Two of the Gilligans, Cadets Geoffrey Schmidt and Tyler Kulesa pose with “Mr Howell” (Air Force Captain Garrett Schutt of NEADS) the party coordinator.

Gilligan’s Air Force

I thought I’d try a little humor in this article’s title as a parody on “McHale’s Navy” since “Gilligan’s Island” was the theme for the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) Commander’s recent retirement party. Brigadier General Clark Speicher (brevet promoted from Colonel on Saturday) was retired after 30 years of service. He became a castaway along with members of his family, friends, co-workers and distinguished visitors last Saturday night after being marooned at the NEADS fitness center.

NEADS has historically been a strong supporter of Civil Air Patrol, so we chose this occasion to give a little back to the unit. A number of CAP cadets became “the Gilligans” and provided manpower support for the event. They bussed tables, moved beverages and food from staging areas and helped serve dinner to the myriad of guests in attendance. Our cadets would have given a professional catering staff a run for their money. Positive comments about the caliber of our young people were heard from many of the castaways, including the Skipper. It’s always an honor to support organizations such as NEADS and we will be proud to do so again in the future.

The cadets and officers of the Utica Cadet Squadron want to wish Brigadier General Speicher and his wife Merry all the best as they begin new a new chapter in their lives. We also want to thank him for the support he’s given to our unit.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Civil Air Patrol then go to or to get more information on the cadet program or to volunteer.

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