Local teen sees opportunities soar in Civil Air Patrol
For as long as he can remember, Fisher Lott has been interested in pursuing a career in the military. The 15-year-old Hartselle High student has taken steps to achieving that goal through the Civil Air Patrol.
Throughout the summer, Lott has taken part in various training sessions throughout the United States, including seeing the Blue Angels and earning his student pilot’s license. He said the experiences will help him move forward on his plans after high school.
“I am focusing on my school work and what my career and college is going to be, and that’s what Civil Air Patrol is helping me with,” Lott said.
Lott began his summer visiting the Pensacola Naval Air Station. There he and the squadron were able to see the Blue Angels and tour the USS Alabama.
Shortly afterward, he took part in staff encampment, which taught him to be a drill instructor. Lott said participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Alabama National Guard about their special forces.
After staff encampment, Lott next took part in Regional Cadet Leadership School to learn more leadership qualities. He said cadets were able to participate in projects to change regulations and hear prominent guest speakers.
“Civil Air Patrol … has been around since the 1940s, and there are things we have had to change in the past to keep up with the times. We were given a project to work on throughout the week to change one of the regulations in Civil Air Patrol,” Lott said.
Lott continued his busy summer with ground school, where he earned his student piloting license, before continuing to his last summer activity: Honor Guard Academy. “We learned flag folding and how to present colors in the Honor guard way,” Lott said. “On top of all the training we did physically, we also learned honor core values and all their beliefs and history.”
Beyond the opportunities Lott has been able to participate in this summer, he said the leadership skills he has developed are a main benefit of Civil Air Patrol. “Really the leadership aspect of it is the biggest thing that affects me. We learn about integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect, and those mimic the Air Force core values.”
Lott said he hopes to continue to build on his experience through Civil Air Patrol by taking part in National Blue Beret, which would allow him to participate in the largest air show in the world by helping to direct planes and park them.
Sophomore Lott has plans to attend Auburn University and to join the Air National Guard – goals he said Civil Air Patrol is making possible for him.
“I want everyone to know about the opportunities that are there. At school what we do is present the colors at football and basketball games, and that is all the student body sees,” he said. “I want people to know it is more than that.”
One aspect Lott highlighted is the work CAP does to help people in need. “Every time there is a hurricane, hundreds of Civil Air Patrol cadets go out voluntarily to help, handing out water and taking pictures to help,” Lott said.
“I want people to know there are more opportunities,” he added. “Presenting the colors is an important aspect, but we do so much more. It’s a great program; you just have to dig deep into it and figure out what you want to do. It’s what you make of it.
“I am also thankful for the superintendent because without her this would not be possible.”