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December 2017 Command Trajectory

January 6, 2018

December is a great month to reflect on the year past and look forward to the next year.  I can certainly say I am proud of what North Central Region accomplished in 2017.  I hope all of you are proud of your accomplishments as well and looking forward to an amazing 2018.  it is a pleasure to serve with such a wonderful group of servant leaders.  Some of you may be saying you are not leaders.  I would disagree.  According to Greenleaf, those who choose to serve are servant leaders.  All of you choose to serve your communities, states, and nations.  In that regard, you are all servant leaders.  Servant leaders are those who believe their success comes from the success of others and I see many selfless leaders in CAP!  Servant leaders are people of integrity, stewards of their organizations, and help others achieve their full potential. Does this sound like what you do in the cadet program or in aerospace or emergency services?  I think it does; I see members model these traits at every event I visit.  Thank you for all you do, members of NCR!   

December tends to be a busy month in North Central Region.  CAPs Board of Governors met at Maxwell AFB in Alabama in early December. I sent an update on behalf of the Leadership Development Working Group.  I appreciate Major General Smith conducting the briefing on my behalf.  I am honored to be allowed to teach the online Unit Commander’s Course.  The new course is taught in eight weeks and the curriculum is challenging and application-based.  I am proud to report that more than thirty-five senior members completed the online Unit Commander’s Course on the 11th.  Congratulations to Capt Jonathan Becker of South Dakota Wing, Major Thomas Atwood of NCR HQ, and Lt Col Sarah Wildman of NCR HQ on completing the course!  Feedback from students was very positive and as the instructor, I can share that I learned a lot as well.  I always enjoy interacting with the students and hearing about the great work they do for CAP.

On December 16th, I joined the members of Platte Valley Composite Squadron at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Terrace Park Cemetery.  What a dedicated group of volunteers from many organizations gathered that day!  Chaplain Hale invited me to speak at the event and I appreciate the opportunity.  I spoke about the three ideals Wreaths Across American is dedicated to promoting.  It was a cold and blustery day, but the crowd was enthusiastic. I was also honored to meet a visually impaired cadet from the Platte Valley Squadron who joined her fellow cadets and seniors in honoring the fallen.  It was an inspiration to see her placing wreaths and working with her colleagues. 

We had a CSAG call on the 19th and I held my call with wing commanders and my small team on the 20th.  It is important for information to flow so that we are all prepared to execute CAP’s missions.  I try to brief the wing commanders and my small team as quickly as possible after the CSAG call.  I am blessed to work with an amazing region staff that helps our wings and members achieve excellence. 

I traveled to Kansas City to visit the North Central Region Staff College on the 28th-29th.  Major Austin Worcester and Major Kevin Oliver teamed up to organize and direct.  Major Worcester was injured at work right before the school and in a lot of pain.  He was a trooper though and helped put on a great event for the dedicated members like Doctor DiMarsico who attended.  Missouri Wing Command NCO Chief Robert Dandridge taught at the event.  I always enjoy hearing from Chief Dandridge, he is a wonderful leader and a dedicated volunteer.  He is an inspiration and shares his leadership experiences in the USAF masterfully. I enjoyed hearing Missouri Adjutant General Major General Stephen Danner.  He is a great speaker and shared some wise words with our members.  The Region Staff College also took time to tour the National World War I Museum.  The museum is a great place to visit.  It is easy to see the impact of leadership on world events.  The horrors of World War I and the failures in leadership were clear messages in the exhibits.  The class really enjoyed visiting the museum and a barbecue lunch.  Chief Mudry, the NCR Command NCO, was on hand to serve as a seminar advisor and teach.  It is always a pleasure to work with Chief Mudry, he brings pride and professionalism to his service.  I presented on three topics at the RSC:  social media, leadership at the group and above, and data-driven decision making.  I enjoyed the great questions posed by the students and staff. Thank you for the opportunity to visit and teach at the RSC! 

If I thought it was cold and blustery when I was at Wreaths Across America, I changed my mind when I traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit the North Central Region Cadet Leadership School on the 30th and 31st of December.  Had those plans fallen through, I had an invitation from Kansas Wing to attend their winter encampment. They had over 150 members attend from across the region between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  It was frigid in South Dakota!  Lt Col Doug Dutton bravely volunteered to fly us up to Sioux Falls.  It was thirty below zero and they had recently experienced a blizzard.  We joined an intrepid group of 50 or so seniors and cadets for an escape room puzzle and dinner at Johnny Carino’s.  I met some great cadets and seniors at RCLS.  C/Lt Col Joshua Klosterman and Major Nicholas Gengler led the activities and they did a wonderful job planning and executing the event with help from folks like Col Mary Donley and Lt Col Linda Buechler.  Kudos to South Dakota Wing on a job well-done for the RCLS!

Chaplain Jill Holm of MN-135 and Paul Bayless of KS-061 earned their promotions to lieutenant colonel this month.  The NCR Command NCO, SMSgt Mike Mudry received his Chief stripes at the NCR Staff College.   He was very surprised when I called him up in front of the group and promoted him.  Many thanks to Chief Dandridge for the loan of a jacket with the appropriate stripes and Chief Orcutt for helping with the promotion paperwork!   Major John Hoeck of ND-119 earned the Paul W. Garber Award in December.

In operations, Missouri had a tabletop exercise and a Care Track exercise.  Kansas Wing completed AFJROTC orientation flights, AFROTC flights, and 9 Red Cross Missions.

All in all, North Central Region had a great 2017.  Thank you to the region staff and members of the region for all your hard work and dedication in 2017, you made NCR a place where success is grown!  I look forward to working with you all in 2018 and the good things we will do for CAP and NCR. 

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