Letter to CAP/CP Conveying the TSA position on the Eaker Award

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Letter to CP conveying TSA position re the Eaker Award

Col. Larry Trick, CAP
Director Of Cadet Programs

Dear Col. Trick:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Spaatz Association I am conveying the attached information to you with copies to Mr. Rob Smith, Deputy Director AE/CP/PD and Col. David Mikelson, CAP DCS/Training. Additionally, and in about two weeks, this information will also be disseminated to our members, supporters and to other key stakeholders in the Cadet Program.

It outlines the position of The Spaatz Association as it relates to Cadet Program milestone awards in general but regarding the Gen. Ira Eaker Award in particular. It also contains several related recommendations and observations that, we feel, will strengthen the Cadet Program.

The Spaatz Association consists solely of Cadets and former Cadets who have achieved the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. We view ourselves as special beneficiaries of the Cadet Program are among its most faithful proponents. Our collective Cadet Program experience goes back to the very inception of the Modern Day Cadet Program. We feel we are uniquely qualified to offer these observations and recommendations regarding the CAP Cadet Program.

Our principal position is that the Eaker Award is an unnecessary way-point in the Cadet Program and should be rescinded. We feel it has the practical effect of obscuring the General Carl A. Spaatz Award as the true capstone award of the Cadet Program,

We are also concerned that the Eaker Award fosters a climate of accepting the end of a Cadet career with the Eaker Award verses the demonstration true excellence by finishing the Cadet Program via the challenging achievement of the Spaatz Award.

We do acknowledge that a study of statistics involving pass-though rates from the Earhart to the Eaker and thence to the Spaatz awards may or may-not support our viewpoint. However, ours is not a statistical discussion. We simply feel that the Eaker Award is vestigial and confusing.

We realize that some of our recommendations may require approval by the National Board or extensive scrutiny by the Cadet Program Directorate. We also know that there is a recent and major project underway to update the Cadet Program curriculum and would ask that our recommendations be considered in this process.

We sincerely appreciate your study and consideration of our position paper and would appreciate an acknowledgement and response at your earliest convenience. We also would welcome any question and the opening of additional dialog regarding this.


Stephen W. Austen, Spaatz # 161
National President
The Spaatz Association

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