Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Carroll squadron’s Midkiff earns Gen. Billy Mitchell Award

July 2017 — Westminster, MD —  Civil Air Patrol Cadet Laura Midkiff of Maryland Wing’s Carroll Composite Squadron, was promoted to Cadet 2nd Lt. and awarded the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award. Receiving the prestigious Mitchell Award marks the end of the enlisted phase of the cadet program and provides the newly appointed cadet officer a wealth of advanced program opportunities. Since its inception over 30 years ago, more than 42,000 cadets have earned this honor. Lt. Col. John Henderson, Maryland Wing’s vice commander for operations, was on hand to present the award and joined with other squadron members and guests to congratulate Cadet 2nd Lt. Midkiff for her accomplishment.

Midkiff joined CAP and the Carroll squadron in 2015 with a personal commitment, “To make the best of the cadet program, work hard and maintain a positive attitude and effort to achieve success.” Her advice to other cadets is to, “Take chances and work hard to push yourself to the next level. You never know what you can do until you try it.” This fall she enters her senior year at Westminster High School. Looking to the future, Midkiff plans to attend college majoring in deaf studies with the ultimate goal of becoming an interrupter for the deaf.

The Gen. Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, advocate and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America. The award is the second milestone in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, marking the completion of Phase II, the Leadership Phase, and is accompanied by a promotion to the officer ranks.  Only 15 percent of Civil Air Patrol cadets will obtain the Mitchell award. Within Civil Air Patrol, cadets who attain the Mitchell award are eligible for scholarships, Cadet Officer School and Civic Leadership Academy.  Any cadet who has earned this award, and who later enters CAP’s senior member program, is eligible for immediate promotion to CAP second lieutenant at age 21.  Cadets who receive the Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the U.S. Air Force.

When asked about her CAP experience, Midkiff said, “I would highly recommend the CAP program to anyone because it has something for everyone including aerospace, leadership, emergency services and provides a military aspect. My best experience was staffing Tri-Wing encampment for the first time this past year. It was more trying than I had anticipated, but the experience taught me to have a lot of perseverance and the importance of time management.”

Carroll Composite Squadron meets 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings at the Hilltop Assembly of God Church Hall at 30 North Cranberry Road in Westminster, Md. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities are invited as well. You can follow the Squadron on Facebook at

Nearly 1,600 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at 4.6 million dollars. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.


by Capt. Alice Raatjes, Public Affairs Officer, Group II.

Photo: Lt. Col. John Henderson, Maryland Wing vice commander for operations, presents the prestigious Gen. Billy Mitchell award to newly promoted Cadet 2nd Lt. Laura Midkiff.  (Photo credit:  1st Lt. Carol Scanlan, CAP)

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