? Minnesota Wing Civil Air Patrol
Minnesota Wing CAP

Annual Awards Nominations

Nominations are being accepted for awards from now through January 15 following the nomination year. These awards recognize outstanding individuals and units in our wing. The opportunity to gain recognition for an individual or squadron effort is just a click away.

Also, see CAPR 39-3 for a complete listing, descriptions and deadlines for all of CAP's various awards and decorations. We will accept nominations for any CAP award.


Awards Committee

This Year's committee consists of:

Lt Col Shannon Bauer, Chair
Lt Col Doug Kilian
Lt Col Bill Hientz
Maj. Blane Pierson
Capt. Jim Jagow
Col Kevin Sliwinski
Maj Ellen Browning
MSgt John Vanderhoof

Questions can be directed to: Lt Col Shannon Bauer.  


Award Descriptions

Specialist Awards

The Specialist Awards are for members or units who did an exceptional job in performing in their specialty at the unit level. The Specialties eligible for recognition are:

Aerospace Education Administration Cadet Programs Chaplain Communications Counter-drug Emergency Services
Finance Flight Operations Historian Logistics Character Development Operations Personnel
Professional Development Public Affairs Public Affairs
(cadet contributor)
Recruiting & Retention Safety Safety
(cadet contributor)

To be nominated for a Specialist Award the member must be:

  • enrolled in the specialty track and
  • hold the duty position for the award being nominated.

Awards are reviewed by the relevant Wing Director/Staff Officer. The Director selects one nomination (or can make his own nomination) and forwards to the Wing Commander (thru the Awards Chair) for his approval.

  • Some Directorates have guidelines for the award of Specialty Awards in their area.
  • Questions about these guidelines should be made to the directorate concerned.


Cadet Awards


Selection is based upon outstanding achievements contributed to the success of CAP's Missions over the years. The selection is based on the cadet's lifetime contributions, not just his or her accomplishments during the year nominated.  The winner is nominated for the NCR Cadet of the Year Award.

Description of Criteria for the National Cadet of the Year Award from CAPR 39-3:

An annual award established to recognize the most outstanding cadet in CAP. To be eligible for this award, the cadet must meet the following minimum criteria:(1) Received the Amelia Earhart Award (or higher), (2) Demonstrated outstanding leadership in CAP, (3) Attained academic excellence in school, and (4) Be at least a junior in high school.

The outstanding Cadet of the Year is nominated from selected cadets within each wing by a wing selection board. Unit commanders of a cadet or composite unit are limited to one nomination from their unit for the wing selection.

NOTE: This documentation must be complete at the time the Awards Board meets.

Incomplete nominations will not be considered. All of the forms must be complete, signed and supporting documents attached.

Cadet of the Year must be nominated on CAPF 58 (signed by the Unit Commander) and sent to Lt Col Shannon Bauer in PDF file format and include the following documentation:

  • Transcript of High School AND College grades (if Applicable)
  • SAT or ACT Scores
  • A recent full length photo in uniform (with all authorized ribbons and badges) and no hat (Service Dress suggested)
  • Up to a maximum of 3 letters of recommendation
  • Résumé of accomplishments


Minnesota Wing Memorial & Family Awards

WILBUR COFFIN MEMORIAL AWARD is for an individual NOT assigned to the Cadet Programs, who promotes, assists, participates in the Cadet Program and provides solution to cadet problems.

ROBERT DUNBAR MEMORIAL AWARD is for an individual who has expanded the capability of the Minnesota Wing Communication field through their efforts and technical expertise.

DOROTHY SINDELAR MEMORIAL AWARD is for an individual working outside of their assigned specialty by consistently volunteering to assist other staff members in processing their paper work.

FAMILY OF THE YEAR is based upon CAP member or non-member family member's unselfish contribution of time, effort and skills in support of Civil Air Patrol activities in Minnesota.


Senior Awards

WING STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEAR is for an individual, who within their specialty consistently provides accurate and timely technical support to units during the year nominated. Winner of this award receives a Commander's Commendation Award.

To qualify for this award, a CAP Member must be filling an authorized duty position on the Wing Staff.

Nominations should include how this member has impacted on a wing wide basis in his area or responsibility.

List programs initiated, accomplishments, inspection results, and if possible, get testimonials from unit commanders and their unit counterparts on the member's performance and effectiveness as a wing staff officer.

UNIT COMMANDER OF THE YEAR is awarded to a single squadron or group commander who has performed well above the rest.

To qualify for this award, the member must have been a unit or group commander at some point during the preceding year.

Nominations should include details about how the commander has impacted their unit/group and what they have done that is above and beyond the normal requirements for unit/group commanders.

SENIOR MEMBER OF THE YEAR is based on the member's life-time contributions to CAP, their enthusiasm, shared expertise, leadership and compliance with CAP rules, regulations and objectives. The winner is nominated to Region for NCR Senior Member of the Year.

