Former Commander Visits CAP Squadron He Started

Written by Maj. Matthew Congrove     August 18th, 2015

Former Lt. Col. David Bearce, Maj. David Badal, and Capt. Robert Klett pose for a photograph. The three respectively represent the first, longest serving, and current squadron commander for TX-435. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Tom Roach)

  • Cadets take a break from their physical training to take a photograph with the squadron’s first commander, former Lt. Col. David Bearce. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Tom Roach)

San Marcos, Texas — On Tuesday night, former Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. David Bearce dropped into a weekly meeting at the David Lee "Tex” Hill Composite Squadron he founded in 1998. Bearce's surprise visit was a welcome bit of history for the squadron.

The inaugural squadron leader spent time with Maj. David Badal, whose tenure from 2004 to 2008 was the longest serving as commander, and Capt. Robert Klett, who has been in charge of the unit since earlier this year.

"It was a nice surprise to have Lt. Col. Bearce stop by to check out the squadron he created here,” said Klett. He continued, "It was interesting to hear his thoughts on volunteer leadership and how important the cadets are in the organization. You could see the spirit in his eyes as he watched our cadets participate in the meeting.”

Bearce's visit came about by chance. While attending the VJ Day Celebration at the Commemorative Air Force in San Marcos the week prior he met members of the squadron that were running a recruiting booth. After coming to realize who Bearce was, the CAP members told him that he was welcome to drop in at any time.

About Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.


Contact Information

Lt. Col. Ron Diana, CAP
Squadron Commander & Public Affairs Officer
David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron, SWR-TX-435, Texas Wing
(512) 710-8435 |

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