The achievement was three years in the making, but the Knights of the Florida Wing’s Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron are National Cadet Competition champions again.

Following two years of postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Civil Air Patrol resumed its National Cadet Competition from July 14-19 in Dayton, Ohio.

The Florida Wing team, representing the Southeast Region came in first place, hoisting the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Award Trophy for the third consecutive time, having previously finished first in 2018 and 2019.

Then came the Alaska Wing’s Kodiak Island Composite Squadron team, representing the Pacific Region, in second place. The  Virginia Wing’s Burke Composite Squadron team finished third, representing the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Winners were announced July 18 at the competition’s awards banquet. In attendance were CAP’s national commander, Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, and he national command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Todd Parsons.

“Congratulations team for overcoming adversity despite all the challenges presented to you,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Mollison, the Wesley Chapel commander, who informed squadron members via the unit’s Facebook page. “You have shown what ‘right’ looks like and continue to exemplify the core values of this amazing program and our parent organization.”

The national competition featured 16 cadet teams from eight regions around the U.S. – from Alaska to Puerto Rico. Cadets competed over three days on various aspects of cadet life, such as indoor posting of the colors, drill, a leadership and aerospace written exam, a team leadership problem, uniform preparation, fitness testing, and public speaking.

The championship squad’s team coach is Capt. Cesar Alayon, who has mentored the team to all three of its national titles, and the lead escort is 1st Lt. Sandra Weiss.

“I am extremely proud of our team,” Weiss said. “They have exceeded all expectations, despite many challenges. I feel our team truly deserves this victory, as they have trained for many long hours, sacrificing time with friends and family to give their all to the team.

“I’d like to thank them for their dedication.”

Mollison, in turn, voiced his appreciation for Alayon and Weiss, as well as former two-time national champions Capt. Andrew Alayon and Senior Member Elicia Smith, who assisted with training and logistics for the team during the past year.

“This could not have been achieved without the mentorship, tireless efforts, and selfless dedication of our senior member coaches and mentors,” Mollison said.

The competition, held at Wright State University, went on without a hitch, said Wendy Hamilton, CAP’s deputy director of cadet programs.

“We have waited impatiently to resume the National Cadet Competition and were pleased to be able to run this capstone event this year,” Hamilton said. “It is one of our favorites because we see everything from teams that have been together for years (like the Wesley Chapel team) to those that decided to hone their skills to compete this year.

“Despite a resurgence of COVID, soaring transportation costs, and lots of rain, the volunteer staff hosted a top-notch competition. Thank you to the regions for pressing on despite the many obstacles and sending teams to compete. We are already planning for next year.”

Top performers in the various team categories were: 

Indoor Drill 
First – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 
Second – Mid-Atlantic Region (Virginia Wing) 

First – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 
Second – Great Lakes Region (Indiana Wing) 

Outdoor Drill 
First – Great Lakes Region (Indiana Wing) 
Second – Mid-Atlantic Region (Virginia Wing) 

Physical Fitness 
First – Southwest Region (Arizona Wing) 
Second – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 

Service Project 
First – Southeast Region (Puerto Rico Wing) 
Second – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 

First – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 
Second – Southwest Region (Louisiana Wing) 

Standard Drill 
First – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 
Second – Southeast Region (Puerto Rico Wing) 

First – Pacific Region (Alaska Wing) 
Second – Mid-Atlantic Region (Virginia Wing) 

Team Leadership Problem 
First – North Central Region (South Dakota Wing) 
Second – Southeast Region (Florida Wing) 

Written Exam 
First (tie) Middle Atlantic Region 
First (tie) – Southwest Region (Arizona Wing) 

Individual winners were: 

Academic Excellence Award 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Robert Kammerer (perfect score of 70 on written exam)  
Middle-Atlantic Region (Virginia Wing) 

Fleet Foot Award – Female 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Grace Ingebretsen (5:41 mile)  
North Central Region (South Dakota Wing ) 

Fleet Foot Award –Male 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Samuel Harrison  (5:11 mile) 
Rocky Mountain Region Colorado Wing 

Top Physical Fitness 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Natalie Salyer  (195 score) 
Rocky Mountain Region (Idaho Wing) 

The participating teams consisted of: 

Great Lakes Region INwingGreat Lakes Region

Indiana Wing (Valparaiso Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Capt. Tyson Borgelt 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Caleb Johnson 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Brayden Schrock 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Damon Virgo 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Noah Johnson 

