07 Oct 2017 was the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Red Wing Composite Squadron, so to celebrate, we held a hangar dance and awards ceremony at the Red Wing Squadron facility. We had over 100 people attending the event, including Roger Pohlman, Chief of Police for the City of Red Wing, and Ms. Peggy Rehder, Red Wing Council Member. We also had many former members of the squadron stop by to renew friendships and celebrate. It was a wonderful time for all who attended.
At the awards ceremony, C/CMSgt Skylar Bennyhoff was honored as the Cadet of the Year for 2017. C/CMSgt Bennyhoff is the senior ranking cadet in the squadron and has been an outstanding cadet commander. C/CMSgt Brandon Wichser was awarded the honor of Cadet NCO of the Year for 2017. C/CMSgt Wichser is the First Sergeant for the squadron and works hard to keep the cadets on track. We were fortunate to have the rare opportunity to select two senior members of the squadron as Senior Member of the Year for 2017. 1st Lt Wayne Grudnoske, the Deputy Commander for Cadets and Lt Col Victoria McGuire, Safety Officer, were honored as the two Senior Members of the Year. Lieutenant Grudnoske has performed above and beyond in his duties as the deputy commander for cadets. His knowledge of aviation, history, and leadership have made him an indispensable member of the command team. Colonel McGuire has been the primary advisor and “go to” person for the new members of the Stanton Flight. Without her guidance and counsel, the Stanton Flight would not be as successful as it has become.
In 2016, we apparently had never awarded the Senior Member of the Year award to Maj David Carlstrom, so to correct that terrible error, he was presented the honor at this awards ceremony. Maj Carlstrom is another one of those members who are always available to help out. He not only provides training to the pilots and crew, he also is heavily involved in the teaching of cadets the fine art of flying an airplane and provides support for the Civil Air Patrol glider flight program. Without his support, the squadron would not be able to provide the necessary training required to maintain our mission to the public.