Den Hoed Earns Prestigious Spaatz Award
Cadet Colonel Keon den Hoed, CAP, received the General Carl A. Spaatz Award on November 2, the highest achievement in the CAP youth program. Representatives of US Senator Mike Rounds and US Representative Randy Feenstra participated in the ceremony. Col. Michael Marek, CAP’s South Dakota Wing commander, presented den Hoed’s award certificate.
Den Hoed, from Boyden, Iowa, is a member of Sioux Falls Composite Squadron. He joined CAP in 2018 with the intention of becoming a private pilot after attending a 2018 home school conference where South Dakota Wing had a recruiting booth. Earlier this year, den Hoed earned his pilot's wings under CAP's Cadet Wings flight scholarship program. He plans to become a commercial pilot.
“I am honored to have joined the ranks of a prestigious few,” said den Hoen, noting that his was only the 2,484th since the Spaatz Award was created in 1964. “When I joined this amazing program 5 1/2 years ago, I never thought I could receive this promotion. In my time in CAP, I have learned that the quote by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar is true: ‘The difference between a big shot and a little shot is a big shot is a little shot that kept shooting.’ By taking advantage of the opportunities CAP has to offer and taking it one step at a time, anyone with the determination to can achieve what I have.”
Den Hoed graduated from homeschool high school in May. He is the son of Allen and Teresa den Hoed. Three of the Spaatz award recipient’s brothers are also CAP members.
His accomplishments in Civil Air Patrol include progressively higher leadership roles in his home squadron including cadet commander, eight encampments in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming, as well as Kansas, where he will serve as cadet commander for the upcoming winter encampment. He has served in wing and region Cadet Advisory Councils (CAC) and is now the North Central Region secondary representative on the National CAC.
“Cadet Colonel Keon den Hoed is a remarkable young man,” said Lt. Col. Tom Anez, CAP’s Cadet Program director in South Dakota. “I have watched him pursue progressive leadership roles and was pleased to see him succeed by earning such a monumental achievement. I look forward to seeing what further opportunities he chases, both in Civil Air Patrol and in our communities.”