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Cadet Receives Earhart Award with Beloved Military Vet Uncle in Attendance

Cadet Normile & Capt Normile
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US Navy Captain (ret.) Normile (right) congratulates Cadet Silas Normile on earning his Earhart award. Photo Credit: 2d Lt Brenda Barnes, CAP (click image to view full size)
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C/Capt Silas Normile of MAR-NC-124 receives Earhart Award in a special family ceremony

11/9/2019––On Saturday, 26 Oct 2019, Cadet Captain Silas Normile of MAR-NC-124 received the Amelia Earhart Award in a special family service. Retired Navy Captain Mike Normile was in attendance. Silas' “Uncle Mike” has been an integral part of Cadet Normile's advancement and mentoring throughout his career in Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Captain Normile has stage four terminal cancer and was unable to wait for the presentation of this award through the usual means. Timing was critical to Cadet Normile's uncle being able to attend, as doctors have said he has only a few weeks to live. 

The 111th Composite Squadron in Charlotte, very near Captain Normile’s home, was happy to provide the location for the moving ceremony. Lt Col Jeffrey Focke, the NC Wing's Group 6 Commander, presented the award while Uncle Mike pinned on Silas' rank.

Acting Wing Chaplain Maj Steve Mathews and Lt Col Shelley Gonzales, the NC Wing's Director of Cadet Programs, arranged for the award to be expedited in time for Uncle Mike to be present. When NC Wing Commander Col R. Jason Bailey heard of the situation, he authorized Lt Col Gonzales to take whatever steps were necessary to provide this experience for the cadet and his dying uncle. Due to the efforts of Col Bailey and Lt Col Gonzales, Cadet Normile’s Earhart award was presented just ten days after it was earned.

Retired Navy Captain Normile inspired his nephew with a lifetime of military service. He began his service as an enlisted Marine, and later transferred to the Naval Reserves and attended Naval Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned as an ensign and retired as a captain. He served in duty positions in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington, DC. He also served in Kuwait. Captain Normile learned the value of military service from his father, a pilot in the Army Air Corps who personally flew General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines during World War II. Cadet Normile’s maternal grandfather served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Cadet Normile aspires to emulate his family members' military service example and serve in the U.S. Air Force after high school.

Chaplain Mathews said of the event, “I’m so glad we were able to create this experience for Cadet Normile and his uncle. Silas has worked so hard to earn this award and for his Uncle Mike to be there to see him receive it is an experience that Silas will treasure for years to come. The Civil Air Patrol is family, and it’s a great honor to take care of one of our own like this.”

Cadet Normile’s grandmother, 2d Lt Brenda Barnes, expressed her gratitude to all that were involved in making sure that this memorable event occurred so that uncle and nephew were able to share this special time together.

Since the CAP ceremony, Captain Normile’s condition has deteriorated and he remains confined to his bed.