(From left) Maj.Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander; Cadet Capt. Austin Dillow of the Maryland Wing’s St. Mary’s Composite Squadron; and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James C. Vechery, director, operational capability requirements, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
Photo by John Swain, National Headquarters
Cadet Capt. Austin Dillow receives the Air Force Association's Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year from Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle (left), commander, Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Beside the cadet is Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander.
Photo by Lt. Col. Leslie Vazquez
The Air Force Association recognized its Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year this morning -- Cadet Capt. Austin Dillow of the Maryland Wing’s St. Mary’s Composite Squadron.
In nominating Dillow for the honor, Maj. David Trick, Esperanza Middle School Flight commander, cited the cadet’s “multifaceted talents.” Trick himself is a former Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year.
Dillow, who joined CAP in June 2009, has served as his unit's cadet commander, cadet aerospace officer, and cadet communications officer. He continues to participate actively with aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services – CAP's three congressionally mandated core missions – along with radio communications.
Active in information technology, Dillow also led the St. Mary's team in the past three years of the AFA's national CyberPatriot cyber defense competition. The team finished first in Maryland in 2015 and ranked in the top 4 percent of all teams nationwide. At the wing level, he has been recognized as the No. 1 website officer.
Dillow has regularly served at mission radio stations as an operator during emergency services missions. He is rated as a ground search and rescue team member and is also an emergency medical technician.
He soloed in a powered plane in November 2012 and has obtained his private pilot's certificate. He also soloed in a CAP glider while attending a CAP National Glider Flight Academy in Illinois in 2012 and 2013.
In addition, he attended the organization's Air Force Space Command Familiarization Course at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, in 2013, and in 2015 he participated in CAP's National Blue Beret special cadet activity at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin.
Dillow is working on a bachelor's degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Earlier this year he was recognized with the Middle East Region's Frank G. Brewer Sr. CAP Memorial Aerospace Award in the Cadet Category.
The award presentation occurred at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, site of the annual AFA conference.