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Local Civil Air Patrol cadet will attend U.S. Air Force Academy

June 26, 2020

Cadet Captain Cooper Conklin of the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron, pictured from his time as his unit's cadet first sergent. (Photo: Unknown Photographer)

by Lt. Col. David McCollum, CAP, Oklahoma Wing

(OKLAHOMA CITY) - Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadet Captain Cooper Conklin of the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co.

The U.S. Air Force Academy is more than just a premier higher-education establishment. It is an unparalleled academic and military institution that provides young men and women with rewarding opportunities to transform into the leaders of tomorrow. As one of the academy's mottos states, "It's life at a different altitude."

Conklin, a recent graduate of Classen School of Advanced Studies, has had the Academy in his sights for a long time.

“I’ve wanted to attend the Air Force Academy for as long as I can remember,” he said. “My dad is an Academy grad, so it was always something I was interested in.”

Conklin, who was nominated by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), received notification from the senator earlier this month congratulating him on the appointment. 

“It is a privilege to nominate Cooper Conklin to the Air Force Academy,” Inhofe said. “Cooper and his fellow appointees are the future of our military. They have proven themselves leaders in their communities, and I know they will continue to make Oklahoma proud in our nation’s elite military service academies. As we continue to rebuild our military, it is heartening to know these young Oklahomans will lead and serve in our armed forces.”

“Cadet Conklin has been a valuable asset to the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron, Oklahoma Wing and Civil Air Patrol,” said Lt Col. David McCollum, CAP. McCollum, who currently serves as the commander of the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron, has known Conklin for six years. “His overall leadership of the cadet program, his ability to successfully build a team of fellow cadets that mentored and developed other cadet leaders should bode well for success as a cadet at the Academy. I am certain that he will perform at the same level during his time in Colorado Springs and during his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force."

Conklin, a student pilot working towards his private pilot certificate, attended the Civil Air Patrol's Southwest Region Powered Flight Academy in 2019, achieving his first solo flight by the end of the nine day program.

Cadets who complete the four year academic and military training at the U.S. Air Force Academy go on to careers in the U.S. Air and Space Forces.


Follow the adventures of Oklahoma City Composite Squadron at Facebook.com/OklahomaCity.CAP.



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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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