Sparta cadet earns elite Civil Air Patrol award
Volk Field Air National Guard Base – Five years ago, when Jacob Erdman wandered up to the Civil Air Patrol’s F-16 simulator at ButterFest, he had no idea the journey he was about to embark on. That journey brought him on to a stage this past weekend, in front of more than 40 other Civil Air Patrol members from around the state, to receive the General Ira C. Eaker Award. Joining him on stage was Major General John McCoy, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander of Air Education and Training Commander.
The Ira C. Eaker Award is the fourth of five CAP Cadet Program awards and marks the formal end of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program. Less than two percent of all CAP cadets earn the Eaker Award. Erdman’s accomplishment marks the first time a La Crosse cadet has earned the Eaker Award in more than four years, and makes Erdman the only Cadet Lieutenant Colonel currently serving in Wisconsin. “I’ve learned so much over my time as a CAP cadet, and now I have the chance to give back to the younger cadets and help them in the same way older cadets helped me when I was getting started,” said Erdman when asked about what CAP means to him.
During his cadet career Erdman has racked up a series of accomplishments including service as the La Crosse squadron’s Cadet Commander, serving as the Executive Officer for this past summer’s statewide encampment, serving as Wisconsin’s representative to the regional Cadet Advisory Council, and being named Cadet of the Year for Wisconsin Wing last year.
Erdman currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Political Science and volunteers with a number of political campaigns. His post-college plans include law school and potentially serving in the Air Force.