SDWG Conference Recognizes Members
Rapid City - Civil Air Patrol members gathered April 9 for CAP’s annual South Dakota Wing Conference April 9 at the K Bar S Lodge, near Keystone, S.D.
The conference awards banquet featured over 40 awards approved at CAP’s state and regional level.
- Crazy Horse Composite Squadron, Custer, S.D., received the highest award - CAP South Dakota Wing Squadron of the Year.
- CAP Cadet Captain Keon Den Hoed, of Sioux Falls Composite Squadron, was named Cadet of the Year.
- The top adult member award, named Senior Member of the Year was presented to Lt Col Bill Collister, recently of Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron, Spearfish, and now of Wind River Composite Squadron, Lander, Wyo.
- Big Sioux Composite Squadron, Brookings, S.D., received the Squadron of Merit Award, for excellence in the CAP youth program, known as the Cadet Program.
CAP is the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force. As part of USAF support civil authorities to save lives, CAP is assigned operational missions that relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance. CAP also develops young leaders through its cadet program and promotes aerospace education. South Dakota Wing was active during World War II.
“We want to recognize Ridco, Inc., which operates Riddles Jewelry locations across the region and Brig. Gen. Ron Mielke (USAF ret.) for their charitable support of this conference,” said Col. Michael Marek, South Dakota Wing commander. “We thank them for supporting the important services CAP provides to local communities, state, tribal and federal agencies.”
CAP has close to 400 members in South Dakota with units based in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea. The wing can deploy its six aircraft, multiple ground teams and small search drones to assist in emergency response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.
Full Awards List:
Meritorious Service Awards (region approval)
- Lt. Col. Todd Epp
- Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich
- Lt. Col. Jeremy Langrock (two separate awards)
Kansas Wing Achievement Award
- 1st Lt. Kyle Clement
South Dakota Wing Commander’s Achievement Award
- C/Tech Sgt. Josh Vermundson - Leadership in Pierre Composite Squadron
Commander’s Commendations (By Col. Nick Gengler at the conclusion of his command, at the conclusion of his term. i.e., all the same reason)
- Thomas Bass
- Lt. Col. Linda Buechler
- Lt. Col. William Collister
- Col. Mary Donley
- Lt. Col. Todd Epp
- Jerome Foy
- Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich
- Capt. Tyler Gross
- Lt. Col. Mark Huntington
- Col. Michael Marek
- Maj. Timothy Modde
- Capt. Ryon Skaggs
- Maj. Karla West
Other Wing Commander’s Commendations
- 2nd Lt. Thomas Anez – for support of the Cadet Program in general and a second award for support of the Kansas Wing Winter encampment
- Col. Michael Beason – for leadership in the sUAS program
- Capt. Jonathan Becker – recognizing commendable service as Cadet Activities Officer and Aerospace Education Officer
- Capt. Ruth Carley – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Lt. Col. Myra Christensen – for commendable service as Pierre Composite Squadron ES Officer
- Capt. Denise Clement – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Lt. Col. Rodney DeWeese – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Cadet1st Lt. Devin Griffin – for leadership in Rushmore Composite Squadron
- Capt. Tyler Gross – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Master Sgt. Jonathan Hays – for commendable service as Pierre Comp Sqdn Safety Officer
- Brig. Gen. Ronald Mielke (USAF ret.) – for his support of SFCS and the wing Development program
- Capt. Kevin Pegelow – for his leadership in Rushmore
- 1st Lt. Pandy Rezac – for her leadership and service to SDWG during 2021
- 1st Lt. Travis Robinson – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Lt. Col. Howard Steiner – for his squadron leadership during 2021
- Lt. Col. William Strandell – for organizing and implementing the SDWG Development Program
- Loyd Tracy – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
- Capt. Donald Weiand – service as commander during the challenging year of 2021
SWDG $1000 Flight Scholarship
- Cadet Master Sergeant Phoebe Kellar
Of the Year Awards
- Ed Lewis Incident Staff Member of the Year – Lt. Col. Todd Epp
- AFSA Cadet NCO of the Year – Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Clara Giddings
- Col (Bud) Payton PAO of the Year – 2nd Lt. Destiny Jorenby
- Jack Sorenson Cadet Programs Officer of the Year – Capt. Ben Kallas
- Col David Kantor Operations Staff Officer of the Year – 2nd Lt. Jacob Roth
- Squadron of Merit (Cadet Program Excellence) – Big Sioux Composite Squadron, Brookings, S.D.
- Cadet of the Year – Cadet Capt. Keon Den Hoed
- Senior Member of the Year – Lt. Col. Bill Collister
- Squadron of the Year – Crazy Horse Composite Squadron, Custer, S.D. (Honorable Mention to Lincoln County Composite Squadron, Tea, S.D.)