August 2017 Command Trajectory
August was a lighter travel month for CAP but busy nonetheless. The big projects we worked on in August were related to planning. We closed out 2017 and began FY 2018. The Command Council Meeting, the biggest event, spanned August and early September so I thought I would combine this entry.
I traveled to San Antonio to attend the Board of Governor’s (BoG) meeting on 22 August. Two new members of the Board of Governor’s that I helped select were present. Col Dale Newell and Col Brad Linn were selected at the May CSAG retreat. It is always fascinating to see our governing body in action. We have some very thoughtful and insightful people serving. I presented the upcoming work of the Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG) to the BoG and it was well received. The BoG is both interested and supportive of our efforts to better educate and develop our members. I also presented the same information to the Command Council to keep other leaders updated on our progress and to shamelessly seek volunteers for our upcoming work.
Our work on the LDWG will focus on several projects in the next 18 months. First, we have to decide if the five Level PD program is the right fit for CAP today. That task is called M1 and will be completed at the end of October. I am leading that effort using some great info gathered from National Staff Colleges, Region Staff Colleges, and discussions held in the last year.
The M2 project explores what our PD program should look like related to the high-level outline (five levels or other) and determines what courses and topics belong in each level. M2 kicks off after we complete M1.
M3 is the project that will create the content for the new courses. We will need lots of good volunteers to help with the curriculum writing aspect especially those with lesson plan experience or instructional design skills—volunteer today!
M4 is being led by Col Dean Gould and it is on how to improve the mentoring program in CAP.
M5 is led by Lt Col James Peace and focused on equivalency training both for professionals but also former and current military personnel.
M6 is centered on a modular approach to training and an SQTR for leadership training that cross populates like our ES quals and it is led by Lt Col Joe Curry.
M7 is tasked with reviewing the specialty tracks and working with the OPRs on those and is led by Col Burrell.
Chief Master Sergeant Dennis Orcutt is leading a team of NCOs who are lining out NCO PD practices for task M8.
A C3 team led by Col John O’Neill is looking at revisions to the Command Specialty Track.
A C4 team led by Col Jason Bailey is working to revise the Commander’s Dashboard.
Finally, a C5 team led by Col Joe Winter is working on a leadership cohort concept. The team leads and I meet each month by conference call to brainstorm, share ideas, and provide updates on progress. Overall, the work of the LDWG has the potential to transform CAP. It’s a great project and a great group of teams working on it. I feel privileged to be involved in these efforts! As an extension of the work of the LDWG last year, I co-presented a session with my friend and fellow Spaatz cadet Ms. Bobbie Tourville from CAP NHQ on the new UCC. We had some great questions from those who attended!
Another highlight of the Command Council Meeting was a presentation by astronaut and CAP member Eric Boe.
Eric shows a picture of himself as a young cadet looking at a model of the space shuttle in the National Air and Space Museum. He shares all the good experiences he had in the CAP cadet program including learning to fly and his journey to the Spaatz Award. He later attended the USAFA and became an astronaut. He shared his amazing experiences and photos from his missions to and in space. Eric finished his Air Force career as a colonel and is still an active senior member in Texas Wing. In CAP, he held the grade of lieutenant colonel until he was promoted to colonel at the Command Council Meeting. I was proud of the action the CSAG took to recognize his service to CAP.
In a lovely ceremony presided over by Lieutenant General Judy Fedder, Col Mark Smith who had served as Southwest Region Commander was promoted to Major General and assumed command of CAP from MG Joseph Vazquez. MG Smith asked two cadets to help with the promotion ceremony and one was fellow Beret C/Col Jodie Gawthrop. MG General Smith selected GLR/CC Col Ed Phelka as his vice commander and Col Phelka was promoted to Brigadier General at the same ceremony. Brigadier General Phelka is a former cadet who completed the program and earned the Spaatz Award. I have enjoyed working with MG Smith and BG Phelka as members of the CSAG and I look forward to them leading CAP over the next three years. Both are strategic thinkers and very dedicated to CAP’s missions.
