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Civil Air Patrol celebrates prestigious cadet promotion

April 3—EPHRATA — Daisy Carpenter, a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Columbia Basin Composite Squadron, was promoted from cadet first lieutenant to cadet captain during a ceremony Thursday evening at Camp Boucher in Ephrata.

Carpenter, 16, an East Wenatchee resident, also received CAP’s Amelia Earhart Award on Thursday from Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Carpenter said before accepting the award. “It took a lot of work and it’s nice to be recognized for that work sometimes.”

Squadron commander Major Jerome Bonneville said on average about 3% of cadets nationwide reach the rank of cadet captain.

“It takes quite a bit of work,” Carpenter said. “There’s a pretty rigorous test, an academic test, in leadership that we have to take.”

Carpenter, who will now serve as a Cadet Squadron Commander, said it took her three and a half years to earn the promotion.

“When I first joined Civil Air Patrol three and a half years ago, I was pretty timid,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t even raise my hand to say anything in class. I wanted to stop and say, ‘This is too much, it’s too scary,’ and my parents talked to me and said, ‘You can do this.’ So I attribute a lot of my success to them. They really pushed me and helped me. So that kind of decision, way back in the beginning of Civil Air Patrol, to stick with it and keep going, really motivated me to to come here.”

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Bonneville said he expects Carpenter to do well in the future.

“She came here from out of state, she came here and I had great expectations for her after I met her,” he said. “She is a very focused person who has goals and she works very hard to achieve those goals. I have great expectations for her in the future.”

Bonneville elaborated on what he sees as the benefits of the CAP for his cadets.

“There are several big items. A national program opens its doors to them; they can go to activities across the country, along with local activities and national and regional activities,” he said. “They are able to build friendships and relationships anywhere, and these are relationships that last a lifetime. They learn so much about how to be adults and be servant leaders, and (Carpenter) has a real taste for that, for a servant leader.”

During the ceremony, CAP Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Roger Patry read a brief biography of Carpenter’s time with the CAP.

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“When she joined Civil Air Patrol, she already had strong morals and a foundation on which to build upon leadership experience,” Patry said. “She became a flight sergeant, learned quickly, rose to flight commander, and was then promoted to cadet second lieutenant… She moved from Virginia, where she was the first female cadet officer (in her squadron), and joined our squadron and has served in various leadership positions.”

Representative Tom Dent then presented Carpenter with the Amelia Earhart Award.

“First of all, thank you for allowing me to do this. This is an honor,” Dent said. “I have been a career pilot and aviation has been my life and my love. It is an honor to stand here with you, Captain, and present you with this award.”

Bonneville then said a few words about Carpenter’s time with the squadron.

“I was impressed by her ability to be a leader, to belong, to be compassionate to those subordinate to her, to support those who were higher in rank than her and to be in a very new squadron,” he said. said. “It really showed her ability to get along with people, set goals and then work diligently to achieve those goals. I guided her as she came in to take the test. She passed on the first try , which is almost unheard of. Three percent of cadets nationwide reach this rank. It is something she and her family can be very proud of.”

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Timmerman also spoke during the ceremony.

“In our family, once a week we say something we struggled with and what we learned from it, or something we accomplished and what trait we used to get there,” Carpenter said. “Tonight I got this award and I would say that’s quite an achievement. So one thing that I think has really helped me with that is determination… If there’s one thing I can tell you all is It’s that stick with it, keep going, and one day you can do it too.”

Gabriel Davis can be reached at gdavis@columbiabasinherald.com.

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