WHEATLAND – On December 14, Christian Moody was presented with the Carl A. Spaatz award for his service in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
The Spaatz award is the highest rank available to CAP cadets, conferring the rank of Cadet Colonel on the recipient. In Moody’s case, the award recognized his achievement, but because of COVID-19 restrictions this year, he was unable to receive it before reaching 21 years old – the age at which cadets age out of the program and become senior members.
When asked why he put so much effort into an award that, while prestigious, would be outdated when it was received, Moody responded, “It’s how I was raised. My dad said never to quit, and it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing.” Moody also said he was following “The code of the West: Always finish what you start.”
Moody, who is in his second year at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, is only the 8th cadet to receive the award in Wyoming since its inception in 1964, and the 2287th to receive it nationally. It is named for General Carl Spaatz, the commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe during World War 2, and after retirement from active military service, the first national director of CAP.
The award was presented by Colonel Susan McDonald, who serves as the local Squadron Commander in Wheatland. Also on hand to recognize the achievement was Colonel Rick Fawcett, commander of the Wyoming Wing of CAP, as well as Brigadier General Steve Alkire of the Wyoming National Guard, who presented Moody with the award, as well as a special coin designed by the general. In a speech given in honor of the presentation, Gen Alkire spoke of the importance of Empathy for all people, a trait exemplified by General Spaatz.