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Foxx Awards Walnut Cove Student with Civil Air Patrol's Highest Cadet Honor

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Clemmons, N.C., August 7, 2013 | Ericka Perryman (202-225-2071) | comments
“Through a combination of talent and tenacity, Josiah Gourley has accomplished the rare achievement of earning the Civil Air Patrol’s Spaatz Award,” Congresswoman Foxx stated. “I congratulate Josiah on this accomplishment and what it reveals about his character, and trust that he will continue to lead, serve and inspire others in his ranks.”
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Clemmons, N.C. –Congresswoman Virginia Foxx Tuesday presented the highest cadet award in the United States Air Force Auxiliary’s Civil Air Patrol to Mr. Josiah Gourley, a rising high school senior from Walnut Cove. Gourley’s achievement marks only the 1899th time in the history of the Civil Air Patrol that the Spaatz Award has been earned.

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx presents the Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor, the Spaatz Award, to Cadet Josiah Gourley of Walnut Cove.

“Through a combination of talent and tenacity, Josiah Gourley has accomplished the rare achievement of earning the Civil Air Patrol’s Spaatz Award,” Congresswoman Foxx stated. “I congratulate Josiah on this accomplishment and what it reveals about his character, and trust that he will continue to lead, serve and inspire others in his ranks.”

“The Spaatz is considered the pinnacle of a cadet’s career, and requires years of studying and leadership,” Cadet Josiah Gourley said. “The things I enjoyed most while pursuing this goal were the people I met and the many different leadership styles to which I was exposed. I truly believe that it has taught me to appreciate how much pressure leaders can be under. Regardless of what career I enter, although I hope to serve in the military, the skills of leadership, followership and self-discipline I’ve learned from the Civil Air Patrol will always be a big part of my life.” 

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Cadet Colonel Josiah Gourley and Civil Air Patrol Major Eric Ordain.

About Cadet Josiah Gourley: A lifelong resident of Walnut Cove, Josiah Gourley is the son of Timothy and Leslieann Gourley. He has excelled academically through homeschooling and is an active member of his community through civic, church and Civil Air Patrol activities.

Since joining the Civil Air Patrol in 2008, Cadet Colonel Gourley has served with distinction and won a reputation as one of the top cadets to engage the CAP cadet program. Through a broad range of duty assignments and service opportunities, Gourley has consistently performed with excellence.

Beyond the rigorous physical fitness requirements of the Civil Air Patrol and the careful training required of ground team members, Gourley earned the prestigious “Ranger First Class” rating. In addition to mastering significant amounts of aerospace education knowledge, he supported his passion for aviation with hard work and earned the opportunity to “solo,” or fly a CAP airplane by himself, last summer at the National Flight Academy. In addition to his outstanding work leading cadets in his local squadron, where his service as cadet commander capped a long string of successful duty positions, Gourley served as commander of the statewide summer encampment and chaired the cadet committee charged with advising the state wing commander about cadet programs.

His hard work and exceptional talent has been recognized with the Spaatz Association Scholarship (to fund flight training; three awarded nationally), and in 2012 he was named the Cadet of the Year for the North Carolina Wing and then also named Cadet of the Year for the Middle East Region (covering the mid-Atlantic states: NC, SC, VA, WV, MD, DC and DE).

About the Spaatz Award: The Spaatz Award is the Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor. It is presented to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness and aerospace education. Cadets qualify for this prestigious award after devoting an average of five years to progress through sixteen achievements in the 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 final step a cadet must complete to earn the Spaatz Award is a rigorous four-part exam consisting of a challenging physical fitness test, an essay exam testing their moral reasoning, a comprehensive written exam on leadership and a comprehensive written exam on aerospace education. Upon passing the Spaatz Award exams, the cadet is promoted to the grade of cadet colonel.

The Spaatz Award is named in honor of General Carl A. “Tooey” Spaatz, the first chief of staff of the United States Air Force. On average, only two cadets in one thousand earn the Spaatz Award. Since the award’s inception in 1964, Civil Air Patrol has presented the Spaatz Award to only 1,899 cadets.

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