Raptors 'three-peat' as Academy's outstanding squadron

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley delivers the commencement address at the Air Force Academy's Class of 2013 graduation ceremony May 29, 2013. Seated behind Donley are graduates from Cadet Squadron 22, which claimed the title of outstanding squadron for the third-straight year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley delivers the commencement address at the Air Force Academy's Class of 2013 graduation ceremony May 29, 2013. Seated behind Donley are graduates from Cadet Squadron 22, which claimed the title of outstanding squadron for the third-straight year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Cadet Squadron 22's Raptors have upheld their reputation as being nothing less than outstanding.

This year the squadron won Outstanding Squadron of the Year for a third consecutive year for outstanding achievements in the academic, military performance and athletic areas.

CS 22 took first in the athletic and military categories and has occupied the top-ranking spot of the 40 cadet squadrons for the 2012-2013 academic year.

"The mentality in our squadron is different," said Bryan Anderson, CS 22's spring semester squadron commander. "All of us inspire to do our best in all areas and our hard work has shown. We approach everything differently."

Lt. Col. Brande Walton, CS 22's air officer commanding, said most members in the squadron feel the defining feature of the squadron is its culture: to strive for success whether it's on the intramural field or in the classroom.

"We're known for winning but people don't recognize how much we care about one another," said Cadet 1st Class Doug Brown, a CS 22 member. "We strive to mentor and develop those around us and that aspect definitely has contributed to our success."

Benefits from the award have included recognition at the awards parade, sitting on stage during the Academy graduation and marching in the 57th Inauguration Parade.

"Although many other opportunities are likely to be hailed for this year, Raptors do not strive for the reward," Walton said. "Instead, they strive to be the best that the United States Air Force Academy has to offer."

Other squadrons receiving awards were:

Academic Achievement: Cadet Squadron 02
Athletic Excellence: Cadet Squadron 11
Core Values: Cadet Squadron 30
Drill and Ceremonies: Cadet Squadron 32
Intercollegiate Athletics: Cadet Squadron 32
Intramural Athletics: Cadet Squadron 16
Leadership and Scholarship: Cadet Squadron 04
Military Proficiency: Cadet Squadron 29
Outstanding Group: Cadet Group 3