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


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.

Earned January 2016

C/Col Pendergrass joined CAP in January 2007 at age 12.  Highlights of his CAP career include CAWG Encampment in 2007, NCC 2009 as a member of the Pacific Region Drill Team, and 2011 NFA-Oshkosh where he soloed.  He went on to earn his Private Pilot Certificate in 2012.  In November 2009, as a sophomore in high school, C/Col Pendergrass entered and won a lighting design contest for young designers.  He went to Orlando, FL to attend Live Design Institute, the leading tradeshow and conference for live design professionals from all around the globe.  After the tradeshow, he was able to fit in a trip to Kennedy Space Center.  Though unable to time the trip to watch a Space Shuttle launch, this was actually one of the highlights of the trip for Thomas.  Building on his work experience in lighting during his high school years, but with very few industry contacts, after graduation Thomas started his own lighting design/programming business in the live event entertainment industry.  In his third full year, he is very profitable and growing. He credits CAP with giving him the confidence necessary to starting his own business as a high school graduate.  Without the leadership training, mentoring, and opportunities provided by CAP, C/Col Pendergrass believes he would not have the skills necessary to compete for and secure jobs, supervise work crews, and grow a business.  One of C/Col Pendergrass’ favorite gigs is lighting corporate events at the Space Shuttle Endeavour.   C/Col Pendergrass flies regularly and is working toward earning his Instrument and Commercial Pilot Certificate as well as volunteering as a CAP Mission Pilot.

Earned August 2015

C/Col Hamnquist’s love of flight and space is what lead him to Civil Air Patrol almost five years ago. Through his studies of aerospace within CAP, he was able to narrow down a field of study to pursue and determine that the study of space was of more interest than flying. This year will be Col Hamnquist’ freshman this year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his course of study will be in Space Physics. C/Col Hamnquist’ good grades, active participation in CAP, and volunteer service with and without his bagpipes at events such as Wreaths Across America, 911 Memorial, various other CAP events and church not only helped him to receive a school scholarship but also an ROTC scholarship.


For the last five years, C/Col Hamnquist has taken an active role as a cadet in CAP. Although his last position was Cadet Commander, he feels his most significant times as a leader were in his leadership roles in Charlie Flight with new cadets, first as the Flight Sergeant and then as the Flight Commander. C/Col Hamnquist has participated in Color Guard with a Wing win, Glider Academy twice, and a Leadership Academy. Within his squadron, he has earned a number of awards: Squadron Non-Commissioned Officer Award in 2012, cadet voted Best Leadership Award in both 2012 and 2013, Squadron Officer of the Year award in 2014, and this year the Air Force Association officer award.

Earned August 2015

C/Col Pendergrass joined CAP at age 12 in September 2008 originally as a member of Saddleback Composite Squadron 68.  The highlights of her CAP career include CAWG Encampment in 2011; attending National Cadet Competition in 2012 as the Alternate on the Pacific Region Color Guard and National cadet Competition in 2013 as the Commander of the Pacific Region Color Guard, where she earned Female Fleet Foot at both competitions.  C/Col Pendergrass attended and graduated from the Air Force Pararescue Orientation Course in June 2013 and she looks forward to staffing the E-Tech Robotics National Cadet Special Activity in July 2015 at Camp Pendleton.  C/Col Pendergrass graduated Saddleback Valley Christian Schools in San Juan Capistrano on 2014, running Varsity Cross Country and Track and also earning the title of 2014 National Merit Scholar.  C/Col Pendergrass currently attends Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI, and made the Dean’s List both semesters of her Freshman year.  The opportunities provided by CAP with rifle simulators and rifle bivouac piqued her interest in marksmanship and she appreciates the fact that Hillsdale College has a Shooting Sports Education Center located five miles from campus.  As an upperclassman, C/Col Pendergrass plans to shoot regularly and increase her marksmanship skills.  After college graduation in May 2018, C/Col Pendergrass’ goal is law school in preparation for a career in the criminal justice system.


