Virginia Cadet's Mitchell Marks Three Generations of Recipients
When Cadet 2nd Lt. Aden Doniger of the Virginia Wing’s Southside Composite Squadron received Civil Air Patrol’s Gen. Billy Mitchell Award, he was not only advancing in CAP, he was also continuing a family tradition.
The Mitchell has been awarded to three generations in Doniger’s family. His father, Capt. Mike Doniger of the Southside squadron, achieved the award in 1992. The cadet’s great-aunt, Diane Germano, received it in 1970.
The Mitchell award marks a cadet’s transition from the cadet program’ noncommissioned officer phase to the officer phase, which features more challenges and opportunities to grow as a leader. Mitchell candidates must undergo rigorous testing that assesses their cumulative knowledge of the fundamentals of leadership and aerospace. They must also attend an encampment.
Only 15% of cadets achieve the Mitchell award, which includes a promotion to the rank of cadet second lieutenant.
On July 4 father and son traveled to New York to celebrate the accomplishment with
Germano, along with the cadet’s great-grandfather, who served as a U.S. Marine in World War II, and other family members.
Cadet Doniger said he’s especially gratified at how he has “grown closer to my aunt through our shared CAP experiences, such as flying gliders, and that it’s clear my accomplishment has made her and my great-grandfather so proud.”
“Civil Air Patrol was foundational in preparing me for much of my own journey, directly impacting my service as an officer in the Navy, and beyond, and so it is gratifying to see the positive impact CAP has already had on Aden as well,” said Mike Doniger, who went on to achieve CAP’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, in 1994.
Cadet 2nd Lt. Akayla Pfingsten
Leesburg Composite Squadron