The Team

Who We Are

The Polaris Battalion is a 501c3 non-profit organized and lead by volunteers.

Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 3.45.30 PM.png

Lt. Brent van Hees

Commanding Officer

My role in the cadet program is the following: be the face of the unit for both headquarters (national and regional) as well as with the public, sponsors and cadets and their families. I work with the staff and key cadets to develop a training plan for the year. I also make connections in the local communities to foster relationships that provide community service opportunities as well as develop opportunities for fundraising and financial and material support for the unit and training opportunities. The Sea Cadet Corps is my military fix! I tried to join the Navy out of high school and was denied do to allergies. When our youngest joined the program I was approached to be the Operations Officer and then a year later moved into the Executive Officer position and was appointed the Commanding Officer January of 2015. My philosophy is to make the program a giant Sea Cadet family. We as adult staff interact with the cadets and invest ourselves in them so we almost adopt them into out families. I believe it has created an additional support group for cadets and families that may have challenges and maybe we can help out or make a positive impact in the cadet or the family.

Major Kevin Eklund

Unit Executive Officer

My role is to execute the vision of the CO.  I help develop the program activities and mentor the cadet leadership team. I am a full time technician in the Air Reserve, and have served for 22 years.  I started off as an F-15E crew chief, went to ROTC at UMD, graduated with a degree in Criminology and Aeronautical Studies.  From there I was selected as a C-130 Navigator, and served in active duty until 2013, when I came to Minnesota to continue in the reserves.  I am in the program because I want to create the future leaders in our community and our government, and if they decide to do so, to provide them a head start in their military career.  In my spare time, I love building and woodworking, drumming with our church praise band.  In the summers I enjoy dirt biking, 4 wheeling, camping and mountain biking, and in the winters I love snowboarding and snowmobiling.  I love life and try to do everything in it!

Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 3.44.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 3.45.08 PM.png

LTJG Bill Pearson

Operations Officer

My position within Polaris Battalion is the Operations Officer. My duties include ensuring the Plan of the Day runs on schedule, mentor cadet leadership, and help with other duties as needed. I am a US Navy Veteran of 6 Years Active Service and one year of reserve service, from 1988-1995. I served on the USS Kinkaid (DD-965) and the USS O'Bannon (DD-987) as a Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) and ended my service as a Petty Officer Second Class (E5).  I earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification while serving on the O'Bannon.  I volunteer with the Sea Cadets to assist them with hands-on experience that will help them in their adult years, such as welding, auto maintenance, honesty & integrity. 

LTJG Dawn van Hees

Public Relations

Bio coming soon!

Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 3.44.09 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 3.46.06 PM.png

Ensign Elizabeth (Liz) Eklund

Training Officer

I started as an auxiliarist to learn more about the program when my son started.  Since then, I have grown to love the leadership challenges and the mentorship we provide every drill weekend.  I love seeing the growth in each cadet as they learn how to follow, how to lead, and how to be respectful.  Outside of drill weekends I love to entertain family and friends, play games, work on my hobby farm, and learn new things! 

Jason Packa

Screen Shot 2022-01-06 at 2.07.54 PM.png

Ona Felton

Instructor Felton

My role in the program is just to try to assist where needed. My Son joined this program and it has done wonders for his development and confidence.  Overall I have been amazed by all the cadets in this program and I'm honored to be associated with this association.    When not at drill I enjoy road trips and I dabble in Home improvement.

new logo white background no frame.jpg

Jean Larkin


Joined to program to be behind the scene to helping the unit run smoothly.  Planning the ball is the highlight of my job. 

Beth Floding

Unit Photographer and Parent Auxillary

I have 2 kids in the program and have been part for several years.  I wanted to be part of the program to have a better understanding of the great things these kids do....and bonus, I get to capture those moments! My time is taken up with my 3 kids and my husband.  We are either doing Sea Cadets, baseball, basketball or volleyball for one of the kids.  We are always up for a new adventure!