Strong to Overcome
ALERT Cadet exists to help fathers raise godly young men who will be “Strong to Overcome” the evil one.
The History of ALERT Cadet
In 1995, ALERT founder Ron Fuhrman saw the strong desire in younger boys to emulate ALERT men, and he decided to develop a tool fathers could use to strengthen their relationships with their sons. A year after the founding of the ALERT Academy, ALERT Cadet was established to raise up godly young men who would be mighty in spirit and “Strong to Overcome” the evil one (1 John 2:14). Since that time, ALERT Cadet has broadened into a corps of hundreds of fathers and sons across the country, who are learning to turn their hearts to one another (Malachi 4:6).
ALERT Cadet Staff
Col. Kevin Edwards
ALERT CADET COMMANDING OFFICER
Col. Kevin Edwards joined ALERT Cadet in 2001, becoming Unit Leader of ME 1st Bravo in 2008. In April, 2013 he was promoted to Commanding Officer of ALERT Cadet. Col. Edwards has been married to his wonderful wife, Loree, for 32 years. They have 14 children: 10 sons and 4 daughters. Col. Edwards received a B.A. from Cincinnati Christian University in 1987, served in Youth and Music ministry, and held various occupations while helping plant a church in Maine where he now serves as an elder. He currently leads ALERT Cadet from Maine while working as a Regional Sales Manager.
Lt. Col. Doug Dagarin
EXECUTIVE OFFICER/EASTERN REGION LEADER
Doug and Barbara married in 1979 and have 6 children, who so far have replenished the earth with nineteen grandchildren. The family served at an orphanage in Moscow during 1998-99. Both their sons have been a part of the Massachusetts 1st Alpha Unit. Stephen went on to train with ALERT Basic Training Unit 19, finishing as the Senior Drill Instructor for Unit 26.
Doug began a relationship with Jesus in 1976 and has experienced profound emotional healing. His law practice is now part-time and he is fulfilled in following his passions: deepening his relationship with Jesus, connecting with each family member and encouraging their fulfillment, and encouraging men to disciple generationally and to prepare for serving and ministering the Gospel to people in crisis in the coming days.
Maj. Gary Reckner
Gary and his wife Kathy have eleven children. All seven of their sons have participated in ALERT Cadet and their oldest three went on to train with the ALERT Academy. Gary and his sons have been active in the Cadet program since 1997 when Gary accepted the position of 2nd Lieutenant for the FL2A unit. He served as Captain and then Major of the SE Region and is currently serving as leader of the North Central Region. The Reckner’s have homeschooled their children from the start. Gary has been active in The Navigators and Child Evangelism Fellowship. He relocated to western Kentucky while working for the US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service and retired in 2016. Gary and Kathy are currently working in their family-owned and operated home remodeling business.
Maj. Michael Smith
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION LEADER
Michael and his wife Stacey have been married for more than 30 years. They have homeschooled their six children. Turning his life over to Jesus Christ at the age of 16, Michael discovered peace and purpose and a growing desire to know the Word of God. While studying at Texas A&M, Michael and Stacey met through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and married following graduation. They established a home in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area, began a family, and became active in their church, leading home Bible study groups and teaching adult Sunday school. Michael currently serves as an elder for a family-integrated church in Southlake, Texas, and has been employed as an engineer with Bell Helicopter Textron for over 31 years. Michael has been active with ALERT Cadet since 1997; he was promoted to ALERT Cadet Major in 2012.
Maj. Tod Stoner
SOUTHEAST REGION LEADER
Tod and his wife Lynne have eight children. Their four oldest sons are all ALERT graduates while their youngest continues in the ALERT Cadet program in west Tennessee. Tod and his sons began in the ALERT Cadet program in 2002 and helped found and lead the TN 2nd Alpha unit. ALERT Cadet has given him the opportunity to invest quality time into his sons’ lives. “I am learning that time spent with my sons has everlasting value. These times of service and fun have built many fond memories, knit hearts, and assisted in character development.”
Tod grew up in Trion, GA, graduated from Shorter College in Rome, GA, and received his Ph.D. from Clemson University. He has been employed at a west TN chemical manufacturer for over 20 years.
ALERT CADET ADMINISTRATOR
Donna was born and raised in New Jersey. She began working in missions at the age of 20 after serving on a short-term summer missions team. She traveled to various countries, leading teams for several years while doing administrative work in the mission agency’s home offices. In 1988 she moved to Budapest, Hungary to work with Mongolians living behind the Iron Curtain. Arriving in Mongolia in 1991, she served on church-planting teams there for over 20 years. Donna holds a BA in Bible and Music and an MA in Inter-Cultural Studies/TEFL from Columbia International University. Married to her best friend since Jan of 1993, she and her husband Rick now serve together in Big Sandy.
Smaj. Jonathan Bilodeau
Jonathan Bilodeau joined ALERT Cadet in 2013. Inspired by the sergeants who ran various camps and events, he chose to become a sergeant when he turned 18 to continue his involvement in the program. He later attended the International ALERT Academy and graduated having completed the Leadership & Communications course. Rejecting the “Once you go blue, you never go back” dogma, he returned to Cadets to continue serving as a sergeant and grow as a leader.
In the spring of 2021, Jonathan was promoted to the newly created position of Sergeant Major. In this role, he uses his God-given gifts and talents to teach the next generation of junior leadership. He also does various other jobs, including training instructor, website admin, and camp bagpiper.