LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - For the second time in three years the La Crosse Composite Squadron received the Squadron of Merit award, recognizing it as the top performing Civil Air Patrol squadron in the state.
In order for the Squadron to be recognized for this award they are judged on multiple duties throughout 2013. A squadron’s performance in orientation flights, cadet progression, membership growth and retention, and encampment attendance are all factors in the decision. “This award isn’t about one person, it’s about everyone working together,” commented Major Duane St. Mary the unit’s commander. The unit previously earned the award in 2011.
Along with the top-squadron award, many of the unit members received individual recognition as well. Second Lieutenant Phillip Humfeld received one of CAP’s highest honors, the Bronze Medal of Valor. The medal recognized Humfeld’s heroism during a fire on his family’s farm when he helped rescue his father.
Captain Mary Beth Marx earned both state and regional recognition as the Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year for her work with her Westby Middle School students and the squadron’s cadets.
Major Todd Mandel received the Public Affairs Officer of the Year award for both the state and region level for his work as the statewide marketing and public affairs manager. He also received a state-level award as the Cadet Programs Officer of the Year.
Major Dave Snyder earned regional and statewide recognition as the Character Development Instructor of the Year for his work teaching cadets about character and helping other instructors around the state. Captain Linda Zimmerman’s work in training members for search and rescue earned her the Emergency Services Officer of the Year award. All of the award recipients also received a Commander’s Commendation Award.
Currently, the La Crosse Composite Squadron has 79 members, and is the largest squadron in the state.
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