Four Cadets Promoted at Awards Ceremony

On Thursday evening at Davison Army Airfield, four MVCS cadets were recognized and promoted at a squadron ceremony.

Cadets Stephen Gordon and Dien Dewever earned the Wright Brothers Award which is accompanied by promotion to Cadet Staff Sergeant.  This award is part of what Civil Air Patrol calls the “Learning Phase,” or Phase I.  Cadet Zachary Namiotka completed the Charles Lindbergh Achievement, accompanied by promotion to Cadet Master Sergeant.  This is the second achievement in Phase II, the “Leadership Phase.”  Finally, Cadet Leilani Kavanagh earned the Earhart Award, accompanied by the final promotion in Phase III, the “Command Phase,” to Cadet Captain. 

Parents, family members and MVCS senior members were present for the ceremony.  As each awardee marched front and center to be recognized and have new collar devices pinned on by parents, Cadet Major Clare Porter, who served as master of ceremonies, explained the significance of each award.  Civil Air Patrol cadet awards are named after individuals who have accomplished great things in the field of aviation.  More details can be found online via CAP’s “Stripes to Diamonds” page.

C/SSgt Stephen Gordon has new collar devices affixed by his parents. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.
Capt. James Kavanagh and the mother of C/SSgt Dien Dewever replace S/SSgt Dewever’s collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Capt. James Kavanagh assists C/MSgt Zachary Namiotka’s parents as they pin on his new collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Capt. James Kavanagh assisted by MVCS commander, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter (out of frame on left) pin on C/Capt Leilani Kavanagh’s new devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Cadet Award Ceremony

Col. Bruce Heinlein was our squadron’s guest of honor at Thursday’s cadet meeting during which three awardees were recognized.

Cadet Capt. Clare Porter received the Earhart Award which marks the transition of the cadet from the command phase to the executive phase of the cadet officer corps.  Porter’s promotion to cadet captain accompanies this award.  Perhaps no name is as symbolic of aerospace achievement as Amelia Earhart. In 1928, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air.  She disappeared in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the world in a twin engine Lockheed Electra. Her disappearance is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the 20th century.

C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Sr. Airman Ryan Porter was awarded the Mary Feik Achievement, CAP’s third achievement, which is accompanied by promotion to cadet senior airman.  Mary Feik is an amazing aviator whose contributions to CAP are legendary.  More on her background was covered in a recent post on our site, which includes an informative video produced by another CAP unit.

Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Michael Brokate received the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) NCO of the Year Award.  We were honored to have the Command Chief of the National Capital Wing, Chief Master Sergeant Denny Orcutt, make this presentation.  In 1961, four men established AFSA to become a beacon for advocating quality of life concerns affecting the Air Force Enlisted Corps. AFSA now has seven divisions and 130 chapters across the globe.

CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Following the presentation of awards, Col. Heinlein, the NATCAP Wing commander and a former commander of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron, made remarks to the cadet formation and their guests in attendance.  Afterward, the cadets were dismissed to enjoy refreshments with one another and their families.  Finally, Col. Heinlein and CMSgt. Orcutt held separate meetings with cadet officers and NCOs to field questions and discuss current CAP issues.