BULLHEAD CITY — Abigail Brown, a high-ranking member of the Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, has received the Gen. Ira C. Eaker Award, which is presented to CAP cadets who have completed the requirements of the final phase of the cadet program.
The 17-year-old is cadet commander of the Mohave Valley Cadet Squadron and ranks among the nation’s top
2 percent of CAP cadets.
Brown’s milestone was marked with a ceremony, celebration and showing of gratitude on Tuesday at the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport — the perfect place to hold an event for a budding fighter pilot.
The award, named in honor of a former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Air Forces and aviation pioneer, also results in the promotion of Brown to the grade of cadet lieutenant colonel, the second highest grade in the program.
“Abby is happy when she’s doing something,” said her mother, Pamela Brown, who had finished cutting pieces of a sheet cake decorated with four small United States flags, a frosting picture of Abby Brown in uniform and a U.S. Naval Academy symbol. Pamela and Abby Brown’s father, Mitchell Brown, happily posed for pictures with their daughter as well as such guests as U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar and Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady.
“Abby is pretty amazing,” her father said.
The proud mother has a Facebook post about another possible achievement for Abby: The teen is a finalist for the Youth of the Year Community Achievement Award.
Brown has set her sights on attending the U.S. Naval Academy. She had been considering attending the U.S. Air Force Academy earlier this year but had a change of heart after attending summer seminars for potential entrants to each of the military institutions.
She also spent another portion of her summer vacation attending Civil Air Patrol Cadet Officers School.
The Mohave High School senior is the corps commander of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at MHS. She has devoted 370 hours to community service, is an honors student, athlete and works.
Gosar said he admired Brown’s willingness to push herself so hard to achieve her goals.
The American Dream “was made for people like her,” he said.
Grant Pilling, 7, Abby’s younger brother, admires his big sister. He said she takes him to jiu jitsu class and plays the video game “Fortnite” with him.
“She’s very cool,” Grant said.