Civil Air Patrol grows the next generation of leaders - Carolina Country
Captain Karl Noffke, Commander, Brunswick County Composite Squadron, tells us how. May 2023
Captain Karl Noffke, Commander, Brunswick County Composite Squadron, tells us how.
May 2023

Captain Karl Noffke

When you hear Civil Air Patrol, you might think of well-trained volunteers preparing for search and rescue and other emergency services — and you would be right.

Presenting the colors

CAP Cadets performs Colors at Wreaths Across America.

For example, after Hurricane Florence the squadron assisted the local government agency at a point of distribution (POD) facility handing out water, food and tarps. During 2021, we also assisted at COVID vaccination sites, registering and guiding people through the lines. In addition, CAP also assists the U.S. Army in training its air traffic controllers by providing air traffic as a cost-effective solution. There is more, such as Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs for developing our youth to be the next generation of leaders. 

Open to youths between 12 and 18 years of age, the Cadet Program is designed to instill core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect. There are four phases to the program — learning, leadership, command and executive — and each phase has multiple achievement levels that focus on aerospace education, leadership skills, physical fitness and character development.

Cadets can be promoted to the next achievement level in as quickly as eight weeks. As cadets progress through the program (get promoted) they learn important servant leadership skills, working as a team, delivering speeches, writing papers and presenting various topics in front of the squadron. Cadets are not obligated to join the military. However, if they decide to join the armed forces, they receive advance enlisted grade right from the start and are highly prepared and qualified for applying to the military academies.

Many astronauts and other famous leaders got their start as CAP cadets. They come from all walks of life, and cost is not a barrier as we work to defray the expense of uniforms and events. We make sure that anyone who has the desire to succeed can participate. Our Deputy Commander for Cadets, Lt. Heather Endre, has a gift for building confidence in even the most initially timid cadets, and learning from failure becomes a stepping stone in the pursuit of excellence and maturity.

There is fun and excitement built into the program as well. Cadets get up to five powered flights and five glider flights, where they apply the aerospace principles they’ve learned. We have a planned trip to the USS Yorktown that includes an overnight stay onboard. We recently toured an Air Force C-130 aircraft at the Wilmington International Airport. Cadets often get the opportunity to see the inside of military aircraft and talk to the crews that refuel at our Jetport. American Legion Post 543 graciously trains our cadet color guard team, and funds their uniforms and equipment so they can perform color guard detail at the 4th of July celebration in Southport along with many other events.

Join the Civil Air Patrol!

Anyone interested in joining this team of volunteers, please contact Captain Karl Noffke at 203-598-9365 or Captain Noffke would like to thank BEMC for a series of Community Grants that made a difference; and Howie Franklin, director of the Cape Fear Regional Jetport, for second floor space to run the squadron.

Connect with your co-op

For more than 80 years, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation has been providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to our members. Learn more about us.

Learn more

Like this?

Share it with others