Around the Region

By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
June 19, 2017
This year, for the first time in its 61 year history, Hawk Mountain Ranger School has selected a Cadet Commander outside the Pennsylvania border. Cadet Lt. Col.Jonah Torp-Pedersen has been selected to lead the 9 day Ranger School.
By Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
June 14, 2017
Governor Rick Scott signed into Law SB370 giving CAP members of Florida 15 unpaid days per year for emergency services mission and training and this unpaid time cannot count as vacation, sick days etc. This will be a tremendous force multiplier for F ...
By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
May 30, 2017
The 2017 season starts on June 1st and if you are still wondering what to do to prepare you are at least a few weeks late. You have a plan that if the storm is a Cat 3 or better you will evacuate to a friend or relative. Do you have a current telepho ...
By Southeast Region Public Affairs
May 23, 2017
I wanted to do that,” said Dr. Ruben A. Hernandez, now a lieutenant colonel in Civil Air Patrol and assistant director of communications for the Southeast Region. “I wanted to be wearing that uniform and be part of the drill team." The disciplin ...

National Headline


Southwest Region's Col. Mark Smith Named CAP's Next CEO/National Commander
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:58:56 -0500

Col. Mark Smith has been selected as Civil Air Patrol’s next chief executive officer and national commander by the organization’s Board of Governors.

A change of command ceremony with Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, current CEO/national commander, will be held during CAP’s National Conference in San Antonio on Sept. 2.

Smith, Civil Air Patrol’s Southwest Region commander, will serve as the organization’s top senior leader for the next three years. As CAP’s 24th CEO/national commander, Smith will lead CAP’s 57,000 members across the U.S. in fulfilling the organization’s three congressionally chartered missions — emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.

“Col. Smith has the right blend of leadership skills, qualifications and experience to lead Civil Air Patrol into the future,” said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judy Fedder, chair of CAP’s Board of Governors. “The members of the Board of Governors look forward to working with Col. Smith to continuously improve the organization in support of the outstanding service our members provide to their communities, states and nation.”

Smith has excelled in Civil Air Patrol as a commander at the squadron, wing and region levels. He has completed all five levels of the CAP professional development (PD) program. He earned PD master ratings in command and safety as well as a senior rating in aerospace education. He has also earned an executive rating in CAP’s Organizational Excellence program.

He also heads up CAP’s Leadership Development Working Group, which is a national-level team that has developed products, tools and courses to better equip CAP’s leaders at all levels for success. The group recently released a highly acclaimed Unit Commander’s Course.

“Col Smith represents the best of the executive volunteer leaders in Civil Air Patrol today,” said Vazquez. “His leadership of Southwest Region, as well as work on a new generation of squadron and wing commander training, greatly benefits all CAP members. He is a great choice to succeed me, and I look forward to working with him to achieve a smooth transition.”

In addition to his experience in CAP, Smith has 43 years of leadership experience in the Air Force, industry and other nonprofit volunteer organizations. His background includes experience with strategic planning, leading change, positively influencing organizational culture and motivating units to achieve higher levels of performance. He is also passionate about servant leadership and helping organizational members achieve their full potential.

Smith has a doctorate in education in ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s of aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s in international affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a graduate of the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

“The selection process for national commander was revised five years ago to reflect the needs of the organization,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Marné Peterson, chair of the Board of Governors’ personnel committee. “The board is excited to announce Col. Smith’s selection as the next national commander/CEO and we are confident he will serve the organization and its members extremely well in the coming years.”

After being notified of his selection, Smith said, “I am excited to be given the opportunity to serve as Civil Air Patrol’s next CEO and national commander. I look forward to partnering with our phenomenal volunteers and staff to take our organization to even greater levels of excellence in service to community, state and nation.”

Politics Up Close and Personal
Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:00:00 -0500

By Sheila Pursglove
Contributing Writer

It was perhaps inevitable that Rich Anderson would be fascinated by politics and public policy, after growing up with a Virginia governor and a U.S. congressman as neighbors.

