The General Carl A. Spaatz Award, Civil Air Patrol's highest cadet award, has existed since 1965. The award honors the late General Spaatz, who became the first Air Force Chief of Staff on 26 September 1947. General Spaatz was also CAP's first National Board chairman, a position he held from 28 May 1948 to 27 April 1959.
Civil Air Patrol, the official Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, has a three-fold mission: aerospace education of the American people, emergency services and disaster relief for those in distress, and the cadet program. The cadet program provides opportunities for the learning, maturing, accepting, and nurturing of leadership to over 26,000 young Americans from 12-20 years of age. With advice and assistance from CAP members at national, regional, state, and local levels and the U.S. Air Force, cadets are exposed to a structured program of aerospace education, leadership, physical fitness, and moral and ethical values.
This structured program is divided into 16 segments called achievements, involving study and performance in the five program areas. Upon completion of each achievement, the cadet earns increased responsibility, decorations, awards, eligibility for national and international special activities, and opportunities for both flight and academic scholarships. Completing many of the achievements also earn the cadet a higher grade.
The last milestone award is the General Carl A. Spaatz Award which is earned after completing all 16 achievements and then passing a rigorous four-part examination. The exam, which may only be taken three times, consists of written tests in aerospace education and leadership, a written essay, and a physical fitness test. The Spaatz examination is very difficult and demanding; only 20 percent of the examinees have achieved passing scores to date, and it is earned by less than one percent of all CAP cadets who enter the program.
The first cadet to earn this award was Douglas C. Roach, of the Michigan Wing. Cadet Roach was presented his Spaatz Award on 25 January 1965. The Michigan cadet later became an Air Force pilot and flew with the US Air Force aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds.
As CAP's most prestigious cadet award, the Spaatz Award is normally presented by an Air Force or CAP general officer, an elected state or federal official, or a cabinet level official. Once cadets earn the Spaatz Award they are promoted to the rank of Cadet Colonel. These cadets, who later enter the senior member program, are eligible for immediate promotion to CAP Captain at age 21.
ACCORDING TO AVAILABLE RECORDS, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF THE YOUNGSTOWN ARS COMPOSITE SQUADRON HAVE EARNED THE GENERAL CARL A. SPAATZ AWARD TO DATE. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY CHANGES OR ADDITIONS, PLEASE SUBMIT THEM TO firstname.lastname@example.org.