Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Local Teen Nicolas Goitiandia Awarded Civil Air Patrol Leadership Award

17-year-old Windsor Square resident Nicolas Goitiandia was recently awarded the Billy Mitchell Award from the Civil Air Patrol. Pictured l-r: Group Commander Col. Gregg Olsen, Nicolas Goitiandia and Squadron Commander Col. James Miller (Thanks to Nicolas’ mom Donna Ekholdt for all the photos and sharing news of Nicolas’s amazing accomplishment. )

Nicolas Goitiandia, a 17-year-old resident of Windsor Square, was recently awarded the Civil Air Patrol General Billy Mitchell award and promoted to Cadet/ Second Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol is the official civilian volunteer auxiliary of the United States Air Force; it performs more than 90% of aerial inland search and rescue operations, as well as aerial disaster zone mapping in the U.S.

Last month, Group Commander Col. Gregg Olsen and Squadron Commander Col. James Miller presented Goitiandia with the certificate and awarded the promotion to the cadet officer rank at the Squadron 35 headquarters at Whiteman Airport.

“I was proud to be able to joining Lieutenant Colonel Gregg Olsen, Los Angeles Group 1 Commander, in promoting Cadet Nicolas Goitianda to Cadet Second Lieutenant,” said Lieutenant Colonel James Miller, Commander of Civil Air Patrol Squadron 137, in a statement given to the Buzz. “I met Cadet Goitiandia four years ago when he was attending a Cyber Security Competition at California State University, Los Angeles. Cadet Goitiandia was a talented 7th grader with a focus on Cyber Security.”

The Billy Mitchell Award is presented to cadets who complete the first two phases of the leadership program in the C.A.P. This includes leadership, aerospace, physical fitness, character development, drill, and ceremony and public speaking requirements. Fewer than 15% of all CAP cadets earn this distinguished award. Goitiandia was also, on the same evening, awarded a Civil Air Patrol “Rescue ‘Find’ Ribbon” for serving on the ground personnel crew during a search and rescue mission.

Goitiandia currently serves in the C.A.P. squadron as Cadet Deputy Commander of Support as well as leading the squadrons efforts to train and prepare its cadets for search and rescue operations and, as Captain of the Cyber Patriot Team, competing in the National cyber security competition that is run by the Air Force Association and Northrup Grumman, reaching national semi-finals under his leadership. The team scored in the top 8% of the 5000 teams nationwide.

Goitiandia, a junior at The Episcopal School of Los Angeles, where he’s a member of the WhySci? Club and Math Club, told the Buzz he was honored to be chosen as a C.A.P. Blue Beret for this annual EAA AirVenture Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (the largest airshow in the world) in July 2023.

“C.A.P. has offered me great opportunities to learn leadership, awesome experiences in the air and on the ground, and the privilege of serving my community,” said Goitiandia.

He also said he’s planning to study Aeronautical/Aviation Engineering in college and hopes to get his pilot’s license.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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