Civil Air Patrol General Awards Local Teen
Fredericksburg, VA., January 16, 2013 - Sixteen year old Stafford local, Matthew G. Papandrea, was recently presented with the Civil Air Patrol¹s elite Amelia Earhart Award and the rank of Cadet Captain by the organization¹s National Vice Commander, Brigadier General Joseph R. Vazquez.
The award was presented to Cadet Captain Papandrea on January 12th during the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron¹s annual Dining Out, a military style dinner and ball.
The Earhart Award is named after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who was the first female pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, and who disappeared trying to circumnavigate the globe. Her award is the third highest in the CAP program. Approximately 5% of cadets nation-wide have received it since its creation in 1964. There are currently 26,000 Civil Air Patrol cadets nationwide.
To qualify for this award, Papandrea passed a 100 question comprehensive exam covering leadership and aeronautics, a demanding physical fitness test, and embodied the CAP core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect. This is all in addition to completing eleven prior achievements, each with multiple tests of their own.
Papandrea, who is currently a sophomore at Mountain View High School, says he joined the Civil Air Patrol in 2009 because, I was interested in being part of an organization where I had the opportunity to contribute to saving the lives of others.
Papandrea currently serves in the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron as Deputy Cadet Commander and Honor Guard Commander. He has attended the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard Academy three times receiving, respectively, the Honor Cadet award, the Honor and Pride Cadet award, and the Honor Guardsmen award.
At Mountain View, he holds letters in band and swim team, and was named Most Dedicated Swimmer and Freshman of the Year in 2012. He is also a section leader in the marching band. He plans to attend a four year state college or service academy when he graduates in 2015.
Papandrea says of his time in the program, CAP has provided me with a tremendous amount of leadership experience. Hopefully I will be able to use this experience in my future career.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 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 80 lives annually. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local
agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember,
honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.