For freshman, it’s both “Lt. Col. Griffith” and “Mom”

Civil Air Patrol member extols the organization’s benefits


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Freshman Fred Griffith is one of the members of the school’s active Civil Air Patrol unit.

Damian Ehrman, Reporter

Civil Air Patrol has “allowed me to do things that most teenagers don’t get to do,” Chief Master Sgt. Fred Griffith — he’s also a freshman — said.

“Most teenagers don’t get to fly planes at the age of 13 or 12, most teenagers don’t get to help run an activity that involves leading, feeding and resting 120 cadets,” he said, “both of which are things I have done.”  

Civil Air Patrol, which is the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, was established as a club in a little more than three years ago by the current moderator of the club, Lt. Col. Jamie Griffith, Fred’s mother. With the support of the administration, Mrs. Griffith decided to offer Civil Air Patrol on campus because she believed it would be a good fit for the school and her children, who at the time were not yet students here.

Civil Air Patrol, which currently has eight members, meets for 45 minutes on days 1 and 5.

At first, Fred, who attended both meetings the week of Oct. 25, said he didn’t want to get involved in Civil Air Patrol. However, this quickly changed.  “Pretty soon after I joined I really started to enjoy it,” Fred said.  Civil Air Patrol “is something I’ve dedicated quite a bit of my life to,” he said. “I consider it one of the most important things that I do with my time.”

The first Civil Air Patrol meeting during the last week of October was “focused primarily on learning color guard,” Fred said. Civil Air Patrol will present the colors at the Veterans Day Assembly here on Nov. 10. The second meeting of that week was spent reviewing what they had learned the meeting before, as well as going over changes to the cadet program. Those changes, Fred said, consist of “a new testing system, known as Axis, new awards and decoration, a new textbook that cadets are required to be tested on the topic of cyber security, (and) some changes to the honor associated with the rank of cadet staff sergeant.”

Through these meetings, Civil Air Patrol is “something that has allowed me to have a unique experience,” Fred said, “and given me a unique perspective on life.”