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Gwinnett's Brown Earns Spaatz Award

October 8, 2021

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LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - While many teenagers were sleeping in or spending their weekends playing video games, Gabrielle Brown was hard at work learning to fly, to save lives, and above all to lead those around her. Last week that journey culminated in Brown earning a distinction that less than 2,500 people have accomplished since 1964: the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. Presented to those who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education, cadets qualify for this prestigious award after devoting an average of four years to progress through sixteen achievements in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadet Program. Along the way they develop self-discipline, a strong sense of personal responsibility, the ability to lead and persuade, and the foundation necessary for pursuing a career in aviation, space, or technology.

The award comes with a promotion to Cadet Colonel, the highest grade possible in the Cadet Program. Spaatz Cadets are expected to serve as role models for junior cadets, and become leaders in their communities as they enter adulthood. "I didn't get my Spaatz because I needed it, I got it because I wanted it," said Cadet Colonel Brown, referring to her unending goal of fulfilling these expectations by inspiring other cadets around her, expectations she is very familiar with as Cadet Commander of CAP's Gwinnett County Composite Squadron.

In addition to her local squadron responsibilities, Brown has gained plenty of leadership experience through other activities, including three encampments, National Blue Beret, and Region Cadet Leadership School.

On average, 41-42 CAP cadets earn the Spaatz award each year, or roughly 0.5%. These numbers are a testament to how exceptional these young leaders really are, and Cadet Colonel Brown is an excellent example.

For More Information:

Senior Member Abigail Palmieri
Gwinnett County Composite Squadron Public Affairs Officer

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