TROY — As a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program, one teen shared how the program has made a positive impact on his life.
Max Foster-Webb, 17, of Springfield, received the Civil Air Patrol’s Amelia Earhart award for completing Phase III of the cadet program on Nov. 27.
With the award, Foster-Webb was promoted to the grade of cadet captain and is eligible to represent the United States in the International Air Cadet Exchange.
The award recognizes four areas of excellence that Cadet Capt. Foster-Webb achieved including leadership, aerospace, fitness tests and character. Earhart award winners must pass comprehensive exams in leadership and aerospace topics.
Foster-Webb has been part of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 706 for five years. The squadron meets weekly at the WACO Historical Society’s Museum. Foster-Webb said he joined the CAP to make friends and learn more about the aviation field.
“I had zero self-confidence when I first joined this program. It has made me the leader that I am today,” he said. “It’s taught me so much and I’ve been able to take things I’ve learned from this program and take it into my college life. I’ve made so many friends all over the nation, all over the globe. I have a best friend in Japan, I have friends in Canada. It’s given me so many opportunities and I recommend it to any teenager.”
Foster-Webb said his participation in the cadet program has taken him far in life.
“This summer I was honored to attend the National Blue Beret in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. It’s the largest air show in the world and I was able to staff it. That’s a big one. In three weeks, I’ll be going to Florida to staff an encampment there. I like going to different places I would have never through to have gone without CAP.”
Foster-Webb is a freshman at Sinclair State Community College and is studying fire science and EMS.
Lt. Col. Monyca Uecker challenged Foster-Webb to earn the next coveted award called the Spaatz award, which is the CAP’s highest cadet honor.
“It’s a goal of mine to achieve the next award, the Spaatz award. I wanted to win the Earhart award because my cousin achieved it and he aged out so it’s a goal of mine to go the next level,” he said.
Uecker explained there are three awards cadets in the Civil Air Patrol can achieve, the first is the Mitchell, the second Amelia Earhart and the third is the prestigious Spaatz award.
“I’ve know Capt. Webb from different Civil Air Patrol activities. Our job is to oversee CAP and everything they do in a six state region,” Uecker said. Uecker estimated there are approximately 65,000 members in CAP in the nation. “You can join at age 12 and stay in it for life. It’s a great program if you want to join the military or you just want to serve your community or you need something to keep you out of trouble after school. Everybody has different reasons for joining and it’s not just that they want to join the military.”
The Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force. The CAP, made of civilian volunteers, has four goals including the cadet program, homeland security, aerospace education and emergency services. The Cadet program is led by Commander Capt. Seth Nottingham and Lt. Robert Schwartz, deputy Commander. Squadron 706 meets each Tuesday at WACO Historical Society’s Air Museum in Troy. The cadet program is for anyone ages 12- 21 years old.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org