Women In The Civil Air Patrol Fly Through The Glass Ceiling

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Both locally and on the national level, women are rising to senior leadership positions and breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) - the official auxiliary to the United States Air Force.

Capt. (Dr.) Jill T. Silverman was recently promoted to Commander of the Westchester Hudson Composite Squadron based at Westchester Airport in White Plains, NY. Besides serving as Squadron Commander, Capt. Silverman is a pilot and has served in numerous Civil Air Patrol missions in a variety of crew and mission base assignments. Capt. Silverman is a clinical health psychologist with a private practice in Greenwich, CT. and is on the medical staff of Greenwich Hospital. She treats adolescents and adults and has a particular interest in trauma and disaster mental health.

"I originally joined the Civil Air Patrol as it allowed me to combine my love of flying with my interest in giving back to my community," say Capt. Silverman. "I quickly came to appreciate the important role the Civil Air Patrol plays in the safety of our community, both in the air and on the ground, as well as providing an organization in which teenagers can learn about aerospace and pursue their own flying ambitions through our Cadet program."

When asked about what it felt like to command a squadron comprised primarily of men, Jill replied, "The squadron has been really supportive of me from the day I first joined. It has felt to me that it hasn't mattered whether one was a man or woman, what has been important is getting the job done, safely and efficiently. We are team with great respect for one another and a great tradition to uphold."

Capt. Silverman represents a major shift that is taking place in the Civil Air Patrol, as well as other branches of the military; that of women attaining more senior leadership positions. Just last month, Major General Amy S. Courter, became the first woman to become the Civil Air Patrol's National Commander, the highest-ranking leadership position within the organization.

The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and is a nonprofit organization with more than 56,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions and was credited with saving 103 lives in 2007. A purely volunteer organization, CAP also performs homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 22,000 young people currently participating in cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 66 years.

For more information about the local Civil Air Patrol visit http://www.raptorsquadron.org or call 2nd. Lt. Rocky Cipriano, Public Affairs Officer of the Westchester Hudson Composite Squadron, at 914-777-9700.

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