MG Smith shared his vision with members of the Command Council as, “One Civil Air Patrol excelling in service to the nation and members.” He shared that his leadership will be defined by one team pursuing excellence. He is an advocate of servant leadership. He expects leaders to take care of people, hold them accountable, and model the core values. MG Smith plans on focusing on safety, compliance, aircrew professionalism, self-improvement, and leadership training/education. He sees the need for CAP to prepare for new missions to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. He has a goal of dusting the rust off pilots and increasing the numbers of those flying. He also wants to focus on CAP’s financial standing and to strengthen it. In order to accomplish these goals, MG Smith has set up several committees and small teams to work on specific issues such as the glider program, cadet flight scholarships, and more.
Two senior officers completed Level 5 of the Civil Air Patrol Professional Development program and earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award in August and September: Lt Col Roger Eaton of Kansas Wing and Lt Col John Greenwald of Missouri Wing.
Cadet Lt Col Justin Smith of Missouri Wing earned the General Ira C. Eaker Award in August 2017.
Four senior members earned promotion to the grade of lieutenant colonel in August and September: Al Frazier of South Dakota Wing, Tom Martin of Missouri Wing, Mike McClellan of Nebraska Wing, and Brian Mishmash of Iowa Wing. Congratulations to all these members on earning these prestigious awards!
At the end of September, I flew with Major Tom Cannon and Major Rick Veach to visit the Wentzville Squadron near St. Louis. Thanks to Major Cannon and Major Veach for the very nice Charles R. Long squadron baseball CAP!
En route to the meeting, we flew through a rainbow; that was a first for me! It was amazing. The colors were brilliant! The Wentzville unit held a very nice event to honor the 75th anniversary of the cadet program. Major Jennifer Smith, the squadron commander, planned for families and friends to join CAP members in the celebration. Several former cadets spoke about how the program impacted them and what opportunities the program offers. In my remarks, I asked cadets to do four things: live by the Core Values, explore all the cadet program has to offer, find your passion, and be the leader you can be in all aspects of your life. Leadership does not end when we are not wearing our uniforms and professionalism goes with everything. The evening ended with promotions and awards. I enjoyed presenting C/CMSgt Doering with a Region Commander’s Commendation for his work with the NCR Cadet Competition team.
The wings of NCR kept busy in August and September with Operations. Iowa Wing conducted SAR training and supported the FLY Iowa event. Kansas Wing conducted more than 20 transport missions for the American Red Cross, SAR training, and 4 sets of AFJROTC orientation flights. Minnesota Wing had 4 ELT missions that ended in 2 finds as well as an Aircrew SARCOMP. Missouri Wing conducted SAR training and their annual Minuteman Mission photographing old missile silos. North Dakota Wing searched for two ELTs and conducted SAR training. Nebraska Wing held a flight clinic. South Dakota Wing conducted SAR training, a 206 Flight Clinic, and flew a teacher on an orientation flight. In addition to these missions, several wings in NCR sent aircraft and crews to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The NCR CAC transitioned in September 2017 from the leadership of C/Lt Col Joshua Klosterman of South Dakota Wing to C/Capt Noah Enders of Kansas Wing. C/Lt Col Klosterman is a very thoughtful leader. It has been a pleasure working with him and seeing the good work he has led the NCR CAC to accomplish and his wonderful contributions to the NCAC. He has just a few tasks left such as sending the wing commanders letters about the performance of their representatives to the NCR CAC last year and awards recommendations for members of the council he led. C/Capt Enders, who served on the council during the last term, is well set for success in the upcoming year. As well as serving as chair, Enders will serve as an assistant representative to the NCAC. C/Capt Donald Leonhardt of Kansas Wing is the new NCR CAC representative to the NCAC. C/Major Josiah Horn of MO WG transitioned out of the NCR CAC recorder position. We thank him for his excellent service. C/Capt Meredith Wichman of NE Wing has stepped up to serve as the recorder for the new term. Finally, C/Major Anika Bohmer of ND WG is the new NCR CAC vice chair. I look forward to working with the CAC in the coming year. They are an important voice for the cadet program. I am always proud of our region’s council as they do excellent work. Thanks to all the cadets who served last year and all who have stepped up to serve in the new year!