8/26/2009–College Park, MD–Cadets Orville “Bo” Saunders and Anthony Albanese of the College Park Composite Squadron recently received the General Billy Mitchell Award. Squadron commander Capt. Jonathan Neumann and Group III commander Lt. Col. Wes LaPre presented the awards at a ceremony at the Hap Arnold Center, home of the College Park Composite Squadron.
The Mitchell Award is the second milestone in the CAP cadet program and is earned after completing the first eight achievements. The award honors the late Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, advocate and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America. Earning the award marks the end of the enlisted phase of the cadet program and the beginning of the officer phase.
Albanese, a member since October of 2004, recently earned his solo wings. He has attended two encampments serving as staff during the 2008 event. Saunders joined CAP in the fall of 2004. He has participated in Honor Guard activities and has participated in two encampments including this summer where he served as Command Chief. Soon to be a senior in high school, Saunders is currently working on his scanner rating for CAP.
Cadets earning the Mitchell Award receive the grade of Cadet Second Lieutenant. In addition, recipients can enter the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve or U.S. Coast Guard at the advance pay grade of E-3 (Airman First Class).
To earn this award, the cadets successfully passed a combined leadership and aerospace exam, a physical fitness test and a uniform inspection. They also directed moral leadership discussions, mentored other cadets, attended squadron activities and a CAP encampment, and passed a board of review.
The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force, was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U. S. into World War II. CAP is a nonprofit organization with more than 56,000 members nationwide. The organization’s members perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, and were credited by the AFRCC with saving 90 lives in fiscal year 2008. Its volunteers 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. CAP has been performing mission for American for more than 63 years.
There are approximately 1,400 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information, visit www.mdcap.org.
The College Park Squadron meets Wednesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. at College Park Airport’s Hap Arnold Center. For more information, please e-mail Jonathan_Neumann@comcast.net or visit the squadron website at cpsqdn.mdwg.cap.gov.