EAU CLAIRE – Cadet 2d Lt. Casey Owen of the Wisconsin Wing’s Eau Claire Composite Squadron received the General Billy Mitchell Award on September 22. This award will be presented by the Wisconsin Wing Commander of the Civil Air Patrol, Colonel Rose Hunt at the Wisconsin National Guard Armory in Eau Claire Wisconsin.
Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Owen has previously held positions as Element Leader and Flight Sergeant in the squadron. Currently Owen is the Cadet Commander of the Eau Claire Composite Squadron.
Owen attended two Civil Air Patrol, National Cadet Special Activities during the summer of 2016. In June, he attended the AMMA – Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance Academy, which was held at Cessna’s production facility in Independence Kansas. While at Cessna he learned about aircraft maintenance and worked on the manufacturing line for a week, building air planes. Owen was also selected to attended Civil Air Patrol’s National Blue Beret program. This program is held in late July and in support of the EAA Air Venture fly in. During this fifteen-day activity the Cadets work in support of EAA, providing aircraft marshalling, crowd control and security. During the week of EAA Air Venture, Wittman Field at Oshkosh, Wisconsin becomes one of the world’s busiest airports. Owen received his Blue Beret from the National Commander of Civil Air Patrol, Major General Joseph Vazquez at a ceremony held during the event. Owen also earned his “Find Ribbon” award during National Blue Beret. The Find Ribbon, recognizes members that have made a find on a search and rescue mission. Cadet Owen plans to return to National Blue Beret in 2017 to assist with training and leadership activities. Owen also attended the Wisconsin Cadet Academy held at Volk Field this summer for his second year of encampment training. During this advanced program, cadets build their leadership, followership and team building skills, while receiving officer training.
Cadet 2d Lt. Casey Owen is a Junior at Boyceville High School. He has actively participated as a member of the Boyceville Science Olympiad program since the 6th grade and is presently a member of the High School Varsity team. Owen has participated in a number of the High School Drama productions, is an Honor Roll Student and is currently entering his 2nd year with the Cross Country team.
Owen is an active member of the Boyceville Hanger Owners and Pilots Association. During their annual fly in held during Boyceville Pickle Fest, Owen assisted with flight line marshalling as airplanes arrived and departed the airport. Owen is also responsible for tracking airport usage and traffic at the Boyceville Airport and reports these numbers at their monthly meetings.
Over the past 9 months, Owen has been working with Gibson Aviation in Menomonie and flight instructor Dave Wacker to complete all the requirements for his Private Pilot Certificate. On his recent 17th birthday Owen took his test with an FAA examiner and passed both portions. He is now on his way to realizing he dream of working in the aviation field.
The Gen. 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 award 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, more than 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 2d Lieutenant. These cadets, who later enter the CAP’s Senior Member program, are eligible for immediate promotion to CAP 2d Lt 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. 15% of Civil Air Patrol cadets achieve the Mitchell Award.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 57,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 90 lives in fiscal year 2008. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 22,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 67 years. For more information, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.