Civil Air Patrol

Eau Claire Cadet Awarded General Billy Mitchell Award

Photo by 2nd Lt. Patti Miara - Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Zachary Pederson poses with his proud grandparents, Jim and Judy Wolstenholme; mother, Jill Pederson and brother, Jake Pederson.

Eau Claire, Wis. – Cadet Second Lieutenant Zachary Pederson received the General Billy Mitchell Award from Major Rose Hunt, Wisconsin Wing vice commander during the Eau Claire Composite Squadron’s June 14 meeting.  The ceremony was held at the National Guard Armory with 31 members and guests present as Cadet Pederson moved into the ranks of a cadet officer.

To receive the Mitchell Award, a comprehensive exam on leadership theory and aerospace topics must be passed.  Opportunities for scholarships and attendance at special Civil Air Patrol (CAP) activities are awarded to those who receive their Mitchell Award.

Upon becoming a senior member, they are eligible to receive the grade of second lieutenant.  Should they join the Air Force, they are eligible to become an E-3, known as an Airman first class.

Pederson joined CAP three years ago and currently holds the position of Cadet Deputy Commander and is the alternate member of the Cadet Advisory Council for the squadron.  He has also held the position of element leader, flight sergeant, first sergeant and aerospace education officer.  He will be serving on the encampment staff this year as Bravo Flight Executive Officer.

He is qualified in basic communications, general emergency services, as an urban direction finding team member, level three ground team member and skills evaluator.  To further his skills in emergency services, he has taken the Federal Emergency Management Agency independent study courses including Introduction to the Incident Command System, Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents and National Incident Management System.

Cadet Pederson admitted he is glad to be in CAP because it is like a hobby where he has learned to plan ahead, prepare for a military career, learn leadership skills and has learned more about aerospace and planes.

Pederson stated that “Perseverance is the key to success” and that other cadets should remember that.

Outside of CAP, Pederson enjoys playing basketball and piano and is also involved in the Boy Scouts and theater.  After completing high school his goal is to go to the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  His goal is to fly jets and earn a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

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