Anderson went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech, and after retiring in 2009 from a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force he entered the political arena. A member of the Republican Party, since 2010 he has served in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the state’s 51st District, chairing the House Committee on Science and Technology and serving on three House Committees: Appropriations, General Laws and Transportation.

A brigadier general in Civil Air Patrol after serving as the organization’s national commander from 1993-1996, Anderson shares his political passion through his annual 51st House District Future Delegate Program. Students chosen to participate join him for an up-close view of the legislative process.

“As a former CAP cadet, recipient of the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award and a former CAP squadron, wing, region and national commander, I understood first-hand the importance of developing the minds and enthusiasm of young people,” said Anderson, a CAP Lifetime Member and 2016 Hall of Honor inductee.

“CAP sparked everything for me. It defined my life, first as a senior CAP leader, then as a senior USAF officer, then to a career as an elected official who chairs our General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus and moves legislation for 800,000 Virginia veterans, 50,000 of whom live in my community.”

About 200 middle and high school students have participated in the nonpartisan Future Delegate Program over five years, including 30 students this year.

Each “future delegate” for the day spent eight to 10 hours one-on-one with Anderson before receiving a Certificate of Completion.

“Each day I would take my ‘future delegate’ onto the House floor, where they met a number of delegates and the staff of the clerk of the House,” Anderson said. “My day was their day — subcommittee and committee meetings, the daily floor session of the House, press conferences, testifying in front of Senate committees where my House bills were being heard, and meetings with the speaker of the House and majority leader.

“Almost all were absolutely ecstatic about the experience, and some likened it to being on a Hollywood movie set. Almost all expressed an interest in pursuing elected office or some other form of public service in life,” he said.

Anderson traces the program directly to the mentoring he received as a CAP cadet and then performed as a senior member.

“Just as CAP sparked my interest in a 30-year Air Force career, I know my Future Delegate Program has the potential to spark a young person to a career in public service,” he said.

The program intrigues Capitol colleagues, whose comments include, “I can’t believe you make the time to host a young person every day” and “this is one of the finest youth programs I’ve seen.”

Anderson’s community outreach coordinator, Kristina Schnack Kotlus, organizes the program.

“Politics isn’t necessarily a happy place to work, but what makes working for Delegate Anderson different is the joy he gets from inspiring the next generation of public servants,” Kotlus said.

“Whether he’s signing thousands of honor roll letters or welcoming students to the Capitol, he’s so excited about making Virginia a great place to live and work, and his enthusiasm is infectious in the kids,” she said. “It makes all the behind-the-scenes work worth the effort.”

Kotlus’ son Riley participated last year. “I learned a lot,” said Riley, who followed up by serving as a page in the House of Delegates during this year’s legislative session. “Delegate Anderson introduced a bill and participated in committee breakout sessions, and I learned one person can be incredibly productive in a day — it was overwhelming to keep up!”

Seventh-grader Pavel Steen was eager to learn about the government and how laws get passed. “We went to many smaller meetings, then we went to the Capitol building and learned about its history, and then we went to the meeting with all of the delegates,” Steen said. “It was very interesting to be in an old building designed by Thomas Jefferson. The fact there were important decisions being made here was incredible.”

Steen’s younger brother Milan, who wanted to see how see how politicians carry out their work in Richmond, has an interest in politics and public service. “I feel like the world needs good people to be politicians,” Milan said.

Riley, who plans to study law, would like one day to fill Anderson’s shoes.

“A lot of people transition from law to government,” he said, “so maybe I will take over for Delegate Anderson when he retires.”

