SER FL 355 History
Tamiami Composite Squadron was originally chartered in April. of 1980 as Tamiami Cadet Squadron and was the brainchild of Cadet Mitchell L. Hayes. Major Hayes was then the Cadet Commander of West Miami Cadet Squadron under the command of Captain Robert Flanagan. The desire of both officers was to see a new squadron formed for the purpose of building a flight training program for cadets. Their unit was meeting in a public school building on weekday evenings; the facilities and meeting schedule made flight training a difficult, if not impossible wish. The concept of a squadron meeting on an airport was researched and Mr. John Mangialetto of the IFSS (International Flight Service Station) made his FAA. facility available in support of the project. On February 27, 1980, the name of Tamiami Cadet Squadron was registered with headquarters, Group 10. Only six weeks later, Tamiami Cadet Squadron was operational. The first meeting was held in the original Flight Service Station building on the first Saturday in April 1980; having over twenty new Cadets in attendance, along with the Group Commander and Sector Commander. With all paperwork in order, the charter was applied for and issued effective June 1980. Seven years later in accordance with the original master plan, the charter was modified and the squadron became Tamiami Composite Squadron in August of 1987. WIth this change came a reorganization and increased emphasis on the Senior Member Training Program. To be the best in both worlds is now a possibility; having the Senior Members as fully qualified flight crews and a large complement of Cadets to support ground duties in Emergency Services activities. Our search mission staffing abilities can rival even the largest units both in qualification and manning. Since the formation of the unit in 1980, Tamlami Composite Squadron has become a pace setter in Civil Air Patrol. Our innovative efforts produced a flight training system, fully funded which turned out an average of six solo qualified Cadet pilots per year, several private pilots and hundreds of hours of orientation flights for Cadets. We produced the first audio-visual training course for the L- PER direction finding equipment; our personnel devised and produced the first Florida Solo Encampment in 1982. Our members have placed in the top percentages in Wing wide competition, and our record for scholastic placement has been excellent. We have members attending the United States Air Force Academy, Georgia Tech, VMI, the United States Naval Academy, the Citadel and other fine institutions. The motto, "Teamwork Gets the Job Done", was our founding motto and is seen In the spirit and dedication of every member of the Cadre. Today our motto has changed to "Vendi, Vidi, Vici" which means we came, we saw, we conquered. The program is conducted In a military atmosphere of discipline and dedication to duty, with plenty of time to enjoy less structured activities. In the Cadet program, we intend to play a major role in the development of each Cadet member by providing an environment which will present constant challenges. Academic excellence is required and rewarded at all levels. Our Senior Members are provided with training opportunities to enhance their aeronautical skills and prepare them for service in Search and Rescue. Each member will have equal opportunity and is encouraged to work beyond his or her apparent abilities and is fully supported in those efforts. Our goal Is to build effective leaders with genuine qualifications to support our assigned humanitarian and educational missions.
The current squadron commander, Lt Col Steve Schack has been a member
of Tamiami since 1986 when he joined as a cadet.
Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into World War II, but many Americans saw the AXIS threat long before Dec. 7, 1941. Among them were nearly 150,000 men and women involved in aviation.
As early as 1938, they began to argue for the creation of an organization to harness their aviation resources to aid the nation in the event America entered the conflict.
Their efforts, led by writer-aviator Gill Robb Wilson and supported by Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold, resulted in the creation of the Civil Air Patrol on Dec. 1, 1941 - one week before Pearl Harbor.
First organized under the Office of Civilian Defense, headed by former New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Civil Air Patrol members became the "Minutemen" of World War II, volunteering their time, resources, and talents to defend the nation's borders and fill the gaps as men and resources were being mobilized to fight abroad.
The War Department, especially the Army Air Forces, recognized
the important roles performed by CAP. In April 1943 CAP was reassigned from
the Office of Civilian Defense to the War Department and placed under the
jurisdiction of the Army Air
These "Flying Minutemen," all volunteers, performed
valiantly during the war. They performed many missions including coastal
patrol to search for enemy submarines, search and rescue missions throughout
the United States, cargo and courier flights to
In all, these volunteers amassed a stunning record - flying more than half-a-million hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims.
A thankful nation recognized the vital role CAP played during the war and understood the organization could continue to provide invaluable help to both local and national agencies.
On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 that incorporated CAP as a benevolent, nonprofit organization.
And on May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 which permanently established CAP as the Auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. This law also gave the Secretary of the Air Force the authority to provide financial and material assistance to the organization.