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Knight Composite Squadron Holds Cadet Change of Command

January 28, 2023

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The symbolic process of a change of command ceremony is an essential part of every leadership organization, especially in Civil Air Patrol. It represents the shared sense of accomplishment from the previous term as well as the continual growth into the next. In early January, the William P. Knight Composite Squadron, based in Herndon, Virginia, recently underwent a nostalgic, yet inspiring, commemoration of Cadet Captain Halia Hoffman’s six-month term as a cadet commander and welcomed Cadet Captain Mahit Vatsavayi to lead.

During Cadet Hoffman’s outgoing speech, she started by expressing her gratitude towards the cadet cadre and how she “appreciated working with” them. This resembles the essential role that everyone plays in the buildup of an organization. Civil Air Patrol offers diverse types of leadership roles for its cadets. The change of command exhibits this by being the official recognition of the previous staff’s efforts.

Cadet Capt. Hoffman highlighted the extraordinary “culture of excellence” that was present in the cadet core. The Civil Air Patrol core value of excellence exhibits one’s continual efforts to exceed expectations. This was especially present in her term as the cadets formed a strong team identity through her leadership. Looking ahead, Cadet Capt. Hoffman commented, “of course, we are not perfect, we are never going to be, but I think we have started to set some excellent groundwork that can be improved on in the coming term.”

Cadet Capt.Vatsavayi, although having large shoes to fill, has proved his dedication to the squadron and capability to lead. He promised to “guide Knight Composite Squadron cadets and cadet staff towards growth and improvement,” demonstrating his willingness to be a mentor and leader for those working with him in this upcoming term. He also shared his plans for a more active and immersed squadron experience.

The change of command represents new opportunities and a fresh set of eyes on how a squadron should be led. This constant change shows how diversity in leadership is something to be celebrated. Each new person has a different vision and skillset to offer, and while the William P. Knight Composite Squadron looks back at the last six months with pride, they are excited for the new term as well.



About Civil Air Patrol

Founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later, Civil Air Patrol is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit organization for the purposes of youth development, aerospace education, and to promote general aviation. In an auxiliary role as a Total Force partner of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training, and education. Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.


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About Virginia Wing

The Virginia Wing of Civil Air Patrol, with 22 squadrons spread throughout the Commonwealth has approximately 1,800 members, 12 light aircraft, and 29 multi-purpose vehicles. These assets are available to federal, state and local governments, emergency responders and law enforcement agencies to perform search and rescue, homeland security, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and counter-drug missions. For more information on the Virginia Wing, visit the wing’s website at and Facebook page at   

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Written by Cadet Capt. Sarah Sitoula

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