HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- One local air patrol cadet was honored Tuesday evening after receiving a promotion.
1st Lieutenant Nicholas Cleveland was officially promoted to "Captain" in the Civil Air Patrols (CAP) program.
The honor comes with the Amelia Earhart Award, which is the third milestone in the cadet program.
In order to receive that recognition, cadets must live up to Earhart's standards of excellence. That means passing comprehensive leadership and aerospace exams, as well as a rigorous physical fitness test.
Cadet Captain Cleveland is looking forward to serving in his new position.
"Just to be able to do it with this group of people, the service that we provide to our community and state. I'm proud to be gaining this rank and knowledge and the fact that I get to teach those in this unit and just all the services that we provide," Cadet Captain Cleveland says.
"The dedication, obviously, that he's put in over the years to strive to get to this promotion is fantastic. It's great to see our youth involved in activities like this," says State Senator Tom O'Mara (R).
Earhart achievers are looked upon favorably by all U.S. military service academies, especially the U.S. Air Force academy, where about 10% of the cadets in each class are former CAP members.
Civil Air Patrol is the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary. The program is also now part of the Air Force's Total Force. In that role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives each year.