The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron (formerly known as Suffolk Cadet Squadron VII) was formed in 1963 as the Suffolk Composite Squadron which at that time was part of the Suffolk Group of the New York Wing. In the 1980s both Suffolk and Nassau Groups were merged to form the current Long Island Group of the New York Wing. The squadron’s first commander was Lou Gaines who, along with senior members Irv Kole and Len Totora the squadron’s drill sergeant, built the unit from scratch and formed a cadet drill team which consisted of between 20-25 cadets. The squadron called the Huntington Armory home and used its large motor pool (garage area) as a drill floor for practice.
In 1964 Irving Cole assumed command and Len Totora assumed the position of Deputy Commander for Cadets, a position he held for three years.
In 1967, Cole turned command over to Capt. J. P. Ollivier. E. Paul Vogel joined the squadron in July of 1969 and was assigned as Squadron Information officer (the predecessor of Public Affairs Officer) by Squadron Commander, Maj. J. P. Ollivier. In December, he was promoted to Master Sergeant and received a commendation for the success of CAP's 28th Anniversary Parade.
Captain Ed Sipala assumed command of the squadron in 1970. 2nd. Lt. E. Paul Vogel was assigned as Squadron Commander on 1 Feb., 1971 by Suffolk Group Commander, Lt. Col. Joseph Scirica and was promoted to 1st. Lt. on 10 Aug. 1971 by then Suffolk Group Commander, Maj. J. P. Ollivier. That September, Capt. Len Totora was Executive Officer and J. S. Borgess was Aerospace Education Officer.
One of the cadets of Vogel's squadron was his future son-in-law Greg Power. Greg later joined the squadron as a senior member prior to joining the U.S. Air Force and starting flight training. Greg piloted B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers, commanded 2 different Air Force bases and was Vise Commander of the 8th. Air Force. He rose to the rank of Major General before retiring around 2006.
In March of 1972 1st. Lt. Vogel resigned as Squadron Commander for personal reasons but remained as Deputy Commander of Cadets and Capt. J. S. Borges took Command. Captain Joe Borges, a CAP pilot since 1964 was a First Officer with Pan Am Airlines at the time and flew out of JFK Airport on transatlantic trips to Africa and the Middle East.
In July of 1977, Capt. E. Paul Vogel, now a CAP pilot since July, 1974, and Squadron Deputy Commander, was appointed Squadron Commander by Lt. Col. Francis Schreri, Suffolk County Group Commander when Joe Borges moved to Virginia. Capt. Vogel, was promoted to Major in 1978 by Lt. Col. J. P. Ollivier, Suffolk County Group Commander.
Major Vogel was once again appointed as Squadron Commander in 1981 by Suffolk County Group Commander John Marek.
In 1984, Stan Scharf took over as Squadron Commander relieving Paul Vogel (who continued to hold various staff positions into 1991) and led the squadron for 11 years His command spanned two separate decades.
In 1994 Senior Member A. E. "Lonnie" McLaughlin Jr. joined the squadron as its Public Affairs Officer and published the unit’s first monthly newsletter entitled "The Flyer". The Flyer grew from 2 to 8 pages including among its contents, columns written by the squadron’s commander and deputy commander as well as aerospace, safety and emergency services officers and even eventually acquired sponsors.
Major Ray Waldinger, the squadron’s Cadet Programs Officer, assumed command of the unit in 1996 and Stan Scharf remained as Aerospace Officer. In 1997, Maj. Waldinger fell ill and his responsibilities fell to the Deputy Commander, Capt. McLaughlin, who officially assumed full command in early 1998 when it became apparent Maj. Waldinger was unable to continue his duties. This was a heavy growth year for Squadron VII and, at the squadron's request, the U.S. Army Reserve unit which occupied the Huntington Armory at the time, turned over its former library room and a classroom to the CAP squadron. With the addition of a few desks, the library was soon turned into an office for the senior staff.
