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Civil Air Patrol Training Exemplifies Motto of “Leaders Training New Leaders” Once Again

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Cadets at 2018 MER RCLS South work to complete the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Bragg, NC. Photo Credit: RCLS PAO staff (click image to view full size)
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Teenage Students Converge in North Carolina for Week of Executive Leadership Training at RCLS

8/3/2018––On Friday, 29 July 2018, 61 Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets from nine wings and four regions reported to North Carolina’s Justice Academy East to attend the Middle East Region Cadet Leadership School – South. 

The Region Cadet Leadership School program, or RCLS, exists as one of the capstone executive leadership courses for the United States Air Force Auxiliary’s cadet program and is coordinated every year by each CAP region. Like its national counterpart, Cadet Officer School, RCLS is designed as an academically intensive activity that requires attendees to explore new viewpoints on indirect leadership, officership, core values, and similar concepts that CAP cadet officers are expected to emulate, completing over 40 hours of instruction in classroom and practical application settings throughout the weeklong academy. 
Despite being the largest class in Middle East Region’s history, attendance is limited to a select group of students each year, requiring all students to be at least a Cadet Master Sergeant, have attended a Civil Air Patrol encampment, and be endorsed by their unit and wing commanders to attend. Those who graduate are expected to exemplify the highest ideals of CAP’s Cadet Program, equipped for the rigors of executive leadership and upper-level cadet command positions at the local, wing and national level. 
This year, participants gained exceptional experience in the arenas of public speaking, critical thinking, strategic leadership, and group problem-solving from a cadre of 18 CAP members from across the region, including four Spaatz Award recipients, two former wing directors of cadet programs, and a former member of CAP’s National Cadet Advisory Council. In addition to completing demanding academic courses and engaging in practical leadership application through projects, speeches, and team leadership problems, cadets also were given the opportunity to tour Fort Bragg and the USAF 21st Special Tactics Squadron, located on Pope Field, hold Q&A sessions with CAP and USAF leaders from across the region, and complete the base’s Leadership Reaction Course.
This year’s activity was jointly led by Major Barry Feinstein, CAP, the activity director, and Cadet Colonel Josiah Bilbrey, CAP, the activity’s cadet commander. Maj Feinstein, who serves in the United States Navy as a lieutenant aboard the USS George Washington, is a former cadet colonel in CAP who first attended RCLS in 2005, the activity he claims jumpstarted his CAP career. After attending RCLS, Maj Feinstein completed the cadet program, continuing in CAP as a senior member and serving as the activity director for multiple state and region events. 
Cadet Bilbrey, who earned his Spaatz Award in July 2018, credits his attendance of MER RCLS in 2017 with providing him invaluable leadership skills which he plans to exercise through a career with the United States Air Force. “RCLS taught me practical leadership skills like delegation, public speaking, and team leadership, that I use every day,” said Bilbrey. “The thing I love most about this activity is that it’s not leaders teaching followers; it’s about leaders helping other leaders.”
Upon completion, cadets have satisfied one of the many requirements for the General Ira C. Eaker Award and its associated promotion to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel. Recipients of this award have completed the final phase of the CAP Cadet Program, earning their place among the top 2% of all CAP cadets, with only the illustrious General Carl A. Spaatz Award remaining for their completion. Cadets who attend emerge better prepared for service as leaders both in CAP and in America’s military and civilian career fields.
2018 MER RCLS South graduates and awardees include:
DELAWARE Wing - Coastal Patrol Base 2 Memorial Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt Gavin Beauchamp and Cadet 2nd Lt Joseph Klosiewicz
FLORIDA Wing - Jacksonville Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt Joseph Burke 
MARYLAND Wing - Arundel Composite Squadron:
Cadet 1st Lt Hailey Boyd and Cadet Capt Matthew Fangio
Howard Composite Squadron:
Cadet 1st Lt Ethan Brown 
Carroll Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt Laura Midkiff 