Earned June 2015

C/Col Goodwin joined Los Alamitos Cadet Squadron 153 in July 2009, and has served in many leadership positions including as Cadet Commander for Squadron 153 for a year and a half.   After attending his basic Encampment in 2010, C/Col Goodwin served as a Flight Commander at the 2012 Encampment. He received his solo glider pilot rating in August of 2012 from training at Glider Squadron 41 and attended the Southwest Powered Flight Academy in July 2013 where he also completed his solo powered flight rating. In February 2013 he attended the Civic Leadership Academy in Washington D.C. representing CAP to Congressional members. Beginning at the Group 7 level and working up into the Wing level, C/Col Goodwin has served in numerous Cadet Advisory Council positions, including that of the CAC Wing Chair throughout the past year. C/Col Goodwin is currently in his fourth class year as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where he is a member of Cadet Squadron 23.


Earned December 2014

C/Col Sarah Gamble joined CAP in August of 2009 at the age of 13.  In 2011, she was on the Pacific Region Drill Team and a flight commander at the ORWG encampment and then returned in 2013 as the Cadet Deputy Commander.  She is a graduate of Hawk Mountain Ranger School, Cadet Officer School, and the Civic Leadership Academy.  In 2014 she was the Cadet Commander of the Cadet Programs Conference and the Advanced Training Squadron Commander of the NVWG encampment.  She will be a freshman at the University of the Pacific where she is a Legal Scholar studying Political Science. C/Col Gamble will be participating in AFROTC and aspires to be a Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force.

Earned August 2014

C/Col Trenton Bromenschenkel was enthusiastic about Civil Air Patrol since the age of 12, and he joined as close to his birthday as possible.  He has been involved in the program for more than seven years and served in a variety of leadership positions over that time.  He coordinated logistics, funding, and curriculum for his squadron’s first model rocketry program.  As Cadet Commander, his squadron grew to over one hundred members, becoming one of the top 20 largest squadrons in the nation.  He is proud to have served as chair of the CAWG Cadet Advisory Council as well.  Trenton graduated as a flight commander of PJOC Class 32; the Pararescue Jumper Orientation Course (PJOC) is one of Civil Air Patrol’s most physically challenging national activities.  He was also chosen as an ambassador to the Czech Republic through the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE).

Outside of Civil Air Patrol, C/Col Bromenschenkel has been active in a variety of organizations.  He was involved in his church’s AWANA program for many years and earned the Citation award, the highest in the program.  He also took part in STOA speech and debate league and placed nationally in both team policy debate and duo interpretation speaking.  He enrolled at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania to study Biochemistry (pre-med) in 2012.  During the summer after his freshman year, he interned at UC Davis’ Pre-medical Surgical Internship, Mentorship, and Research program.  After completion of his sophomore year, he worked at an orphanage clinic in Baja, Mexico for two months where he provided medical care to underserved populations.  He is excited to enter his junior year at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania and plans on applying to medical school in the spring.

Earned August 2014

C/Col Cummings joined Civil Air Patrol in February 2011 and he has been actively participating since.  He will be serving as the 130th CTS Commander for the upcoming California Wing encampment and has been the cadet commander for both a Basic Cadet School and the Drill & Ceremonies School.  In 2013, C/Col Cummins was the cadet commander for the Model Aircraft and Remote Control (MARC) National cadet Special Activity in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and will reprise his role as cadet commander at the MARC event this year in Dublin, California.

Currently, C/Col Cummins is serving as the Cadet Leadership Officer for Squadron 92 in Auburn, California.  C/Col Cummins graduated high school last year and is currently enrolled at Sierra Community College in Grass Valley, pursuing an Associates of Science degree in Business Administration and is planning to transfer to Berkeley’s Haas School of Business to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.  He is very involved with his church and has volunteered for his church’s AWANA program for 6 years; 5 as a volunteer leader working with preschoolers and one as volunteer security. While in this program, he received the Citation Award during his senior year of high school, which is the highest and most prestigious award that AWANA has to offer.

