Civil Air Patrol celebrated the 75th Anniversary in grand style on December 1, 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington, DC. Over the past seventy five years, Civil Air Patrol volunteers have performed a variety of services to the nation starting with war support in 1941. Today’s volunteers continue to support the United States Air Force in training activities, the Cadet Program and Aerospace Education.
The Gala celebration included the presentation of two Gold Medal awards to Lt Gen Julius Becton, Jr, USA, Retired, and to Mrs. Barbara Suelzer O’Malley. General Becton joined as a teenager in Philadelphia in 1942 and later entered the US Army to serve in WWII. Mrs. O’Malley joined in Fort Wayne, Indianan while learning to fly. CAP provided American women the first opportunity to serve their nation’s military forces in uniform.
The Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the United States Air Force presented the keynote address. She applauded the service of the CAP volunteers and the new relationship between the USAF and CAP especially in funding new opportunities for today’s youth.
Colonel Mallory Woodcock, Colonel Becky Tilton, and Lt Colonel Hank Rogers had the distinct honor of representing the MSWG at the Gala.