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Charlotte Senior Squadron Changes Command

Benson accepts flag
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Maj Brett Benson (Right) accepts command of the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron from Lt Col Jeff Focke, Group VI commander, during a ceremony at the Concord Regional Airport on February 21, 2018. Photo Credit: 1st Lt. H.J. Bentley III, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Major Brett Benson assumes command of the 121st

2/27/2018––Lt Col James Emerson relinquished command of the Civil Air Patrol's (CAP) 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron to Maj Brett Benson during a change of command ceremony at the Concord Regional Airport on 21 Feb 2018.

Lt Col Emerson assumed command of the squadron in February of 2014 and leaves the squadron after four successful years at the helm. The ceremony’s presiding official, CAP Lt Col Jeff Focke, the NC Wing's Group VI commander, praised Lt Col Emerson’s leadership as essential to the squadron's ability to plan and respond rapidly during his tenure.

In accordance with military tradition and heritage, the unit Colors were passed from C/2d Lt Sarah K. Benson, daughter of incoming squadron commander Maj Brett Benson, to Lt Col Emerson, symbolizing allegiance to the outgoing commander. Then Lt Col Emerson passed the colors to Lt Col Jeff Focke, the Group VI commander, signifying the unit is never without a commander, and then the Colors were passed to Maj Benson, symbolizing the entrustment of command. The passing of the Colors concluded when Maj Benson returned the Colors back to his daughter, denoting that the unit’s Colors stay with the members of the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron.

Maj Benson, a Florida native, becomes the squadron's third commander and was previously assigned as the Deputy Commander of the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron.

“The 121st is a top-notch squadron in Group 6 and the North Carolina Wing,” said Lt Col Focke. “Members of the Charlotte Senior Squadron are dedicated professionals who strive for excellence in all they do. As such, we have been privileged and blessed to have had Lt Col Jim Emerson lead this squadron over the last four years. His professionalism, positive attitude, and selfless service is clearly seen by all of us who serve with him. It is exciting now to see him move onto greater things in CAP.”

Lt Col Emerson stated, “I want to thank you all for your service to the squadron, CAP and the Wing over the last 4 years. You have a lot to be proud of and I am proud to have had the chance to serve as Squadron Commander of the 121st over the last 4 years. I wish you continued success in your CAP careers as I prepare for what my next adventure in CAP may be. Please join me in supporting Major Benson as he steps forward to lead our squadron to greater success in the future.”