THE GENERAL CARL A. SPAATZ AWARD is Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor. It is presented to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education.

Cadets qualify for this prestigious award after devoting an average of five years to progress through sixteen achievements in the CAP Cadet Program. Along the way they develop self-discipline, a strong sense of personal responsibility, the ability to lead and persuade, and the foundation necessary for pursuing a career in aviation, space, or technology.

The final step a cadet must complete to earn the Spaatz Award is a rigorous four-part exam consisting of a challenging physical fitness test, an essay exam testing their moral reasoning, a comprehensive written exam on leadership, and a comprehensive written exam on aerospace education. Upon passing the Spaatz Award exams, the cadet is promoted to the grade of cadet colonel.

The Spaatz Award is named in honor of Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. One of the giants in the history of airpower, in 1929 Spaatz, together with another pilot, set an important flight endurance record of 150 hours and 40 minutes in the early days of aviation. During World War II, he commanded the Allied air campaign against the Nazis. In the Pacific Theater, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place under his command. After retiring from the Air Force, General Spaatz served as the first chairman of the Civil Air Patrol National Board.

On average, only two cadets in one thousand earn the Spaatz Award

Spaatz Cadets are expected to serve as role models for junior cadets, and become leaders in their communities as they enter adulthood. The first recipient of the Spaatz Award, Michigan’s Douglas C. Roach, became a pilot with the Air Force Thunderbirds.

Recent CAWG Spaatz Recipients

 

#21?? C/Col Nicole Khattar
Earned July 2017

As you know, the Spaatz Award is awarded to cadets who successfully complete all phases of the CAP cadet program and examination consisting of a comprehensive leadership and aerospace education written exam, a graded essay and a physical fitness test.  The Spaatz Award is arguably the most difficult honor to earn in CAP, with less than 1% of all cadets ever reaching this milestone. This is testament to the quality of the CAWG Cadet Program and to Nicole Khattar and her supportive family. C/Col Khattar is also the chairman of the California  Cadet Advisory Council and as such part of the wing staff.

#2096 C/Col Clayton Wikoff
Earned March 2017

C/Col Wikoff completed his Spaatz testing just before turning 21 years old. Clayton Wikoff joined CAP as a 16 year old cadet in September 2012. Living in Taft, Clayton drove almost an hour each direction to attend meetings at Bakersfield Composite Squadron 121. Moving quickly through his promotions, Clayton achieved his Mitchell award before going off to college at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he received a Commander’s Scholarship from Air Force ROTC Detachment 040, and is currently studying Mechanical Engineering. Currently in his third year, with an overall 3.8 GPA, Clayton is now serving as his detachment’s Field Training Preparation Flight Commander. Since going off to college, Clayton has remained extremely active in Civil Air Patrol, continuing on to staff nearly every ILP activity, attending a total of five encampments (including 136th CTS Commander in CAWG and Chief of Staff in NVWG), attending Cadet Officer School and the National Cadet Leadership Symposium, all while continuing with his own development and promotions. Last summer he also completed his ROTC field training at Maxwell AFB, where he was recognized as a distinguished graduate and received two nominations to return this summer as a Cadet Training Assistant. In February, Clayton also received confirmation of his pilot slot, with his priority being to fly fighters once he commissions. Clayton most recently served as Squadron 121’s Cadet Leadership Officer, and plans to continue supporting the leadership program in Bakersfield and throughout the Wing, even teaching his first class as a senior member this last Sunday at Group 3’s BCS/ATS on his 21st birthday. We are extremely grateful for everything Clayton has done, and continues to do, for California Wing and Civil Air Patrol.

#2094 C/Col Robinson Hess
Earned February 2017

C/Col Hess joined Auburn-Starr Composite Squadron 92 in May of 2010. He has staffed Basic Cadet Schools, Encampments, and Cadet Programs Conference. Last summer he participated in International Cadet Air Exchange as an ambassador to New Zealand.  As a cadet at Squadron 92, Col Hess has coordinated cadet support of the Auburn Air Show and served in many staff positions including Cadet Commander. He is currently studying business at California State University Sacramento and is participating in the Air Force ROTC program with aspirations of becoming a pilot.

Well done, Col Hess. You have made your Wing proud! 

