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Capt. Natalie Hannans shares CAP's message

Posted on January 14, 2020 at 2:21 PM by Virginia Smith

Natalie Hannans helps student with parachute Students with parachute activity

Visiting younger students in the classroom is a great way to introduce them to Civil Air Patrol, advises Capt. Natalie Hannans of the Georgia Wing.

January 15, 2020

Meet Capt. Natalie Hannans, a unit commander who has served in both internal and external aerospace education officer positions in the past. We asked her some questions, and her answers are below. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming AEO Focus or know of someone who would be a great feature, please email

Name: Capt. Natalie Hannans

Duty position: Squadron Commander, Rockdale County Cadet Squadron (SER-GA-815). Has held both CAP Aerospace Education Officer internal and external positions in the past.

How many years have you been in Civil Air Patrol?  Six years

How did you get involved in CAP? My grandson became a cadet, and I became interested in all CAP had to offer.

Why do you work in the Aerospace Education mission area? I believe in the mission.

What is the best advice you have for working with cadets? Be honest, show up and let them know that you care.

What is the best advice you have for a new AE Officer working with cadets? Admit to what you don't know and be willing to learn. Facilitate... Give ownership of the experience to the cadets. Step out of your comfort zones and allow the cadet to be a part of the process. Explore all of our AE resources. HAVE FUN!

Do you have any suggestions for how to conduct outreach in schools (working with students and recruiting AEMs).

  • Do not expect prospects to reach out to you.  You must go ... you must talk ... you must know about our resources.  Share ... Share ... Share
  • Get excited about our AE program 
  • Use the CAP STEM kits and promote their use
  • Recruit community members that are connecting with young and old in our communities
  • Offer your cadet parents with younger students an AE classroom visit (they help set up the opportunity)
  • Recruit AEMs and support them

Do you have an anecdote of a rewarding experience working with youth? I love when the "lightbulb" goes off over their heads.

Is there anything else we didn't ask that you'd like to say? An AE Officer or an AEM can be anyone! You do not have to be an expert!

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