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Local Burke Civil Air Patrol Squadron Recognized With State Award

March 25, 2021

The Civil Air Patrol’s Virginia Wing distinguished the Burke Composite Squadron with the 2020 Squadron of Merit Award in March. Each year, the Wing evaluates the actions and activities of the 22 Virginia Civil Air Patrol squadrons across the state and selects the top squadron for this special recognition. Burke Composite Squadron members have collectively and individually continued with and expanded unit activities during the past year, despite the pandemic.  While meeting virtually, the squadron hosted the President of the Space Force Association and the Astrobotics Mission Director for the Peregrine Lander lunar mission. As part of the Peregrine Lander mission, the squadron advanced a special project with a small payload containing the names of Civil Air Patrol members and Air Force Association StellarXplorer’s competitors as well as the Civil Air Patrol patch design on the inscribed microchip that will be sent to the moon later this year.


The Burke Composite Squadron cadets participated in two Air Force Association competitions this past year.  The CyberPatriot team competed at the Platinum level, the highest competition level. Two StellarXplorers teams competed in the semi-final round in February.  All teams are looking forward to competing in the fall 2021.


The Virginia Wing also recognized the squadron with the Colonel Dion E. DeCamp Ground Team of the Year Award for ground team efforts in emergency services. Fifteen squadron members actively supported local food warehouse distribution efforts on multiple occasions.  Members also participated in ground team search and rescue training and conducted two real-world ground searches.


The Wing individually recognized squadron members for top contributions from across all of Virginia’s Civil Air Patrol Wing’s 2,000 members, with the following recognitions:

  • Senior Member of the Year: 1st Lt. Kerry Kaplan
  • Maj Gen Jeanne M. Holm CAP Aerospace Education Officer of the Year: 2d Lt. John Douglas
  • Lt Col. T. Keith Riddle Aircrew Member of the Year: Lt. Col. Erik Karlson
  • Public Affairs Officer of the Year: Cadet 2d Lt. Samuel Ten
  • Professional Development Officer of the Year: Capt. Julie Demyanovich
  • Safety Officer of the Year: 2d Lt. David Adams


Capt. Sara Demyanovich, the squadron commander for Burke Composite Squadron, commented “It is great to be recognized for our efforts to provide a quality program for both cadets aged 12-18 and senior members.  Many of our programs provide unique aerospace, aviation and leadership opportunities.”

For More Information:

Capt. Sara Demyanovich –

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