#2091 C/Col Lydia Philp
Earned February 2017

C/Col Philp is a junior at Cal State Fullerton working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies. She has aspirations to go into public service as a police officer. In the 7 1/2 years she has been in CAP, she has been heavily involved in the Cadet Programs. She has commanded several activities (UBWC, NCOS, SNCOS) and has attended COBC as a participant and a staff member. She was most heavily involved with Encampment. She has attended 8 encampments and this last year she was the Cadet Training Group Commander.

C/Col Lydia Philp epitomizes the quality of the cadets in our wing and her accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself, her parents, her squadron and the entire California Wing.

#2051 C/Col David Burke
Earned June 2016

C/Col David Burke has been an active member for six years in northern California as part of the Auburn-Starr Composite Squadron 92.  He has served his squadron in many positions of leadership to include Cadet Commander and is currently serving as the Cadet Leadership Officer. C/Col Burke has been extremely active in the California Wing, participating in numerous training schools as part of the Integrated Leadership Program. Additionally he served many years on staff of the California Wing Encampment, most recently serving as the 138th Cadet Training Squadron Commander.

He currently attends Sierra College and Grantham University, pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science through Grantham University and was the Economics Club President at Sierra College.  C/Col Burke is aspiring to become a software engineer and work in the fields of technology.

#2039 C/Col Josiah Bierle
Earned April 2016

C/Col Josiah Bierle achieved the highest Civil Air Patrol Cadet award as a member of the Skyhawk Composite Squadron 47 in Oceanside, CA. He was a very active member participating in activities from local to the National level. C/Col Bierle and his fellow squadron members competed in the National Cadet Competition being crowned the National Color Guard Champions. He held numerous leadership positions at California Wing activities including courses in the Integrated Leadership Program and Encampment.

C/Col Bierle is currently attending and serving at the United States Air Force Academy.

#2017 C/Col Rhett Spongberg
Earned January 2016

C/Col Spongberg joined Civil Air Patrol in 2008 at the age of 13. Highlights of his CAP career include staffing and commanding numerous Integrated Leadership Program courses, staff of Drill and ceremonies school and attended National Cadet Officer School. He has served as the Chairperson of the Pacific Region Cadet Advisory council and sat as a member of the National Cadet Advisory Council. One of his most notable achievements is having served as Cadet Commander of both the California and Nevada Wing encampments.

C/Col Spongberg graduated from Montgomery High school in Santa Rosa as a Valedictorian. He was the Junior year class president. He is an Eagle scout and a member of Order of the Arrow honor society.

C/Col Spongberg has also distinguished himself as a CAP and ROTC cadet. He is presently a junior at Loyola Marymount University where he is on an ROTC scholarship and looking forward to a career in the Air Force. Among many of his ROTC achievements was as a distinguished graduate from Air Force ROTC field training, and recipient of the AFA Association, American Legion Scholastic Excellence and AFROTC Academic Honors Awards.

