A 16-year-old Civil Air
Patrol cadet received the highest CAP cadet honor from the Air
Force chief of staff during a Pentagon ceremony, May 11.
Recognizing Cadet Col. Katrina Litchford with the General Carl.
A. Spaatz Award, Gen. T. Michael Moseley said, “I am pleased
to be able to present this certificate with General Spaatz’s
name on it to the top cadet of the Civil Air Patrol.”
Cadet Litchford earned the award for more than three and a half
years of CAP service and for demonstrating excellence in
leadership, character, fitness and aerospace education. Only about
two in every 1,000 cadets ever receive the award, which is
comparable to the Gold Star award in the Girl Scouts. The award is
named after the first chief of staff of the Air Force, who became
the first CAP chairman after he retired from active duty.
“It’s a great honor to be (at the Pentagon),”
she said. Her family traveled from Roanoke, Va., to support the
home-schooled freshman. As General Moseley pointed out, it’s
a family rich in Air Force heritage.
“We have Katrina’s sister -- a fellow CAP cadet --
here along with her grandfather, who flew B-17s with the 305th
(Bomb Group) in the United Kingdom under the command of General
Spaatz,” he said. “It doesn’t get better than
that.” The cadet's mother said she’s been amazed by the
response the family has received since her daughter earned the
“General Moseley really made us so comfortable
here,” said Leonetta Litchford.
"I have to say, this whole time, doors (of opportunity) have
been thrown open, doors you normally couldn’t open with a pry
bar.” For now, Cadet Litchford said she’s focusing on
school and staying active in sports and karate to keep up with the
Air Force’s fitness standards. Her aspirations include
studying physics and physiology.
“The Air Force Academy is definitely a consideration for
my future,” she said.
General Moseley agreed that’s a good plan. At the end of
the ceremony, he presented the cadet with an Air Force book, in
which he inscribed, “Come on in -- we’re waiting for
you.” [ANN Salutes Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein, AFNS]