Oklahoma Wing Honors Cadet of the Year
Cadet Capt. Melia Chandler, cadet commander of the Riverside Composite Squadron, has been named Cadet of the Year for the Oklahoma Wing.
Chandler joined the Riverside squadron at age 13. She quickly gained interest in opportunities for leadership, the people she could meet, and networking within Civil Air Patrol.
“Being chosen as Cadet of the Year for Oklahoma means I have an even greater obligation of modeling what CAP can do for someone,” Chandler said. “Because of this, I need to continue to hold myself to a high standard of excellence, integrity, and respect. Both within and outside of CAP.”
Adult leadership has had a big impact on Chandler’s career. One officer she specifically admires is Capt. Brandon Lunsford, the squadron’s deputy commander of cadets.
“I’m fortunate to be in an amazing composite squadron with so many people that have a lot of life experience and advice to share,” Chandler said. “Most of the leadership principles or concepts I live by, I have learned about from Capt. Lunsford.
“Because we both love many of the same leadership principles, like failing forward, it has made serving under him easier. Plus, all of the leadership principles can be applied to our everyday lives, not just in a leadership setting.”
She has this advice for current and future cadets: “You get out of CAP what you put in. When first joining it may be a challenge to gain momentum and motivation, but it will pay off down the road. Stay persistent and you will be able to see how you change as a person and the experiences you gain that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”
Capt. Brooke Erikson
Assistant Public Affairs Officer