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Leesburg Composite Squadron

Leesburg Composite Squadron, MAR-VA-117 (Leesburg, VA) 


Who We Are 

Leesburg Composite Squadron consists of over 200 adult and youth members from the surrounding area volunteering to actively support Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, and Emergency Services operations. 

If you are passionate about esprit de corps, camaraderie, leadership, and community service, we invite you to join us. If you have a passion for aviation and aerospace education, cybersecurity, are considering a career in the military, or want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills, consider joining our squadron. 

See our history below for more details about us! 


Where We Meet 

Normal Meeting Location:  National Guard Armory – Leesburg, VA: 41905 Loudoun Center Pl, Leesburg, VA 20175 

Meetings are each Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.   

We will not meet over major holidays or over winter break. Please contact us if you are unsure if we are meeting on a specific Tuesday.  



Contact Us / Join 

Have further questions? Want to visit or contact us? Contact our personnel below and we will be in touch with you as soon as we can.  

Squadron Commander – Capt. Shannon Smith –

Recruiting Officer: 2nd Lt. Arthur Barker –


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Our Mission & Core Values 

To serve the greater Leesburg and Loudoun County community as the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, by performing disaster relief, search and rescue, Homeland Security and aerial and ground reconnaissance and communication missions; cultivating youth through career development, leadership opportunities, community service, and fitness; and promoting public education and awareness on the importance of air and space power. In carrying out this mission, we envision both adult and cadet leaders proud of their community and impacting our fellow citizens in a very positive way in both the greatest times and at times of the greatest need. 

  • The Core Values of the Civil Air Patrol are Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, and Respect.  

  • We carry out our responsibilities with Integrity by conducting all of our missions in a responsible, conscientious, ethical, and professional manner.  

  • We demonstrate our commitment to excellence by striving for continual improvement through the professional development of our adult leaders, and the development of responsible cadet leaders through a cadet program emphasizing character development, leadership, aerospace education, and a healthy lifestyle.  

  • We demonstrate a Volunteer Spirit by working and supporting one another to achieve the organization's goals while recognizing the value of our volunteers’ time among their other responsibilities.  

  • We demonstrate Respect for others and our environment by treating our members and community citizens with courtesy, politeness, and consideration, by treating all people equally and without prejudice, and by protecting our environment by the conscientious execution of our primary missions.  

  • We are committed to maintaining the highest degree of efficiency by using our time wisely and our resources in a cost-effective manner. 


Squadron History 

Note: The following historical narrative about the Leesburg Composite Squadron is a condensed summary collected from available documentation. We encourage everyone (including former and current senior members, cadets, and sponsors) to submit corrections, additions, photos, and video footage to add to our squadron history. 

In late 1972, Ms. Dorothy “Dolly” Tuller, a special education teacher at Herndon Intermediate School in Herndon, Virginia and a former Civil Air Patrol cadet, began organizing a new Civil Air Patrol squadron with help from her husband, Steve Tuller, a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Shortly thereafter, on 16 February 1973, the National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol, assigned Charter Number 45117 to the Herndon Composite Squadron, and Captain Dorothy Tuller was appointed as the first squadron commander. Meetings were held at the Herndon Intermediate School in Captain Dolly Tuller’s classroom. In November 1973, the first awards ceremony for Herndon Composite Squadron was held at the school. At the time, squadron membership consisted of 10 senior members and 26 cadets, and by late 1974, squadron membership increased to over 20 seniors members and 60 cadets. 

During a practice Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue mission in 1975, a search aircraft crashed in mountainous terrain. The squadron Operations Officer, Captain Jerry Long was severely injured, and co-pilot First Lieutenant Joseph Herbert was killed. In April 1977, Squadron Commander and founder, Major Dorothy Tuller died in an airplane crash on takeoff after ferrying two senior members to pick up a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 from a maintenance shop. Later that same year, the squadron relocated to the Stone House at Washington-Dulles International Airport. Ten years later, the squadron was re-designated the Dulles Composite Squadron. 

In 1992, Washington-Dulles International Airport undertook a major Capital Development Program to accommodate the growth of the airport. The growth of the airport and increased security concerns during the Persian Gulf War forced the squadron to move out of the Stone House. Through the generosity of Page Aviation (now Signature Flight Services), the squadron used the conference room in one of the aircraft operations buildings to host its meetings until a new home could be found. The disruption caused by this move reduced the squadron’s membership to 5 senior members and a handful of cadets – about what it had started with 20 years earlier. At that point, the squadron was in serious danger of disbanding. 

In the fall of 1992, the squadron found a new home, and in January 1993 relocated to the Virginia Army National Guard Armory in Leesburg, Virginia. This new facility accommodated the needs of the squadron and its weekly activities. Being located across the street from the Leesburg Municipal Airport was an added benefit. Then in the fall of 1993, the squadron changed its name again, to better reflect its location -- Leesburg Composite Squadron. The squadron’s membership started to grow dramatically since moving into the new facility, and by March 1996, the squadron’s membership grew to 29 senior members and 21 cadets. 

Currently, our squadron membership has been stable at about 50 senior members and over 100 cadets! The membership of the Leesburg Composite Squadron is composed of citizen volunteers from Leesburg and surrounding communities in Loudoun County. The Leesburg Composite Squadron is proud to call Leesburg home and will continue to do so for years to come.

Past Squadron Commanders
Captain Shannon Smith (current)
Major David Thornton
Major Todd Parsons
Major Fred Clay Wilkins
Major Peter Moseley
Captain Jeffrey S. Adler
Major Jeffrey Van Etten
Captain John White
First Lieutenant Steve Hertz
Captain Edward Yarid
Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Price
Captain Bradford Docos
Major William P.A. Knight
First Lieutenant David Caraway
Captain Susan Thayer
Lieutenant Colonel George Berke
Captain Michael Alvarado
Captain Michael Starr
Captain Thomas Schuler
Captain John "Jack" Mott
Major Dorothy "Dolly" Tuller
Squadron Awards Year
Squadron of Distinction 2020
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2020
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2019
MER Unit Citation Award 2014-2018
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2018
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2017
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award 2012-2016
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2016
Squadron of Distinction 2015
Squadron of Merit 2015
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2015
Squadron of Merit 2014
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2014
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2013
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2012
Quality Cadet Unit Award 2011
Squadron of Merit 2006
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