Cadet captain is not the highest rank a cadet can get, though. Williams said there are four phases cadets can get through.

Marie Josephine Kretzschmar Williams knew she wanted to be a pilot ever since her first flight through the EAA Young Eagles Program. She was in elementary school at the time. Williams said, “I got to sit in an airplane and I got to fly a bit. When I was up, I thought, ‘This is pretty cool.’ Then I heard about Civil Air Patrol and thought, ‘This is aviation-related. I might try it out.’ So I went to a few meetings and I have not found a reason to quit.”

She is now a cadet captain in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Just 17 years old, she is the highest ranked cadet the CAP Lake Area Composite Squadron has ever had. The “cadet” distinguishes the age and, because Williams is under the age of 18, she is considered a “cadet captain.”

Cadet captain is not the highest rank a cadet can get, though. Williams said there are four phases cadets can get through. Phase one includes cadet airmen, senior airmen and airmen first class. Phase two includes all the sergeants. Phase three includes officers from lieutenants to cadet captains. Phase four includes cadet majors to cadet colonels.

The Apple Festival in Versailles relies on the CAP for certain jobs. Williams said, “Apple Fest is probably one of the biggest events our squadron works at. We usually handle the disabled parking area. We direct traffic and make sure people who do not have the disabled tag try to park in handicapped spots. Sometimes we look for lost kids.”

Apple Fest is also a good chance for the squadron to practice their radio communications training. Williams said, “Our radio training is part of the emergency services. Because Apple Fest is a large event, people are usually spread out. We make a lot of our calls on the radio rather than phone-to-phone. Most of the cadets in my squadron are currently certified in some form of radio training.”

Williams is also a recipient of the General Billy Michell Award, the Aerospace Education Excellence Award, and the Civil Air Patrol Achievement Award for Outstanding Duty Performance.

Williams stays involved in the community. She said, “Community service is something I’ve enjoyed doing. I like being able to help other people. It’s good use of time.”