Marblehead’s Ruocco recognized by Civil Air Patrol

Marblehead teen Andrew Ruocco received the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award for completion of level one of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and received his promotion from cadet chief master sergeant to the rank of cadet second lieutenant.

His parents, Amy and Bryan, were on hand to watch as the Civil Air Patrol’s Massachusetts Wing Commander, Col. Tim Nelson, presided over the ceremony at the Beverly Composite Squadron Dining Out Awards Dinner. 

At the ceremony at which Cadet 2nd Lt. Andrew Ruocco of Marblehead, second from left, was awarded the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award for completion of level one of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program are, from left, 1st Lt. Walter Christiansen, Beverly Composite Squadron deputy commander for cadets; Ruocco, Col. Tim Nelson, Massachusetts Wing Commander; and Lt. Col. Larry Dunn, Beverly Composite Squadron Commander. COURTESY PHOTO/CADET MASTER SGT. AIDEN CHRISTENSEN

Andrew joined the Beverly Composite Squadron in March 2019 to make his dream of becoming a pilot a reality. What he really likes about Civil Air Patrol and the Beverly Composite Squadron is the trust that the Squadron members have in each other as they work together. He says that his time in CAP has cultivated invaluable life skills. 

Andrew is a junior at St. John’s Prep, where he is president of the German Club. His goals are to attend one of the military academies, earn a commission and to fly helicopters in the Marine Corps.

Outside of school, Andrew is an Eagle Scout and a patriotic instructor for the Sons of Union Veterans at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Lynn. 

Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. Walter Christiansen reads the Gen. Mitchell Award proclamation to Cadet 2nd Lt. Andrew Ruocco of Marblehead as Massachusetts Wing Commander Col. Tim Nelson and Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Larry Dunn, watch. COURTESY PHOTO/CADET MASTER SGT. AIDEN CHRISTENSEN

Only 15 percent of CAP Cadets nationwide earn the Mitchell Award, which honors the late Gen. Billy Mitchell, an aviation pioneer, advocate, and staunch supporter of an independent air force for America.

The award is earned after the completion of the first eight achievements of the Cadet program, which includes physical fitness, character development and other training. In addition, the Cadet must pass a comprehensive 100-question examination covering leadership theory and aerospace topics.

The Beverly Composite Squadron is one of 12 squadrons that make up the Massachusetts Wing. Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

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