Texas Cadet Achieves Top Honor, Spaatz Award
Maj. Dennis A. Eibe
Pegasus Composite Squadron
Cadet Col. Lake Mills of the Texas Wing’s Pegasus Composite Squadron, already selected in March to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, has capped his Civil Air Patrol cadet career with the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, CAP's top cadet honor.
Since joining CAP on Sept. 30, 2016, Mills has attended the Texas Wing Headquarters Cadet Command Staff College, Cadet Officer Training School and Cadet Noncommissioned Officer Academy. He was recognized as the Honor Cadet for the Lone Star Emergency Services Academy South in 2018 and for Zulu Flight at the 2017 Intermediate Encampment. He participated in CAP's Shirley Martin Power Flight Academy in 2019, receiving his pre-solo wings.
Mills is home-schooled but also attends high school at One Day Academy and takes dual credit courses at Austin Community College. He teaches Sunday school classes and serves as a junior deacon at his church, where he also operates the sound system and previously sang in the choir. In addition, he reads books to nearby nursing home residents with dementia.
He’s involved in the Bastrop Youth Shooting Club, lettered in varsity basketball, football and track and is captain of the football team, which just won its its third state championship.
He speaks Russian and traveled overseas with the U. S. Department of State in a Russian language immersion program for seven weeks in Moldova.
Mills will begin attending the Air Force Academy on June 24. He hopes to become an F-35 fighter pilot.
Less than one-half of 1 percent of all CAP cadets earn the Spaatz award, which requires devoting an average of five years to progress through 16 achievements in the cadet program. In doing so 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 final step in earning the award is a rigorous four-part exam consisting of a physical fitness test, an essay exam testing moral reasoning and comprehensive written exams on leadership and on aerospace education.