On April 17, 2024

Rutland teen earns national award from Civil Air Patrol

By TSgt Jeremy Bishop
David Burch, of Rutland, received the Billy Mitchell Award for his Cadet training.

David Burch of Rutland was awarded the Brigadier General Billy Mitchell Award, joining a select group of cadets in the state. The award is given to cadets who have demonstrated sustained excellence in all aspects of cadet performance: character, leadership, aerospace education and fitness. Only 15% of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets achieve the Mitchell Award, according to the release. 

C/2Lt Burch joined CAP in 2021 and attended basic encampment in 2022 and subsequently was on encampment staff in 2023. In 2024 he placed in the Top 4 in the Wing for cadet competition earning a spot on the Wing color guard and competition team. He is currently serving as operations officer for Rutland Composite Squadron.

The ceremony was held at the squadron’s headquarters on the grounds of the Rutland Regional Airport in Clarendon. It was attended by squadron members and family as well as the Wing Commander for the state of Vermont, Col. Richard Beach.

This award honors the late General Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent air force for America. The award is the first milestone of the cadet program in CAP, and is earned after the completion of the first eight achievements of the cadet program, which includes physical fitness, character development, and other training. In addition, the cadet must pass a comprehensive 100-question test covering leadership theory and aerospace topics.  

Civil Air Patrol is the all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary.  CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s cadet programs.

The Vermont Wing of CAP has squadron locations throughout the state.

For more information, visit: vtwg.cap.gov.

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