WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Richard Ware Jr. was named cadet officer in the Lt. Anthony L. Wilsea Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Wednesday, following in the footsteps of Cadet Max Rogovin, who received the same honor in March.
“The Civil Air Patrol has changed my life completely," said Ware, a rising junior at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor. "It has helped me to develop my social skills and built up my self-esteem and confidence to lead."
The CAP is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that acts as an auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force. Its Lt. Anthony L. Wilsea Cadet Squadron meets Wednesdays at the Westchester County Airport. It was founded one week before the attack on Pearl Harbor and has 61,000 members, said Mamaroneck resident Andres Bermudez, commander of the squadron.
The 30-member cadet squadron held a "Four Winds" ceremony Wednesday to celebrate Ware Jr.'s ascension, which was the second since Oct. 2010. Rogovin, a White Plains High School rising senior, was the first since that time.
Ware was also presented with the General Billy Mitchell Award, which took him about 18 months to earn. The award is similar to the Eagle Scout award and will allow Ware to be promoted at least one pay grade when he joins the armed forces.
"Richard joined CAP because of a longtime interest and desire to be an Air Force Officer and a pilot, and CAP is just one step in the right direction to making his dream a reality," said his father, Richard Ware Sr., who served in the United States Air Force and is still in the active reserves.
Wednesday, Ware Jr. and Rogovin were both awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Award for cadet non-commissioned officer and cadet officer, respectively.
CAP performs emergency services for Westchester, including search and rescue on the ground and in the air, disaster relief, advanced aerial reconnaissance, shelter management, communications, and counterdrug efforts.
Ware has performed several search-and-rescue missions and exercises, and went on several cadet orientation flights where he controlled an actual aircraft, his father said.
This summer, Richard will attend the Pennsylvania Wing Regional Cadet Leadership School and The Honor Guard Academy in Maryland. He will also start taking flying lessons to obtain his pilot’s license, his father said.