Civil Air Patrol

Rep. Jill Billings presents Mitchell Award to La Crosse cadet

Photo by Maj. Todd Mandel – Representative Jill Billings presents Cadet Second Lieutenant Michael Cunningham with his General Billy Mitchell Award.

La Crosse, Wis. – Cadet Second Lieutenant Michael Cunningham joined Civil Air Patrol a little over two years ago and he made it his mission to prove that he had what it takes to be a cadet officer.

Saturday, September 15 Representative Jill Billings, Assemblywoman from the 94th Wisconsin Assembly District, presented Cunningham with his General Billy Mitchell Award; the award that denotes his entry into the CAP Cadet Officer corps.  The Mitchell Award is the second milestone award in the CAP cadet program with approximately 15% of CAP cadets earning the award.

A junior attending Aquinas High School, Cunningham hopes to fly fighters for the United States Air Force some day.  He sees his training and education in Civil Air Patrol as a stepping-stone to that ultimate goal.

“I just encourage everyone to join.  I’ve learned so much from the seniors and other cadets,” Cunningham stated during his remarks.

The award makes Cunningham eligible for advanced promotion in the Air Force as well as advanced credit if he is selected to attend Air Force ROTC.

Representative Billings had not had the opportunity to visit the La Crosse Composite Squadron before and she enjoyed the opportunity to meet with squadron members, parents, and visitors.

During her remarks she pointed to the CAP cadet program as an example of the good works that youth in the community do.  “When I hear people say ‘kids these days’ I ask them, have you met any?  Because it’s young people like Michael and all of you cadets here that give me hope for the future.”

After the award ceremony Representative Billings had the chance to visit with the Colonel Clarence Peters, Wisconsin Wing commander and with squadron members.  She also had the chance to watch as cadet and adult leaders were on the receiving end of a pie-tossing contest.  The squadron’s cadets had been challenged to improve their training, and by meeting that challenge they earned the right to “pie” some of their leaders.

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