Thursday, October 21, 2021

Marco Island Civil Air Patrol Presented Senior Member of the Year 2011 Award



Each year the Marco Island CAP Squadron selects one of its senior members as being the outstanding member among his or her peers in the accomplishments of the prior year. The outstanding member for 2011 was truly an outstanding volunteer.

Lt Colonel Richard C. Niess is a long-time CAP member. He has served in many roles in 5 different Wings and as Director of Cadet Programs for the Middle East Region, prior to transferring to this area and becoming the Marco Island Squadron Public Affairs Officer.

The award plaque along with this accompanying citation was presented to him by Major Joseph E. Wilkins, Professional Development Officer, at the recent Change of Command ceremony.



Lt Col Richard Niess has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol for almost 50 years, and Public Affairs Officer for the Marco Island Composite Squadron since 2006. In this position he enthusiastically and tirelessly has interfaced with local, national, and Civil Air Patrol news media to enhance and publicize squadron activities. His high-level working contacts at CAP National Headquarters have been invaluable to the squadron. As a result, the Marco Island Squadron has gained recognition throughout the CAP state and national communities as well as the local civilian community. On the local level, this has enhanced important fundraising and recruiting which are ongoing efforts to maintain Squadron activities. .In addition, Lt Col Niess is an active volunteer for many tasks outside his primary duties as Public Affairs Officer and maintains his position as a qualified Mission Radio Operator, Urban Direction Finding Team Member, Mission Scanner, Mission Observer, and a valuable aircrew member. You can always depend on him no matter what the task at hand. Based on his outstanding performance and can- do spirit, it is a pleasure to proclaim Lt Col Richard Niess as the 2011 Member of The Year for the Marco Island Composite Squadron.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with over 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary mode, performs over 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief, and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, in initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U. S. military veterans. Visit or

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