Posted on December 13, 2018 by admin
NIANTIC – In a December 11th ceremony at the Civil Air Patrol Thames River Composite Squadron in Groton, Niantic resident Christopher Munzner was named the recipient of the Brigadier General Billy Mitchell award in recognition of his accomplishments as a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadet.
State Representative Holly Cheeseman (R-37) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20) presented Munzner with an official state citation, citing his dedication, commitment and hard work.
“You set a fine example for other cadets to follow and are a role model for young people throughout your community,” the lawmakers wrote in the citation.
Munzner joined CAP when he turned 12 years old in January 2017. He quickly worked his way up through the squadron and is currently the Commander of Cadets. An accomplished string bass player in the East Lyme Middle School orchestra, Munzner is a member of the recreational junior rifle team at the Niantic Sportsman’s club, volunteers at a local food pantry and through the Niantic Community church. He hopes to eventually attend the United States Air Force Academy.
The Brigadier General Billy Mitchell Award honors a fearless pilot whose patriotism, foresight, and tenacity surpassed the ridicule he faced. The “Father of the Independent Air Force,” Billy Mitchell led an aerial bombing demonstration resulting in the sinking of the surplus German battleship Ostfriesland in 1921. The Navy had said such a feat would be impossible, and the Army remained skeptical toward airpower. Mitchell continued his all-out public campaign for airpower, even facing court-martial for his persistence. Not until World War II did the full U.S. military establishment realize how right he was. After the Allied victory, and by a special act of Congress, Mitchell was posthumously awarded a gold medal. With General Mitchell as their role model, cadet officers know that speaking truth to power is a moral duty.
The Mitchell Award marks completion of Phase II of the CAP Cadet Program, recognizing sustained excellence in all four areas of cadet life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character.