July 2018 Command Trajectory
July proved another busy month for travel and activities in the region. Major General Smith’s final area of emphasis is growing the next generation of leaders. I had plenty of opportunities to see this at work at events in the region! This area of emphasis incorporates three initiatives: the NCO program, the cadet program, and our professional development program. For the NCO program, we continue to see the number of NCOs in CAP grow. It’s exciting to members share their military expertise and leadership with us. NCOs are experts in many areas but one area where they often excel is in training. They are a wonderful example for our cadet members and for our senior members as well. If you have worked with a CAP NCO like Chief Dandridge, you know they bring professionalism to the table. Commanders at all levels are being encouraged to help NCOs find their niche in CAP and help us make our organization better. I am very lucky in NCR to have a very dedicated Command NCO in CMSgt Michael Mudry. Chief Mudry visits many events each year on my behalf and provides his expertise in training at RCLS and RSC. He also turns up at encampments. I am grateful for his hard work and dedication. I appreciate having you on the team, Chief Mudry! The second area where we can grow the next generation of leaders is the cadet program. As a former cadet, I know the positive influence the cadet program can have on a life and a career. I have experienced it myself and I hear the inspiring stories of how it has helped others in my travels. The third initiative under growing the next generation of leaders is our professional development program and how we are building our senior leaders as well. Every good commander begins building the bench of possible replacements early in his or her term. Mentoring and career development is an area where we can all make a difference for others. I challenge you all to look around and see if there is someone you can guide and mentor toward success. This area also encompasses our training. This is an area that I am passionate about. My work facilitating the Leadership Development Working Group and on the new Unit Commanders Course are examples of how I contribute in this area. I take advantage of mentors like General Phelka and I step up to mentor others as well. When we mentor, and we help others, build the future one life at a time. The impact we can have is incredible. How will you embrace growing the next generation of leaders for CAP? Will you help a new pilot become qualified to fly CAP aircraft? Will you encourage someone to serve as an NCO? Will you assist with the cadet program? Will you teach a senior professional development lesson or course? Regardless of which method you choose, we can all help grow the next generation of leaders. Look around for the opportunity that fits you best!
On July 12th, I was in Minnesota Wing. In addition to helping position some vehicles for the flight academy, I was there to present an Ira C. Eaker Award to Cadet Vivier of the St. Paul Squadron. Major Will Craig leads the St. Paul Composite Squadron. It was a sincere pleasure to visit the unit and chat with members. The weather did not cooperate as it was raining cats and dogs, but it was still a great night spent with some incredible volunteers. Following the Eaker ceremony, I spent the 13th-15th at NCR Joint NFA Mankato. Col Tom Theis, NCR Vice Commander, served as director this year. The flight academy in Minnesota is shorter than other similar events and it serves both glider and powered students. My first duty was to greet cadets at the airport. We then grabbed lunch at the Mall of America and headed for Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, Minnesota. I was able to greet the cadets and seniors. I also took the opportunity to help grow some leaders by teaching Required Staff Training. I spent time with both the powered students and instructors at Mankato and the glider students and crew in New Ulm. Many thanks to our Air Force teammates who supported the activity. I was in Washington DC for Middle East Region Commander Selection Advisory Committee the 27th-29th. General Phelka led this effort and we were joined by Col Tom Kettell from Rocky Mountain Region. We had four strong candidates interview. Each provided a presentation and then answered a series of questions posed by the committee. Major General Smith selected Col Bruce Heinlein as the next Middle East Region Commander. Welcome Col Heinlein! My normal assortment of calls rounded out July with a PD Quarterly Review. I was in Platte Valley, Missouri for some awards on the 30th. Chief Mudry and I joined several other distinguished visitors at the Platte Valley Composite Squadron. Major Futch and Lt Col Brown did a great job organizing the event. It was very well attended by family members. I enjoyed chatting with everyone and participating in the ceremony.
NCC was in late June and culminated in July at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. NCR sent three teams. The Minnesota Wing team was: Carter Dahlstrom, Cameron Dahlstrom, Iva Hamitt, Cally-Ann Jacobson, Evan McNair and Levi Voit. The Missouri Wing team was: Zachary Bray, Marc Fritsche, Katherine Hassinger, Reagan Hess, Lily Reid, and Justin Smith. The South Dakota Wing team was: Sydny Cloutier, Noah Healy, Micah Healy, Kaleb Sarchet, Peter Willison, and Lydia Klosterman. All three teams did a great job and represented NCR with pride and professionalism. I am proud of the hard work they put in to train and represent the region at the event! Good work, teams!
