Cadets encouraged by Civil Air Patrol major

Published 9:54 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

By 1st Lt. Todd Thornburg

Sugar Valley Squadron

Major Joshua S. Cunningham was a guest speaker Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Sugar Valley Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).

Cunningham serves as the director of cadet programs for the South Carolina Wing and as the squadron commander for Emerald City Cadet Squadron in Greenwood, S.C. Cunningham, 27, was a cadet for six years and has been a senior member since 2009. He is known in the South Carolina Wing as a dynamic speaker and an inspiration to cadets and senior members alike.

He addressed how CAP prepares one to transition from teenager to adult. With a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and working as an engineer, he gave personal examples of how the CAP core values and training prepare him for further education and success in the marketplace.

His emphasized respect for others, keeping one’s word, maintaining an open mind to change and being supportive of others. Many heads nodded as Cunningham touched on one element after another that he has found important in life and tied his success, optimism and enthusiasm to his years in CAP, his family and his community.

After his presentation, Cunningham met with the squadron cadets and other visiting young adults.

A 4-year-old asked to attend the round table discussion with other young adults.  He and all the cadets seemed to be standing a little taller at the end of the evening.

Sugar Valley Squadron will continue its monthly inspirational speakers program and welcomes visitors.

The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Hangar, Sugar Valley Airport. For more information about Civil Air Patrol or Sugar Valley Squadron activities, visit