Social Media


eServices Updates


CAP National Vice Commander Selection Process Announced
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:09:46 CDT
CAP National Vice Commander Selection Process Announced
Southwest Region's Col. Mark Smith Named CAP's Next CEO/National Commander
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:13:05 CDT
Southwest Region's Col. Mark Smith Named CAP's Next CEO/National Commander
Support the CAP Cadet Program with AmazonSmile
Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:07:18 CDT
Support the CAP Cadet Program with AmazonSmile
Memorial Day closing notice
Wed, 24 May 2017 14:52:57 CDT
Memorial Day closing notice
NEW - P40-40 PD Specialty Track Guide (Was R204)
Tue, 16 May 2017 09:44:42 CDT
NEW - P40-40 PD Specialty Track Guide (Was R204)
SecAF's CAP Connection
Fri, 12 May 2017 15:54:42 CDT
SecAF's CAP Connection
What’s next for my help-desk ticket? Changes coming to CAP Helpdesk System process on 8 May 2017
Fri, 05 May 2017 15:49:26 CDT
What’s next for my help-desk ticket? Changes coming to CAP Help-desk System process on 8 May 2017.

Wing News


Va. Wing Cadet Honored for Essay on Character, Core Values
Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:43:45 -0500

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tim Miner
Virginia Wing

Cadet Tech. Sgt. Carter Harrison of the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron was thrilled to receive the final component of his prize for winning the Virginia Wing’s first essay contest on character and core values – a handwritten note of congratulations from the military officer whose book on ethical leadership inspired the event.

That officer is Gen. David L. Goldfein, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.Harrison was one of numerous CAP cadets, ranging in age from 12-21, who submitted essays on the importance of character and core values for future leaders of the U.S. A team of CAP chaplains and character development instructors formed the panel of judges who read rated each essay for its ethical presentation and clarity of expression without knowing the author.

Inspiration for the first character essay contest in CAP can be traced to the Air Force Association’s 2016 National Conference in Washington, D.C., where copies of Goldfein’s book, “Sharing Success – Owning Failure: Preparing to Command in the Twenty-First Century Air Force,” were one of the hottest giveaways.

The book, now in its 10th printing, was first published in 2001 when Goldfein held the rank of colonel. He originally wrote it as a research report while a student at  the National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia.

When Virginia Wing leaders, who are responsible for the monthly character education program mandated for all CAP cadets, realized the book’s main theme is integrity, they felt it would inspire their own students to write about that subject and CAP’s other core values – volunteer service, excellence and respect. Goldfein autographed a copy of the book to be used as the prize.

Harrison received the signed book from Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Steven Schaick, Air Force deputy chief of chaplains, and his wing commander, Col. Dean Gould, at an award ceremony. Schaick traces the beginnings of his Air Force career back to his days as a CAP cadet in the Wisconsin Wing. He now serves on the air staff working under Goldfein’s leadership.

“Writing an essay about character and our core values makes you think deeper,” said Harrison, who is homeschooled, when asked to compare the contest with CAP’s usual classroom discussion format for teaching. “The more time you have, the better formulated your thoughts can be.”

In addition to the book and a certificate from the wing commander, the cadet was presented a letter from Chaplain (Col.) Jay Hughes, chief of CAP’s Chaplain Corps, which consists of 900 chaplains and character development instructors tasked with moral and ethical education of the organization’s more than 24,000 cadets nationwide. Hughes thanked Harrison for his “willingness to contribute to the moral growth of the members and the organization.”

Schaick and Gould also presented certificates and recognition coins to three other Virginia Wing cadets – Cadet Master Sgt. Clara Harrison, sister of Carter Harrison; Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Corwin Turner of the Langley Composite Squadron; and Cadet 1st Lt. Cory Moon of the Monticello Composite Squadron. Moon received the first Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Robert Preston Taylor Prize for her essay and for her example of living CAP’s core values.

“The character of our cadets is very important to the country,” Gould said. “The contest is a great test of the values, morals and ethics our cadets have embraced. The response was fantastic, and the Virginia Wing hopes to continue this program into the future.”

“It was special to receive a handwritten note from Gen. Goldfein,” Carter Harrison said. “He could have had a staff member email a letter of congratulations. Instead, he took some of his time and personally wrote the letter. It shows that he was interested in the essay competition.

“Since the prize was an autographed copy of his book, it is cool to have a personal note from him as well,” the cadet said.

