GREEN Akron-Canton Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol's Cadet Christian Hoch was awarded the Amelia Earhart Award and promoted to the rank of cadet captain at a special ceremony held on March 8.

Capt. Hoch received the award from Col. Darren Hamilton at MAPS Air Museum in Green. Only 5 percent of Civil Air Patrol cadets nationwide obtain the Amelia Earhart Award.

Hoch is a junior at Lake High School, a member of CCS, a USA Swimming club team, Lake High School swim team and the Lake Blue Streaks marching band.

Last summer, Hoch was accepted to the National Falcon Flight Academy in New Jersey, where he earned his solo wings at the age of 16. As a member of the Akron-Canton Composite Squadron, he has served as Cadet Deputy Commander, part of the Cyber-Patriot team and Ground Team 3. His future goals include obtaining his private pilot’s license and his bachelor’s degree to become an officer and pilot for the U.S. Air Force.

“I’ve been interested in flying my entire life,” Hoch said. “We lived close to the airport and that helped keep me interested. It took a lot of hard work and training to get to today, but getting this award means it all paid off.”

He plans to go to college to get his bachelor’s degree in business or possibly something in the field of flying.

“I want to participate in the ROTC at college and then enter the United States Air Force after I graduate college,” Hoch said.

The Amelia Earhart Award is the third of five milestone awards that CAP cadets can earn. Named for the groundbreaking aviation pioneer, cadets who earn the award must live up to Earhart’s standards of excellence and earn the grade of Cadet Captain. Achievement of this milestone award requires they have earned their Billy Mitchell Award, successful completion of leadership and aerospace exams, a rigorous physical fitness test and demonstration of leadership abilities including principles of an officer and the responsibilities of command.

Once a cadet earns the Amelia Earhart Award, he or she is promoted to the grade of cadet captain and is challenged to lead and serve junior-ranking cadets not just in the hometown squadron but around their wing (state) as well. Perhaps the award’s most coveted benefit is that Earhart cadets become eligible to represent the United States in the International Air Cadet Exchange.

There were three other awards given out at the ceremony including:

• SSgt. Claire L. Gerber, CAP: Achievement Award for Outstanding Duty Performance

• Capt. Harrison Traylor: Civil Air Patrol Officer Citation and Medal Award; also received an Amelia Earhart Award

• Nathaniel W. Desantis: Civil Air Patrol Non-Commissioned Officer Citation and Medal Award

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