ILwingCadet 1st Lt. KatieMarie Anderson’s passion to serve at the highest level has left the Illinois Wing cadet faced with a daunting choice – namely, which of her three service academy appointments to accept.

Anderson decided on the U.S. Air Force Academy, having also received appointments to the U.S. Naval  Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

“My grandfather was drafted and served in Korea – other than that, I’ll be a first-440px-US-AirForceAcademy-Shield.svggeneration airman,” said Anderson, a member of the Scott Composite Squadron.

 “I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me.”

A 2023 graduate from Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, she’s pursued a strenuous academic and co-curricular schedule. Her senior year she was competed as a varsity cross-country athlete while taking a number of college-level classes, United_States_Naval_Academyincluding Advanced Placement courses in calculus and physics.

Anderson hasn’t let her course load or other activities stop her from excelling in Civil Air Patrol, which she joined in July 2000. 

She has attended seven encampments, serving on the cadet staff of six. She has also earned both a Civil Air Patrol Achievement Award and a United_States_Merchant_Marine_Academy_seal.svgCommander’s Commendation Award.

She serves on the Scott squadron’s color guard and CyberPatriot team and is the cadet leadership education officer.

Along with an inclination to give back, she attributes her desire to service to the CAP adult mentors who help guide her to where she is today.

ILscottAnderson called Capt. Kevin Finster, the squadron’s deputy commander for cadets, “most definitely the best role model and guide I’ve had in Civil Air Patrol. He’s taught me to be patient and to trust the process.”

“His genuine care and concern for his cadets is displayed in his leadership – I wouldn’t be the cadet I am now without Capt. Finster,” she said.

Cadet 1st Lt. Grant Monheiser
Scott Composite Squadron
Illinois Wing