BC student joins Civil Air Patrol and wins prestigious award

Olga Boukhvalova (’17) looks like an ordinary high school girl with long brown hair, stylish glasses, and a smile that won’t quit, but there’s more to her than what meets the eye. Boukhvalova is a passionate Civil Air Patrol Cadet.

“From the day I joined Civil Air Patrol, I knew it was the place for me,” stated Boukhvalova, who received the Carl A. Spaatz award, the most prestigious award in the Cadet Program. Olga passed this test on her first attempt. She was required to take many specialized exams and pass a fitness test in order to achieve this award that only about 0.5 percent of Cadets earn. Olga told the Tyro newspaper the goals she set for herself before joining this program.

“When I found out more about the program I set two goals: to fly and to become a Spaatz cadet. At the time I don’t think I truly knew what that meant, but now that I made it, I’ve realized what an honor it truly is to be part of this elite CAP group and to give back to the program what it has given me.”

By achieving this award, Olga’s title was promoted to “Cadet Colonel.” In addition to her promotion, Olga was awarded the General Ira C. Eaker Award, meaning that she has completed all of the achievements in CAP. The award ceremony took place Aug. 25 at the Waukesha National Guard Armory when Senator Leah Vukmir visited the Civil Air Patrol Legislative Squadron.

Upon reflection of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, Boukhvalova realized, “The program gave me more than I could ever imagine in terms of leadership skills, knowledge, connections, fun, and a lot of my friends!”

After graduating this year, Olga will hopefully go on to the Air Force Academy to pursue her dream of becoming an officer in the Air Force. Olga gratefully remembered the powerful impact that the Civil Air Patrol had on her life.

“No matter how much I serve my squadron, my wing (state), and nation through CAP I don’t think I can ever give back to this organization what it has taught me.”