Timmerman Composite Squadron Cadet Achieves Grade of Cadet Officer

Photo by Capt Jeri Gonwa - Left to right: Capt Thomas Kondziella, Timmerman Composite Squadron Commander; Representative Dale Kooyenga, Wisconsin 14th District; C/2d Lt Travis Maxwell

Milwaukee, Wis. – Civil Air Patrol Cadet Travis Maxwell received the General Billy Mitchell Award Monday evening in front of a standing room only crowd. Maxwell’s father, Mr. Timothy Maxwell and State Representative Dale Kooyenga placed the 2nd Lieutenant grade on his shoulders and congratulated him for a job well done.

Captain Thomas Kondziella, Timmerman Composite Squadron commander, presented him with a certificate for the Mitchell award. Kondziella praised Maxwell’s hard work and stated that due to his dedication to the organization, he had earned the grade of cadet officer.

Maxwell joined CAP at the age of 12; the earliest a cadet can join, and currently holds the position of cadet flight commander at Timmerman. He has been on the squadron’s drill team, placing second in the 2009 Great Lakes Region Cadet Competition; as well as on the squadron’s color guard, Cyber Patriot team, worked in various emergency service positions, assisted at numerous air shows, including EAA’s AirVenture. He has consistently taken top honors in fund raising events and is currently working on the squadron’s unmanned aerial vehicle project. He recently started the process of obtaining his private pilot’s license.

Currently a sophomore in high school, he plans to attend the University of North Dakota. His goal in life is to join the Air Force with hopes of securing a pilot slot, eventually become a commercial airline pilot after serving his country.

When asked about how he feels about reaching this milestone in CAP, Maxwell stated, “This achievement makes me feel like all the work I have done in the past three years, all the great opportunities, and all the great people that I have been around and exposed to have all served a purpose in shaping me and making me the person that I am today.”
The Mitchell Award, established in 1964, honors the late General Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer and advocate of an independent U.S. Air Force. The award is the second major milestone of the cadet program and according to national headquarters, only 15% of cadets obtain this achievement.
Cadets who receive the Mitchell award are eligible for advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the U.S. Air Force as well as advanced placement in other branches of the service.  In addition, Mitchell cadets are eligible for advance credit in the AFROTC program, various CAP scholarships, as well as participate in special National Cadet Specialized Activities (NCSA).

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. 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 was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. 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 CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 70 years. It is a major partner of 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 on CAP. For Wisconsin Wing information, please visit http://wicap.us.

About 1st Lt. Dan Turkal

Communications & Emergency Services Officer