Civil Air Patrol honors its members who perform service in their community. Here is the citation for a member who was awarded the very rare Civil Air Patrol Silver Medal of Valor!
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On Friday evening, 21JUN19, at the US Air Force Academy's Falcon Club, RMR Commander, Col Tom Kettell along with former CAP National Commander, Maj Gen Amy Courter, presented Civil Air Patrol's highest decoration, the Silver Medal of Valor, to Lt Col Mark Young, while Wyoming Wing Commander, Col Jeff Johnson, an SMV recipient himself, read the accompanying citation. It's a rare event to witness the presentation of a Civil Air Patrol Silver Medal of Valor as so few are ever awarded and the presentation of the SMV to Lt Col Mark D. Young, at the University of Rocky Mountain Region Graduation Dining In at the USAFA made the evening that much more special.
Lt. Col Young distinguished himself by conspicuous, heroic action that risked his life to save another.The award was a long time coming as the action took place on 17 February 2005 when Col Young was serving as a COWG Mission Observer in a Civil Air Patrol aircraft and located a downed aircraft with its sole survivor in a heavily wooded area with very rough terrain. After notifying the Montrose County, Colorado Sheriff’s office of the aircraft's location and asking them to launch their ground teams, the Sheriff’s office requested Colonel Young lead the ground team into the area. The aircrew immediately landed, and Colonel Young joined the Sheriff’s Posse ground team to make their way to the crash site. The conditions at the time were approaching darkness, freezing weather, deep snow, avalanche danger, and steep uneven terrain. Although Col Young had no winter gear available to him, he boarded a snowcat and led the teams as close to the crash site as possible. The last 600 feet was heavy timber and too steep to use snowmobiles or snowcats, so with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Colonel Young and three Posse team members climbed in using ropes, climbing gear and handmade snow shoes to get to the pilot.They located the pilot who was hypothermic and dehydrated and were able to then extricate him from the crash site in subzero, avalanche conditions at over 10,000 feet in altitude. It took over two hours to get the pilot back to the waiting snow cat for transport to the hospital. The quick thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance and heroic actions of Colonel Young reflect great credit upon himself, the Colorado Wing, Rocky Mountain Region and Civil Air Patrol.