The main highlight for the month of August would have to be encampment. This is a week of training for the cadets to develop their skills. During this week Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) Matthew Niemi attended as Squadron 2’s Cadet Executive Officer/ First Sergeant. His job was to make sure his squadron ran as smoothly as possible, such as washing the squadron laundry or checking on the flight commanders. “It was an awesome experience watching the cadets grow through the week” stated Niemi. Cadets that staffed alongside Niemi include, C/2dLt Jacob Chanda as a flight commander, and Cadet Colonel (C/Col) Evan Thomsen as the Encampment Cadet Commander.
Cadet Senior Master Sergeant (C/SMSgt) Karl Steenepoorte attended the Wisconsin Cadet Academy (WCA). This is a second year school available to cadets attending Wisconsin Wing encampment. It is a high intensity, high stress week that focuses on testing your leadership skills while under pressure to ensure you have the capability of responsibly handling a flight of basic cadets at an encampment as staff. This year also included a Region Cadet Leadership Course, credit for which is necessary for promotion to Cadet Major. Steenepoorte stated “The biggest takeaway I had from WCA was how to deal with stress, and understanding my personality along with those around me. At WCA, when you make a mistake, you know right away since the instructors immediately start “yelling” at you for your mistake. Freezing like a deer in the headlights is not an option, and you must quickly make a decision.”
Sergeant Steenepoorte also stated “Cadets who haven’t attended WCA believe that it is “the worst week ever”, and that is just not true. As long as you can keep your head up when under pressure, and be able to listen to the criticism, you will do fine. The first few days are the hardest, but if you learn from your mistakes and those of others, the week will go by quickly.” Along with Sergeant Steenepoorte, C/2dLt Isaiah Bastian also attended WCA.
Finally C/Amn Jack Weaver attended basic encampment. Throughout the week Weaver said he learned many things such as customs and courtesies, making his bed, and wearing his uniform to perfection as well as correcting others uniform. He said that he made so many new friends and that he hopes to attend encampment next year. Cadet Airman First Class (C/A1C) Josef Aschenbrenner also attended basic encampment, during the week C/Aschenbrenner’s determination and commitment to helping fellow Cadets was recognized by him receiving Honor Cadet of the week for his Squadron.
~ Cadet Technical Sergeant Matthew Peroutka
More pictures from Wisconsin Wing Encampment can be viewed on the Wings Flickr account at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiwgcap/