Georgia Cadet Earns Spaatz Award, Top Cadet Honor
Senior Member Abbi Palmieri
Public Affairs Officer
Gwinnett County Composite Squadron
While many teenagers were sleeping in or spending their weekends playing video games, Gabrielle Brown was hard at work learning to fly, to save lives and above all to lead those around her.
That journey culminated Oct. 3 in Brown’s earning a distinction that fewer than 2,500 people have accomplished since 1964: Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.
A CAP member since October 2017, Brown is cadet commander of the Georgia Wing’s Gwinnett County Composite Squadron. She has participated in three encampments, National Blue Beret and Region Cadet Leadership School.
Presented to those who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness and aerospace education, less than one-half of 1% of cadets qualify for the award after devoting an average of four years to progress through 16 achievements in the CAP cadet program. Along the way they develop self-discipline, a strong sense of personal responsibility, the ability to lead and persuade, and the foundation necessary for pursuing a career in aviation, space,or technology.
The award comes with a promotion to cadet colonel, the highest cadet grade possible. Spaatz cadets are expected to serve as role models for junior cadets and become leaders in their communities as they enter adulthood.