Gastonia Civil Air Patrol promotions announced
L to R – C/2d Lt. Bivens, C/2d Lt. Lu and C/2d Lt. Ziegler. Sue Beutler photo
The Gastonia Civil Air Patrol Squadron is proud to announce the promotion of three Cadets to the rank of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant. Margaret Lu, Leah Bivens and Catalina Ziegler were promoted and were presented the General Billy Mitchell Award, which is earned after the completion of the first eight achievements of the cadet program. In addition, the cadets must pass a comprehensive 100-question examination covering leadership theory and aerospace topics. To further highlight the significance of this accomplishment, only fifteen percent of cadets nationwide earn the Billy Mitchell Award. The rank of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant marks the progression to the cadet officer ranks. The Billy Mitchell Awards were presented to these three cadets during the squadron’s August leadership meeting.
The General Billy Mitchell Award has existed since 1964. This award honors the late General Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent air force for America. This is the first milestone of the Cadet Program. Any cadet who has received this award is eligible for advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the US Air Force. They are also eligible for advanced credit in AFROTC, various CAP scholarships, and CAP special activity opportunities.
Cadet Leah Bivens joined the Gastonia Squadron in October of 2017. She has served in various positions within the squadron such as Flight Commander and Flight Sergeant, and currently serves as Cadet Activities Officer, planning meetings and special squadron events. C/2nd Lt. Bivens is a junior at Piedmont Charter School and with this promotion became the Squadron’s first female cadet officer.
Cadet Maggie Lu joined the Gastonia Squadron in June of 2016. She has served in squadron command positions from Element Leader to Flight Sergeant, and has also served as staff at various Civil Air Patrol state-wide events in both North Carolina and West Virginia. C/2nd Lt. Lu is a sophomore at Forestview High School and a member of the tennis team.
Cadet Catalina Ziegler joined the Gastonia Squadron as a transfer from West Virginia in June of 2016. She currently serves as the Squadron’s Executive Officer, and served as First Sergeant prior to her promotion. C/2nd Lt. Ziegler is a senior at Clover High School and a member of the school’s Air Force JROTC.