Civil Air Patrol

Congressman Ron Kind presents awards to local Civil Air Patrol cadets

Photo by Lt. Col.Harold Moe: (from left to right) Cadet Captain Michael Ebert, Congressman Ron Kind, Cadet Captain Kevin Felix and Cadet Second Lieutenant John Brennan

La Crosse, Wis. – For Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadrons having one cadet earn the Amelia Earhart Award, it is an accomplishment in of itself.  Having two cadets earn the Amelia Earhart Award with a third cadet earning the General Billy Mitchell Award, creates a truly rare opportunity.

Congressman Ron Kind visited the La Crosse Composite Squadron recently to participate in this rare event.  He presented Cadet Captain Michael Ebert and Cadet Captain Kevin Felix with their Amelia Earhart Awards and Cadet Second Lieutenant John Brennan with his General Billy Mitchell Award.

Kind then spent some time touring the squadron’s facility, speaking with the members and sharing a message of investing in local communities through volunteer service and mentoring youth.

It was fitting that Ebert and Felix received their awards on the same day as their success in the CAP Cadet Program has always been a source of friendly competition between them.  Throughout their CAP careers the two cadets have encouraged, pushed and worked together in achieving success, resulting in their Earhart Awards being awarded one number apart.  

Ebert attends West Salem High School and Felix attends La Crosse’s Central High School.  Both cadets are enrolled in the squadron’s Flight Training Program.  They both have plans of military service after high school.  Ebert hopes to attend the United States Air Force Academy and Felix plans to attend Army Warrant Officer School.

Brennan received his General Billy Mitchell Award at the same ceremony.  He attends Providence Academy in La Crosse where he maintains a 4.0 GPA and participates on the school’s cross-country team.  He plans to go to the United States Air Force Academy after graduation.

The Amelia Earhart Award, the third cadet milestone achievement, is earned after successfully completing the first twelve achievements of the cadet program and earning the General Billy Mitchell Award.  Earning this award makes a cadet eligible to participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange and allows for advanced placement in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  Approximately 5% of all Civil Air Patrol cadets achieve the Earhart Award.

The Billy Mitchell award, the second cadet milestone achievement, is earned after the successful completion of the first eight achievements of the cadet program.  In addition to the achievements, the cadet must pass a comprehensive examination on aerospace and leadership.  Only 15% of all Civil Air Patrol cadets achieve the Billy Mitchell Award.

The La Crosse Composite Squadron meets on Saturday morning at the Civil Air Patrol training facility at the La Crosse Municipal Airport.  For more information about the La Crosse Composite Squadron, contact Major Todd Mandel at 608-487-9053 or or visit

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