Tenn. Wing Cadet Makes Hawk Mountain History
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:10:16 -0500

Cadet Lt. Col. Jonah Torp-Pedersen, a member of the Tennessee Wing's Murfreesboro Composite Squadron, is turning heads for his service in Civil Air Patrol.

CAP members from across the nation gather each year in Kempton, Pennsylvania, at Hawk Mountain Ranger School for nine days of rigorous training unlike any other. Hawk Mountain Ranger School has been conducting training for over 61 years and is the only ranger school offered to both adults and cadets in the nation. Members learn medical skills, survival skills, search and rescue techniques, disaster relief training, land and air navigation and more!

Torp-Pedersen is among one of these members. He attended the Hawk Mountain Ranger School for the first time in 2014, testing out of basic and advanced training, moving into the team leadership course, one of the hardest courses Hawk Mountain has to offer. Since then, he has served in various staff positions.

This year, for the first time in its 61-year history, Hawk Mountain Ranger School has selected a cadet commander outside of the Pennsylvania border. Torp-Pedersen has been selected to lead the 2017 Ranger School, scheduled for July 8-16.

"For the past 60 years, it has been tradition for a Pennsylvania Wing cadet to receive this position. I was extremely honored to be selected this year as the school commander and I can’t wait to work with my staff," said Torp-Pedersen.

Along with the Ranger School, Torp-Pedersen will also be serving as the cadet commander for the Tennessee Wing Encampment. He will be leading around 100 cadets through a weeklong training school at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

N.Y. State Budget Includes $300K for Wing Renovations, Purchases, Programs
Mon, 05 Jun 2017 16:16:21 -0500

New funding in the 2017-18 New York state budget will support the operations of Civil Air Patrol’s New York Wing. The budget, passed by the State Legislature in April, includes $300,000 for a variety of renovations, new equipment and enhanced programs for the 2,300 senior members and cadets of the wing’s 69 units.

In 2016, New York Wing members provided $7.7 million of volunteer man-hours in service to the state.

“CAP must continue to grow its pilot population to assure a highly trained professional corps of airmen will always be available to fly search and rescue missions,” said Col. Tom Carello, wing commander. “To that end, the wing is purchasing a $100,000 Redbird Flight Simulator with G500 and G1000 Fly-by-Wire Programs. This will provide our pilots the opportunity to improve existing flight skills as well as permit CAP cadets to enhance flight training through our CAP Cadet Program.”

Funding from the state budget will cover $125,000 in renovations to the wing’s Schenectady mission base as well as $100,000 for a new flight simulator that will help expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for its cadets and into schools across the state.

The remaining funds will support other training programs, equipment and operations at Wing Headquarters.

The budget funding was a priority for State Sen. Thomas Croci and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a major in CAP's Legislative Squadron and co-chair of the Legislative Aviation Caucus.

"Whenever I have the opportunity to acknowledge and support the work of the Civil Air Patrol, I consider it an honor to do what I can,” Croci said. “By doing so, we recognize CAP and its citizen volunteers, who selflessly dedicate their services to protecting our country and improving the health and well-being of communities throughout New York state and our nation.

“Through a 75-year commitment of helping in our time of need, the Civil Air Patrol has set itself apart through its emergency mission work, such as assisting rescuers and state agencies following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, supporting hurricane relief efforts and aiding communities during natural disasters.

“I am proud to be in a position to help secure funding for this outstanding institution to help keep their bases in top form and to purchase a flight simulator, an important piece of equipment to assist in the training of CAP’s cadets and pilots. This funding is the least we can do for the years of service and sacrifice CAP has made for the safety of all the people of this great state and our great country,” Croci said.

“New York state is lucky to have Civil Air Patrol units actively involved in their communities,” said Lupardo. “Along with the education and training it provides cadets and members, CAP is regularly involved with emergency and disaster response missions. I'm very happy that funding was included in this year’s budget to help CAP continue doing this valuable work.”