Maryland Wing recognizes its outstanding members for 2019 at awards event
December 7, 2019 – MIDDLE RIVER, Md. –More than 230 Civil Air Patrol members and supporters from around the state recently gathered together to recognize the outstanding members of Maryland Wing. This year’s awards dinner was held at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md., on December 7, 2019.
Col. Joe Winter, Maryland Wing commander, led the event which included dinner catered by Mission BBQ. The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron color guard, winners of the 2019 Maryland Wing Color Guard Competition, posted the colors. Cadet Col. Wyatt Hartman of the Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron and Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, Maryland Wing chief of staff, served as masters of ceremonies.
Special guests included Col. Bruce Heinlein and Col. Eugene Egry, Mid-Atlantic Region commander and vice commander-south respectively.
Maryland Wing command staff recognized the accomplishments of the many members that have excelled throughout the year.
Col. Joe Winter acknowledged the hard work and dedication of a number of members for their service to the wing with Commander’s Commendations:
- 1st Lt. Brett Cole, commander of the Cumberland Composite Squadron, was awarded a Commander’s Commendation for his work during the highly visible premier of a film about a Medal of Honor awardee.
- Cadet Lt. Col. Jordan Regalado from the Col. Mary S. Feik Composite Squadron was presented Commander’s Commendation for distinguishing himself at the Pennsylvania Wing encampment during the summer.
- 1st Lt. Michelle Travers of the Harford Composite Squadron was awarded a Commander’s Commendation for outstanding efforts in support of her unit, the wing, region, and national headquarters in the public affairs arena, including photography and recruitment.
2nd Lt. Lee Travers III of the Harford Composite Squadron was awarded a Lifesaving Award for his heroic efforts resulting in saving the lives of a woman and her unborn child.
Fifteen Maryland Wing squadrons were recognized for their success in earning the Quality Cadet Unit Award: Arundel Composite, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite, Calvert Cadet, Carroll Composite, College Park Composite, Cumberland Composite, Col. Mary S. Feik Composite, Fort McHenry Composite, Glenn L. Martin Composite, Hagerstown Composite, Harford Composite, Mt. Airy Composite, Parkland Cadet, St. Mary’s Composite, and Towson Composite Squadron.
The Arundel Composite Squadron was recognized as the 2019 Squadron of Merit with a certificate and guidon streamer.
The Paul Garber Award, CAP’s Level IV award in the professional development program, was awarded to 1st Lt. Steve Lang of the Esperanza Middle School Flight.
A number of members were recognized for longevity awards, including 20- and 30-year milestones. Lt. Col. Michael McEleney of the Parkland Cadet Squadron was recognized for 50 years of membership of Civil Air Patrol service.
Col. Heinlein assisted Col. Winter in presenting Amelia Earhart awards to three cadets from the Cumberland Composite Squadron, all from one family: Cadet Captains Heston Hersch, Moriah Hersch, and Nevin Hersch.
Heinlein presented two Meritorious Service Awards to Maryland Wing members: Chief Master Sgt. Tom Reed and Lt. Col. John Mariakis, both from Maryland Wing Headquarters Squadron. Reed was recognized for leading the two-year region hosting of International Air Cadet Exchange cadets and Mariakis was recognized for his 14 years of service as part of the wing inspector general team.
A number of members were recognized for their outstanding work during the 2019 Civil Air Patrol national conference hosted by Maryland Wing in Baltimore. Members were recognized with Achievement Awards and Wing Commander’s Commendations. Additionally, four members were recognized with Meritorious Service Awards for their outstanding contributions to the success of the conference: 2nd Lt. Bambi Midkiff, 1st Lt. Brett Cole, Lt. Col. Bob Midkiff, and Lt. Col. Brenda Reed.
Members who participated in Maryland Adjutant General change of command ceremony were recognized with Achievement Awards and Maj. John Strong was awarded a Wing Commander’s Commendation for leading the team at this event.
Master Sgt. Luke Then, a U.S. Air Force member of the 34th Intelligence Squadron at Fort Meade, was presented the Friend of Maryland Wing award for his volunteer efforts in support of the Nike missile site restoration efforts.
Winter then presented the annual ‘of the year’ awards, recognizing the members that excelled during the past year in their duty assignments. He was assisted by Lt. Col. Chris Howell, Maryland Wing vice commander of forces, and Lt. Col. John Henderson, Maryland Wing vice commander of operations.
