OSHKOSH, Wis. (WKBT) -

The La Crosse Composite Squadron received the Squadron of Merit award for the second time in three years.

The award recognizes the unit as the top performing Civil Air Patrol in Wisconsin. The La Crosse Composite Squadron also earned the award in 2011.

A squadron’s performance in orientation flights, cadet progression, membership growth and retention and encampment attendance are all factors in the decision.

Several of the unit members received individual recognition:

  • Captain Mary Beth Marx earned both state and regional recognition as the Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year for her work with her Westby Middle School students and the squadron’s cadets. 
  • Major Todd Mandel received the Public Affairs Officer of the Year award for both the state and region level for his work as the statewide marketing and public affairs manager.  He also received a state-level award as the Cadet Programs Officer of the Year. 
  • Major Dave Snyder earned regional and statewide recognition as the Character Development Instructor of the Year for his work teaching cadets about character and helping other instructors around the state.  Captain Linda Zimmerman’s work in training members for search and rescue earned her the Emergency Services Officer of the Year award.  All of the award recipients also received a Commander’s Commendation Award.

The La Crosse Composite Squadron is the largest squadron in the state at 79 members. Civil Air Patrol membership is open to youth and adults. Youth must be 12-years-old and attending the sixth grade and not older than 19. Adults who want to be mentors or would like an opportunity to serve are also invited.

For more information on the unit, visit the La Crosse Composite Squadron’s website, caplacrosse.org. Or call Major Todd Mandel (608) 633-1496.