8/23/2011–BALTIMORE, MD–Three Civil Air Patrol cadet members of the Maryland Wing have recently earned the highest cadet achievement possible in the organization – the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award – and are promoted to the grade of cadet colonel. Cadets Jason LaPre, Robbert Olson, and Elizabeth Roberts all passed the rigorous exam on August 11, 2011.
Cadets who earn the Spaatz award are required to pass a strenuous four-part examination after completing all 16 achievements in the cadet program - a written leadership exam, a written aerospace exam, a moral leadership essay, and a physical fitness test. Less than one percent of all cadets who enter the cadet program earn the Spaatz Award. Olson, Roberts, and LaPre are the 1806th, 1807th, and 1808th cadets respectively to be awarded the honor since 1962.
“This is certainly a record for Maryland Wing, three cadets passing the Spaatz exam on the same day,” commented Col. John Knowles, commander of the Maryland Wing.
Cadet Col. Olson, a member of the Calvert Cadet Squadron, has been an active member of Maryland Wing for the past five years and holds an emergency services rating as a ground team member 3 (GTM3). He attended the National Supervised Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course in 2010 and Region Cadet Leadership School in 2008. He has attended four encampments serving on staff at three of them.
Cadet Col. Roberts has been a member of the Harford Composite Squadron for over seven years. She has attended numerous national cadet special activities including traveling to the United Kingdom as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange, Cadet Officer School (COS), the National Cadet Leadership Symposium at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Supervised Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course (SUPTFC) and has served on the staff at COS and SUPTFC. She has attended three encampments serving on staff at two of them.
Cadet Col. LaPre, a member of the Calvert Cadet Squadron, has been an active member of Maryland Wing for the past six years and holds a rating as a GTM 3 and urban direction finding team member. He attended the Cadet Officer School in 2010. He has attended five encampments serving on staff at four of them and he soloed at the Maryland Wing Solo School in 2009. He is currently the chairman of the Maryland Wing Cadet Advisory Council.
All three cadets are pursuing their undergraduate degrees in college.
The Spaatz Award is named in honor of Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. One of the giants in the history of airpower, in 1929 Spaatz, together with another pilot, set an important flight endurance record of 150 hours and 40 minutes in the early days of aviation. During World War II, he commanded the Allied air campaign against the Nazis. In the Pacific Theater, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place under his command. After retiring from the Air Force, General Spaatz served as the first chairman of the Civil Air Patrol National Board.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is the largest sponsor annually of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com.
There are more than 1,500 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 about the CAP, visit www.mdcap.org.