By C/Major Meghan Parsons
Flagstaff Ariz.- The Civil Air Patrol Arizona Wing Conference was held on Saturday June 28, 2014 and had a dozen cadets in attendance. Many of these cadets participated in the Cadet Day Program presented by the Arizona Wing.
The first component of Cadet Day included a tour of the local Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus, and meeting with Lt. Col. Mark Friend, Commander of the 027 AFROTC Detachment at NAU. "We're very selective and look for the very best." Lt. Col. Friend explained, briefly explaining the units programs and benefits "We care a lot about academics." Lt. Col. Friend then hosted a short game, showing different aircraft and asking cadets to guess the designation and model.
Cadets were then treated to a tour of NAU's campus, including its fitness facilities and dorms. The tour ended in the NAU buffet-style cafeteria for lunch, where cadets were able to relax before heading back to the Little America Hotel for the afternoon's event.
The final event of the Cadet Day was the Recruiter Meet and Greet, coordinated by CAC representative C/Maj Jessica Parsons. Sergeant Baker, United States Army has been a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for 11 years and is currently working towards a Bachelor's in Forensic Science at NAU. "The Army isn't a job," Sergeant Baker explained to the cadets. "It's a lifestyle." Sergeant Flores, United States Air Force, has been in the Air Force for 7 years and currently works in Logistics. "The Army and the Air Force have many of the same benefits." Sergeant Flores explained. "We’re actively looking for recruits interested in Electronics and Mechanics, so it's easy to get into those fields in the Air Force." Both were on hand to talk about their military experiences and answer any questions that the cadets had about their branches of service.
"We really appreciate Sergeant Baker and Sergeant Flores coming to speak with us," C/Maj Jessica Parsons explained after the event. "I hope it opened the cadets to some of the opportunities available in both the Army and the Air Force. Today was really about helping cadets start thinking about their futures, either in the military or in the civilian world."