West Virginia Cadet Achieves Spaatz Award
Cadet Col. Alex M. Goodin of the West Virginia Wing’s Parkersburg Composite Squadron has achieved his Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, after passing the exam for the award on his first attempt.
Goodin joined the Parkersburg squadron in April 2018. He has served in leadership positions at the 2018 and 2018 Virginia Wing Conferences and for National Legislative Day in 2019. He earned his search and rescue ground team badge in 2019 and has served as an instructor at various emergency services activities throughout the wing.
Goodin was inducted into the West Virginia Wing Cadet Honor Society in 2019 and again in 2021. Now the Parkersburg squadron’s cadet commander, he previously served as first sergeant in 2019 and deputy commander from 2020-2021..
He encourages younger cadets to “put in the effort. At times it will feel like you’re not getting anywhere, and you’ll want to give up. Do not give up.”
“You will never regret the effort you put in, and if you keep up the hard work, someday you will find yourself at the top, asking yourself how you got there.
“It goes fast, so make the most of the time you have and shoot for the stars.”
The Spaatz award, attained by less than one-half of 1% of all cadets, is presented to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education. Cadets qualify for the honor after devoting an average of five years to progress through 16 achievements in the cadet program.
The final step is a four-part exam consisting of a challenging physical fitness test, an essay exam testing the cadet’s moral reasoning, and comprehensive written exams on leadership and aerospace education. Those achieving the award attain CAP’s highest cadet rank, cadet colonel.
The proctor for Goodin’s exam was Capt. Thomas Johnston, operations officer and squadron leadership officer for the Charleston Composite Squadron, who received his Spaatz award in September 1986.
The award is named for the first chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.