Twin Brothers Receive Civil Air Patrol Cadet Highest Honor—and Make Squadron History
May 27, 2022
Twin brothers from the Georgia Wing’s Ellijay Composite Squadron 507 accepted the prestigious Spaatz award in a recent ceremony in Ellijay, Ga.
Pictured, from left, are CAP National Commander/CEO Maj. Gen. Edward Phelka, Cadet Cols. George Powell and Noah Powell, and National Vice Commander Brig. Gen. Regena Aye.
ATLANTA — It must be something in the water. In May, two top-ranked Civil Air Patrol cadets in the Georgia Wing’s Ellijay Composite Squadron 507 received the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award —a rarity in that they are twins. Even more rare, they bring the total of Spaatz award-winners from the Ellijay unit to a record six recipients from a single squadron.
Since its inception in 1964, less than 1% of all Civil Air Patrol cadets have attained the Spaatz award, CAP’s highest cadet honor.
Cadet Cols. George Powell and Noah Powell joined the elite ranks of recipients in a special awards ceremony led by the senior officers from CAP National Headquarters, Southeast Region and the Georgia Wing.
The award honors Spaatz, who was the first chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and the second national commander of Civil Air Patrol. To qualify, cadets must meet a rigorous set of guidelines in the categories of leadership, aerospace, fitness and character. More than 24,000 youths ages 12-20 participate in the CAP cadet program.
Noah Powell described the journey. “We joined in February 2017 as 12-year-olds,” he said. “I had no leadership experience, no public speaking, and no personal bearing. I have those now. Upon learning about the Spaatz, I immediately set a goal to achieve this highest award. The requirements push your personal limits and help you realize what you can achieve. Civil Air Patrol molded me and encouraged me every step of the way. I encourage all cadets to look at this award as a goal.”
George Powell added, “For me, the exposure to all phases of leadership was an unbelievable experience. I felt challenged and rewarded at each step. The required physical fitness portion alone was daunting, but I never let myself think I would do anything but succeed. That goal got me started, but the habits I developed due to CAP kept me going. I’ll continue in life to set goals and use that strategy. There is no end to the good we can do with these skills and dedication.”
Maj. Gen. Edward Phelka, CAP’s national commander and CEO, had the opportunity to speak extensively with the recipients before the award presentation. In his remarks during the ceremony, Phelka said, “These two young men are an inspiration and a reminder of how Civil Air Patrol encourages us all to give back. As twin brothers, they inspired each other in tandem, supported by their family, squadron, and a host of other CAP members who touched their lives. This squadron is truly unusual, with six Spaatz winners. That is quite a record. And all these recipients will affect the world in a very positive way.”
These twin brothers, both with 4.0 grade-point averages, collaborated and encouraged each other every step of the way and credited their achievement not only to their “positive sibling rivalry,” but also to their family, their fellow squadron members, and members throughout the organization.
Civil Air Patrol is congressionally chartered and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. CAP volunteers conduct a wide range of aviation missions with a fleet of 544 aircraft (the world’s largest single-engine fleet), more than 1,000 vehicles, 2,250 small Unmanned Aerial Systems and a nationwide network of more than 10,000 radios. CAP has also developed unique lifesaving software technology to make search and rescue operations faster and more efficient for both air and ground searches.
CAP performs services for the federal government as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and for states and local communities. CAP is a strategic member of the Total Force, consisting of the Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and the Air Force auxiliary. CAP performs three primary missions of cadet programs, aerospace education, and emergency services. In this role, CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and other agencies. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 24,000 young people participating in the CAP cadet program. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com and CAP.news for more information.
Photo Attribution: 2nd Lt. Jay Worsham, CAP Public Affairs Officer Ellijay CAP Composite Squadron, SER-GA507 Contact Information 1st Lt. Alysia English, CAP Southeast Region Director of Public Affairs Tel 404-273-2760