Cadet 2d Lt. Michael Carlos of South Orange and Cadet 2d Lt. Nicholas Toth both recently earned the Billy Mitchell Award. Both cadets are members of the Civil Air Patrol Curtiss-Wright Composite Squadron. Maj. David Isom, CAP, Group 221 Commander, presented them with their awards.

Nationally, less than twenty percent of cadets earn this honor. Carlos and Toth are the fourth and fifth cadets from the Curtiss-Wright Composite Squadron to earn the award in the last year.

A South Orange resident, Carlos advises younger cadets to “study extremely hard and prepare yourselves for excellence.” As a cadet Carlos has been involved in honor guard, served as squadron Flight Sergeant, and participated in search and rescue training. He currently attends Rutgers and is studying biology.

Sign Up for E-News

Civil Air Patrol has “challenged me and changed me as a person,” said Toth, a Boonton resident. During his time as a Cadet Toth has participated in search and rescue training, attended an intensive leadership academy, and served as squadron Flight Sergeant. After high school he intends to enlist in the Air Force and pursue a career as a pararescueman.

Both cadets are members of the Civil Air Patrol Curtiss-Wright Composite Squadron. The Curtiss Wright Composite Squadron meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings at the American Red Cross in Fairfield, NJ. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. For more information, visit http://curtiss-wright.njwg.cap.gov/.

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.

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. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.