Daines Honors Montanan of the Week: Cadet Colonel Shelby Petersen

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines recognized Cadet Colonel Shelby Petersen of Flathead County for her tremendous impact on the state of Montana.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each week will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Week” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: HERE.

The following is a statement submitted to the Congressional Record: 

Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, today I have the honor of recognizing Civil Air Patrol Cadet Colonel Shelby Petersen of Kalispell. Cadet Colonel Petersen is the first Montanan since 2004 to receive the General Carl A. Spaatz Award, which is the Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor.

The Spaatz Award is given to cadets who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, character, fitness, and aerospace education. The selection process is extremely rigorous and only 5 out of every 1,000 cadets earns the award. Cadet Colonel Petersen joined the Civil Air Patrol at the age of 12, following in the footsteps of her older brother. From day one her goal was to become squadron commander and win the Spaatz Award. She has thrived as a member of the Flathead Composite Squadron, receiving 18 promotions and achieving her goal of becoming the squadron commander. I had the pleasure of meeting Cadet Colonel Petersen in March 2018, when she was selected to participate in the prestigious Civil Air Patrol Leadership Academy. There, cadets spend a week in Washington D.C. and gain greater insight into the inner workings of government through meetings with Members of Congress, the State Department, and the intelligence community. She is an outstanding young Montanan who understands what it means to put service before self.

As squadron commander, she has taken a keen interest in mentoring younger cadets and pushes them to set and meet high expectations for themselves. In fact, her final assignment as a Civil Air Patrol cadet, is Cadet Commander for this summer’s Civil Air Patrol boot camp.

Cadet Colonel Petersen is currently finishing her senior year at Glacier High School in Kalispell and upon graduation will enlist in the Marine Corps to continue her service to our country. I congratulate Cadet Colonel Petersen on winning the Spaatz Award and I thank her for her service. I know that she will continue to make her community and Montana proud.