Spencer York, a North Ridgeville 10th-grade homeschooler, was promoted recently by the Medina County Skyhawks, the 219th Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The cadet earned the Wright Brothers Achievement, honoring Wilbur and Orville Wright, the two Dayton brothers who are credited with achieving the first powered, controlled, sustained, heavier-than-air flight, on Dec. 17, 1903.

Cadets earn the award upon completing Phase I, “The Learning Phase,” consisting of the cadet program’s first three achievements. The award recognizes excellence in all four areas of cadet life: leadership, aerospace, fitness and character. Once a cadet earns the Wright Brothers Award, he or she is promoted to the grade of cadet staff sergeant and begins service as a cadet non-commissioned officer. Cadet NCOs are expected to transition from individuals who have been cared for to young servant-leaders who care for others as they enter Phase II of the Cadet Program – The Leadership Phase.

Cadet Staff Sgt. York joined in October 2019.

Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). It performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 82 lives annually.

CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

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