Following the terrorist attacks on targets in New York and Washington D. C. on September 11, 2001 two things occurred which impacted the squadron. First, patriotic feelings prompted many citizens to join the Civil Air Patrol making it the second biggest recruiting period in CAP history since World War II. Second, the heightened need for U.S. Armed Forces including the U.S. Reserve and National Guard meant they needed more space and increased their facility usage in the nation’s armories and reserve centers. This forced the squadron to start looking for a new home.
Shortly thereafter Squadron VII relocated to its present home, the Auditorium building on the grounds of the Veterans Hospital located in East Northport, Long Island, NY. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Joe Sledge, the hospital's Buildings Manager and with the cooperation of the Commander of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) who were also also meeting there, a small office in the basement of the auditorium was assigned to both organizations. Eventually the Sea Cadets moved their equipment stored there to another room and our squadron took over the entire room doubling its office space.
In 2003, Greg Gunderdson joined the squadron and soon took over as Moral Leadership Officer. After five years as Commander, now Major McLaughlin, was badly in need of a respite and turned the squadron over to his Aerospace Education Officer, Lt. Col. W. Glenn Mackey. Mackey was a former U.S. Air Force Colonel who had joined CAP in 1999 after retiring from the Air Force. Major McLaughlin left CAP for 19 months and then rejoined the squadron in February of 2005 as its Public Affairs Officer, a position near and dear to his heart. Shortly thereafter he assumed the position of Deputy Commander, a role he retained until the end of 2010.
In 2007, Lt. Col. Mackey turned command over to Captain Darren Cioffi and resumed the role of Aerospace Officer for the squadron. By this time the Internet was no longer considered a "new" technology and it was under Cioffi’s guidance that the squadron website was created and used as a communication and recruiting tool. Captain Cioffi’s tenure was short lived however as he was called upon by the New York Wing Commander Col. Ken Andreu to assume command of the Southeast Group in 2008. Capt. Cioffi and the Long Island Group Commander, Lt. Col. Jack Ozer, chose the Squadron's Cadet programs Officer, 2nd. Lt. Robert Litzke as Capt. Cioffi's successor. Litzke assumed command in November of 2008 and 2nd. Lt. Mitch Sahagian took over as Cadet Programs Officer.
The VA hospital’s Auditorium experienced an unfortunate electrical fire in June of 2009 which forced the squadron to utilize two areas within the main hospital, one reserved for outpatients and the second, its main lobby. Neither area was large enough nor conducive to the training that the squadron’s cadets were used to. This coupled with the fact that all the cadet officers in the squadron graduated high school and went off to other states to attend college led to a reduction in unit strength and a lack of cadet officers. Cadet NCOs were chosen as senior cadet staff and eventually by the fall of 2010 the squadron once again found itself meeting in the auditorium on a regular basis.
In November of 2010 after two years as commander Captain Litzke decided to step down. The Long Island Group Commander, Major Alan Gibbs, selected Major James Allen Ridley, Sr. as the squadron’s 12th commander. Ridley, a CAP member since 2004 had been the Deputy Commander of the Col. Francis S. Gabreski Squadron as well as being both the New York Wing and Northeast Region Public Affairs Officer at the time of his being tapped for command, Captain Litzke remained in the squadron and assumed the role of its Emergency Services Officer. In addition to a new Commander, the senior member numbers were increased with the addition of fthree more senior members. Virginia Lackey joined as Administration and Personnel Officer; Michele Renneberg, mother of Cadet Patrick Tracy joined as the squadron's Cadet Programs Officer & Professional Development Officer (Michele). Captain Edmund Raiola, formerly of the Gabreski Squadron, was appointed Deputy Commander, he was replaced within the year by Captain Mitch Sahagian. Major McLaughlin remained as PAO, Webmaster and Finance Officer. November ended with two firsts. After a drought of almost two years since a new senior member had been recruited, the month of November was a banner month for Suffolk Cadet Squadron VII with the addition of a deluge of four new seniors and 4 new cadets in its last two weeks. The month was capped off when the squadron's website experienced an all time daily high of 117 hits on November 30th.