NCSAs continue in July. Several cadets attended National Blue Beret: Kyle Clement (South Dakota Wing), Spencer Wright (Kansas Wing), Joshua Brown (Missouri Wing), Breanna McCracken (Kansas Wing), Liam Richardson (Minnesota Wing), Jaden Robelewski (Missouri Wing), Michael Pineda (Nebraska Wing), Sara Pineda (Nebraska Wing), Meredith Wichman (Nebraska Wing), Briannah McDaniel (Minnesota Wing), Jack Soukup (Minnesota Wing), Steven Frazee (MOWG). Cadet Emmett Richardson (Minnesota Wing) served as cadet commander. Several cadets learned to fly gliders: Patricia Plum (MOWG), Peyton Niemeyer (Minnesota Wing), Ian Paschelke (Minnesota Wing), Kayla Wayman (Minnesota Wing), Mostyn Phillips (Missouri Wing), Noble Rasmussen (Nebraska Wing), Ethan Wolf (Minnesota Wing), and Lillian Glover (Minnesota Wing). Cadets learning to fly powered aircraft: Mitchell Welker (Minnesota Wing), Alex Jones (Missouri Wing), Samuel Ridgeway (Missouri Wing), Ethan Atwell (Missouri Wing), Timothy Richner (Missouri Wing), Maddy Hinze (Nebraska Wing), Austin Westberg (Minnesota Wing), and Elise Doble (Minnesota Wing). Some cadets honed their leadership skills at COS: Dakota St John (Minnesota Wing), Elise Doble (Minnesota Wing), Cameron Argo (Minnesota Wing), Julie Barclay (Missouri Wing), Andrew Wong (Missouri Wing), Isaac Holcomb (Missouri Wing), and Brandon Earl (Nebraska Wing). A few cadets attended Middle East Region Honor Guard Academy to perfect drill, ceremonies and bearing: David Wellnitz (Nebraska Wing) and Jacob Brown (Missouri Wing). Several cadets honed their physical fitness, mental toughness, and field craft at PJOC or APJOC: Cameron Argo (Minnesota Wing), Annalisa Tostenson (Minnesota Wing), Matthew Mangin (Missouri Wing), Josiah Stearns (Iowa Wing), Liam Richardson (Minnesota Wing), and Noah Hampton (Minnesota Wing). Cadets Katherine Tostenson (Minnesota Wing) and Luke O’Reilly (Minnesota Wing) attended Cyber. Cadet William Wagner of Missouri Wing attended Hawk Mountain Ranger School in Pennsylvania. Cadet Alex Dvorak (Minnesota Wing) and Cadet James Craig (Minnesota Wing) attended IACE. Cadet Henry Kraynak (Missouri Wing) attended NESA and honed his ES skills. I am pleased so many NCR cadets took advantage of the great opportunity NCSAs offer. This is just one way we grow the next generation of leaders for NCR.
Our focus on growing the next generation of leaders continued in July. Professional development awards and promotions continued at a higher than usual rate due to the sunset of the old regulations. Brian Freseman of MN-016, Ken Bureau of MN-017, Carl Hallum of MN-113, William Reum of MN-113, Therese Williamson of KS-034, Ellen Browning of MN-001 and Lloyd Burge of NE-004 all earned the Paul Garber Award. Neil Taylor of KS-123 earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award. The following personnel earned promotions to lieutenant colonel: Ellen Browning (MN-001), Ken Bureau (MN-117), George Cobbley (IA-129), Harry Coleman (MN-063), Nich Gengler (SD-050), Carl Hallum (MN-113), Justin Johnson (SD-050), Jeremy Langrock (SD-050), Jo Ellen Peters (MN-001), and Don Raleigh (MN-065). Cadet Donald Leonhardt of KS-055 earned the General Ira C. Eaker Award and Cadet Meredith Wichman of the NE-019 earned the General Carl A. Spaatz Award in July.
Minnesota Wing and Missouri Wing had ELT finds in July. Kansas worked 13 ARC missions and held SAR training. Minnesota conducted a wing-wide exercise. Missouri continued imagery training, conducted their Pathfinder school, conducted squadron level training, and flew a low-level route survey. Nebraska Wing conducted an ELT search, ground team academy, and SAREX. South Dakota Wing completed a low-level route survey and a SAREX in Sioux Falls. North Dakota held their observed SAREX.
I also began teaching an online Unit Commander’s Course in July. About 35 dedicated members signed up and we are making great progress through the materials. Several members of NCR are taking advantage of the course. I am pleased to be able to help grow the next generation of leaders. Next month will be a busy one with the Command Council Meeting in Anaheim.