Earned June 2014

C/Col Kuykendall joined Civil Air Patrol in 2008 during his junior year in high school. While progressing through the cadet program, Bryce held many leadership positions within Fresno Composite Squadron #112 as well as serving on the Group 6 Cadet Advisory Council. Cadet Kuykendall attended and staffed many CAWG Integrated Leadership Program activities, such as BCS, NCOS, and COBC, and encampments, last serving as Cadet Director of Mess. He also is a graduate of the Cadet Officer School held at Maxwell AFB.

He is currently a student at Norwich University, the Military College of Vermont, studying International Relations, Studies in War and Peace, and Chinese. During his freshman year he was selected for the Corps of Cadets’ nationally acclaimed drill team, serving as their Armorer his sophomore year, and participated in competition events around the nation. His junior year at Norwich was spent studying in China at Sichuan University in Chengdu and traveling throughout Asia. He graduates from Norwich in May of this year and hopes to work within the State Department or other government agencies.

Earned January 2014

C/Col Flewellen has had a very active cadet career first joining San Diego Cadet Squadron 144 in April 2006 and later transferred to Corona Cadet Squadron 29 where he is currently serving as Cadet Commander.  Among his many achievements, C/Col Flewellen is a graduate of National Powered Flight Academy in Augusta, Maine, the Cadet Officers School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama and represented the United States in Germany with the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE).   C/Col Flewellen attends Azusa Pacific University majoring in Accounting and aspires to be an accounting professor.

Earned January 2014

C/Col Lanier joined the Civil Air Patrol on his 12th birthday, 20 September 2006.  As a member of Vandenberg Composite Squadron 101, C/Col Lanier quickly began exhibiting exceptional leadership ability by becoming a flight sergeant in his first year of membership and rising through various positions of increased responsibility to become cadet commander in November 2009 and then again in May 2012.  C/Col Lanier has attended and excelled at BCS, NCOS, COBC, COS and the Cadet Commanders Course, three wing encampments and has served as the vice chair of the CAWG Cadet Advisory Council.  Among his many awards, C/Col Lanier has been recognized as the Air Force Association Cadet of the Year in 2011 and 2012, the VFW Cadet of the Year in 2010 and the Group 4 Cadet Officer of the year in 2011 and 2012.  He also holds emergency services ratings as a Ground and UDF Team Member and as a Mission Radio Operator.

Outside of CAP, C/Col Lanier demonstrates his love of music through his pursuit of piano.  In addition to pursuing music composition,  in 2012, C/Col Lanier won his city’s Art Council Music Competition for his work on the piano.  C/Col Lanier exhibits both the entrepreneurial and family spirit as a partner with his father in their family business, Lanier Landscapes.

Earned May 2013

C/Col Barb joined Civil Air Patrol in January 2007.  As a member of Eugene L. Carnahan Cadet Squadron 85 in Placerville, she got a little bit of a slow start in advancement, taking almost two years to earn her first three stripes but then, in the summer of 2009, things began to happen for her that would set the tone for the rest of her CAP career.  During the summer, C/Col Barb attended her first cadet encampment, which exposed her to the leadership opportunities within CAP.  Then, Spaatens Ronald Thompson (#1319), Dustin Jones (#1336) and Laura Jones (nee Thompson #1350) joined Squadron 85 and inspired C/Col Barb to pursue the cadet program’s ultimate achievement.  Since that fateful summer, C/Col Barb has worked extremely hard as a leader in her squadron, holding the positions of Cadet Executive Officer, Cadet Deputy Commander, and is currently serving as Cadet Commander.

She was also a member of the CAWG drill team, which took 3rd place in the national competition in 2011. C/Col Barb is working as a nanny and tutor for home-schooled children and teaches piano and violin.  
C/Col Barb 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.  Please join in congratulating C/Col Barb on this monumental achievement.

Earned February 2013

Previous California Wing Spaatz Award Recipients

  • #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