New Hampshire Wing
Main Content

Nashua Cadet Earns Top Honor –
General Carl A. Spaatz Award

CONCORD, N.H. — Cadet Colonel Elizabeth T. Forbush, 17, of Burlington, Mass., has become the most recent Civil Air Patrol cadet to earn the organization’s highest cadet achievement: the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. The award is presented to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education.

A member of Civil Air Patrol’s Greater Nashua Composite Squadron and New Hampshire Wing, Cadet Colonel Forbush joins a select group—fewer than 0.5% of Civil Air Patrol’s tens of thousands of cadets achieve this pinnacle. Cadets may earn the prestigious award after devoting an average of four years to progress through 16 achievements in the CAP Cadet Program. Along the way they develop self-discipline, a strong sense of personal responsibility, the ability to lead and persuade, and strong foundations for future careers.

“I would not have been able to achieve the Spaatz Award without the help of my friends, family, and the amazing Civil Air Patrol community,” said Cadet Col. Forbush. “The Spaatz Award means that I have accomplished something beyond myself.”

Currently serving as the representative for the Northeast Region on Civil Air Patrol’s National Cadet Advisory Council, Cadet Forbush has served in a variety of duty assignments since joining in April 2016. She has participated in Civil Air Patrol’s National Civic Leadership Academy, Air Force Space Command Familiarization Course, and Northeast Region Cadet Leadership School. Her other accolades include the Veteran of Foreign Wars Cadet of the Year award, Air Force Association Cadet of the Year award, and a Commander’s Commendation from New Hampshire Wing.

“It is always thrilling to see cadets earn Civil Air Patrol’s top award for cadets,” remarked Col. Darin Ninness, wing commander. “Only a small fraction of cadets ever progress to this point. Elizabeth joins a very small fraternity of CAP cadets who have reached this goal since the inception of the Spaatz Award 56 years ago.”

Outside of Civil Air Patrol, Forbush is a certified yoga instructor and a senior at Burlington High School in Massachusetts where she is editor of the school magazine, in the Latin club, on the high honor roll, and inducted into the National Honor Society.

The award is named in honor of Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, the first to serve as Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. One of the giants in the history of airpower, Spaatz set an important flight endurance record in the early days of aviation. During World War II, he commanded the Allied air campaign against the Nazis. After retiring from the Air Force, General Spaatz served as the first chairman of the Civil Air Patrol National Board.

Since the award’s inception in 1964, Cadet Forbush becomes the 2,293rd person to earn the distinction. As to what the future holds for Cadet Forbush, she says she looks forward to improving the program as a member of the National Cadet Advisory Council and wants “to be a mentor for junior cadets in Civil Air Patrol and act as a role model for others, especially the young girls.”

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.