Phoenix Flight Wins Southwest Region Color Guard Competition
Phoenix Flight Cadets Standing from Left to Right C/1Lt Sara Robinson, C/SMSgt Shannon Rogers, C/TSgt Grant Adams, C/CMSgt Stephen Rogers, C/2Lt Caleb Berger, and C/SMSgt Kyle Bellisario
Kneeling is C/MSgt Micah Alt
This past weekend the Civil Air Patrol held their Southwest Region Color Guard Competition at Fort Chaffee.
The Fort Smith Composite Squadron Ridge Runners hosted the event. Twenty-three cadets from four states competed for the chance to attend Nationals. Teams came from Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas. The teams competed in a variety of areas. Physical training tested their fitness levels. They competed in both indoor and outdoor color guard. Each contestant underwent thorough uniform inspections. They also competed in leadership, public speaking, and CAP knowledge.
Cadet 1st Lieutenant Sara Robinson, Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Caleb Berger, Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Stephen Rogers, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Shannon Rogers, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Kyle Bellisario, Cadet Master Sergeant Micah Alt, and Cadet Tech Sergeant Grant Adams represented Fort Smith. They won the Team PT Competition. Cadet Alt won the Impromptu Public Speaking Medal. Cadet Bellisario won the Public Speaking Prepared Speech Medal. At the end of the competition Fort Smith had the highest score by one point. They will be attending Nationals in Dayton, Ohio this summer. Louisiana’s team is the alternate. The competition was close with only a three-point difference between the teams. Adams said the competition was “difficult, but fun,” and Shannon Rogers enjoyed “the team work and how friendly everyone was to each other.” This is the first time since 2008 that Arkansas has won the Regional Competition. It is only the second time since 2001.
Fort Smith’s Tech Sergeant Gary Podgurski put the event together. He worked many hours to coordinate between all the teams and region staff. In recognition of his work he earned Civil Air Patrol’s Meritorious Service Award. When asked about the event he stated:
First of all, I would like to thank everyone at the 83rd [Fort Smith] Composite Squardon. Although these six outstanding examples of the future were the ones that actually competed, none of this would have been possible without the backing of the unit. Everyone played their part, and for this we are truly grateful. This competition brought together teams from four different states and as far away as Pheonix, AZ. These teams have already beaten out every other squadron that chose not to participate. Twenty-three young men and women of all creeds and color come together to prove that the future is bright and in good hands. Some cadets were seasoned veterans of CAP and preparing to go on to college, or the military, while others have barely been in long enough to get their very first promotion. All of them put forth their very best effort. I am proud of them all, and it was my pleasure to organize and host such an event. A special thanks to UAFS Jennifer Jennings-Davis, and the 188th Honor Guard’s Master Sergeant Mays, for judging and Fort Chaffee’s Master Sergeant Komp for use of the facilities.