MIwing1Michigan Wing (Maj. Kevin J. Adams Memorial Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Alexander Harrison 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Harrison Humes 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Alexander Nemecek 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Vandermolen 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Shannon Armstrong 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Edward Warren 

Mid-Atlantic Regionmdwing2Mid-Atlantic Region 

Maryland Wing (Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Capt. Amie Huynh 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Joseph Sciortino 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Emily Sechler 
Cadet Master Sgt. Harold Fischer 
Cadet Master Sgt. Noble Gray 
Cadet Senior Airman Stephany Santoyo 

VAwingVirginia Wing (Burke Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Maj. Lucas Bottorff 
Cadet Capt. Samjuel Ten 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Robert Kammerer 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Ethan Edwards 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Tyler Webb 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Audrey Edwards 

North Central RegionMNwingNorth Central Region 

Minnesota Wing (Viking Composite Squadron) 
Cadet 1st Lt. Arjav Krishna 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Julia Gregory 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ethan Woitas 
Cadet Master Sgt. Levi Gregory 
Cadet Master Sgt. Elizabeth Lassila 
Cadet Senior Airman Bennet Nii 

SDWG-Patch-1200px-300dpiSouth Dakota Wing (Sioux Falls Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Maj. Keon Den Hoed 
Cadet 1st Lt. Zephaniahh Tolliver 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Ethan Den Hoed 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Grace Ingebretsen C 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Clara Giddings 
Cadet Master Sgt. Alexander Smith 

NERegionNJwingNortheast Region 

New Jersey Wing (Maj. Thomas B. McGuire Jr. Composite Squadron) 
Cadet Capt. Jessica Hoschek 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jake Cahill 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. William Mares 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Nicholas Mascio 
Cadet Master Sgt. Daniel Clayton 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Cassidy Kittel 

CTwingConnecticut Wing (103rd Composite Squadron) 
Cadet 1st Lt. Andrew Serrazina 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Mason White 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Sigmund 
Cadet Master Sgt. Mia Wismar 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Cipollini 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Johnathan Tobias 

PCR graphicCAWG graphicPacific Region 

California Wing (San Diego Cadet Squadron 144) 
Cadet Capt. Katelyn Winkleblech 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Isiah Gonzalez 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Horton 
Cadet Master Sgt. Benjamin Hartle 
Cadet Master Sgt. Fiona Wang 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Jace Frazier 

AKWG graphicAlaska Wing (Kodiak Island Composite Squadron) 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Bella Klier 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Hunter Simeonoff 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Branden Lorch 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. William Long 
Cadet Master Sgt. Carl Ancheta 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Connor Burnside 

Rocky Mountain RegionCOwing -- newRocky Mountain Region 

Colorado Wing (Montrose Composite Squadron) 
Cadet 1st Lt. Sydney Loos 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Kyle Stielow 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. William Chen 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Samuel Harrison 
Cadet Master Sgt. Jonathan Pratt 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Alix Stielow 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Levi Stielow 

IDWG shieldIdaho Wing (Boise Composite Squadron) 
Cadet 1st Lt. Spencer McConnell 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Sihu Hwang 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Natalie Salyer 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Torin Brown 
Cadet Staff Sgt. Finnegan Cretser 
Cadet Airman 1st Class Hallie Esmiol 

SERegionflwingASoutheast Region 

Florida Wing (Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron) 
Cadet Col. Michael-Anthony Mollison 
Cadet Capt. Maria Granados Reyes 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Matthew Santos 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Alexandra Weiss 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Mason Lockert 
Cadet Master Sgt. Trent Greco 

PRwingPuerto Rico Wing (Dr. Cesareo Rosa-Nieves Cadet Squadron) 
Cadet Lt. Col. Michael Brito 
Cadet Master Sgt. Ian Acosta 
Cadet Master Sgt. Saul Andino 
Cadet Master Sgt. Andres Casiano 
Cadet Master Sgt. Jose Medero 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Fabian Hernandez 

Southwest RegionazlogoSouthwest Region 

Arizona Wing (Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302) 
Cadet 1st Lt. Caleb Miller 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Dominic Agostini 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Liam Arnold 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Colin Mason 
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Moses Lopez 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Gianna Kordylas 

lawgLouisiana Wing (Tangipahoa Cadet Squadron) 
Cadet Capt. Josiah May 
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Dave Dematteo 
Cadet 2nd Lt. Landen Parfait 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Parker Blades 
Cadet Tech. Sgt. Katherine Price 
Cadet Senior Airman Marion Schenk