Mount Airy Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt Katherine Grasley 
Upper Montgomery Composite Squadron:
Cadet 1st Lt Katherine Weinhold (Honor Cadet Officer)
MICHIGAN Wing - Owosso Composite Squadron:
Cadet 2nd Lt Gabriella Orme 
NEW YORK Wing - Stalwart Cadet Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Xavier De La Rosa 
NORTH CAROLINA Wing - Fayetteville Composite Squadron:
Cadet Senior Master Sgt Abigail Pope and Cadet 2nd Lt Ashlyn Wells
Ashville Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Micaiah Bilbrey and Cadet 2nd Lt. Andrew Blankinship 
Gastonia Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt Anthony DiPasquale 
Shelby Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt Ryan Buckton 
Pitt-Greenville Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt Natalia Randolph 
Winston Salem Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt Zach Fernandez 
Randolph Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt Adam Stone, Cadet Senior Master Sgts Karly Jordan and Kolby Jordan, Cadet 1st Lt Kacie Jordan, and Cadet Capt Cameron Smith 
Goldsboro Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt Aiden Peditto 
Franklin County Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt Korey Floyd 
Boone Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt Calvin Williamson and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Caden Cothren 
Brunswick County Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt Philip Nazzaro 
Composite Squadron of the Waxhaws:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt Isabella Ross and Cadet Maj Ryan David 
Apex Cadet Squadron:
Cadet 1st Lt Jacob Moorman and Cadet Maj Jonathan Sellers 
Guilford Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgts Ella Gott, Sage Gott, and Isabella Wright, Cadet Chief Master Sgt Tavia Copening, and Cadet Capt Aidan Kelley 
RAF MILDENHALL Overseas Cadet Squadron - Cadet 2nd Lt Arianna Barker 
Florence Composite Squadron:
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Trae Ann Proell 
Lexington Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Farhat 
Anderson Composite Squadron:
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Sarah Hampton 
Low Country Composite Squadron:
Cadet 2nd Lt. Payton Mercer 
Herndon Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt. Pranav Ravella
Lynchburg Composite Squadron:
Cadet Capt. William Heppding (Outstanding Speaker Award)
Montgomery Composite Squadron:
Cadet 2nd Lt. Anna Haas
Newport-News Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgts. Mark Roose and Caleb Song, Cadet 1st Lts. Ryan Adams and William Fronkier, and Cadet Capt. Benjamin Roose 
West Richmond Cadet Squadron:
Cadet Capt. Noah Fuller 
Coastal Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgts. Oliver Hewitt-Qualls, Jacob Holinger, Samuel Morrow, and Simon Thurston, and Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Kylie Mulvey
Prince William Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ethan Cole
Cadet 2nd Lt. Evan Heindreich
Leesburg Composite Squadron:
Cadet Master Sgt. Ethan Jardines 
Burke Composite Squadron:
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Joan Gibson (Honor Cadet NCO)
Cadet Cadre for 2018 MER RCLS included:
Cadet Col. Josiah Bilbrey, NC Wing, Cadet Commander
Cadet Maj. Noah Beauchamp, DE Wing, Cadet Executive Officer
Cadet Lt. Col. Tyler Smith, NC Wing, Cadet Support Officer
Cadet 1st Lt. James Edwards, NC Wing, Charlie Flight Commander
Cadet Maj. Robert Lewis, NC Wing, Golf Flight Commander
Cadet Lt. Col. Grant McDaris, NC Wing, Hotel Flight Commander
Cadet Capt. Bryce Jackson, NC Wing, Tango Flight Commander
Cadet Maj. Madeline Nagele, NC Wing, Whiskey Flight Commander
Cadet 1st Lt. Mia Keegan, NC Wing, Zulu Flight Commander
Senior Cadre for 2018 MER RCLS included:
Maj. Barry Feinstein, VA Wing, Activity Director
Capt. Harrison Nagele, NC Wing, Deputy Commander of Cadets
Capt. Kate Maxfield, NC Wing, Deputy Commander of Support
Capt. Roger Sayers, SC Wing, Chief Training Officer
Capt. Tyler Hoover, SC Wing, Training Officer
Capt. Jordan Crawford, NC Wing,  Safety, Administration, and Health Services Officer
1st Lt. Jane Proell, SC Wing, Transportation Officer
2nd Lt. Timothy Johnson, NC Wing, Logistics Officer
2nd Lt. Brent Chappell, MD Wing, Public Affairs Officer
The Middle East Region of CAP encompasses the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as the District of Columbia (National Capital Wing). Composed of 7,600 members, 3,653 of whom are cadets between the ages of 12 and 20, the region flew over 14,000 hours in 62 aircraft last year in support of CAP’s missions and the region’s motto of “No Borders – No Boundaries.”