Merrimack High grad earns Civil Air Patrol award

On Jan. 7, 2015 Merrimack High School graduate Wesley Notter, son of Stephan and Jeanine Notter, earned the Gen. Ira Eaker Award in the Civil Air Patrol, which includes attaining the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel.

Making the presentation were Col. Dale Hardy, past post wing commander; Col. Kevin Harbison, current wing commander; state Sen. Kevin Avard, of Nashua; state Rep. Jeanine Notter, of Merrimack, mother of Wesley; and 1st Lt. Michelle Kavanagh, Humphrey Cadet Squadron commander).

Harbison and Kavanagh are teachers at the Academy for Science and Design in Merrimack.

The Humphrey Cadet Squadron, composed mostly of students from ASD, meets Thursdays after school at the school, followed by the Nashua Composite Squadron, led by Lt. Col. Russ Morin, of Merrimack.

Cadet Lt. Col. Notter started in the Civil Air Patrol as a member of the Nashua Composite Squadron, but transferred to the Humphrey Cadet Squadron because it offers distance learning. As a student at Norwich University, Corps of Cadets, he can still be a part of the squadron and earn rank.

The Eaker Award denotes successful completion of all of the achievements of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. This is CAP’s newest award for cadet achievement, implemented in December 1995. The award honors the late Air Force Gen. Ira C. Eaker, aviation pioneer, career military officer, and one of the chief architects and visionaries of the U.S. Air Force.

The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the Air Force, has three missions: aerospace education of the American people, emergency services and the cadet program, which provides opportunities for the learning, maturing, accepting and nurturing of leadership to nearly 25,000 young Americans ages 12-20.

With the advice and assistance from CAP senior members and the Air Force, cadets are exposed to a structured program composed of aerospace education, leadership, special activities, physical fitness, and moral and ethical values through group and individual activities.

The cadet program is divided into 16 segments called achievements involving study and performance in the five program areas. Upon completion of each achievement, the cadet earns increased responsibility, decorations, awards, eligibility for national and international special activities, and opportunities to apply for flight and academic scholarships.

The Eaker Award is the third milestone in the cadet program. The award is earned after the receipt of the Amelia Earhart Award, completing all of the achievements in the cadet program, completing Cadet Officer School (or equivalent), and passing a writing and speech requirement. About 200 cadets per year receive the award.

Once this award is earned, the cadet is eligible to test for the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.