The sound of a superior yelling, the reality of sweat beading down your back, and the smell of gunpowder in the air are senses not very common to the average person. But for BT senior Justin Kuroski these experiences are all too real.
Justin is an active member in the Civil Air Patrol, or CAP for short, which is an Air Force Auxiliary. “I joined Civil Air Patrol in June of 2012 because I was very interested in a career in the Air Force,” explained Justin. “Blessed Trinity does not have a JROTC program so CAP was the next best thing for me to decide what I wanted to do with my future.” The main goal of CAP is Search and Rescue. Additional missions include: Aerospace Education, Emergency Services, and Cadet Program. Search and Rescue falls under the Emergency Services mission.
Civil Air Patrol plays an important piece in finding downed planes. “From time to time the Air Force will be alerted when a plane’s Emergency Locator Transmitter starts going off, which indicates that a plane has crashed,” said Justin. “A mission will consist of an airplane going up and narrowing the signal down to under a ten-mile radius, setting up a search perimeter for the ground teams.”
Justin plays an important role in his squadron that meets at St. Jude Catholic Church. “I am the Deputy Cadet Commander in my squadron. I help run the squadron and activities and plan for meetings on a week by week basis,” Kuroski explained. “We normally do an hour to an hour and a half of drills, and then we spend the rest of the time learning new material on safety and procedures, or we focus on the importance of leadership. On December 16, I will become the Cadet Commander who is the highest ranked cadet in the squadron and will serve a term of six months where I run the squadron. Right now, as DCC, I shadow the current CC, but I still help plan and lead.”
Civil Air Patrol can help with college applications, according to Justin, and he has taken advantage of the numerous opportunities for leadership roles in CAP. “My rank as a Cadet 2nd Lieutenant is a milestone in the CAP program, and it is only achieved by 10% of cadets,” said Kuroski. “A 2nd Lieutenant at my age is quite impressive and hard to achieve, but it seems easy to me because I love doing what I do.”
Civil Air Patrol is not an organization specific to Georgia. CAP is a nationwide program with 25,000 cadets and 33,000 senior members. Justin is in one of six squadrons around the Metro Atlanta area. “I have attended many events, like air shows where I can actually help and participate, in surrounding states and I have met a lot of people and made many friends,” said Justin. “I am friends with everyone in my squadron, but I have to people who are very special to me in my squadron. They are both my best friends and one of them I could consider a brother because we are so close.”
CAP is a program that trains young men into becoming great Air Force leaders. “My favorite part about Civil Air Patrol is the friendships I have made along the way. I am close to everyone in my squadron and I know they will always have my back,” Justin commented. “When I am in uniform, the rest of the world seems to stop, and it’s just me and my squadron becoming better men and great leaders.”