Previous California Wing Spaatz Award Recipients

  • #2006 – Thomas Pendergrass – 2015
  • #2005 – Cameron Hamnquist – 2015
  • #1996 – Jean Pendergrass – 2015
  • #1978 – Andy Goodwin – 2014
  • #1967 – Sarah Gamble – 2014
  • #1966 – Trenton Bromenschenkel – 2014
  • #1950 – Anthony Cummins – 2014
  • #1933 – Bryce Kuykendall – 2014
  • #1919 – Joshua Flewellen – 2014
  • #1887 – Joshua Lanier – 2013
  • #1871 – Mary Barb – 2013
  • #1870 – Luke Beck-Fridell – 2013
  • #1863 – Evan Yanagihara – 2012
  • #1852 – Melanie Tunison – 2012
  • #1850 – Michael H. Chung – 2012
  • #1775 – Jonathan J. Khattar – 2010
  • #1773 – Sean L. Quigley – 2010
  • #1754 – Peter C. Kler – 2010
  • #1728 – Paul F. McNiel – 2009
  • #1720 – Megan G. Cleary – 2006
  • #1678 – Douglas S. Crawford – 2007
  • #1665 – Devon K. Boyle – 2007
  • #1626 – Jeffrey D. Buentgen – 2007
  • #1593 – Cody W.M. Upton – 2006
  • #1588 – Meagan L. Johnson – 2005
  • #1585 – Anthony S. Wong – 2006
  • #1569 – Ian G. Lord – 2005
  • #1554 – Brian T. Jensen – 2005
  • #1545 – Tamara M. Stuart – 2004
  • #1519 – Kyle B. McClure – 2003
  • #1499 – Philip R. Buckley – 2003
  • #1481 – Allison D. Thompson -2002
  • #1455 – Heather M. Cook – 2002
  • #1433 – Laura N. Parsons – 2000
  • #1413 – Kevin L. Johnson – 1999
  • #1392 – Jorge M. Barriere – 1999
  • #1390 – Scott C. Matthews – 1999
  • #1389 – Andrew Meislin – 1998
  • #1288 – Mark E. Hoferer – 1996
  • #1254- Timothy Ewing – 1995
  • #1235 – Aaron W. Kahn – 1994
  • #1226 – Erin Ashby – 1994
  • #1200 – Scott Englund – 1994
  • #1195 – Daniel Chatham – 1993
  • #1166 – Katrin Karamian – 1993
  • #1152 – Alexander Garrett – 1992
  • #1126 – Erike Young – 1992
  • #1105 – Michelle Pryor – 1992
  • #1103 – James McCrumb – 1992
  • #1098 – Daniel Gwaltney – 1992
  • #1093 – Timothy D. Voss – 1992
  • #1087 – Harold Buchanan – 1991
  • #1079 – Marvin Lee Chase – 1991
  • #1070 – Martin Sparks – 1991
  • #1039 – Juan Pena – 1991
  • #1014 – Laurel A. Quaile – 1990
  • #1011 – Carl B. Watson – 1990
  • #998 – David B. Farnham – 1990
  • #997 – Joseph P. Finken – 1990
  • #995 – David M. Stamps – 1990
  • #991 – Jeffrey R. Duncan-King – 1990
  • #963 – Zackary D. Artim – 1989
  • #918 – Richard Bingle Jr. – 1988
  • #880 – Dan Chandler – 1988
  • #865 – Robert Klimowicz – 1987
  • #863 – Phillip Kwong – 1987
  • #791 – John Sowter – 1986
  • #787 – Timothy Morton – 1986
  • #735 – George K. Demirjian – 1985
  • #732 – Waldo Silveyra – 1985
  • #718 – Dawn M. K. Habina – 1984
  • #713 – Jenny C. Fung – 1984
  • #704 – Wayne C. Brown – 1984
  • #693 – Roy T. Oberhauser – 1984
  • #692 – Tom M. Smith – 1984
  • #686 – Alexandra Ramirez – 1984
  • #677 – William E. Geesey – 1984
  • #654 – Steve A. Humphrey – 1983
  • #619 – Lisa M. Taylor – 1982
  • #618 – Mike Suk – 1982
  • #581 – Paul C. Starr – 1981
  • #566 – James R. Steinmetz – 1961
  • #529 – James Laurd Wallis – 1979
  • #504 – Steven C. Stanton – 1979
  • #486 – Mark A. Glatt – 1978
  • #473 – David M. Timm – 1978
  • #457 – Brian D. Wolf – 1977
  • #435 – Gary S. Martin – 1977
  • #420 – Michael R. Couillard – 1977
  • #368 – Michael D. Charlton – 1975
  • #356 – Edward F. Lee – 1975
  • #343 – Andrew K. Weaver – 1975
  • #332 – Jay L. Weinsoff – 1975
  • #308 – Steven A. Catron – 1974
  • #239 – Richard T. Reed – 1974
  • #235 – Christine O. Lee – 1973
  • #168 – Wayne M. Denesik – 1972
  • #156 – Douglas M. Hawley – 1971
  • #113 – Thomas M. McKannon – 1970
  • #109 – Charles S. Glaubach – 1970
  • #108 – Frederick Beasom – 1970
  • #103 – Mike A. Taylor – 1970
  • #99 – Anthony M. Upton – 1969
  • #83 – Stephen R. Ringlee – 1969
  • #14 – Stephen R. Bowcock – 1966
  • #3 – Robert L. Gray – 1965