Squadron 3

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Squadron Commander. C/Col Mara Kramer
C/Col Mara Kramer has been serving on encampment cadre for 4 years, and this is her second year as Cadet Training Squadron 3 Commander. In her fifth year as a cadet, C/Col Kramer serves as the Cadet Aerospace Education Officer at the Southside Composite Squadron. As she is graduating this year, she hopes to achieve her Spaatz Award right before or after Encampment. She is applying to engineering school and is interested in studying Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. She played varsity volleyball for her school, has earned her UAV and glider solos, and works in her school library. C/Col Kramer looks forward to the challenge and reward of guiding and teaching three flights, and getting to know all of her students.

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Squadron First Sergeant. C/CMSgt David Pate

C/CMSgt David Pate is from the Roanoke Composite Squadron and has been in CAP for almost 3 years. He has served as a Flight Sergeant, Safety Officer and First Sergeant, and he currently serves as a Flight Commander for his home squadron. He also served as a Flight Sergeant for the 2016 VAWG Encampment. His goal for Encampment in 2017 is for everybody to overcome an obstacle at encampment. When he has free time, he enjoys listening to music, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, PT, running, and the occasional SCUBA dive.

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Squadron Training Officer. 1st Lt Lacie Dickens
1st. Lt. Lacie Dickens is proud to serve a third year at VAWG Encampment. 1st Lt. Dickens joined CAP in 2014 with both her husband and her oldest daughter. As a member of the Lynchburg Composite Squadron, she serves her home squadron as the Deputy Commander for Cadets. Outside of Civil Air Patrol, Lt. Dickens home educates her three daughters and has served as a director and tutor for homeschooling organizations. For the past 19 years, she has been happily married to Derick Dickens, a training manager, college professor, and Ph.D. candidate. 

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Golf Flight Commander. C/2d Lt Luke Bolha
C/2d Lt Luke Bolha is part of the recently established Herndon Composite Squadron, where he is a Flight Commander.  Before moving to Herndon, he spent over three years at the Leesburg Composite Squadron. C/2d Lt Bolha is homeschooled, with an older brother and eight younger siblings, and enjoys playing sports in addition to his involvement in CAP.  Currently, he plays rugby and basketball, and he runs cross country. This is also his second year on a seven-person Mock Trial team, which won the Virginia State tournament and performed at the National Tournament last year.  As a senior in high school, C/2d Lt Bolha wants to finish his CAP and high school career on a high note at the 2017 Virginia Wing Encampment. He looks forward to working with his flight and learning more about his own leadership style in the process.

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Golf Flight Sergeant, C/SSgt Ben Emerick
C/TSgt Ben Emerick is from the Roanoke Composite Squadron, where he serves as Alpha Flight Sergeant. In June, he will have been in CAP for 2 years. He is 16 years old and a sophomore in high school; after he graduates, he wants to become an aircraft mechanic. 2017 will be his first year on encampment staff. He enjoys encampment because of the opportunity it creates for all cadets to learn and benefit from all aspects of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. He is looking forward to serving at encampment this year!

Golf Training Officer. 2d Lt Christiane Caldwell

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Hotel Flight Commander. C/CMSgt Jesse Coombs
C/CMSgt Jesse Coombs was born in California, and was raised in an Army family. Throughout his life, he has toured or lived in Paris, Germany, Greece, and Italy. While in preschool, in Italy, he became fluent in Italian, which he has since forgotten. Currently, C/CMSgt Coombs, at the age of 15, lives in Fauquier County, Virginia, where he is homeschooled. He currently attends Prince William Composite Squadron, serving on staff as Flight Commander, Flight Sergeant and Safety NCOIC. Outside of Civil Air Patrol, C/CMSgt Coombs volunteers in Israel, specifically in Judea and Samaria (The West Bank). He has served the Jewish people in their vineyards for a total of 200 hours and is returning this summer. C/CMSgt Coombs is ready to train his cadets to become better leaders and to teach them to put others before themselves. He encourages cadets to fail, and fail often because when you fail, you learn. C/CMSgt Coombs plans to attend a Service Academy and become a member of the JAG Corps. His biggest piece of advice for cadets is, “Do not be afraid to fail often at encampment. When you fail in this training environment, it is one of the ways you will learn the most.”

