Air Force Association Honors Maryland Cadet with National Aerospace Education Award

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Capt. Austin Dillow of the Maryland Wing’s St. Mary’s Composite Squadron presented the Air Force Association's national aerospace education award


The Air Force Association recognized its Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year this morning -- Capt. Austin Dillow of the Maryland Wing’s St. Mary’s Composite Squadron.

In nominating Dillow for the honor, his squadron commander, Capt. David Trick, 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 Woodstock-based squadron'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.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.

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Julie Debardelaben
Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
+1 (877) 227-9142 Ext: 250
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