“San Diego Cadet Squadron 144 origins begin with the San Diego Composite Squadron 77 (PCR-CA-441) that met at the Miramar Naval Air Station in the 1980s. The squadron eventually relocated to the U.S.Army Reserve Center, Adm Baker Field, due to Miramar being turned over to the Marine Corps in 1989. In 1997, South San Diego Composite Squadron 67 (which met at Brown Field), was due to expire its charter, Squadron 77 offered all the cadet and senior members from Squadron 67 to join them. To promote camaraderie, the combined squadrons became San Diego Composite Squadron 144, combining the numbers 67 & 77 to equal 144.
As the squadron overcame numerous hurdles involving meeting locations, retiring multiple commanders, and the 9/11 tragedy, San Diego Composite Squadron 144 finally found its current home. Through the efforts of California Air National Guardsmen CMSgt Carolyn O’Brien and SSgt Douglas Warren, Squadron 144 was graciously invited by 147th Combat Communications Squadron, California Air National Guard, to utilize their base as a meeting place. In 2002, the squadron once again changed its name to San Diego Cadet Squadron due to the increased focus of the cadet program within the unit.
During the commandership of Maj Daryl Newton in 2003, he and then C/Col Brian Jenson, asked for suggestions concerning a squadron patch and motto. The results were a green patch displaying a Phoenix being reborn, and the motto, In Primus Officium, Semper Decus, (Duty First, Honor Always) inscribed below it. Recently in 2020, C/CMSgt Maximus Davenport resubmitted the squadron logo with a new look, which is currently undergoing approval. The squadron chose the Phoenix as their mascot because of their history. The squadron has had a plethora of ups and downs, i.e., location and meeting changes, internal conflicts, low cadet attendance, and more. Yet each time, the squadron bonded together, increased morale and participation, and “rose from their ashes” after each major conflict. This cycle still continues today, with new obstacles, like the COVID-19 Pandemic, bounding across the horizon, but Squadron 144 perseveres and overcomes. This squadron has the reputation of its willingness to take on tasks that become a “Get Down & Get Dirty” situation. Whether it be cleaning up at air shows, standing for long hours as flight line security sentries, wiping down chairs in the cold early morning at ceremonial events, or hiking in the wilderness at bivouacs, Squadron 144 never shrinks away from doing their duty, to serve the community, state, and nation, and always preserves its honor.
Squadron 144 history is extensive, but it continues to grow and develop. The future is ready to be written down. Join us and be a part of Squadron 144’s history!
We will also be attaching an continuously edited complete squadron history for interested parties.