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Hotel Flight Sergeant. C/SSgt Crystal Bennet
C/SSgt Crystal Bennett is from the Southside Composite Squadron, where she is the Cadet Public Affairs Officer. She is home-schooled and will be graduating in 2018. Her hobbies include art, thrillers, music, and anything that gets her heart running, such as kickboxing, tubing, hiking, rock wall climbing, etc. C/SSgt Bennett will have been in CAP for 1 year in April and she is looking forward to becoming a member of her squadron’s ground team. She is proud to have received a high enough score during this year’s cadre selection, that she still received a cadre position even at the lowest possible grade to apply for cadre, aka Cadet Staff Sergeant. If there is one thing C/SSgt Bennett wishes for her cadets to take away from the 2017 Virginia Wing Encampment, it’s that as long as you work hard and put in the required effort, then it doesn’t matter what rank you are, you can still achieve your goals.

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Hotel Training Officer. 2d Lt Paulette Spence
2d Lt. Paulette Spence of Southside Composite Squadron has been in CAP for two years. She serves her home squadron as Leadership Officer. Her favorite part of encampment is watching everyone, cadets, cadre, even senior members, step out of their comfort zone. "I love watching everyone come together as team," she says. Outside of Civil Air Patrol she enjoys hiking, kayaking and working with the young people in her church. She encourages students, "Hang in there! It only gets better!" 

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India Flight Commander. C/1st Lt Acacia Dickens
C/1st Lt Dickens is from the Lynchburg Composite Squadron and has been in Civil Air Patrol for 2 1/2 years. She has served in her home squadron as a Flight Sergeant, Cadet Recruiting and Retention NCO, Flight Commander, and currently, serves as the Cadet Activities Officer, Cadet Administrative Officer, and Phase II Cadet Leadership Officer.  She has also served as Cadet Logistics Officer at the 2016 Virginia Wing Encampment.  Her favorite part of CAP is its focus on the leadership laboratory and the outstanding opportunities CAP offers. Outside of CAP, she enjoys reading, writing, and outdoor activities.

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India Flight Sergeant, C/MSgt Issac Delage
C/MSgt Isaac Delage is from the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron and has been in CAP for just over two years. He goes to Spotsylvania Middle School and is in the eighth grade. He enjoys hiking (last summer, he hiked 130 miles in eight days!), football, wrestling (in which he has achieved number one in his county), and downtime. C/MSgt Delage also plays the bassoon for his school band. He hopes that throughout the duration of the 2017 Virginia Wing Encampment, he can help cadets grow as leaders, as well as himself. C/MSgt Delage looks forward to equipping other with key skills to help their future.

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Training Officer, India Flight, SM Christopher DeForge
Senior Member DeForge started his time in the Civil Air Patrol at the Langley Composite Squadron in December of 2016. He is currently progressing on the Emergency Services, Cadet Programs, and Historian specialty tracks. While SM DeForge is new to the Civil Air Patrol, he has a history of volunteer instruction as a Chief Fishing Instructor for the Connecticut Aquatic Resource Education Program and as a Chief Safety Officer for the International Defensive Pistol Association. SM DeForge values the nature of individual and team challenge, as reflected in his approximately 15 years of experience in the competitive paintball world and seven years of experience in competitive handgun shooting. Outside of the Civil Air Patrol, SM DeForge serves as an active duty enlisted member of the United States Air Force. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Clark University, a Masters of Arts in History from Clark University, an Associates in Applied Science in Intelligence Studies from the Community College of the Air Force, and is completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Homeland Security with a concentration on Intelligence Studies. His advice for students is that, "No great things come without challenge."

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Health Services Officer, C/CMSgt Emanuel Etienne

C/CMSgt Etienne Is a member of Prince William Composite and has been a proud member of the CAP for four years now. He is currently serving in his home squadron as a second element leader. He goes to Veritas Scholars Academy and will be graduating in early 2019. His hobbies include competitive swimming, playing guitar and piano.

Fun Fact!: Chief Etienne has six siblings and speaks four languages!