Cadet McConnell attains Civil Air Patrol milestone

Posted 4/21/16

Civil Air Patrol Cadet, Second Lieutenant Mallory L. McConnell of Warwick, a member of the South County Composite Squadron, received the General Billy Mitchell Award from Col. Richard F. Hill, Rhode …

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Cadet McConnell attains Civil Air Patrol milestone

Posted

Civil Air Patrol Cadet, Second Lieutenant Mallory L. McConnell of Warwick, a member of the South County Composite Squadron, received the General Billy Mitchell Award from Col. Richard F. Hill, Rhode Island Wing Commander, during the recent annual “State of the Wing Address”. The ceremony was held at RI Wing Headquarters, located at the RI Air National Guard Base at 1 Hercules Dr., N. Kingstown.

McConnell is the daughter of Jason McConnell and Kerri She is a sophomore at Pilgrim High School. Her aspirations are to either become a pilot in the US Air Force, or pursue a career in art.

To receive this award, a Civil Air Patrol cadet is required to be

challenged by completing five achievements in the cadet program. This includes participating in encampment activities and community service projects. The cadet is then required to pass a comprehensive Aerospace and Leadership closed book, timed 1 ½ hour exam with a grade of 80 percent or higher.

The passing of a physical fitness test of running a mile in eight minutes. The leadership training deals with the military style leadership aspects of cadet life. Should the cadet enlist in the Air Force with the Mitchell Award, they are entitled to a grade of E-3. Cadets who earn this award are promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant.

This award is named in the honor of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, who proved to the US Army and Navy the importance of Air Power, which could be used on Aircraft Carriers prior to WWII. He was one of several Army Air Service flyers who supported the idea to separate the Air Service from the

Army and Navy. Controversy developed as to whether an airplane could sink a battleship. It was decided to conduct tests off the Virginia Cape and in June-July of 1921, General Billy Mitchell’s bombers sank three captured German naval vessels and in September 1921, the obsolete USS Alabama. Two

years later, additional tests were conducted off Cape Hatteras and two more obsolete US battleships were sent to the bottom.

Civil Air Patrol, the official United States Air Force Auxiliary, is a nonprofit organization with more than 57,000 members nationwide. It performs 95 percent of the continental US inland Search and Rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter narcotics missions at the request of Federal, State and local agencies. It has been doing

missions for America for almost 75 years as the official auxiliary of the US Air Force. The members take the leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 24,000 young people participating in the Civil Air Patrol.

In Rhode Island, the Civil Air Patrol currently maintains its

headquarters at the R.I. Air National Guard Base in Quonset, and has five squadrons strategically located throughout the state.

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Thecaptain

Mallory McConnell is an extremely impressive young lady. Always professional, articulate, and has always been an asset to the program. Unfortunately, the individual on the right has decimated the program and has been cause for mass exodus of pilots, cadets, seniors and air crew members. A non aviator, non pilot, and non professional has put the organization in chaos and unfortunately rendered the wing not mission capable. Non pilot as a wing commander? Go figure.

Friday, April 22, 2016
propilot

Best wishes Mallory, it was my privileged to fly with you. Having said that, I was a Major in CAP with over a decade of service. As a retired career airline pilot with Eastern Airlines, corporate chief pilot, FAA designated examiner, CFI, CFII, Multi engine instructor, sea plane instructor with over 20,000 logged hours, and, having served as the RI WING standard evaluation officer, safety officer, instructor and check pilot examiner, mission pilot, I have observed the deterioration of this organization as of Dec17, 2013, the day Mr. Richard Hill was sworn in as Wing Commander.

Having no aviation experience and having safety violations brought to his attention and to the attention of the region command, no corrective action was taken. After several attempts to curtail this dangerous behavior and having all warnings ignored, the end result is an organization that is unfit to fulfill mission requirements in accordance with national regulations.

In particular, Mr. Hill has had numerous national complaints lodged against him from several members and former members of the organization to include not only safety violations, but also violations of behavior unbecoming of an Air Force Auxiliary Officer. His reprehensible "Stalin" type behavior caused irreparable damage to the RI Wing and was cause for many volunteers to terminate their memberships due to safety concerns.

Members who had genuine concerns for safety of flight and cadet safety were threatened with dismissal if they moved forward with complaints to Nation Headquarters. I was one of those officers. The final issue which caused me to remove my self from the organization was when Mr. Hill approved the appointment of a pilot who had medical issues that would impair his ability to fly safely, who was unfit to pass his Form 5 and Form 91 check flights due to these medical impairments, but Mr. Hill approved his appointment to fly even though these issues were brought to his attention.

As of this date this once accredited organization has now become an unsafe organization that promises our local children the dream to fly. Unfortunately, as of this date the organization still has not evolved to produce a flight program in which a participant is able to gain pilot status prior to entering military or civilian service.

I leave this organization heartbroken and fearful for the safety of our children and the future of a once great organization.

Friday, April 22, 2016