One of the first items on Major Ridley’s agenda was to give the squadron a Long Island based identity that the squadron could be proud of. He wrote several letters to the family of a prominent, native Long Island aviation hero. In December of 2010 Major Ridley received word from Mr. David Grumman, the son of the late Leroy R. Grumman, cofounder and namesake of the Grumman Aerospace Corporation, granting his family's permission for the squadron's name to be changed to "Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron". Leroy Randel Grumman was an innovator and a former U.S. Navy pilot who served in World War I. Among the famed air and spacecraft designed by the Grumman Corporation was the F-4F Wildcat, F-6F Hellcat, F-14 Tomcat and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) which delivered Americans to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Grumman was a native of Huntington, NY and, to Maj. Ridley who grew up in Bethpage where the company called home and who came from a family heavily employed by Grumman (including Ridley himself), this made sense. "It’s fitting" Ridley said, "that at least one CAP squadron on Long Island is named after this great aviation pioneer and Long Islander and I’m glad it’s the one which I command".
The name change became official when on May 1, 2011, A Name Change Ceremony was held at the Old First Presbyterian Church's Parish Hall. The church was the worship place of a young Leroy Grumman during the turn of the 20th Century. Present were the NY Wing Commander Col Jack Ozer, the LI Group Commander Maj Alan Gibbs and the Guest Speaker, Mr. David Grumman of IL, son of our namesake. Joining David was his wife, two nieces and one grand nephew. Representatives of the Northrop Grumman Corp., Grumman Retiree Club, Cradle of Aviation Museum and others from the New York Wing and Long Island Group were also present for this grand occassion.
At the end of January, we were informed that our squadron had earned the newly created Quality Cadet Unit Award that CAP NHQ is conferring on units. Nationally we were 1 of 118 units and 1of only 3 units on Long Island and 8 in New York to earn this honor for 2010.
1 May 2011. The squadron's official ceremony changing its name to the Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron took place at the Old First Presbyterian Church in Huntington, NY. Present were the NY Wing Commander Col. Jack Ozer, Long Island Group Commander Maj. Alan Gibbs, Leroy R. Grumman's son, David and five members of the Grumman family. Cadets from the Flushing Cadet Squadron’s Drum Corps accompanied our Color Guard's presentation of the colors. The national anthem was sung and the squadron’s Chaplain Capt. Andy Hart gave the invocation.
The Squadron was presented a Town of Huntington Proclamation by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland said, "It was an honor and a pleasure to congratulate the Leroy R. Grumman Squadron this afternoon" and commended the Civil Air Patrol, Long Island Group, for memorializing Grumman’s legacy. In addition, the squadron received proclamations from Suffolk County, U.S. Congress, New York State Senate and the State Assembly. The presentation of the new squadron flag was conducted by the Grumman Squadron’s Color Guard and David Grumman then entertained the audience with stories regarding his father.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a representative of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War awarded two of the squadron’s outstanding cadets with certificates and medals. A sumptuous buffet for all followed.
In August 2011, the Grumman Squadron saw its first Eaker Cadet, c/Lt. Col. Patrick Argento, receive his award in front of his parents and squadron. The award was presented by COL (Ret) Vincent Montero, USAR. A second Eaker Cadet, c/Lt. Col. Carissa Lackey joined the squadron in November and Maj. Robert Paggoli transferred in and took over as Testing Officer in September.
On January 14, 2012, the Grumman Squadron was named Long Island Group's "Squadron of the Year" for 2011 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). Two weeks later we were informed that we had been awarded the Quality Cadet Unit Award for the second year in a row.
In March, the squadron's color guard team took first place in the Color Guard event at the Pershing Rifles competition and Third Place overall competing against many ROTC Units.
