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Tinker welcomes Civil Air Patrol youth for Color Guard Competition

The Grove Composite Squadron team members, from left, Cadets Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Goodman, Senior Master Sgts. Dakota Gray and Marshall Cook and Senior Airman Justus Taylor demonstrate their ability to lower and fold American flag for this part of the competition. (Air Force photo by Kathy Paine)

The Grove Composite Squadron team members, from left, Cadets Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Goodman, Senior Master Sgts. Dakota Gray and Marshall Cook and Senior Airman Justus Taylor demonstrate their ability to lower and fold American flag for this part of the competition. (Air Force photo by Kathy Paine)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- On March 19 Tinker hosted the Civil Air Patrol, Oklahoma Wing, Cadet Color Guard Competition at the Tinker Airman Leadership School.

Tech. Sgt. Desiree Bates, Airman Leadership School instructor, along with Tech. Sgt. Jason Crosby, 72nd Force Support Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Lisa Muth, 72nd Security Forces Squadron, volunteered their time and expertise to be judges for this competition.

"What an outstanding display of professionalism. I see bright Air Force careers in their futures," said Sergeant Bates.

The cadets were judged on wear of the uniform, indoor presentations, marching in a parade, flag pole ceremonies, physical fitness and knowledge of aerospace, flag history and handling, and Civil Air Patrol history.

"Wow! The cadets did an awesome job and I was very impressed," said Sergeant Muth.

The two teams who competed were the Grove Composite Squadron and the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron. The cadets range in age from 13 to 17 years old.

"I was truly impressed with the team's military bearing, attention to detail and the pride they each took in their jobs/responsibilities," said Sergeant Crosby.

The Grove Composite Squadron team members were Cadets Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Goodman, Senior Master Sgts. Dakota Gray and Marshall Cook, Senior Airman Justus Taylor and Airman John Downs.

The Oklahoma City Composite Squadron team members were Cadets Senior Airman Taijza Wilson, Airman 1st Class Zach Zeigert and Airmen Cy Simpson and Shane Dusold.

"The competition was close, but the Grove Composite Squadron won for the fourth year in a row," said CAP Maj. Nancy Bartlett, director of Cadet Programs Oklahoma Wing.

CAP has held cadet competitions since 1948, just seven years after the Civil Air Patrol was founded.

"This competition helps develop leadership, promotes teamwork and respect for the United States flag and all that the flag represents," said Col. Robert Castle, commander of the CAP, Oklahoma Wing.

The winner at the wing level goes on to represent Oklahoma at the Southwest Region level and will compete with teams from Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas for the right to compete with teams from the other seven CAP Regions for the national title.

The winners receive a trophy and bragging rights, but more than that are the lifetime friendships made and the experiences that will guide them through their careers, no matter what field of endeavor they choose. The competition helps put the core values, integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect into perspective for the cadets and senior members alike.

"I tell the cadets that if they truly want to achieve their goals, hard work and persistence will pay off - it might not be right away, but dreams do come true," said Colonel Castle.

The National Cadet Competition is an annual program to evaluate the best team of cadets represented at wing, region and national levels for drill teams and color guards. The NCC enables cadets to model traits of the highest standards of leadership and personal responsibility. It encompasses the National Drill Team Competition and the National Color Guard Competition.

Teams come from across America to compete for the chance to win the United States Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Trophy as well as other top awards.