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Tracy Civil Air Patrol Cadet Received General Billy Mitchell Award

January 6, 2021

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Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Lena Amato of the California Wing’s Tri-Valley Composite Squadron 156 earned the General Billy Mitchell Award and was promoted to the grade of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant today.

Amato, a Civil Air Patrol member since September 2018, is a freshman at Kimball High School where she is enrolled in multiple advanced tracks including the prestigious Medical and Health Services Academy and Leadership classes. Lieutenant Amato is also a member of the school’s Math Olympiad Team.

When asked about her award, Amato said “I’m excited and honored to receive this award. Receiving this award has given me time to reflect on the many challenges along the way, and how CAP has shaped me as an individual, preparing me for the future. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey and am appreciative of the senior members who have dedicated so much of their time to help me achieve my goal.”.

Amato is the Alpha Flight Commander of Squadron 156 and has held multiple leadership positions for the squadron including Chief of Staff, Leadership NCO and Alpha Flight Sergeant. Lieutenant Amato was also selected as element leader during the 2019 California Encampment and attended the challenging 2019 Winter Search and Rescue Exercise in Pioneer, California.

Lieutenant Amato has earned the Civil Air Patrol STEM badge after completing advanced training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math topics. Furthermore, she was a founding member of the Squadron 156 CyberPatriot Competition Team which advanced to the national semi-final round during the 2019-2020 competitive season for which Lieutenant Amato received the Civil Air Patrol Achievement Award.

The Gen. Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent Air Force for America. The award is earned after completing the first eight achievements of the cadet program. In addition, the cadet must pass an arduous 100 question examination testing leadership theory and aerospace topics. Since its inception over 30 years ago, more than 42,000 cadets have earned this honor.

Being such an important milestone in the CAP cadet program, the Mitchell Award is normally presented by a CAP group commander or higher, the wing director of cadet programs, or a state or federal government official. Once the cadet earns the Mitchell Award, they are promoted to the grade of Cadet 2d Lieutenant. These cadets, who later enter the CAP's Senior Member program, are eligible for immediate promotion to CAP 2d Lt at age 21.

Those cadets who receive the Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement in the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enlist in the US Air Force. They are also eligible for advanced credit in the Air Force ROTC program. Mitchell Award cadets may also apply for a variety of scholarships and CAP special activities.

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