At the NY Wing Convention, the Grumman Squadron was named "Squadron of Distiction" for 2011, the highest honor that a squadron can receive from the Wing.
in early summer, Sam Ramos and two of his children joined the squadron. With his strong experience in the police and military, it was only natural that he would take over as Emergency Services Officer
At the 8th Annual Military Ball held in January 2013, The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron was named Long Island Group Squadron of the Year for the second year in a row! c/Capt. Joshua Howard was named LI Group Cadet of the Year
In February , we were informed that our squadron had qualified for the NHQ Cadet Merit Squadron award for 2012.
March 30, Our squadron has it's first Spaatz cadet. Congratulations to Cadet Colonel Carissa Lackey.
In March, the squadron participated once again in the Pershing Rifles Color Guard competition. This time they returned from Florida with 5 trophies including the Color Guard 1st. place trophy. The team was led by c/CMSgt Patrick Tracy and included flag bearer c/CMSgt Peter Gerdvil and riflemen c/TSgt. Travis Jensen and Steven Horowitz. Other awards won included 1st. place for Inspection and Black Jacks drill and Color Guard Competition; 2nd. Place Color Guard & General John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition; Outstanding Unit Trophy, Black Jacks drill and Color Guard Competition and the Black Jacks cup, Blackjack drill and Color guard Competition
At the New York Wing Conference in May, the squadron was awarded the 2011 New York Wing Squadron of Distinction
Also in May, Captain Robert Litzke took over as Supply Officer and Captain Ridley, Commander. Major Ridley's son and a former Spaatz Cadet, transferred into the squadron and took over as PAO/Recruiting Officer and Historian from Lt. Col. McLaughlin who remained as Finance Officer and Webmaster.
December 20, 2016 - the Color Guard team of the Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron of the Long Island Group, New York Wing was giving the honor of presenting colors for the opening ceremony at Calverton National Cemetery.
On the third Saturday in the month of December the Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron’s Color Guard participated in Wreaths Across America, a nationwide program which distributed holiday wreaths as a tribute to Veterans laid to rest at VA national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries. This program was founded by company president Morrill Worcester whereby he wanted to honor Veterans, active duty military and their families. His goal was to remind the public to remember the Veterans, honor their service, and teach children the value of freedom.
The Civil Air Patrol, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, local citizens, veterans and families placed the wreaths on the graves of men and women that once served our country. The squadrons of Long Island Group were brought together to participate in this event to honor the veterans that served our country.
December 11th 2016 - The
Leroy R. Grumman Squadron’s Color Guard was privileged to be a part of
the Snowball Express with American Airlines at JFK Airport in New York,
an organization dedicated to bring holiday cheer to children of fallen
The squadron's color guard volunteered their time for this event and served along the sides of Active Duty Color Guards in the Marines, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force as well as civilian Color Guards from the NYPD, NYFD, Homeland Security, JROTC Programs as they lined up together along a red carpet while showing honor and respect as the families of fallen military heroes prepared to board planes.
The American Airlines had the responsibility of transporting more than 1,700 children traveling from 87 cities worldwide and spouses of fallen service men and women to Dallas/Fort Worth for five days of fun and fellowship at the 11th annual Snowball Express celebration.
The Cadets and senior members from Long Island Group and the Leroy R. Grumman squadron helped to host the special sendoff celebration at the departure gate and it was fun and entertaining, with singing, dancing, food and presents for the kids. This event was an honor and a privilege for this Color Guard team to participate in and we are looking forward to supporting and promoting support for this organization and events in the future.December 6, 2016 - Awards Night at Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron at Northport, NY
November 11-12, 2017 - Leroy R. Grumman Squadron Held their Third and Fourth Wreaths Across American Fundraiser at Stop and Shop in Northport. I want to thank the following Senor's and cadet's for a job well done!!!
Cadet Derek P. Alek
Cadet Kristen Figlo
Cadet Quinn D. Figlo
C/2Lt Maria C. Gerdvil
C/SrA Joanna R. Gerdvil
2d Lt. Joseph L. Saracino
2d Lt. Maureen Gerdvil
Lt Col Lonnie E. McLaughlin Jr.
