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Oakdale Cadet Receives Squadron’s Billy Mitchell Award

Civil Air Patrol Squadron 50 recently announced that Cadet Jasmine Hinkel, of Oakdale, achieved the General Billy Mitchell Award.

On Aug. 9, Cadet Hinkel was presented with the award in a ceremony at the Lt Col Arthur King Composite squadron headquarters at the Modesto Airport. During this ceremony, Cadet Hinkel became a Cadet Second Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. Presenting the award was the Squadron 50 Commander First Lieutenant Dwight Kuesthardt.

Cadet Hinkel, 17, is a senior at Oakdale Charter High School. She has previously been assistant flight sergeant and flight sergeant and she is currently in charge of the Squadron 50 Public Affairs team. Cadet Hinkel’s plans are to either enlist in the Air Force and become part of the Air Force Security Forces or go to college first.

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. Cadets who receive the General Billy Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the US Air Force after high school. They are also eligible for advanced credit in AFROTC, various CAP scholarships, and CAP special activity opportunities.

The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force, was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II. CAP is a nonprofit organization with more than 56,000 members nationwide. The organization’s members perform 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and were credited by the AFRCC with saving 100-plus lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

This structured 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 to apply for national special activities, and opportunities for both flight and academic scholarships. The first milestone of the Cadet Program is the General Billy Mitchell Award, which is earned after the completion of the first eight achievements of the cadet program. In addition, the cadet must pass a comprehensive 100-question examination covering leadership theory and aerospace topics.

Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron is located at the Modesto Airport. The squadron has an active cadet and senior program. The cadet program meets weekly to train members between the age of 12 and 18 in leadership, aerospace education, and emergency services. The senior program involves adults 18 years of age and older and meets weekly for aerospace education training, emergency services training, and planning in support of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. More information about Civil Air Patrol and Squadron 50 can be found on their website at


This article was provided by Cadet Second Lieutenant Jasmine Hinkel, Public Affairs Officer, Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron.