N.H. Cadet Honored with Spaatz Award
2nd Lt. Jessica Brackett
Seacoast Composite Squadron
New Hampshire Wing
Cadet Col. David M. Brackett of the Seacoast Composite Squadron is the 20th New Hampshire Wing cadet to receive Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award – achieved by less than one-half of 1% of all cadets.
A CAP member since 2014, Brackett is a recent graduate of Portsmouth Christian Academy in Dover. Formerly the Seacoast squadron’s cadet commander, he has also served as academy deputy commander of the wing’s Winter Leadership Academy, cadet commander of the wing’s Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School, vice chairman of the wing Cadet Advisory Council and wing representative on the Northeast Region council. ‘
Brackett is a graduate of the Air Force Pararescue and Survival Orientation Course at Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and was also one of four cadets selected for the wing’s annual 2017 Cadet Leadership Exchange with the United Kingdom.
At the end of this month he will report in at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a member of the Class of 2023 to pursue a degree in civil engineering and a pilot rating.
“To the cadets that are still in the seats that I once was, find your furthest goals and set your sights on them,” Brackett said. “I can attest that consistent, repeated effort will get you there.”
The Spaatz award is named in honor of the first chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. Cadets can qualify by progressing through six achievements in the CAP cadet program. The final step is a four-part exam consisting of a physical fitness test, an essay exam testing moral reasoning, and comprehensive written exams on leadership and on aerospace.
Brackett received his Spaatz award certificate and a challenge coin from Col. Todd Swass, New Hampshire National Guard Joint Force Headquarters director of staff. “I know that our Total Force is in good hands with a bright future thanks to talented patriots like you,” he told the cadet during his keynote remarks.
Maj. Grayson Grantham, Seacoast squadron commander, told the audience about Brackett’s achievements not only in CAP – where he focused on ground team training but also enjoyed flying gliders – but also in high school.
At PCA he earned a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) scholarship and also competed on the cross country and track and field teams and served as a team captain, participating in several state championships and earning Most Valuable Player and “Mighty in Spirit” Awards.
He also founded the Model United Nations at his school and competed at the state level in VEX Competition Robotics and Quiz Bowl.
Col. Kevin Harbison, New Hampshire Wing commander, first presented the Seacoast unit with recognition as the wing Squadron of Merit. Then came a change of command ceremony as Brackett relinquished his cadet command to Cadet 2nd Lt. Jayme Brannan.
Photos by 2nd Lt. Jessica Brackett