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Orange County Composite Squadron Holds Dual Change of Command

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Capt Ron Long (center) accepts command of NC-150 from Maj Brendan Kearns, NC Wing Group 2 Commander. Capt Ron Watkins, the outgoing commander (right) looks on. Photo Credit: Capt Lynne Albert, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Capt Ron Long becomes squadron commander and C/1st Lt Balog becomes cadet commander

3/2/2018––“Sir, I accept command.” With these words, the Orange County Composite Squadron held dual change of command ceremonies on 1 March 2018 in Hillsborough, NC. The ceremony is a time-honored Civil Air Patrol tradition designed to mark the occasion when the responsibility of command is passed from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. On this night, the occasion was marked with dual change of command ceremonies – with the squadron getting both a new cadet commander and a new squadron commander.

The evening began with the ceremony to mark the change of the squadron’s cadet commander. Maj Brendan Kearns, the NC Wing’s Group 2 Commander, served as the presiding officer. The squadron’s guidon was first passed to outgoing cadet commander, C/1st Lt Abigail Ham, who presented it to Maj Kearns as she relinquished command. Maj Kearns then presented the guidon to the incoming cadet commander, C/1st Lt Taylor Balog, who accepted cadet command. Both cadet officers then addressed the assembled crowd. Maj Kearns presented C/1st Lt Ham with a Commander's Commendation Award thanking her for her outstanding service. Serving as the cadet commander is the ultimate challenge for a cadet officer and is an enormous test of leadership skill.

After the cadet commander ceremony was completed, Maj Kearns officiated at the squadron commander change of command. Capt Ron Watkins stepped down as the squadron’s commander and Capt Ron Long accepted command of the squadron. Maj Kearns presented Capt Watkins with a Commander's Commendation Award thanking him for his three years of excellent service as the squadron commander. Capt Watkins then gave a farewell address and stated, “Serving as the commander of NC-150 has been the most fulfilling endeavor of my life. I wish everyone a prosperous future and I intend to be around to see it and help make it happen.” 

Capt Long thanked everyone for attending the event and thanked Capt Watkins for his leadership over the past three years. He also thanked the squadron's cadets and senior members for their hard work in making the Orange County Composite Squadron such a tremendous squadron. Lastly, he thanked his wife, Trudie, for always supporting him in his CAP activities. 

The evening ended with refreshments and fellowship. The Orange County Composite Squadron celebrated the dual change of commands with a new infusion of energy and enthusiasm.