Squadron Drill Team Wins National Cadet Competition

Post date: Aug 11, 2013 12:04:04 PM

After an intense three day competition in Dayton, Ohio, Youngstown’s 051 Drill Team emerges as the best in the nation. This achievement makes them the first team from Ohio to ever win the National Cadet Competition and their name will be inscribed on the Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Award Trophy on permanent display at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

The Drill Team Competition consists of In-Ranks Inspection, Standard Drill, Innovative Drill, a Written Examination, Panel Quiz, a Volleyball tournament, and a team Mile Run. Each event tests the cadets’ skills and resiliency in the core competencies of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program with equal emphasis on physical ability, academics, and character. This year Youngstown shares first place in the Nation with the Tennessee Wing Drill Team.

Originally it was announced at the Awards Ceremony that the Youngstown team came in a very close second place finish overall. However, a week later the competition staff uncovered a scoring error that changed the overall standings, now placing Youngstown as National Co-Champions with the Tennessee Wing Drill Team. The Tennessee Team was comprised of top cadets from squadrons all over the state of Tennessee whereas the Youngstown Team is solely made up of cadets from the local Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron which meets weekly at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna. Also competing were top teams from California, Colorado, New Jersey, and North Carolina. All teams had to win first place in their respective states and regions in order to make it to the National Level.

Coached by Civil Air Patrol Major William Hrinko, Jr. and First Lieutenant Diana Beatty, the team has been training for the past eight months to earn their spot as the best team in the state, region, and at the national level. Team members are Cadet Major Megan Beatty (Austintown), Cadet Second Lieutenant Vanessa Betz (Greenville), Cadet Staff Sergeant Matthew Chamberlain (Wellsville), Cadet Captain Emily Conroy (Canfield), Cadet Second Lieutenant Caleb Durfee (Salem), Cadet Airman First Class Christian Durfee (Salem), Cadet Captain Nathaniel Forrider (Leetonia), Cadet Technical Sergeant Michael Gentile (Niles), Cadet Technical Sergeant Brian Haight (Salem), Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Aubry Lindauer (McDonald), Cadet Staff Sergeant Ethan Lint (Cortland), Cadet Airman First Class Cyrel Newcome (Salem), and Cadet Technical Sergeant Connor O’Kane (Poland), and Cadet First Lieutenant Austen Peters (Poland). Cadet Staff Sergeant Brian Hunter Jr. (Brookfield) was on the team at the state and region level. Forrider served as the Team Commander, leading the team through all seven events.

The team won first place in the Written Exam, Standard Drill, and Volleyball - their second straight undefeated Volleyball season. Second place finishes were earned in Innovative Drill and the Mile Run. Rounding out the competition was a third place finish in Inspection and a fifth place finish in the Panel Quiz. In addition to the team events, awards are given to the individual top scorers on the Written Exam and Mile Run. Cadet Technical Sergeant Brian Haight won Male Fleetfoot with a mile time of 5:13.2. He also won this award for fastest mile at the state and region competitions.

“Year after year it is amazing to see the progress these cadets make throughout the season. Watching them come together as a very close knit team while working to develop their training plans, solve problems, and become leaders is very rewarding. While we adults supervise things, it is the cadets who do the work to run the team. Many credit Drill Team as one of the biggest contributors to the development of their self confidence. It’s an honor to work with them and have a positive influence in their lives.” said team coach William Hrinko.

Support from local entities such as the 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown Air Reserve Station Community Council and the Youngstown State University has played a vital role in the team’s rise to success. “This outstanding local support has allowed the talent of our cadets to shine, making them a strong contender on the national level. The commitment shown to these future leaders of America is a true testament to the hard-working spirit of the Mahoning Valley. We are extremely grateful for this.” said Hrinko. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Drill Team has made it to the National Competition. Last year they finished at Second Place nationally. “I am incredibly proud of the drill team for their performance and for their sportsmanship upon initially receiving second place and then upon learning of being co-champions. The team exemplified the Air Force and Civil Air Patrol Core Value of Integrity and continues to demonstrate that core value. The team brings great credit upon themselves, their squadron, the 910th Airlift Wing, and to the Mahoning Valley,” remarked Major Paul Creed III, commander of the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.

The Youngstown Squadron has competition teams for CyberPatriot (Cyber Defense), Color Guard, and Drill Team. Each team trains hard to represent the local area, and has a record of achieving success at the state, region, and national levels. Membership is open to youth between 12 and 18 years of age that are looking for exciting opportunities.