Twin Tiers Cadet Squadron member earns second-most prestigious award
HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- On Tuesday night, several Cadets celebrated their achievements and promotions at the Twin Tiers Cadet Squadron Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Promotion Ceremony. The event was hosted at the U.S. Army Reserve Training Center on Lake Road, and one Cadet earned the second-most prestigious award.
"I've always looked up to people who have gotten this award. This is about the second time this Squadron has had somebody at this level, so I've always been interested in getting to this point," said Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jack Vakiener.
Vakiener is a Notre Dame High School Senior who earned the Ira C. Eaker Award at the Promotion Ceremony. The award goes to a person who is recognized in the four areas of life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character.
CAP is the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and is a public service organization 'for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide.'
Vakiener is a part of CAP for the last six years. With each rank advancement, each Cadet has to learn more about the program.
"There’s a comprehensive exam you must take in leadership courses and aerospace courses. There’s also physical testing where you have to meet certain standards," said Vakiener.
Major Jason Balliet with CAP said Vakiener's passion and dedication earned him this award. He added, "He’s been a stellar example of what a cadet can be in the program and is an inspiration to the other cadets coming up behind him."
In the fall, Vakiener plans to pursue a career in professional flight at Southern Utah University. He hopes to continue serving his community and country by eventually joining Customs and Border Patrol.
If anyone wants to join CAP as a Cadet, adult, or educator, click here.