Sen. Menendez Presents Prestigious Spaatz Award to Air Force Cadet from NJ

Sen. Menendez Presents Prestigious Spaatz Award to Air Force Cadet from NJ

NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today presented the General Carl A. Spaatz Award to Taylor Loving of Colts Neck, N.J. (Photo below) Ms. Loving is the first female cadet stationed at McGuire Air Force Base to receive the prestigious honor, and only the fifth from the Garden State since the award's inception in 1964. She is being promoted to the grade of cadet colonel.

"Cadet Col. Loving is a shining example of the kind of leadership we can all look forward to in our country and in our military," said Sen. Menendez. "We should admire the achievements of those who choose to serve and I stand with all New Jerseyans in proudly saluting this extraordinary and unique accomplishment."

The Spaatz Award is named for Carl A. Spaatz, the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. During World War II, he commanded the Allied air campaign against the Nazis and oversaw the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1929, Gen. Spaatz and another pilot set a flight endurance record of 150 hours and 40 minutes.

The award is presented to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness and aerospace education. After advancing through 16 achievements in the CAP Cadet Program and developing the foundation necessary to pursue a career in aviation, space or technology, the qualified candidate must complete a rigorous four-part exam. On average, only two in every one thousand cadets have earned the Spaatz Award since its inception in 1964. Only 51 of the 1,803 cadets nationwide to receive the honor are from New Jersey.

Cadet Col. Loving is a graduate of Colts Neck High School and is currently a junior at Cornell University, studying mechanical engineering. The 20-year-old joined the New Jersey Air National Guard last year and aspires to be a United States Air Force pilot.

McGuire Air Force Base is part of Joint Base-McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst.

Senator Bob Menendez and Cadet Col. Taylor Loving

(Click here for a hi-res version of the photo)