July 17, 2016 - By Maj Jon Domke, Public Affairs Officer, Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol Squadron 50 is proud to announce that Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Robert DeBolt achieved the Billy Mitchell Award on June 9, 2016.
robert deBolt coulterville california receives general billy mitchell award
(Left) Cadet Second Lieutenant Robert DeBolt, Photo Credit – CSM Celeste Domke

On July 14th, 2016, C/2d Lt DeBolt was presented the award in a special ceremony held at the Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron Headquarters. On hand to present the award were numerous officials from local, state and national offices. C/2d Lt DeBolt, 17, is a resident of Coulterville, CA where he is a senior at Coulterville High School. He has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since February 2014. He currently serves as the Charlie Flight Commander and has previously served as Cadet First Sergeant and Flight Sergeant. Cadet DeBolt is also active in the squadron’s Color Guard. Cadet DeBolt spent two weeks last summer at Civil Air Patrol’s National Emergency Services Academy where he completed courses in Basic and Advanced Ground Search and Rescue training and received his Senior-rated Ground Team badge.

The General Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America.

The second milestone in the Cadet Program is the General Billy Mitchell Award, which is earned after completing the first eight achievements of the cadet program. In addition, the cadet must pass an arduous 100-question examination testing leadership theory and aerospace topics. Since its inception over 30 years ago, over 42,000 cadets have earned this honor.

Being such an important milestone in the CAP cadet program, the Mitchell Award is normally presented by a CAP group commander or higher, the wing director of cadet programs, or a state or federal government official. Once the cadet earns the Mitchell Award, they are promoted to the grade of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant. These cadets, who later enter the CAP's Senior Member program, are eligible for immediate promotion to CAP 2nd Lieutenant at age 21.

Those cadets who receive the Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement in the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enlist in the US Air Force. They are also eligible for advanced credit in the Air Force ROTC program. Mitchell Award cadets may also apply for a variety of scholarships and CAP special activities.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron is located in Modesto at the Modesto Airport. The squadron has an active cadet and senior program. The cadet program meets weekly to train members between the age of 12 and 18 in leadership, aerospace education, and emergency services. The senior program involves adults 18 years of age and older and meets weekly for aerospace education training, emergency services training, and planning in support of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. More information about Squadron 50 can be found on their website at http://sq50.cawgcap.org.
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