BROOKINGS – The color guard team from Big Sioux Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), traveled to Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, to compete at CAP’s North Central Region Cadet Competition on the weekend of Aug. 20-22. The cadets forming Big Sioux’s color guard had been practicing for months in preparation for the state and regional competitions.
At CAP’s state-level cadet competition in Pierre in June, Big Sioux’s color guard received second place, and qualified for the regional cadet competition. The region competition included seven teams total. Despite a strong effort, Big Sioux’s color guard did not place.
First Lt. Jon Michael, Big Sioux’s assistant deputy commander of cadets and one of the two senior members coaching the cadets, was excited about how much the cadets learned.
“In just a few short months of training and preparation, the team became quite skilled in performing various ceremonies centered around the American Flag,” said 1st Lt. Jon Michael, Big Sioux’s assistant deputy commander of cadets and one of the two senior members coaching the cadets. “Though the team did not place at the North Central Region Cadet Competition, the valuable lessons learned will have a lasting impact upon the cadets. Besides the challenge of self-improvement in classroom academics and physical fitness, the cadets learn the value of becoming civically minded citizens in the task of safeguarding our nation’s colors. For that, I am extremely proud of the cadets for demonstrating volunteerism and patriotism in discharging the duties of color guard.”
Big Sioux has not fielded a color guard team for several years, so qualifying for and competing at the region level this year was quite an achievement showing a lot of learning by the cadets. The state and region competitions both included presentation of the colors, proper uniform wear, and an impromptu speech, as well as a written exam and physical fitness test.
“The North Central Region Cadet Competition was great. I had a good time getting to know other cadets from other wings,” said Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Mitchell Trias, captain of Big Sioux’s color guard. He said that out of all the parts of the competition, his favorite was Drill and Ceremony.
“Drill and Ceremony teaches you discipline, respect, having confidence, and how to work as a functioning team,” Trias said. “Teamwork is really important for Color Guard. You would get nowhere because you have to rely on your fellow teammates to do their part. Color guard is an amazing experience and I hope that everyone would try it one day.”