15:41 PM

S.C. Member Passes FEMA Torch to Cadet

1st Lt. David Bennett
Public Affairs Officer
Greenville Composite Squadron
South Carolina Wing

In a lighthearted ceremony at the South Carolina Wing’s Greenville Composite Squadron headquarters June 3, Capt. Nelson Irey, squadron emergency services officer and a former Federal Emergency Management Agency emergency responder, passed the torch to Cadet 2nd Lt. Eleanor Ascheman.

A 2019 high school graduate, Ascheman will soon embark on a year-long assignment during which she will work full-time for FEMA in the area of disaster management. After that she’ll begin her studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where she has been accepted to the honors program.

In keeping with a time-honored tradition, Irey presented the cadet with his own FEMA jacket and cap, which he had previously worn during FEMA operations at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the Pentagon after 9/11 and numerous sites in the wake of hurricanes. 

We have learned that there is an error in the story that was published on 11 June titled “S.C. Member Passes FEMA Torch to Cadet.” While Capt Nelson Irey worked numerous hurricanes as an emergency responder with FEMA, including hurricanes David in ’79, Hugo in ’89, Marilyn in ’95, Fran in ’96 and Floyd in ’99, he did not participate in the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Capt Irey also responded to the scene of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. We regret the error in our story.

The opportunity to perform emergency services is what brought her to Civil Air Patrol, Ascheman said.

Even though she got a late start in the cadet program, joining when she was almost 16, Ascheman has devoted as much of her time as possible to CAP. She was promoted from cadet airman to cadet officer, attended a basic encampment, served on staff for a cadet training weekend and attended both a region Search and Rescue College and a region cadet competition.

She also rose to become cadet deputy commander of operations for the almost 80 cadets enrolled in the Greenville unit, the largest in the South Carolina Wing.

Photos by 1st Lt. David Bennett