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2023 Squadron Members of the Year Awards

September 27, 2023

At our Tuesday 9/26/23 meeting, we recognized the achievements of Lake Hood Cadets and Senior Members through Fiscal Year 2023.

We hope these awards justifications inspire you to participate actively in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program.

For awards that have associated ribbons (AFA, VFW, AFSA, and membership awards), members must request permission to wear the ribbons.  Log into eServices, click on settings in the upper right, choose "Service Ribbons." Click on the link that says "Add Previously Authorized Ribbons." Enter 9/26/23 as the date, select the "cadet" radio button. Choose the applicable ribbon, then click on "create." It will go to the commander's queue for approval.  Check your eServices "Member Search Report" frequently to make sure you're getting credit for all your hard work.

AFA (Air Force Association) Cadet of the Year: C/SrA Orion Jensen

All within his first year of joining CAP, Cadet Orion Jensen distinguished himself by attending Encampment in Oregon, serving as squadron public affairs cadet, staffing the 2023 Alaska Wing Encampment, and now serving as Squadron logistics cadet.  His accomplishments are above and beyond that of a cadet of his year and experience and reflect credit upon himself and the Civil Air Patrol.


VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Cadet NCO Of the Year: C/MSgt Asher Engeberg

C/MSgt Asher Engeberg distinguished himself throughout FY 2023 by her personal achievement, active participation, leadership, and selfless service to Civil Air Patrol as Safety Cadet then Flight Sergeant, and as a Competition Team Member for the Polaris-Lake Hood Joint Cadet Operations.  He now serves as Team Captain for the Polaris-Lake Hood Joint Cadet Competition Team and as Flight Sergeant for the Lake Hood Cadet Squadron.
Cadet Engeberg has demonstrated exceptional leadership within the squadron. He successfully presented several monthly safety briefs.  Within his flight, he teaches drill well and otherwise helps the cadets he leads prepare for promotions.  He has taken the Character Development Facilitator Training and eagerly leads monthly small group discussions on the virtue topics of each month's Character Development lesson.  
Additionally, Cadet Engeberg is helping run a Great Start, providing prospective cadets a great introduction to CAP life and helping new cadets promote and integrate themselves into the squadron.
His approachable, direct, "hands on" leadership style has made him a very effective line cadet NCO in the squadron.
Cadet Engeberg maintains a superb academic record at South Anchorage High School. He also spends countless hours working as a Junior Trailboss for the Alaskan Sled Dog & Racing Association, grooming & maintaining trails and providing direction to volunteers. His accomplishments are above and beyond that of a cadet of her years and experience and reflect credit upon herself and the Civil Air Patrol. 


VFW Cadet Officer of the Year: C/2d Lt Grania Wegemer

C/2d Lt Grania Wegemer distinguished herself throughout FY 2023 by her personal achievement, active participation, leadership, and selfless service to Civil Air Patrol as Cadet First Sergeant, Safety NCO, Flight Commander, and Competition Team Captain for the Polaris-Lake Hood Joint Cadet Operations, and as Flight Commander at the 2023 AKWG Summer Encampment. She also represented Lake Hood Cadet Squadron well as squadron representative to the AKWG Cadet Advisory Council.  She continues to serve AKWG as the Cadet Advisory Council recorder and as Squadron Safety Officer.
Cadet Wegemer also demonstrated exceptional leadership by serving as cadre (flight sergeant) for the Oregon Wing 2023 Winter Encampment, and by representing Alaska Wing well at the Pacific Region Cadet Competition as Team Captain. 
Cadet Wegemer's direct "hands on" leadership style has made her the "go-to" CAP member for every type of activity in the squadron.  She is trained, experienced, and willing to participate in every aspect of CAP from aviation/aerospace to Emergency services, to drill, uniforms, PT, character development, leadership lessons, logistics, planning, eServices, cadet promotions, encampments, and national cadet special activities.
Cadet Wegemer maintains an excellent academic record, enrolled in the Robert Service High School Biomedical Career Academy Program and taking Japanese language.