Major Peter Cubano
October 28, 2017- Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron held the second Wreaths Across America Fundraiser at
Guinta's Meat Farms 395 Fort Salonga Rd, Northport, NY 11768. We raised a lot of money with the help of the following Cadet's and Senior's
C/A1C Aidan A Cordero
Major Peter Cubano
Cadet Quinn D Figlo
C/2dLt Maria C Gerdvil
C/SrA Joanna R Gerdvil
2d Lt Maureen Gerdvil
Lt Col Alonzo E McLauaghlin Jr
C/SrA Maximilian E Pelkonen
C/Amn Daniel G Saracino
2d Lt Joseph L Saracino
C/CMSg Nicole A Schafer
October 14-15, 2017 - Jones Beach Cancer Walk 14-15 October. Long Island Group HQ.
October 14, 2017 - Alexander Angels Walk envisions a world where individuals with Down syndrome are not defined by their disability but by their individuality.
The long term goal of Alexander's Angels is to promote recognition of the often overlooked attributes of individuals with Down syndrome by highlighting their abilities.
Alexander's Angels aims to raise awareness outside the Down syndrome community by continuing working with local colleges, corporations, the community at large, and with Down syndrome organizations in a collaborative effort to promote a better understanding of people with Down syndrome by presenting the person with Down syndrome for what he/she is, a person with feelings and abilities much like anyone else. To that end Alexander's Angels aims to organize events that showcase to the community-at-large special talents within the Down syndrome community.
October 9, 2017 - Commander Peter Cubano had the honor to promote two of her Senior members.
2d Lt Maureen Gerdvil and 2d Lt Joseph L. Saracono
October 3, 2017 - Commander Peter Cubano had the honor to promote two cadet members.
Cadet Joanna R. Gerdvil was promoted to the rank of C/Sra
Cadet Nicole A. Schafer was promoted to the rank of C/CMSgt
September 30, 2017 - The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron did a fundraiser to raise money for Wreaths across America on Saturday. Had a great time and rise a lot of money that day.
Sept 9-10, 2017 - Longwood Estates Fair, Corner of Smith Road and Longwood Road, Ridge, NY 11961
Longwood Estate History: Listed on the National Register of historic places, the Longwood Estate clearly is a Town of Brookhaven treasure.
This land was the domain of the preeminent Smith family until 1968. In 1974, with development nipping at its flanks, the property was acquired by the town.
Geographically, the estate consisted of farmland, pasture, woods, river fronts, ponds, and the long swamp itself, headwaters of the Peconic River. Tenant farmers worked the land and timber was the most valuable commodity.
The estate was in a remote area with approx 7,000 acres running from the Connecticut River (now known as Carman's River) east of Manorville, and south along South Country Road. The property was handed down through the generations and in 1817 William Syndey Smith became the proprietor.
William Smith married Eleanor Jones from Cold Spring Harbor and raised 10 children on the estate with the now enlarged home to accommodate them. Longwood estate became a profitable business in livestock, and wood cutting where a wood mill in Yaphank was instrumental in the development of the Long Island Railroad. William served as Brookhaven Supervisor from 1829 till 1834, was Suffolk County Treasurer, and a New York State Legislator.
William passed away in 1879 at the age of 83 and Eleanor in 1884 at 79 years old. Their grandchildren took to the care-taking and preservation of the estate.
William Sidney Tangier and Helen Tangier Smith willed the estate to Elbert Clayton Smith and it was Bert who donated 51 acres to the Longwood School District and the Greenbelt land to Suffolk County.
Upon his death in 1968, his widow sold the estate to Levitt real estate developers. The contents of the home were auctioned off.
Then in 1973, developer Wilbur Breslin and Herbert Carmel purchased the property for commercial and industrial development. Brookhaven Town officials and area residents strongly opposed the plan and in 1974, Breslin and Carmel donated the manor house and 35 acres of land to the Town of Brookhaven.
