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From Spaatz Award to the Virginia Military Institute

C/Col Sean Peting
C/Col Sean Peting. Photo Credit: 2d Lt Virginia Khouri, CAP (click image to view full size)
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NC-082’s C/Col Sean Peting Shines

5/31/2017––The saying, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, [and] difficulty…” (Theodore Roosevelt) could be stated right before the words “Spaatz Award” and then again right before “college acceptance”. About now, many cadets just had their first real experience with those words because of a college acceptance.  

Former C/Col Sean Peting is one such cadet. He’s off to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI.)  Although he's a former CAP cadet colonel and cadet commander, at VMI he’s going to be part of a "rat mass" and will have to to earn every right and promotion again.
“I joined CAP with the intention of getting my Spaatz from day one,” said former C/Col Peting. He then proceeded to achieve it. "Aiming to achieve your Spaatz Award is the absolute best way to head into Civil Air Patrol as a cadet." 
Although that sounds simple, life can get complicated. 
“There was a point in my time in CAP that I had wanted to give it up, simply because of how much time it took up in my daily life, between the burden of command and activities outside of normal meetings. But considering the people I met on my journey, I'm glad that didn't happen.  In regards to reapplying to the academies and for military scholarships, at one point, I did consider just giving it up, and finishing in a civilian college. However, I did not let setbacks determine where I was going to be. I reapplied for both the Naval Academy and West Point, after being rejected from both the prior year. Along with these academies, I applied again for the NROTC scholarship, won it and applied it to VMI.”
Thanks to Sean’s candor, we have an excellent example of success after rejection. He also validates Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program. “CAP developed a mental toughness that most individuals of this age don't have. It creates mature individuals of those that persevere inside the program. That benefited me immensely when it came to my college courses and deciding to not give up on my goals to attend a military college.”

Sean is currently a go-to tale for cadets who are faltering. He’s the perfect form of motivation, “My best advice for younger cadets moving forward is to figure out what you want to do with your life, and picture where you want to go and who you want to be. Now, with that picture in mind, imagine the path to getting there. Is it easy? Maybe, maybe not, but will it be worth it? Absolutely. In my case, I've always had a goal and path. It may take a while, and in my case, it took some unanticipated turns and detours, but it has ended up where I envisioned it.

But one small note to everything on your path to your goal: enjoy it! Life is meant to build you into your own person, so let it do that. I wouldn't be the same person I am now, if it wasn't for setbacks, and life experiences. So embrace them and learn from them as you work towards your goals.”  

His new goal? “I hope to serve as an officer while in the Corps.”  Go, Sean, go!
In summary, Sean Peting earned a great scholarship and is off to the Virginia Military Institute later this year. He had a challenging goal, which took him most of his life to achieve. And Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Programs equipped him to get what he wanted. 
All of us at NC-082 are extremely proud of Sean and we wish him all the best!