By Keane Muraoka-Robertson
Elana Stroud ’13, a Technical Sergeant in the Non-Commissioned Officer Phase of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the air force, won CAP’s 2011 NCO of the year award on behalf of the 10 airport squadrons located in Los Angeles. The senior members in her squadron, Squadron 51 in Santa Monica, nominated her for the award.
“It’s an honor just to be nominated,” Stroud said. “It’s really cool to see my transformation and the transformation of cadets around me. Just a few years ago, I was a new cadet and didn’t know how to plane or suture a wound. Now, I know all of these things and get the opportunity to teach others.”
CAP, a civilian division of the Air Force, runs about 90 percent of search and rescue missions and is located throughout the U.S. She has achieved her Advanced Communication Users Training allowing to operate radio during emergencies and hopes to get a pilot’s license.
Stroud has worked to adapt to the military discipline.
“It’s a whole new environment having to say ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ in response to questions and wearing a uniform that you have to maintain,” she said.
Stroud, along with other NCOs, leads her squadron of cadets. Her job includes planning and leading monthly meetings for 25 cadets ages 12-18.
“As a cadet, the main focus is learning how to lead, learning about the military’s customs and courtesies, and training others of less experience,” Stroud said.