MITCHELL, SD – Capt. Donald Weiand, of Custer was named Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) South Dakota Wing Senior Member of the Year. Weiand, a retired active-duty military officer, is commander of Crazy Horse Composite Squadron, Custer, and serves in a variety of state and local roles in CAP.
He, along with a number of other individuals were recognized at the annual wing conference held recently in Mitchell.
CAP’s South Dakota Wing also recognized its Lincoln County Composite Squadron as Squadron of Merit for 2020.
“The Squadron of Merit recognizes the top performing Squadron in the Wing,” said Col. Nick Gengler, South Dakota Wing Commander. “Lincoln County Composite Squadron was just formed two years ago and since then has shown great strength in growth, scholastic achievement, and has hosted a variety of events for their cadets. I am very proud of the Lincoln County Composite Squadron and look forward to their future growth.”
Capt. Donald Weiand, of Custer was named Senior Member of the Year. The Senior Member of the Year award recognizes a member age 21+ years, who stands out throughout the year,” said Gengler. “We have so many great volunteers it is sometimes hard to distinguish one above the other. Capt. Weiand has strengthened the Crazy Horse Composite Squadron’s community ties in promoting Civil Air Patrol, while increasing fundraising opportunities, involving the unit with local community activities, and keeping the unit active during the pandemic this last year. Capt. Weiand is a credit to himself and the Civil Air Patrol.”
1st Lt. Kyle Clement received the award of Cadet of the Year for 2020, recognizing excellence among CAP’s youth members, known as cadets. Clement became an adult CAP membership earlier this year and attends South Dakota State University.
CAP has over 400 members in South Dakota with active units in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea. The wing can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams and small search drones to assist in emergency response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.
Presentation of staff leadership awards included both wing- and region-level awards:
*Region and Wing Professional Development Officer of the Year – Col. Mary Donley of Sioux Falls, wing staff.
*Ed Lewis Incident Staff Member of the Year – Lt. Col. Todd Epp of Harrisburg, wing staff. *Region and Wing Property Management Officer of the Year, Maj. Jerome Foy of Sioux Falls, Lincoln County Composite Squadron.
*Region and Wing Lt. Col. T. Keith Riddle Aircrew Member of the Year – Lt. Col. Jeremy Langrock of Sioux Falls, wing staff.
*Region and Wing Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm Aerospace Education Officer of the Year – Maj. John Spangler of Rapid City, Rushmore Composite Squadron
*Region and Wing Col. David Kantor Operations Staff Officer of the Year Award – Capt. Richard Rezac of Highmore, Miller Flight.
*Region and Wing Col. Bud Payton PAO of the Year – Maj. Karla West of Brandon, wing staff.
The Quality Unit Cadet Award was presented to Big Sioux Composite Squadron (Brookings), Crazy Horse Composite Squadron (Custer), Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron (Spearfish), Miller flight, Mitchell Composite Squadron, and Sioux Falls Composite Squadron.
Wing Commander’s Commendations were announced for Justin Johnson of wing staff; Devin Griffin and Matthew Tracy of Rushmore Composite Squadron; Chancey Hall and Pandy Rezac of Miller Flight; Myra Christensen, Richard Helton and Marsha Sumpter of Pierre Composite Squadron; Merrilee Shultz of Sioux Falls Composite Squadron and E. W. Filler of Big Sioux Composite Squadron
“The huge number of awards won by our South Dakota Wing Members at the region level demonstrate the great continuing commitment so many members of the SD Wing have towards excellence and professionalism,” Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich, South Dakota Wing vice commander said.
“We are one of the smallest wings in the region, yet we have some of the most committed members around. Our common goals, values, and dedication to our community, our young people and life-saving bring us together like a large family. I’m very proud of the accomplishments of all of our members.”