Sevier Valley Change Of Command
By 2nd Lt Jenifer Marzo
In a ceremony held in Richfield on January 25th the Sevier Valley Cadet Squadron appointed a new Commander. This was made more special as wing command staff and others made their way to Richfield for the ceremony in a snow storm that hindered traffic.
Before the Change of Command ceremony began, 1st Lt. Barry Willden was presented with the Commander’s Commendation Award by Utah Wing Commander Col. Mike Fernandez and Utah Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col Jason Hess for his outstanding commitment to the squadron and Civil Air Patrol.
Lt. Col. Hess, as Master of Ceremony, began by describing the long-standing tradition behind the symbolism of the unit flag changing hands. The unit flag was presented by Cadet Commander C/2dLt Robert Hammond to outgoing unit Commander 1st Lt. Barry Willden. The CAP flag was surrendered to Utah Wing Commander Col. Mike Fernandez who then trusted it to incoming unit Commander, 1st Lt. TeriLee Hammond, who pledged to lead the squadron. Hammond returned it to the Cadet Commander to be posted.
Lt. Willden has been involved with the CAP for the past eight years, serving as the Sevier Valley Cadet Squadron commander the last four, and plans to continue his service and support to the squadron. Two of Willden’s sons, Brandon and Justin, joined the Richfield squadron as cadets. When Barry saw the positive benefits the CAP cadet program offered his boys, he decided to join as a senior member. Not long after that, his eldest boy, Jeramy, also joined as a senior member. All three of his sons went on to join the 222 unit of the Utah National Guard to carry over the training they learned and make the time invested in the program well spent.
Lt. Hammond became involved with the CAP three years ago when the Richfield Squadron was looking for adult help to fill required positions in the senior member staff. Her son, Robert, had already been a cadet for a year and she was impressed with the youth program and all the opportunities it had given her son. She decided she would find the time to support the squadron in whatever capacity they needed, eventually becoming their squadron Public Affairs Officer (PAO). She not only has supported the squadron any way she could, she is well known as the UTWG summer Desert Hawk Encampment PAO for three years, which she does an amazing job with and is relied on greatly in supporting the cadets every year.
When asked about her new position Hammond said, “Little did I know where this was going to lead me. I never wanted to be the commander but I decided to take the position so the squadron could keep moving forward. I’ve had a lot of fun being a part of this amazing program and attending the various activities with the cadets.”
A big thank you to Wing Staff Col Fernandez, Lt Col Hess, Col Carlisi, 2nd Lt Marzo; Phoenix Squadron C/SrA Marzo; Provo Phantom Squadron Capt Connelly, 1st Lt Nelson and C/Capt Connelly.