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NC-111 Wins Middle East Region Cadet Competition

1st and 2nd place cadet teams
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Representing the Middle East Region at this year's National Cadet Competition are the combined team from the National Capital Wing (team on left) and the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron (team on right), shown here with Col John Knowles, Middle East Region Commander (center left) and MER Cadet Competition Director Capt Patti Overman (center right). Photo Credit: 1st Lt H.J. Bentley, III, CAP (click image to view full size)
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111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron takes top honors for second year in a row

5/10/2018––The cadet color guard team from the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron beat out nine teams from across the Middle East Region (MER) and took first place during the MER Cadet Competition held at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Nine teams fielded 54 cadets from six wings under the watchful eyes and supervision of 20 senior members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). The first and second place teams from the MER competition will now represent the MER at the National Cadet Competition held in Dayton, Ohio. CAP has held cadet competitions since 1948 and 2018 represents the 70th year of cadet competitions.

The color guard team from the 111th Search and Rescue Squadron based at the Charlotte Douglas Airport scored enough points to win overall first place, while the combined team from the National Capital Wing representing the Challenger and Arlington Composite squadrons came in second. The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite squadron from the Maryland Wing took third place in overall competition. The teams representing CAP’s seven wings in the region were chosen by rounds of local wing competitions.
The Maryland Wing was represented by teams from the Bethesda Chevy-Chase Composite Squadron and the St. Mary’s Composite Squadron, while the West Virginia Wing was represented by the Martinsburg Composite Squadron. Representing the Virginia Wing was the Coastal Composite Squadron from Virginia Beach, Virginia. The National Capital Wing’s team was a blended team from the Challenger and Arlington Composite Squadrons. Fielded from the North Carolina Wing were teams from the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron in Charlotte and the Boone Composite Squadron from Boone, North Carolina. The South Carolina Wing was represented by two teams both from the Greenville Composite Squadron.
This year’s MER Cadet Competition was organized and run by Capt Patti Overman, CAP, and her staff of 20 senior members and 17 cadets.
Teams this year competed in several events, including the physical fitness test, a uniform inspection, a Jeopardy-style aerospace and leadership knowledge quiz and a multiple-choice leadership, aerospace education and current events exam. Teams also were also given a problem-solving exercise, as well as a community service project presentation. They were also required to perform specific task requiring precision and teamwork with the posting of the Colors both inside and outdoors.
The NC-111th team consists of six cadet members. They practiced for months on end to hone their color guard skills and to learn Air Force flag techniques. This year's winning team included C/1st Lt Dylan Gulla, the Color Guard Commander, C/CMSgt Isaac Friday, C/CMSgt Elijah Johnson, C/MSgt Larra Hoelscher, C/SSgt Natalia Baaker and C/SSgt Camille Mounce. The 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron team escorts, Maj Sherry Haskell and 2d Lt Nick Gulla, accompanied the team to the competition from Charlotte.
C/Col Kate Fitzpatrick representing the Boone Composite Squadron and C/Col Scott Ziegler representing the Coastal Composite Squadron tied in earning the highest written exam scores among competition participants.
The teams and individuals who placed first in their events were:
*Indoor Presentation: Boone Composite Squadron
*Outdoor Presentation: Boone Composite Squadron.
*High Score Written Exam Individual: TIE - C/Col Kate Fitzpatrick and C/Col Scott Ziegler
*Written Exam: 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*CPFT (Individual Female): C/Col Kate Fitzpatrick, Boone Composite Squadron
*CPFT (Individual Male): C/CMSgt Elijah Johnson, 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*CPFT (Team): 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*Team Leadership Problem: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron
*Uniform Inspection Overall: 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*Uniform Spot Inspection: Martinsburg Composite Squadron
*Uniform Prep: 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron 
*Community Service Project 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*Jeopardy (Jr.): 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
*Jeopardy (all Ranks): Coastal Composite Squadron
*Standard Drill: Martinsburg Composite Squadron 
The awards were presented following the competition at the Ft. Picket Theater which formally concluded the competition. They were presented by CAP Col John Knowles, serving at his last MER Cadet Competition, and MER Deputy Commander, Col Eugene Egry, III.
A special note of thanks goes out to the volunteer staff from across the region without whose efforts an event of this scale would not have been possible.
The National Cadet Competition is one of more than 30 National Cadet Special Activities being sponsored by CAP across the nation this summer. These activities allow cadets to hone their skills in a variety of areas – including search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies – and to explore aerospace technology and aviation careers.