2nd Lt. Jeremy S. Agor
Public Affairs Officer
Redbird Composite Squadron
After 27 years, the Texas Wing’s Redbird Composite Squadron can claim its first recipient of Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.
Correction – make that its first two Spaatz award recipients.
Cadet Col. Jacob Brown was the first cadet to attain the award. His older brother, Cadet Col. Cleveland Brown Jr., followed him six months later. The pair, who both joined Civil Air Patrol on March 9, 2017, received their awards in a ceremony at the Commemorative Air Force’s new education facility in Dallas
Their father, Capt. Cleveland Brown Sr., is the squadron’s commander. Their mother, 1st Lt. Shemitia Brown, is cyber education and personnel officer.
“The outstanding achievements of the Cols. Brown show that CAP is a family. It takes a family to overcome and succeed in life, and the Browns can look to their (Air Force) Blue family for that support,” said Col. William Schroder, Texas Wing commander.
Former President George W. Bush sent a congratulatory letter for the occasion. Cleveland Brown Jr. had met President Bush when his father served on Bush’s Secret Service detail.
In addition to Schroder, the audience for the award presentations included Renée Edwards, district director for U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson; Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Bob Gehbauer of the Air Force Association’s Seidel Dallas Chapter; and retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Campbell, Seidel Dallas Chapter president, who knew the first-ever Spaatz award recipient, the late Col. Douglas C. Roach.
Both brothers are Ground Team 3-certified and have completed Airman Leadership School, Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Officer Training School and Cadet Command and Staff College. They also competed as members of the squadron’s CyberPatriot team.
Cleveland Brown Jr. is the squadron’s cadet commander; Jacob Brown is deputy cadet commander.
The older brother is a member of the class of 2025 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He chose to enroll there after also earning appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory and the U.S. Merchant Marine.
“We are very proud of Cadet Col. Cleveland Brown Jr. and Cadet Col. Jacob Brown for their persistence in earning this achievement,” their father said. “As squadron commander, I’m pleased that we have cadet leaders who can serve as an example for all of the younger cadets to aspire to.
“We have several cadets in the pipeline who have an excellent chance of reaching this pinnacle, and I know that these two will be an excellent resource for them along the way,” he said.
The Spaatz award requires devoting an average of five years to progress through 16 achievements in the cadet program. Cadets doing so develop self-discipline, a strong sense of personal responsibility, the ability to lead and persuade, and the foundation necessary for pursuing a career in aviation, space or technology.
The final step in earning the award is a rigorous four-part exam consisting of a physical fitness test, an essay exam testing moral reasoning and comprehensive written exams on leadership and on aerospace education.