- Administrative Officer of the Year – 1st Crystal Joy, Cumberland Composite Squadron
- Aerospace Education Officer of the Year – 1st Lt. Adrian Wright, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron
- Character Development Officer of the Year – 1st Lt. Cassie Artes, Towson Composite Squadron
- Chaplain of the Year: Maj. Sung Kwon, Howard Composite Squadron
- Communications Officer of the Year – Maj. John Pak, College Park Composite Squadron
- Deputy Commander for Seniors of the Year – Lt. Col. Thomas Curran, Harford Composite Squadron
- Deputy Commander for Cadets of the Year – Maj. Samuel Thomas, Harford Composite Squadron
- Emergency Services Officer of the Year – Capt. Christophe Marchand, College Park Composite Squadron
- Finance Officer of the Year – Capt. Janis Tucker, Charles Composite Squadron
- Ground Team of the Year – College Park Composite Squadron
- Historian of the Year – 1st Lt. Vanessa Muniz-Medina, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron
- Incident Command Staff Officer of the Year – Lt. Col. Wes LaPre, Calvert Cadet Squadron
- Information Technology Officer of the Year – 2nd Lt. James Whitehead, Apollo 1 Senior Squadron
- Property Manager of the Year – 1st Lt. William Miner, Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron
- Maintenance Officer – Lt. Col. Laurence Baker, Montgomery Senior Squadron
- Operations Officer of the Year – 1st Lt. Dustin Winter, Apollo 1 Senior Squadron
- Personnel Officer of the Year – 1st Lt. Kimberly Mueller, Calvert Cadet Squadron
- Professional Development Officer of the Year – Maj. Kristen Santos, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron
- Public Affairs Officer of the Year – 2nd Lt. Michelle Travers, Harford Composite Squadron
- Recruiting & Retention Program – Frederick Composite Squadron
- Safety Officer of the Year – 2nd Lt. David Mulhern, Mt. Airy Composite Squadron
- Transportation Officer of the Year – 2nd Lt. Olivia Higgins, Harford Composite Squadron
- Webmaster of the Year – Cadet Maj. Andrew Rioux, St. Mary’s Composite Squadron
- Cadet Programs Advocate of the Year – Maj. David Trick, St. Mary’s Composite Squadron
- Cadet NCO of the Year – Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ian Montgomery, Frederick Composite Squadron
- Cadet Junior Officer of the Year – Cadet Capt. Brooke Mengistu, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron
- “Ace of the Base” for most pilot hours flown overall – Maj. Bob Nelson, Apollo 1 Senior Squadron
- “A-Mission Ace” for most pilot hours flown in support of US Air Force assigned missions – 1st Lt. Richard Marko, Montgomery Senior Squadron
Maj. Bob Thompson, commander of the College Park Composite Squadron, was named Squadron Commander of the Year.
1st Lt. Richard Malament was named Maryland Wing Staff Officer of the Year for his outstanding work as the wing director of finance.
Lt. Col. Bob Midkiff of the Maryland Wing Headquarters Squadron was named Senior Member of the Year. Midkiff is currently the wing’s director of emergency services.
Cadet Lt. Col. Jordan Regalado, of the Col. Mary S. Feik Composite Squadron, was named Cadet of the Year.
Each year, the Cadet of the Year selects one member that has been the biggest influence in their CAP career. Regalado named Maj. Cindy Shock as his mentor who was awarded the Torch Award for her mentorship and guidance of Regalado as he progressed through the cadet program.
Group commanders joined Winter in presenting their choices for group squadron of the year awards. Guidon streamers were presented to the winning squadrons.
Group I Squadron of the Year is Cumberland Composite Squadron.
Group II Squadron of the Year is Harford Composite Squadron.
Group III Squadron of the Year is St. Mary’s Composite Squadron.
The Harford Composite Squadron was also named Squadron of the Year for the wing by Winter. Maj. Samuel Thomas, Harford commander, accepted the guidon streamer on behalf of his unit.
The Group of the Year Award went to Group III, commanded by Lt. Col. Charles Davis.
More than 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at mdwg.cap.gov or follow the wing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.
Lt. Col. Brenda A.
Maryland Wing Chief of Staff