On September 7, 2010 the United States Air Force awarded Captain Donald Ells, Commander of the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron, with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Captain Ells, who serves as an active duty Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force, is a Space Systems Analyst with the 7th Intelligence Squadron located at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
Upon being assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland, SSgt Ells joined the Civil Air Patrol on October 7, 2007 and, due to experience in a space-related career field, he immediately volunteered to fill the duty position of Aerospace Education Officer. Meanwhile, he utilized his leadership experience in the Air Force to mentor and instruct cadets and senior members within the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron on proper dress and appearance, customs and courtesy, and drill and ceremony. Due to his unquestionable ability to inspire and lead, he was appointed as Commander of the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron on September 16, 2008.
Because of his dedication to the community in a volunteer capacity, the United States Air Force recognized SSgt Ells for “his leadership and dedication during more than 600 hours of volunteer service” between October 7, 2007 and December 31, 2009. On September 7, 2010 Captain Kenneth Mercer Jr., Flight Commander of Detachment 1 of the 7th Intelligence Squadron, awarded SSgt Donald Ells with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
In addition to being the very successful Commander of the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron, Captain Ells holds the ratings of Mission Scanner, Mission Observer, Mission Radio Operator, Counterdrug Officer and one of the Maryland Wing’s few qualified Airborne Real-Time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) Technicians.
The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is a decoration which was created under Executive Order 12830 by George H. W. Bush on January 9, 1993. The MOVSM recognizes those members of the military (active duty, reserve and national guard) who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the United States Armed Forces.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 23,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years.
More than 1,500 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information, visit www.mdcap.org.
The Fort McHenry Composite Squadron meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at the William Witte Armory, 130 Mellor Avenue in Catonsville, Md. Prospective members are always welcome. For more information or directions, visit the squadron website at www.ftmchenrycap.org.