La Crosse Composite Squadron recognizes outstanding members
La Crosse, Wis. – Every day members of the Civil Air Patrol’s La Crosse Composite Squadron perform missions, educate the public, work with youth and prepare themselves to be of service to their communities. This past Saturday those members gathered for an evening of camaraderie and fellowship while recognizing those who made outstanding contributions during 2012.
The event featured a formal Dining-Out and included friends, family members and more than 40 squadron members. During the high point of the evening Major Duane St. Mary, the unit’s commander, presented the Cadet of the Year award to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Michael Ebert. Ebert has been a CAP member for five years and recently earned the prestigious General Ira C. Eaker award denoting his completion of the entire Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program.
Cadet Second Lieutenant Michael Cunningham earned the Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award for his outstanding performance earlier in the year as the squadron’s First Sergeant and as a Flight Sergeant at the summer encampment.
Another award, the Excellence through Service award was presented to Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Andrew Ackerman for his growth through service to the squadron and his fellow cadets. Ackerman was also named the squadron’s First Sergeant.
The final cadet award, the Rookie of the Year, went to Cadet Technical Sergeant Colton Wilbur for his rapid progression through the program and outstanding performance.
A new award, the “Strut Award” was presented to Captain David Berget for his work with the squadron’s cadets. This award goes to an adult squadron member who goes above and beyond to actively support the squadron’s youth program. Berget assisted one cadet with earning his private pilot’s certificate this year and currently has five other cadets under his instruction for flight training. Berget is a certified flight instructor and also serves as the squadron’s operations officer.
After the awards were presented, a number of cadet promotions were made including: Cadet Airman Basic Andrew Zittlow to Cadet Airman, Cadet Airman First Class Zeth Burch to Cadet Senior Airman, Cadet Senior Airman Drew Lysaker to Cadet Staff Sergeant, Cadet Staff Sergeant Colton Wilbur to Cadet Technical Sergeant, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Andrew Ackerman to Cadet Chief Master Sergeant, Cadet First Lieutenant John Brennan to Cadet Captain, and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Andrew Marshall completed the Neil Armstrong Achievement.