Cadets and senior members of Civil Air Patrol gathered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis for the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Honor Guard Academy. The MAR Honor Guard Academy has been held in various locations since its inception in 2003, including Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Virginia, and the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg, N.C. However, this year the move to Joint Base Langley-Eustis will allow cadets from every region in Civil Air Patrol to work with official United States Air Force Honor Guard Members. In addition, senior members who are part of the fairly new Non-Commissioned Officer Corps of Civil Air Patrol are responsible in large part for the training and for communicating the Academy’s emphasis on excellence throughout the week.

Civil Air Patrol has eight regions, with at least one member representing each at this event. Civil Air Patrol has 52 wings which includes every state plus the National-Capitol Wing of Washington, D.C., and the Puerto Rico Wing. The Puerto Rico Wing, the National-Capitol Wing and 30 other state-based wings have cadets attending this week-long Academy.

The goal of this Academy is to train cadets to respectfully and properly perform the duties of a Color Guard or Honor Guard, including presenting the United States flag at ceremonies, folding the United States Flag at a memorial service, or properly placing a wreath during a ceremony. High emphasis is placed on understanding honor, respecting oneself and one another, and working with an expectation of excellence at all times. In addition to the skills they acquired through practice and repetition, cadets left this Academy July 20, 2019 having made long-term friendships with cadets from all over the United States of America.

Finally, cadets who graduate from this Academy have earned the right to wear the Honor Guard Academy patch on their Airman’s Battle Dress Uniform, and also a National Cadet Special Activities ribbon on their Blues Uniform. Cadets attending this event range from 12 to 20 years old. To apply to attend this Academy, cadets must have completed at least one Civil Air Patrol encampment plus receive the endorsement of their squadron commander and wing commander.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.

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