Jacob Kottraba Earns the Commander’s Commendation Award

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Jacob Kottraba Earns the Commander’s Commendation Award

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Once again, one of our ACP students has demonstrated how truly amazing our Knights are when it comes to academics, responsibility, and leadership.

Jacob Kottraba pictured here

Sophomore Jacob Kottraba is highly involved in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is a congressionally-chartered, federally supported volunteer organization that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. In October, Jacob was promoted to Cadet Captain and awarded the Amelia Earhart Award. This award honors an aviatrix, writer, and champion for their accomplishments in promoting civil rights and setting many records in aviation.

In addition to these honors, Jacob was also awarded the Commander’s Commendation due to his dedication and heavy involvement in the CAP. The Commander’s Commendation is granted to individuals who perform outstanding duty performance and express achievements and services that are clearly exceptional when compared to that of others.

I decided to interview Jacob to learn more about his experience in the CAP and what being granted the Commander’s Commendation entails:

Q: What is the Commander’s Commendation?

A: It is an award granted by the Commander of the Arizona Wing and is for those who demonstrate “outstanding duty performance”. Mine was specifically given for providing medical aid to a gentleman who was injured at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony last December.

Q: How did you react when you were informed of your award?

A: I was surprised and confused because it happened in a room with about 80 people, including members of the command staff. I didn’t know why they were there that night, and I didn’t know why my parents had brought others to the meeting. The First Sergeant called the CAP members to attention. After that, a commander called me to the front of the room and began reading the text of the commendation.

I was always happy I had been able to render assistance to that gentleman, but I never really thought too much about it. While this presentation was going on, I felt confused by all the fuss. However, after hearing the commendation, I understood it better. I had always been proud that I was able to help, but I honestly feel that is what most people would have done.

Q: What is your experience in the Civil Air Patrol?

A: CAP has been a great experience for me. My goal is to earn an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. The weekly meetings I attend at CAP, which are similar to a JROTC class, really help with that. CAP has also really helped me with the participating in additional aviation areas, as CAP is an official part of the US Air Force.

I’m fortunate to be an active member of the CAP Search and Rescue Team with certifications I received from training given by CAP. I’ve been invited to the US Air Force Space Command for a familiarization course and, now that I’m a Cadet Captain, I am eligible to attend the USAF Cadet Officer School next summer. I am also participating in the CAP Private Pilot Ground School, and CAP is helping me get flight hours towards my license. I’m pointing out these different kinds of activities because all of these kinds of things are available to any member of CAP, and that’s what makes CAP such a great opportunity in my opinion.

Congratulations Jacob! We wish you luck in your journey to earning an appointment to the U.S. Air Force.

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Jacob Kottraba Earns the Commander’s Commendation Award