Lt Col Torp-Pedersen , Civil Air Patrol

Cadet Lt. Col. Jonah Torp-Pedersen, of Spring Hill, received his Expert Ranger black belt from Civil Air Patrol, a high honor that has only been given to 271 other Expert Rangers in the last 62 years. He’s one of only three cadet Expert Rangers in Civil Air Patrol right now.

Torp-Pederson was honored in a ceremony at Hawk Mountain Ranger School in Pennsylvania, where Civil Air Patrol members from across the nation have gathered for the past 62 years for 9 days of rigorous training.

While at the ranger school, they learn medical skills, survival skills, search and rescue techniques, disaster relief skills, land navigation, leadership and teamwork. Aircrew survival is emphasized.

During the event Cadet Col. Brandon Webber, the school’s cadet commander and a member of the Pennsylvania Wing, assisted in an Expert Ranger ceremony for Cadet Lt. Col. Jonah Torp-Pedersen of the Tennessee Wing. The ceremony consisted of removing the traditional white belt and replacing it with a black belt.

“After working for 725 days, it was an amazing experience achieving my black belt” said Cadet Lt. Col. Jonah Torp-Pedersen. “I could not have possibly achieved this without the help of my fellow cadets, the senior members, and outstanding staff.”

Torp-Pedersen also recently returned from a trip to Israel as part of Civil Air Patrol’s International Air Cadet Exchange Program. He was one of 28 cadets selected out of 25,000 in the nation to represent the organization overseas.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 58,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.