2/10/2006–Cumberland, MD–Joseph R. Conners of Cumberland, Md., a cadet in the Cumberland Composite Squadron in the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), has received CAP's General Billy Mitchell Award, which was named to honor the late Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America. Conners was also promoted to the grade of cadet second lieutenant.
Maryland Sen. John J. Hafner (R-1) presented a Senate citation and Brenda Frantz presented a letter, congratulations, and flag on behalf of U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-6). James J. Stakem, president of the Allegheny County Board of Commissioners, presented a citation. Lt. Col. Earnest Kesner and Maj. Rodger Long, members of the Cumberland squadron, presented a citation from the governor and a resolution from the Maryland House of Delegates.
Also attending the ceremony were the wing's commander, Col. Kay Joslin Walling, and the wing's Group I commander, Lt. Col. John Knowles.
Conners, 17, joined CAP in 2003 and attended the annual Tri-Wing Encampment in 2004.
CAP has a three-fold mission: aerospace education of the American people, emergency services and disaster relief for those in distress, and a cadet program. The cadet program provides opportunities for the learning, maturing, accepting, and nurturing of leadership to young Americans from 12-20 years of age. With advice and assistance from CAP members at national, regional, state and local levels and the US Air Force, cadets are exposed to a structured program of aerospace education, leadership, physical fitness, and moral and ethical values.
This structured program is divided into segments called achievements, involving study and performance in the five program areas. Upon completion of each achievement, the cadet earns increased responsibility, decorations, awards, eligibility for national and international special activities, and opportunities for both flight and academic scholarships. Completing many of the achievements also earn the cadet a higher grade.
The second milestone in the cadet program is the General Billy Mitchell Award, which is earned after completing the first eight achievements. In addition, the cadet must pass a 100-question examination that tests leadership theory and aerospace topics. According to CAP national headquarters, since its inception more than 30 years ago, more than 42,000 cadets have earned the award.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.
Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 63 years.
There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds.
For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit http://mdcap.org/ or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:
In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at http://mdcap.org/radio/ and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.
The Cumberland Composite Squadron meets Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. in Building 5 at Cumberland Regional Airport, Wiley Ford, W.Va., and is commanded by Maj. William G. Frase. For information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.