Gen. Nash speaks at Mankato CAP banquet
MANKATO — March 3, 2012 — Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash spoke to over 100 Civil Air Patrol members, family members and local dignitaries at the Mankato Composite Squadron’s awards banquet held Saturday evening March 3, 2012, in the Executive Hangar at the Mankato Airport.
Gen. Nash gave a reflective and inspirational talk to the cadets emphasizing their need to follow their dreams and not to let others tell them who they can be or what they can achieve. They can attain success with hard work, perseverance, and education.
The evening began with the posting of the colors followed by a POW/MIA presentation by Maj. David Dlugiewicz and Cadet 1st Lt. Jarek Connolly. After dinner the yearly awards were presented.
One of the highlights of the senior award presentations was Lt. Col. John Barsness, who was presented the Robert J. Gaffer award. The award was created in memory of Lt. Col. Robert J. Gaffer, who passed away last year. Gaffer, a dedicated senior member, was always actively involved with training and mentoring cadets as future leaders.
Maj. JoEllen Peters received Senior of the Year; Capt. Earl J. Isaacs was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Maj. David Dlugiewicz was recognized with the Aerospace Education Award.
Capt. Steve Csizmadia was presented the Communications Award, and the Cadet Program Award went to Capt. Luke Frederick.
CAP service pins were awarded to Lt. Col. Mariann H. Wildt and Capt. Earl J. Isaacs for 35 years of service, Maj. JoEllen Peters for 20 years and Lt. Col. John E. Barsness for 15 years.
The cadet recognized as most improved cadet was Cadet Staff Sgt. Daniel C. May Jr. The Superb Uniform Award went to Cadet Airman Gerald Veaux.
Volunteering and serving outside the Civil Air Patrol is a very import part of cadet life. The Community, State, and Nation Award for this year went to Cadet Airman. Andrew B. Schultze.
This year’s Actively Participating Award went to Cadet Dustyn T. May.
Cadet Senior Airman Tanner D Johnson was recognized for “setting the example by going above and beyond the standard,” and going out of his way to help others to become this year’s Servant Leadership Award winner. The Drill Excellence Award was awarded to the Cadet Senior Airman Steven L. Csizmadia for his mastery of drill command executions.
The evening concluded with the squadron change of command. Group IV commander Maj. Bartlet presided over the ceremony during which Maj. JoEllen Peters relinquished command to new squadron commander Maj. David Dlugiewicz. Peters has been commander of the squadron for the past three years. She was awarded the Commander’s Commendation Award for her service as commander by Minnesota Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col. David Odette.
Maj. Dlugiewicz joined CAP three years ago after a twenty-year career in the U.S. Air Force. He received a special promotion to major in January, paving the way for him to assume command of the Mankato Composite Squadron.
Dlugiewicz explained his goal for the Mankato squadron to become the “Go-to” Squadron for the Minnesota Wing. He explained the only way to reach this goal will be through a focus on training, saying: “The better we do the job, the bigger the savings, the more professional we look. And one of the most important things is that we do it safely. When we learn how to do something well, we know how to do it safely.”