11:00 AM

National Awards Recognize Major 2018 Accomplishments

Civil Air Patrol recognized some of its highest achievers this morning at its National Conference in Baltimore, honoring 21 senior members, three cadets, one wing and two squadrons for their accomplishments during 2018.

All eight CAP regions were represented, as were 17 wings. The Puerto Rico Wing accounted for four awards and the Kentucky Wing for three.

The top awards went to Cadet Col. Ryan M. Hebert of the Kentucky Wing’s Stewart Powell Cadet Squadron as Cadet of the Year, Col. Timothy A. Hansen of the Kansas Wing’s Flint Hills Composite Squadron as Senior Member of the Year, and the Puerto Rico Wing’s Muniz ANG Cadet Squadron as Squadron of Distinction.

Cadet of the Year
Hebert has participated in and staffed a wide variety of CAP camps and activities since joining the organization in January 2014. He proved his leadership skills in 2018 as chairman of the Kentucky Wing Cadet Advisory Council and as Cadet Commander of the Wing’s Summer Encampment. He is a member of the Great Lakes Region Cadet Advisory Council, was a seminar Leader at the Ohio Wing Noncommissioned Officer Academy and attended the Great Lakes Region Cadet Leadership School.

Hebert is the 20th Kentucky Wing cadet to attain CAP’s top cadet achievement, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award. He completed CAP’s Pararescue and Survival Orientation Course and served as a squadron commander at Hawk Mountain Ranger School. He also served as lead cadet for the Kentucky Wing National Legislative Day Team.

Formerly a member of the Van Meter Cadet Squadron, he helped organize the new Stuart Powell squadron from the ground up. The unit is thriving today with 19 senior members and 22 cadet members. He has served as wing executive cadet commander and cadet commander of the wing’s Rocketry Weekend and as the Powell squadron’s cadet commander, emergency services officer and communications officer of the Stuart Powell Cadet Squadron. He was also a standards and evaluations staff member for the 2017-2018 Florida Wing Winter Encampment.

Senior Member of the Year
Hansen has been a CAP member since 1989. Over the ensuing three decades he has worn many hats and participated in a wide range of activities. He was an active pilot for several years, flying everything from cadet orientation flights to American Red Cross mercy flights, Fort Riley live fire missions and counter drug missions. He also spent time as a transportation officer, at one time maintaining a fleet worth more than $500,000.

Hansen has participated in numerous emergency services missions and teaches multiple aerospace education subjects to cadets and senior members alike. He has helped ensure that the Flint Hills squadron achieved 100% completion of the Brig. Gen. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award in 2018.

He was Kansas Wing commander from 1997-2000, holds a master rating in CAP’s command specialty track and has served as a squadron commander several times, totaling over 10 years in that role. In addition, he was the activity director for National Blue Beret for four years while staffing the activity for another 21 years.

Hansen is the Kansas Wing director of operations and his squadron’s emergency services officer. He serves as one of five incident commanders on call as the wing alert officer, responding to requests from AFNORTH’s Air Force Rescue Coordination Center for search and rescue missions and also the American Red Cross in Kansas for the transport of blood, blood products, organs and special tissue samples when the Red Cross is unable to perform these tasks itself.

Squadron of Distinction
The Muniz ANG Base Cadet Squadron’s performance exceeded expectations in 2018 through its involvement in all three Civil Air Patrol core missions – emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.

Thanks to its mentorship program, the unit was able to increase its cadets’ knowledge of leadership and drill and ceremonies, which resulted in 40 Wright Brothers, five Gen. Billy Mitchell, two Amelia Earhart and three Gen. Ira C. Eaker awards.

The squadron increased its membership total from 60 to 103, and 38 cadets attended their first encampment. The squadron also operates a strong STEM program, with cadets completing 13 of 15 CAP-provided STEM kits.After the squadron commander provided briefings on the subject, 75 percent of cadets who applied for scholarships received financial assistance. As a result, they were among the relatively few from Puerto Rico to receive scholarships — totaling $14,900 — from National Headquarters.

In emergency services, the unit secured eight seats at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Incident Commander System 300 and 400 courses and assisted all eight participants through the mentoring program.

1st Air Force (AFNORTH) Commander’s Award
In addition, the North Carolina Wing received the award for the Most Meritorious Civil Air Patrol Mission of 2018 in recognition of its response to Hurricane Florence from Sept. 10-30.The award also cited the contributions of the Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia wings and Middle East Region Headquarters staff to the Florence mission.

In all, the North Carolina Wing provided nearly 25,000 volunteer hours to aid recovery efforts, conducting 212 ground sorties with 54 corporate vehicles from five wings. In the air, the wing and its mission partners flew 22 planes more than 250 hours, generating more than 27,000 damage assessment photos.

Recognition also went to:

Air Force Sergeants Association Cadet NCO of the Year
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ivy M. Denen
Idaho Wing

Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year (underwritten by Citgo)
Capt. Chris Naccarato
Washington Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Cadet Category
Cadet Lt. Col. Angelymar Sanchez
Puerto Rico Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Senior Member Category
Maj. Michael R. Seiloff
Michigan Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Lifetime Achievement Category
Col. Lawrence L. Trick
Maryland Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Individual/Organization
The Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center
Mid-Atlantic Region

Director of Finance of the Year
Col. Cassandra B. Huchko
Connecticut Wing

Communicator of Year
Capt. Mark Sheets
Colorado Wing

Senior Chaplain of the Year
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Nancy T. Smalley
Southwest Region 

Squadron Chaplain of the Year
Chaplain (Maj.) Reginald D. Burgess
Virginia Wing

Character Development Officer of the Year
Lt. Col. David Hernandez Jr.
Connecticut Wing

Col. Dion E. Decamp Ground Team of the Year
St. Thomas Composite Squadron
Puerto Rico Wing

Lt. Col. T. Keith Riddle Award
Aircrew Member of the Year
Lt. Col. Paul Kloehn
Great Lakes Region

Paul W. Turner Safety Award
Puerto Rico Wing

Jack Sorenson Cadet Programs Award
Senior Master Sgt. Michael (Cory) Felts
Kentucky Wing

George Texido Legislative Officer of the Year
Lt. Col. Malcolm M. Webb
Indiana Wing

Maj. Gen. Dwight H. Wheless Legal Officer of the Year
Lt. Col. Matthew T. Phillips
North Carolina Wing

Norm Edwards Counterdrug Officer of the Year
Maj. Thomas R. Barbre III
California Wing

Historian of the Year
Maj. Linda A. Redfield
Missouri Wing

Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm Aerospace Education Officer of the Year
Lt. Col. Frank Merrill
Indiana Wing

Inspector General of the Year
Lt. Col. Paul N. Blechinger
Mid-Atlantic Region

Col. David A. Kantor Operations Staff Officer of the Year
Col. W. Mark Reeves
Great Lakes Region

Ed Lewis Incident Staff Member of the Year
Lt. Col. Steven M. DeFord
California Wing

Professional Development Officer of the Year
Maj. Natalie Franc
Texas Wing

Col. Robert V. “Bud” Payton Public Affairs Officer of the Year
1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
South Carolina Wing

Property Management Officer of the Year
1st Lt. Brenda M. Felts
Kentucky Wing

Safety Officer of the Year
Maj. Karen E. Barrie
Minnesota Wing