Brackett Receives CAP Mitchell Award

Civil Air Patrol Seacoast Composite Squadron honored David M. Brackett, 15, with the Billy Mitchell Award this week on the 75th Anniversary of Civil Air Patrol.
Cadet Brackett advanced to the rank of Second Lieutenant with the achievement of this award. He is the son of Troy and Jessica Brackett of Somersworth.

Brackett, a Civil Air Patrol member since October 2014, is a sophomore at Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Brackett currently serves the Seacoast Squadron as Flight Sergeant of Alpha Flight. As part of the program, Brackett has graduated from the NH/VT Summer Encampment, NH Wing NCO Leadership School and Air Force Pararescue & Survival Orientation Course at Kirkland AFB in New Mexico. At the end of the month, he will be serving on staff at the 2016 New Hampshire Winter Cadet Leadership Academy.

Asked about his promotion, he said, “I’ve had the goal of achieving Mitchell since the day I first joined CAP and as I have grown in my leadership, I’ve discovered that it is exciting to be part of a program that allows me to lead and train cadets that will later do the same for others.”

The Gen. Billy Mitchell Award is one of Civil Air Patrol’s most prestigious cadet honors; it marks the advancement from cadet, enlisted ranks to that of officer. In existence 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, as well as a rigorous physical fitness test. Only about 1100 Cadets annually earn this award, making them eligible for advanced placement should they choose to enter the US Air Force. They are also eligible for advanced credit in AFROTC, various CAP scholarships and CAP special activity opportunities.

Being such an important milestone in the CAP cadet program, the Mitchell Award was personally presented to Brackett by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Hunter, Northeast Region Civil Air Patrol Liaison, who traveled from New Jersey to present the award. Seacoast Composite Squadron, located on the Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, meets on Thursday evenings and is commanded by Major John Washington.

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. For more information, visit