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Civil Air Patrol reshuffles UP ranks

A Saturday ceremony at Hancock Central High School saw a changing of the guard for the Civil Air Patrol in the Upper Peninsula. The organization has individual squadrons overseen by a group commander. Lieutenant Colonel Donald Poe is leaving the post and being replaced by Major Jeffrey Burl, also a Michigan Tech professor.

Replacing Burl as head of the Copper Country Composite Squadron is First Lieutenant Cristy Kirschke. She talked about the cadet program in Hancock, which is a little over a year old.

The program was developed during the throes of the COVID pandemic thanks to Dr. Patchin and his staff here at the school. Yet, it took root and has grown despite COVID, in true Yooper style. We have refused to give up, and it’s with Dr. Patchin, the school, Lieutenant Davies, and Cadet Captain Douglas that it will continue to grow.

Kirschke recognized the efforts of Cadet Major Daniel Douglas, who received the Amelia Earhart Award, the third of four available to CAP’s youngest members.

Cadet Douglas has taken 17 different leadership tests, 12 aerospace tests, and at least 12 PT tests in his eight years as a cadet. He has written and presented six staff duty analysis papers, and served in various duty positions. He passed drill tests at all 17 levels of testing. He has attended summer encampment in Alpena, and winter encampment in Kansas.

Douglas’ parents were in attendance. They hail from the Battle Creek area. Douglas is maintaining membership in CAP while also attending Michigan Tech, where he is part of the Air Force ROTC.

Civil Air Patrol is the auxiliary support unit for the United States Air Force. The Copper Country Composite Squadron meets regularly at the Houghton County Memorial Airport. In addition to overseeing the cadet program, it runs flight school during Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program.

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