During its two hundred year history, the house knew fallow periods-and a notable 60 year Golden Age of love, family, and bustling activity. The estate now is the host to various activities for the residents to enjoy.
August 17-20, 2017 - 2017 Annual Holbrook Carnival! – Holbrook Chamber of Commerce
August 6, 2017 - Long Island Group held a TLC Course at LIG HQ.
The TLC Basic Course is the first out of three levels of courses for all Senior Members involved in Cadet Programs. Some learning objectives for this course is to articulate the Cadet Programs vision, to include referencing the key traits of cadet life, the program elements and the outcomes each produces, and an explanation of the promotion process. Another learning objective is to be able to explain the roles and responsibilities of cadet programs officers serving at the squadron level, with special regard to leadership dynamics, as the adult’s role changes when the cadet staff’s readiness changes. Other objectives include being able to describe operating principles for squadron-level cadet programs, including Cadet Great Start, weekly meetings and activities, and using the Quality Cadet Unit Award as a self-assessment and managerial tool. There is also an Intermediate Course and Advanced Course (which is anticipated to be released in the Spring).
July 8, 2017 - Francis S. Gabreski Cadet Squadron NY-117 had the honor of presenting the colors and with the support of the Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron NY-153 at the bridge dedication to Specialist Matthew W. Baylis.
OAKDALE—The bridge that carries travelers on Oakdale-Bohemia Road over Sunrise Highway was given a new identity last Saturday, July 8 when a sign was unveiled naming it the “Specialist Matthew E. Baylis Memorial Bridge.” NYS Senator Phil Boyle presided over a ceremony that was attended by elected officials, local residents and family and friends of the fallen hero, who was killed in action in Iraq on May 31, 2007.
At the ceremony, Sen. Boyle thanked all of the elected officials that helped him to see that the bridge would be named in honor of this American hero. “Fittingly, as people drive under this bridge, for many years to come, they will always be reminded of the service and sacrifice Matthew gave to our great nation,” said Boyle.
June 11, 2017 - Bayport Aerodrome Pancake Breakfast at Bayport Airport.
June 6, 2017 - Leroy R. Grumman Promotion Night.
May 27, 2017 - Memorial Day Air Show with the Thunder Birds at MacArthur Airport, Islip, New York Long Island Group, Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary.
May 27, 2017 -The Col Francis S. Gabreski Squadron and the Leroy R. Grumman Squadron had the honor of placing wreaths to our falling Veterans. Long Island Group, Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary.
May 21, 2017 - Bayport Vintage Cars & Airplanes celebration with Long Island Group. Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary at Bayport, New York.
March 18, 2017 - The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron had the honor of presenting the colors at the VA Nursing Home at Northport, New York.
Febraury 26, 2017 - The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron Visit Floyd Bennett Field Airport, Brooklyn, New York.
Floyd Bennett Field, now a National Park, was New York City's first municipal airport. Opened in 1933, it became Naval Air Station - New York during WWII. It was the point of departure for many famous flights, including those of Wiley Post, "Wrong Way" Corrigan, and most notably, the destination of John Glen's record setting transcontinental Project Bullet in 1957. It is no longer in general use for aviation, although it continues to function as the home base for the NYPD's helicopter unit.
The Tuskegee Airmen was an all-black fighter unit in WWII. Formed after much discrimination, they flew a number of aircraft, but are most famous for their exploits in P-51 mustangs. Although somewhat exaggerated, they had the reputation of having never lost a bomber they were escorting.
The H. A, R. P. is a community of volunteers dedicated to restoring aircraft that once used the airfield. Among the many planes being worked on are a PBY-5 Catalina, a Grumman G-21 Goose flying boat, a Douglas C-47 (the military version of the DC-3), a Lockheed P2V Neptune anti-submarine patrol plane, and a Sikorsky HH-3 air-sea rescue helicopter.
Febraury 18, 2017 - The Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron had the honor of presenting the colors at the Hofstra Basketball game at the college.