Cadet Colonel Robby E. Jeffries received the General Carl A. Spaatz Award on Tuesday, June 28th, in a grand ceremony held at CAP’s 115th Composite Squadron, Rogers, Arkansas. Jeffries, 16, of Rogers, was presented Spaatz Award #2042 by General Terrence Dake, USMC (retired).
The 115th’s “Nighthawk” Color Guard opened the proceedings with a posting of the Colors as local talent Raquel King sang an acapella rendition of the National Anthem, followed with the invocation by Squadron Chaplain Maj Gene Jeffries.
General Dake’s moving keynote speech was accompanied by a letter of congratulation from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, presented by Brigadier General Troy Galloway, Deputy Commanding General of the US Army’s Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Former commander of Walter Reed Army Hospital Major General Harold Timboe, US Army (retired), sent a personal note of congratulations, having been presenter for the 115th’s last Spaatz recipient, 2nd-year West Point Cadet Benjamin Parmer. Kathryn Gough, from US Senator for Arkansas John Boozman’s office, and Jeff Thacker, representing Arkansas 3rd District Congressman Steve Womack, conferred additional accolades from their respective Legislators. Captain Jerome Grotts, Deputy Commander for Seniors at the 115th, served as Master of Ceremonies, and on behalf of Rogers Mayor Greg Hines, proclaimed June 28th, 2016, “Cadet Colonel Robby Jeffries Day.”
Southwest Region’s Vice Commander Col Joe Smith and Chief of Staff LtCol Harriet Smith were present to congratulate Cadet Jeffries on behalf of Region Commander Col Mark Smith, announcing also that the 115th CS would be receiving the Southwest Region’s “Squadron of Distinction” award at the Arkansas Wing Conference, and the “National Squadron of Distinction” award at the National Conference in Nashville.
LtCol Charles Bishop, Arkansas Wing Logistics Officer and the first Spaatz Award recipient from Arkansas (#219 June 1, 1973), joined three additional Spaatz honorees from the 115th to celebrate with Cadet Jeffries: CAP Maj Jonathan VerHoeven (#1528) and CAP Capt Jeffrey VerHoeven (#1772), who are brothers and also cousins to Cadet Jeffries, and Cadet Benjamin Parmer (#1956). Five of Arkansas’ twenty Spaatz recipients were present. Cadet Jeffries is the fifth Spaatz recipient from the 115th CS since its formation in September, 1993. In keeping with 115th squadron tradition, the last Spaatz Cadet (Parmer) presented the next Spaatz Cadet (Jeffries) with a shadowbox containing his awards, decorations, insignia, patches, and an American flag.
“Awareness, decisiveness, empathy, accountability, self-confidence, optimism, honesty, focus and inspiration are qualities of a good leader, and I see all these qualities in Cadet Jeffries,” shared Squadron Commander Maj Charles Rine, soon-to-be recipient of the F. Ward Reilly Leadership Award for service to the 115th Composite.
“Cadet Jeffries’ Spaatz achievement is only the beginning for his life accomplishments. He sets a great example for all of us in the Arkansas Wing.” shared Wing Commander Col Art Formanek.
Cadet Colonel Jeffries will continue to serve as Cadet Commander of the 115th Composite Squadron and Chairman of the Southwest Region Cadet Advisory Council, as well as Southwest Region’s representative on the National Cadet Advisory Council. Jeffries is home-schooled while attending classes at Northwest Arkansas Community College. Cadet Jeffries is son of CAP Maj Rob Jeffries, 115th CS Medical Officer, and Mrs. Valarie Jeffries, and grandson to 115th CS Chaplain Maj Gene Jeffries.
Maj Charles Rine, AR115/CC
Maj Maynard Monson, AR115/PDO
Maj Rob Jeffries, AR115/HS
Capt Jerome Grotts, AR115/CDS
Capt Brad Kidder, ARWG/PA