Maryland Civil Air Patrol Wing Honors St. Mary's Squadron Chaplain

By Don Van Wormer, 2nd Lt., CAP. St. Mary's Composite Squadron Public Affairs

The Maryland wing of the Civil Air Patrol has bestowed the honor of "Chaplain of the Year" to the chaplain of the St. Mary's Composite Squadron. Chaplain (Captain) Kraig Smith was presented with the award during a squadron meeting by Major Wes LaPre, commander of the Maryland Wing's Group III.

Chaplain Smith joined CAP in 2003, serving as the squadron chaplain. He also has served as the Maryland Wing Group III since 2005, and is the acting squadron chaplain for the Prince Frederick squadron. In addition to his duties as squadron chaplain, he also serves as the Moral Leadership Officer, and has assisted with relief shelter operations for hurricanes Isabel and Charlie. Other recognition by Maryland CAP for Chaplain Smith includes his selection as Maryland wing "Moral Leadership Officer of the Year" for 2003.

The St. Mary's Composite Squadron meets Wednesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at the St. Mary's County Regional Airport, in the Capt. Walter Francis Duke terminal building, and is commanded by 1st Lt. Donald W. Cone Jr.

CAP, the official U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. Its volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as well as homeland security, disaster relief and counter drug missions.

The members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. Cadets in CAP participate in a structured program through group and individual activities that include aerospace education, physical training, leadership, and moral and ethical values. The program encompasses 16 achievement levels that include study in these four areas.

There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 31 search and rescue missions as assigned by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and was credited with 19 finds. For information, visit

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