Raptors remain No. 1

The patch is a triangle with a three-dimensional "22" in the upper part of its red field. A saber with navigator wings on its center and globe on the end of its hilt points toward the center of the field. Eight red, gold, blue and silver rays emanate from the center of the patch.

The emblem's triangle shape compares the squadron's strength and solidarity to one of the sturdiest geometrical shapes--the triangle. The dominate red color symbolizes courage. The saber, with the navigator's badge and globe, represents strength and readiness. The colored light rays, converging to a point on the horizon, signify unity among the four classes of the cadet wing.

This is the squadron's original patch.

Cadet Squadron 22 was named the Air Force Academy's outstanding squadron for the second-straight year, based on its overall military, athletic and academic accomplishments.

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Cadet Squadron 22's Raptors have continued to soar at the Academy, winning Outstanding Squadron of the Year for a second-straight year for their outstanding accomplishments in the academic, physical and military realms.

This year the squadron ranked number one in academic and physical achievements and took fifth place in the military category.

In the fall the squadron earned the top ranking out of 40 squadrons and has occupied the spot ever since.

"They are extremely competitive and take pride in their accomplishments," said Lt. Col. Brande Walton, the squadron's air officer commanding. "They go about breeding excellence and becoming number one in the best way."

The squadron ranked number one when Walton took over the squadron this past year. She said the squadron breeds excellence through teamwork.

"I take a very hands-off approach," Walton said. "The culture of the squadron makes sure no one falls behind and the upperclassmen teach the underclassmen the standards of the squadron."

Walton said her goal has been to maintain the culture and empower cadets to be leaders.

"I think they've done well because they a keep positive attitude and work hard," Walton said.

The squadron received a plaque and top privileges for the award. Squadron members attended a reception at Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould's home and will sit on stage at this year's graduation.

"Fifty cadets from the squadron will sit next to the president," Walton said. "It's a neat opportunity and I'm extremely proud of our squadron's accomplishments."

There have been notable individual achievements within the squadron. The group's squadron commander in the fall, Austin Davis, received this year's Group Squadron Commander of the Year award and Cadet 3rd Class Ty Perich received the Cadet Wing's Outstanding First Shirt award this spring. The squadron also received five out of ten of the Cadet Wing's 2011-2012 Organization Awards.

"We've had a lot of achievements within our squadron and we are proud to receive the Outstanding Squadron of the Year honor another year," Walton said.

OUTSTANDING SQUADRON PERFORMANCES:

Academic Achievement: Cadet Squadron 22
Leadership and Scholarship: Cadet Squadron 21
Drill and Ceremonies: Cadet Squadron 14
Military Proficiencies: Cadet Squadron 27
Core Values: Cadet Squadron 22
Intercollegiate Athletics: Cadet Squadron 32
Intramural Athletics: Cadet Squadron 22
Athletic Excellence: Cadet Squadron 22
Outstanding Group: Cadet Group 3