Three Civil Air Patrol members receive highest honor

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CAP members with their awards.

HUDSON VALLEY – Three Hudson Valley members of the New York Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) have been awarded the General Carl A. Spaatz Award, the highest honor for CAP cadets.  The awards were presented at the New York Wing’s annual conference on November 13 by CAP National Commander, Maj. Gen. Edward Phelka, a previous Spaatz Award recipient.

CAP Senior Member Sean Flynn of the Orange County Cadet Squadron and Cadet Cols. Grant Becker and Adam DeLitta of the Westchester Cadet Squadron are the latest recipients.  Less than one-half of 1% of cadets achieve the award.

“I credit my success in CAP as well in my private life largely due to CAP’s Cadet program,” said Phelka, who attained the Spaatz award as a Michigan Wing cadet in June 1993.

Flynn, who joined CAP in January 2014, served as the Orange County squadron’s cadet commander and led the squadron’s CyberPatriot team to two straight state championships.  He holds private pilot and small Unmanned Aerial System pilot certificates, is an Eagle Scout, and is a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He works in Textron’s Cessna division.

Becker, a CAP member since August 2016, has also served as his squadron’s cadet commander. He graduated from Region Cadet Leadership School and the Hawk Mountain Ranger School and Field Medic course.  Becker holds an sUAS pilot certificate and has soloed in powered and glider aircraft. The high school senior is an emergency medical technician and volunteers with his local ambulance squad.

DeLitta joined CAP in 2015. A former squadron cadet commander as well, he is a graduate of Cadet Officer School and National Cyber Academy and participated in the National Blue Beret cadet special activity and the International Air Cadet Exchange.

He earned the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Medal, the highest civilian award for volunteer service, and holds an sUAS pilot certificate, and has earned several emergency services qualifications. DeLitta attends Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst, New York, studying airport management.