Outstanding Veterans Marine of the Year Award

Black Hills Detachment Marine Corps League
PO Box 913
Rapid City, SD, 57709-0913
Phone:  605-718-7995

Art Jansen
Marine of the Year Award 

South Dakota Veterans Council announced the presentation of the 2008-2009 Chester Sorenson Outstanding Veterans Marine of the Year Award to Art Jansen of Rapid City.  

Back Ground for the Award:


Art has served as Commandant, Senior Vice Commandant, Junior Vice Commandant, Judge Advocate, Chaplain, and Sergeant at Arms in the Black Hills Detachment. He is currently serving as Jr. Vice Commandant for the South Dakota Department, Marine Corps League. He has served the detachment on all fund raising activities and participated in detachment parades and other functions. He initiated the detachment Care Package program in which the league send food and other items to active Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. To date we have sent 170 packages. He has been actively soliciting money, food and other items needed to successfully complete this activity.  

Art organized and served as coordinator of the support team for the Black Hills National Cemetery Avenue of Flags from 2004-2007.  This involved recruiting groups such as, Veterans and Fraternal organizations, service clubs, churches and in some cases individuals; who he trained and assigned the responsibility for inspecting and replacing the flags on a weekly basis.  The avenue of Flags consists of 62 American flags, 5 service flags and one POW and MIA flag.

Art was selected as the 2007 Marine Corps League Detachment Marine of the Year. In 2008 he was selected as the South Dakota Department Marine of the Year. 


Art is originally from Hot Springs, South Dakota and joined the Marine Corps during WW II. He served with the 3rd Marine Division in the Pacific Theater. 

He married Ida Liffengren after the war.  They celebrated their 61st anniversary in March of 2009.  Art and Ida raised four children and now have eleven grandchildren.


Service Club:  Art was an active member of the Cosmopolitan International which he joined in 1964.  During the years he has held all the club offices, and chaired almost every committee.  He was the Rapid City, S.D. Club President in 1972; the year of the historic Rapid City Flood. The Rapid City Club also hosted the Cosmopolitan International Convention that summer. 

In 1956 he was the District Director of the Boy Scouts of America in Bozeman, Montana.  In 1963 he became the Assistant Council Executive of the Sioux Council Boy Scouts in Sioux Falls S.D. and in 1966 he became the Black Hills Council Executive Director in Rapid City, S.D. He was instrumental in establishing the Medicine Mountain Boy Scout Camp west of Hill City. S.D.  

Art was also instrumental in securing the funds and building the Boy and Girl Scout Service Center in Rapid City. Under his leadership a Boy Scout Clean Up Day was established in 1970, which later became a City/Community wide program and is still an annual event in Rapid City. For 21 years Art served as Coordinator of this event.

In 1983 then Mayor Art LaCroix proclaimed December 3rd as Art Jansen Day in Rapid City.  In January 2008, Art was selected and recognized as a Local Hero by Geico Insurance Company and KNBN Television Station in Rapid City for his volunteer work and especially his management of the Care Package program for Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans Organizations:

Art is a Life member of the Marine Corp League, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and a member of the American Legion. 

Youth Organization: 

Art has been involved in the Sturgis Marine Corps ROTC program since he joined the Detachment. Art has also been successful in raising funds for the Young Marines during their active years in the Black Hills. Art is still active in the Boy Scout Merit Badge program instructing the youth in wood carving activities.

Art retired as a professional from the Boys Scouts 26 years ago but continues as a volunteer member of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.


Art is an active member of the First United Methodist Church and is past chairman of the Methodist Memorial Committee. He has helped to establish a charitable endowment program for the church.  Both Art and Ida are involved in the Church Hospitality group.        


Art was a founding member of the Hay Camp Wood Carvers and served as president.  He has promoted the organization by giving demonstrations and classes and participating in shows throughout South Dakota.

During World War II Art enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific with a 60mm mortar squad in the 3rd Marine Division at Guam and Iwo Jima.