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McGuire Squadron Holds Dining Out & Awards Banquet

posted Feb 6, 2020, 4:23 PM by William Petzinger   [ updated Feb 6, 2020, 4:25 PM ]

MCGUIRE AFB (Feb. 4, 2020) -- Civil Air Patrol’s McGuire Composite Squadron recently held its Annual Dining Out & Awards Banquet at Tommy B’s Community Activities Center to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of cadets and senior members. The event was attended by more than 80 cadets, senior cadets, commanders and family members. 

“Last year was a very successful year for the McGuire Composite Squadron and we have much to be proud of,” said Maj Bill Petzinger, squadron commander. “We earned the New Jersey Squadron of Merit and the Quality Cadet Unit awards.” 

The keynote speaker at the event was Col. Jacqueline D. Breeden, Commander of the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. 

During her presentation, she talked about her numerous leadership positions and experiences in the United States Air Force and challenged the cadets to continue on the path to success they have chosen by becoming Civil Air Patrol cadets. 

The evening’s special guest was Col Charles Durr, Commander of the U.S. Army Support Activity at JBMDL. 

Attending the squadron’s dining out and awards banquet were Commander Col. Joseph Abegg, NJ Wing; Group 225 Commander Maj Julio Pastoriza; and Group 221 Commander Harvey Gonzalez.

Other guests included 2d Lt Karen Callaghan, commander of the Allentown Composite Squadron and Cadets 2d Lt Caleb Daniels, 2d Lt Kendall Daniels and 2d Lt Joshua Thomas. Formerly with the McGuire Composite Squadron, these cadets are now members of Civil Air Patrol squadrons at Andrews AFB and Scott AFB.


Maj Julio Pastoriza presented the following McGuire Composite Squadron members with CAP 

Certificates of Appreciation:

C/SMSgt Mikhayla Hamilton

C/SSgt Aaron Sperry

Capt Douglas Davis

SSgt Nicholas Freeman

2d Lt Joseph Podesta

SM Philip Hendrickson


Col Breeden and Col Abegg presented awards and CAP certificates of achievement to cadets and senior members.

The Wright Brothers Award

C/SSgt Philip Lopiccolo

C/SSgt Aaron Sperry

General Billy Mitchell Award

C/2dLt Lorenzo Diventura


Air Force Association Award

for Outstanding Cadet

C/CMSgt Maici Mintchwarner


Air Force Sergeants Association Award

for Outstanding Cadet of the Year

C/2dLt Lorenzo Diventura


Air Force Sergeants Association Award

for Outstanding Noncommissioned Cadet Officer of the Year

C/TSgt Mckenzie Keedy-


Veteran of Foreign Wars Award

for Outstanding Noncommissioned Cadet Officer of the Year

C/CMSgt Joseph Podesta


Veteran of Foreign Wars Award

for Outstanding Commissioned Cadet Officer of the Year

C/1stLt Alanna Hendrickson –


Achievement Awards (Cadets)

CyberPatriot Team: 2d Lt Hazel Cerra, C/SrA Jake Cahill, C/TSgt Christopher Cerra, C/CMSgt Jessica Hoschek, C/CMSgt Joseph Podesta, and C/Capt Peter Toth Jr.

Model Rocketry Team: C/TSgt Christopher Cerra, C/CMSgt Jessica Hoschek, C/TSgt Mckenzie Keedy and C/Amn Matthew Nolan

Squadron Cadet of the Year Awards

C/SrA Jake Cahill - COY Phase I  

C/CMSgt Jessica HoschekCOY Phase II

C/1stLt Alanna Hendrickson – COY Phase III

C/Capt Peter Toth Jr.- COY Phase IV


Senior Member Awards

2d Lt Hazel Cerra- Aerospace Education Officer of the Year

2d Lt Olga Durr - Activities Officer of the Year

2d Lt James Hoschek– IT Officer of the Year

2d Lt Joy Hoschek– Administrative Officer of the Year

2d Lt James Keedy- Safety Officer of the Year 

2d Lt Jeffrey J Polizzi– Transportation & Logistics Officer of the Year

Capt Daniel Riordan– Cadet Programs Officer of the Year

1st Lt Peter Toth– Advisor

“We never say thank you enough to those that serve both inside and outside our squadron,” said Maj Petzinger. This event gives us the chance to show our appreciation for all of your contributions to the McGuire Composite Squadron.”

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

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