Criteria from CAPR 39-3 for National Senior Member of the Year Award:

An annual award established to recognize the senior member in all of CAP who has contributed most to the success of CAP's mission. The selection is based on the member's life-time contributions to CAP, not just the member's accomplishments during the year of nomination.

Be sure the nomination includes the following information: length of membership, command service, emergency services participation, cadet program participation, aerospace education program participation, personal senior training accomplishments, specialty track accomplishments, individual awards and decorations (including cadet achievements/awards), impact on region/wing programs, impact on national programs, impact on local legislative issues, and impact on national legislative issues.


CAP Decorations

Silver Medal of Valor

Distinguished and conspicuous heroic action, at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of normal duty. This award is approved by the CAP National Commander and is CAP's highest decoration.

Bronze Medal of Valor

Distinguished and conspicuous heroic action where danger to self is probable and known. (NOTE: In cases where a member is credited with saving a human life, but where the act does not meet the criteria for the Silver or Bronze Medal of Valor, the member should be recommended for a Certificate of Recognition for Lifesaving.) This award is approved by the CAP National Commander.

Distinguished Service Medal

Conspicuous performance of outstanding service in a duty of great responsibility where the position held and results obtained reflect upon the accomplishments and prestige of CAP on a national scale. Recognition should be for an extremely difficult duty of marked national significance which is performed in a clearly outstanding manner or service which clearly aided CAP in furthering national polices. This award is approved by the CAP National Commander.

Exceptional Service Award

Exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility while serving in any capacity with CAP. However, the duty should carry the ultimate responsibility for the successful operation of a region, wing, or major project within the region or wing. The discharge of such duty must involve the acceptance and fulfillment of the obligation so as to greatly benefit the wing or region and CAP. This Award is approved by the Region Commander.

Meritorious Service Award

Outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of CAP. Superior performance of normal duties does not, in itself, constitute automatic justification for the Meritorious Service Award. Awards should be restricted to the recognition of achievements and services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and accomplishments of personnel of like rank and responsibilities. In instances where many individuals are affiliated with an exceptionally successful program, project, or mission, the Meritorious Service Award should be awarded to the relatively few individuals whose contributions clearly stand out from the others and who have contributed most to the success of the program. This Award is approved by the Region Commander.

Commander's Commendation Award

Outstanding duty performance where achievements and services are clearly and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and service of members of like rank and responsibility. In instances where several members are affiliated with an exceptionally successful program, project or mission, the Commander's Commendation Award will be awarded only to those who clearly stand out from the others and who contributed most to the success of the program. The Exceptional Service Award and the Meritorious Service Award differ from the Commander's Commendation Award in that they recognize achievements and services significantly above and beyond normal duty performance. This award is awarded by the Wing Commander.

Achievement Award

The Civil Air Patrol's Achievement Award is given to a member when the circumstances of his or her performance are above and beyond those of the member's peers, but are not sufficient enough to warrant a Commander's Commendation Award. The intent of the award is to empower wing and group commanders with the ability to recommend and present achievement awards locally. The official regulations state this the Achievement Award is "presented for outstanding service to the unit, group, or wing." It may be approved by a group commander and, if a group structure does not exist for a given squadron, the wing commander may designate who has the authority to approve this award. Like the other decorations below the level of Distinguished Service Medal, this award does not come with a full-sized medal of its own. It consists of a ribbon and a certificate that accompanies the decoration. A miniature medal is available for senior members to wear on their mess dress uniforms.

Certificate of Recognition for Lifesaving

Awarded to members who save a human life, but do not meet the criteria for the Bronze or Silver Medal of Valor. Members who are credited with a save as a result of participation in a blood or organ transport mission will be awarded the basic ribbon. A silver star will be attached to the ribbon in recognition of lifesaving actions other than blood or organ transport. In either case, the ribbon will be awarded only once. This award is awarded by the Wing Commander


Nomination Tips

  • Read about the award and/or decoration and what it involves and requires to ensure that your nomination reveals all of the details proving your nominee is worthy of the award or decoration;
  • Provide as much detail as possible regarding the nominee's performance or action in the award or decoration category;
  • With respect to specialty awards, list at least 2 or 3 significant accomplishments and/or goals achieved with respect to that specialty and describe what impact these things have made on the unit and/or Wing;
  • For more tips on how to write a winning nomination, go to this link: https://www.mncap.org/online/dp/dp_awards_made_easy.pdf; or
  • If you need further help, you can contact Lt Col Shannon Bauer.


Civil Air Patrol - Minnesota Wing Headquarters
6275 Crossman Lane, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Phone 651-291-0462   Fax: 651-552-7007
Directions to Wing HQ Facility