AFSA (Air Force Sergeants Association) Cadet NCO of the Year: C/CMSgt Lydia Ori (goes on to compete at Wing Level)

C/CMSgt Lydia Ori served as an NCO from Sep 2019 to Oct 2020. She distinguished herself through 2020 by her personal achievement, active participation, leadership, and selfless service to Civil Air Patrol.
Cadet Ori demonstrated personal excellence and initiative by promoting regularly while serving in duty positions from which she learned valuable leadership skills. She was able to put character development, PT, and leadership skills to the test in training others.  She recently earned her sUAS badge and NRA badge.
In the last year, Cadet Ori has served in the following roles:
--AKWG Cadet Competition Public Affairs NCOIC
--ORWG Winter Raptor Encapment Public Affairs Assistant
--AKWG Summer Encampment Cadet Flight Sergeant
--NVWG Silver's Edge Encampment First Sergeant
--Polaris-Lake Hood Join Cadet Ops Flight Sergeant

 Cadet Ori currently serves as the Lake Hood Cadet Squadron Deputy Commander for Support, focusing on helping support staff learn their jobs, helping cadets with their promotion work, and promoting leadership, physical fitness, and character development.

Cadet Ori constantly searches for ways to make CAP more engaging for all cadets, help meetings run smoothly, help wherever she sees a need. She sets a positive example of enthusiasm and positive attitude for the squadron.

Cadet Ori maintains a superb academic record with a 3.94 grade point average.
In these ways, Cadet Ori has made an indelible mark on a future generation of Civil Air Patrol Cadets.  Her accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Civil Air Patrol.


Cadet Junior Officer of the Year: C/1st Lt Kai Halliburton (goes on to compete at Wing Level)

Cadet of the Year: C/Lt Col Alan Padgett (Candidate must be C/Capt or above and be a junior in high school or older) (goes on to compete at Wing Level)

Senior Member Aircrew of the Year: TFO Ryan Padgett (goes on to compete at Wing Level)

TFO Ryan Padgett distinguished himself by contributing significantly to the emergency services and operational mission of AKWG, PCR and CAP as an aircrew member. 
     While accomplishing operational missions in Alaska, Padgett’s aircrew work also helps achieve the all-important mission of retaining qualified CAP pilots and attracting aspiring pilots.  Padgett actively seeks out opportunities for young CAP pilots to fly on behalf of CAP, and he shows them all they are permitted to do.  As a CFI, he provides o-rides (31-to-date) & instruction to cadets and encourages them to work toward aircrew & other ES qualifications.   He inspires cadets and young SMs to stay engaged in CAP & tells them about his career paths of commercial air taxi work & being an Alaska Air National Guardsman.
     Since joining CAP as a cadet in 2018, Padgett earned ES & Ops qualifications (Ground Team 3/2/1, UDF and SET) and put them to good use. In June of 2018, he had a Search “Find,” and in Nov 2018, he responded to a search callout after the 7.1 earthquake in Alaska. 
     In FY 2023, TFO Padgett's two biggest aircrew successes were responding to a distress call in-flight and working the US Coast Guard, as detailed below.
     In Dec 2022 then-C/LtCol Padgett, while flying a relocation flight from Birchwood to Kenai, responded to a distress call from a pilot reporting an engine failure near the Yentna River.  Padgett acted as a repeater to coordinate other non-CAP aircraft searching the area. Before a mission number could even be assigned, Padgett and others located the aircraft. Padgett alone remained overhead to mark the location of downed aircraft for the approaching rescue helicopter, relayed updates to RCC (Ref: RCC Inc #22I00584)
     In Jul/Aug 2023, TFO Padgett supported the 8-day USCG fuel tank inspection mission in Nome, AK.  The weather was nearly continuously IMC and, as an instrument-rated pilot, TFO Padgett was able to fly many of the 25 sorties.  The crew transported USCG & EPA personnel to ten coastal villages at a significant cost savings compared to commercial transportation methods.
     Among other qualifications, Padgett’s emergency services and ops quals include SAR/DR Mission Pilot (MP), Transport MP, Mission Observer (MO), Mission Scanner (MS).  He is also a commercial-rated pilot, IFR, and is a Certified Flight Instructor  (See attached Member Search Report as req'd by CAPR 39-3 ICL 19-02 Para. 36)
     As an aircrew member and inspiration to cadets and young SMs, TFO Padgett contributes significantly to the success of CAP’s emergency services and operational mission aircrews. His accomplishments are above and beyond that of similar personnel of like rank and responsibility and reflect great credit upon himself and the Civil Air Patrol.


Membership Awards:

2-year Red Ribbon Membership Award:

  • C/CMSgt Keena Bennett
  • C/CMSgt Dominic Brunelle
  • C/CMSgt Lydia Ori
  • C/2d Lt Grania Wegemer

5-year Membership (clasp on the Red Ribbon)

  • C/2d Lt Benjamin Walkup
  • 2d Lt Joseph Moon
  • 1st Lt Samuel Meaders


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