. Lt.
The Leroy R. Grumman Squadron Color Guard Team made up of Cadet's Feuerstein, Lee, DiSalvo, Diers and Stratford took 2nd Place Overall in the Long Island Group Color Guard Competition held at Pat-Med HS in February in Medford narrowly missing 1st Place honors by 52 seconds. This is by far the best showing ever for the squadron in this particular event and gives us invaluable experience and something to build on for next year.
Contestants take written test
Flag Raising Competition
Overall, Our squadron earned 1st Place Honors in Inspection and Quiz Bowl and 2nd Place in Indoor Practical, Written Exam and The Mile Run and I would like to commend the cadets who worked hard to achieve this great honor as well as the senior members who supported them specifically Lt Col Mackey, 1st Lt Sahagian, S/M's Ginny Lackey, Michelle & Ray Renneberg and Maj McLaughlin.
On January 14, 2012, the Grumman Squadron was named Long Island Group's "Squadron of the Year" at the group's annual military ball held at the Villa Lombardis Catering Hall in Holbrook. At the ball c/Lt. Col. Argento was named the group's Cadet of the Year and Cadet 2nd. Lt. Alexander Bennett was presented the CAP Achievement Award. For the second time in one year, a Grumman Squadron Cadet earned at least one of the Cadet the Year awards (NCO in 2010 and Cadet Officer in 2011).
Mar. 19, 2012 - The Grumman squadron Color Guard team took first place at the annual Pershing Rifles Competition held this year in Baltimore, MD. The team was led by c/1st Lt Joshua Howard bearing the American flag, c/TSgt Patrick Tracy bearing the Grumman Squadron Flag and rifle bearers c/A1c Travis Jensen and c/Amn Robert Fenton. The alternate was c/MSgt Matthew Merlino. c/TSgt Patrick Tracy also took first place in the Individual Exhibition and, with c/Amn Robert Fenton, took 1st Place in the Duet Exhibition.
New York Wing Conference May 5-6, 2012
The annual New York Wing Conference was held in Lake George. "We were all filled with extreme pride as our squadron and its members were honored" said the squadron commander Major James Ridley as he went up to receive the 2011 New York Wing Squadron of Distinction award from Colonel Jack Ozer, the NY Wing Commander. With over 60 squadrons in our wing and especially considering the quality of many of them, that we were singled out for this award is a great achievement.
Grumman Squadron members were awarded the following:
Captain Andrew Hart was named the 2011 Squadron Chaplain of the Year.
Lt. Col. W. Glenn Mackey was named 2011 Squadron Aerospace Officer of the Year.
Captain Diane Collazo was awarded her Grover Loening Award for completing Level III of the CAP Senior Member Development Program.
Our former commander, Major Darren Cioffi, and Major Ridley each received a Wing Commanders Commendations for their work on the 2011 USAF NY Wing Evaluation which resulted in an "Excellent" rating.
Major Bob Poggioli received a device for his 50 years of CAP service ribbon as he surpassed his 55th year in CAP this past year.
the Long Island Aerospace Education display diorama, created by our squadron took first place in the Aerospace Education Display contest for the second time in a row. Special thanks go out to Captain Sahagian for all his mentorship and talents in making this model a reality.
Art the annual NY Wing Conference, our squadron was the first ever in Long Island Group to be awarded the 2011 New York Wing Squadron of Distinction Award, the highest honor that can be awarded at the CAP Wing level. In addition, we also received (for the second year in a row), the Quality Cadet Unit Award. Two of our seniors also received awards for outstanding service. Lt. Col. Glenn Mackey was awarded NY Wing Aerospace Officer of the Year and Captain Andrew Hart received the NY Wing Chaplain of the Year award.
In March, 2013, our squadron's Color Guard went down to Jacksonville, FL not knowing that they would be competing in the color guard event against 17 university and college ROTC programs and not High School JROTC programs as they have done in the past and they walked away finishing in Second Place in Color Guard losing by 1 point to Appalachian State University and beat out the 3rd place team the University of Toledo. Finishing 4th was Clemson University and rounding out the 5th place team was Long Islands very own Hofstra University. The team was led by c/CMSgt Patrick Tracy and included Flag Bearer c/CMSgt Peter Girdvil and Riflemen c/TSgt's Travis Jensen and Steven Hororwitz. They were escorted to Jacksonville by 1st Lt's Michele Renneberg (CG Mentor) and Ginny Lackey.
Long Island Group Commander Lt Col Mike Mooney and its Deputy Commander Lt Col Louis Fenech, Jr. help present the NATCON trophies and cup to our award winning color guard. The awards included:
1st Place Inspection, BlackJacks Drill & Color Guard Competition
2nd Place Color Guard, General John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition
Outstanding Unit Trophy, BlackJacks Drill & Color Guard Competition
BlackJacks Cup, BlackJacks Drill & Color Guard Competition