Civil Air Patrol

Cadet promotes, receives Gen. Billy Mitchell Award from Gov. Walker and Brig. Gen. John McCoy

Photo by Capt Jeri Gonwa – Gov. Scott Walker, Cadet 2nd Lt Jacob Stepp and Brig. Gen. John McCoy, assistant adjutant general for the Wisconsin Air National Guard, pose with Stepp’s Gen. Billy Mitchell certificate.

EAGLE RIVER, Wis. – Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker recently presented Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Jacob Stepp, Civil Air Patrol’ Eagle River Composite Squadron, with his General Bill Mitchell Award recently in his office at the State Capital. The event marked Stepp’s transition to an officer and second lieutenant in the cadet program.

Along with Gov. Walker, Brigadier General John McCoy, Wisconsin’s assistant adjutant general for the Wisconsin Air National Guard, was also in attendance. Both are strong supporters of CAP and were honored to promote and present Cadet Second Lieutenant Jacob Stepp with his award.

Attendees from Civil Air Patrol included Colonel Clarence Peters, Wisconsin Wing commander; Major Rose Hunt, Wisconsin vice-commander; Senior Member Ron Lurch, Eagle River Composite Squadron commander, and his wife; First Lieutenant Rodney (Duke) Stepp, deputy commander for cadets and Senior Member Laurie Stepp, parents of Cadet Stepp; and Captain Jeri Gonwa, Wisconsin Wing public affairs officer.

Walker encouraged Cadet Stepp to continue his involvement in CAP.  He also encouraged him to strive for his Eagle Scout Award; something that Walker himself accomplished as a young man. It was because of his meeting Gov. Walker during a Boy Scout event a couple of years ago that Stepp asked to have the governor give him this award.

According to Senior Member Laurie Stepp, the cadet program has taught her son “discipline, manners and good test taking skills.” She has seen her son grow as a person and meet challenges head on. “He also now has a goal in life” she said.

His ultimate goal in CAP is to become a pilot, something that he can begin working on in a year or two. His goal is to attend the Air Force Academy and obtain a degree in aviation mechanics.

What is the most important thing that Cadet Stepp has learned in CAP?  “By teaching and participating in drill, it has been helpful in learning leadership” he said.

Having joined CAP in 2010, it took Stepp only 27 months to obtain his Mitchell Award; an accomplishment that only 15 percent of cadets obtain.  The Mitchell Award, established in 1964, honors the late General Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer and advocate of an independent U.S. Air Force. The award is the second major milestone of the cadet program.

Cadets who receive the Mitchell award are eligible to receive advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the U.S. Air Force as well as advanced placement in other branches of the service.  In addition, Mitchell cadets are eligible for advance credit in the AFROTC program, various CAP academic scholarships, as well as participate in special National Cadet Specialized Activities (NCSA).

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