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March 2018 Command Trajectory

April 6, 2018

The most obvious partnership at the heart of what we do is with the USAF.  In the last few years, it seems our relationship and collaboration has grown.  Seemingly, to the benefit of both organizations.  If you think about it, I have mentioned many partnerships in the Command Trajectory over time.  I recently highlighted the partnership the region has with NCLR and how we benefit from it.  I have talked about how we work with Wreaths Across America, the American Red Cross (Kansas Wing), the Air Force Association (Minnesota and Missouri Wings), state agencies (South Dakota Department of Natural Resources), federal agencies (FEMA), and more.  Partnerships at all levels fuel our organization and help our members.  Organizations who partner with others are more dynamic and stronger because of greater exposure, support, etc.  General Smith asked us to do three things regarding these partnerships.  First, he wants them to grow. Where can we add partnerships?  Is there a school in your community where we can introduce ACES or AEX?  Is there a scout group that would benefit from STEM education?  Can cadets present at a local school on leadership or a drug-free lifestyle?  Can we perform a mission for a local agency?  Can our volunteers be a force multiplier for a local event to help it be successful? Can you partner with a local college for some marketing materials?  Opportunities for partnerships abound.  Keep an eye out for potential partnerships that we can build that will help our organization with all three missions!  Please share your ideas with your leaders so we can grow and serve.  Second, he wants to strengthen our partnerships.  One way we can strengthen our partnerships is to thank our partners.  If a member of AFA or AFSA or VFW comes to present an award, thank them.  If the local science center assists you, thank them and tell others. All organizations need for others to hear about the good work they are doing and the difference they make. Valuing our partners will also help us sustain them.  Who can you thank for the work they do with CAP? 

Finally, he wants to sustain our partnerships. Give them your best and always be professional.  Sustaining takes dedication and good communication.  Talk to your partners about what we can do for them but don’t promise things we cannot deliver. If we all contribute, I know we can accomplish all three facets of this area of emphasis.  Partnerships are key to our success in the Heartland.  As you go about your duties in your local unit, think about the partnerships that make a difference in your CAP experience.

The major event in March was Legislative Day and the Command Council Meeting in Washington, DC. I left on 28 February for DC.  I always enjoy seeing Mr. John Swain, who leads our efforts in Washington DC.  He is a wealth of knowledge and always has a sunny outlook.  I remember him accompanying me to my first Congressional visits in 2009.  He makes sure we are all prepared to present the needs of CAP clearly on the Hill.  The wing commanders did a great job visiting members of Congress and talking about CAP.  Missouri Wing took a group of cadets with them and allowed Cadet Dvorak of Minnesota Wing to join them.  After Legislative Day events, we settle in for our meetings.  The region always has a face-to-face meeting time.  We began with an icebreaker on communication and talked about multi-tasking and distracted driving.  Research shows that while we like to say we are multi-taskers and can do more than one thing at a time, actually we cannot.  When we try, we tend to do everything at a less successful level.  Dr. Jeff Montgomery, from CAP NHQ, joined us for the region meeting.  This year we were tasked with thinking about what changes in the aerospace education program might make it more meaningful for senior members.  We talked about breaking the AE test into smaller pieces, offering continuing education credits for activities, and the possibility of a CAP mobile app with a game twist.  All our ideas were well-received.  I also provided an update on behalf of the Leadership Development Working Group.  While we are together, I always have a working dinner with the wing commanders.  We ate at Ted’s Montana Grill and saw Secretary of Defense Mattis in the restaurant.  I also attend the Spaatz Association dinner where I enjoyed speaking with Mr. Shubert, who works at the Pentagon.  The NCAC meeting is always a highlight of our meetings.  I sat with C/Major Leonhardt and C/Major Enders as they presented the work of the council on several important initiatives.  The cadets do great work offering ideas for improving the cadet program.  I also took the opportunity to have a meal with Ms. Bobbie Tourville and Col John O’Neill, so we could talk about the efforts of the Leadership Development Working Group.  Overall, my time in Washington DC was busy and well spent. I returned to Kansas on March 4th.

The next big event in March was the Nebraska Wing Conference 16-17 March at Camp Ashland.  We celebrated the success of Col Darrell Nelson who completed his term as Nebraska Wing Commander.  I conducted a change of command and Col Steve Kuddes stepped up to serve as interim Nebraska Wing Commander.  Col Kuddes graciously offered to assist with some challenges facing Nebraska and to serve until the end of 2018.  Thank you, Col Kuddes!

On the 29th, I had a phone call with Mr. Jared Peregoy.  Jared is the new instructional designer CAP hired to assist members in updating and providing high-quality training.  Jared brings an amazing wealth of experience and I look forward to working with him on projects in the future.  Welcome, Jared!

The region submitted awards for national consideration in March.  Congratulations to all those nominated and selected.  This group of dedicated volunteers represents countless hours of time and effort on behalf of CAP.  For some awards, it is a lifetime of service.  The following members of North Central Region were chosen to represent NCR at the national level:

AFSA Cadet NCO of the Year:  Cadet Jack Homan, Kansas Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award-Cadet Category:  Cadet Noble Rasmussen, Nebraska Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award-Senior Category:  1st Lt Sampath Samarasignhe, Missouri Wing

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award-Lifetime Category:  Lt Col Don Hahn, Iowa Wing

Cadet of the Year:  C/Lt Col Joshua Klosterman, South Dakota Wing

Character Development Officer of the Year:  Lt Col Zoe Falls, Nebraska Wing

Col “Bud” Payton PAO of the Year:  2nd Lt Maria S. Klosterman

Col DeCamp Ground Team of the Year:  Fremont Cadet Squadron, Nebraska Wing

Communicator of the Year:  2dt Lt Thomas Guilford, Nebraska Wing

DDR Member of the Year: 2nd Lt Nanette Berg, Minnesota Wing

Ed Lewis Incident Staff Member of the Year:  Lt Col Tom Martin, Missouri Wing

George Texido Legislative Officer of the Year:  2d Lt Manford Steele, South Dakota Wing

Historian of the Year:  Capt Mark Triplett, Minnesota Wing

Jack Sorenson Cadet Programs Officer of the Year:  Major Michael Toedebusch, Missouri Wing

MG J. Holm Aerospace Education Officer of the Year:  Major Kim Scales, Minnesota Wing

Paul W. Turner Safety Award:  Kansas Wing

Professional Development Officer of the Year:  1st Lt Jason Odom, Missouri Wing

Property management Officer of the Year:  Major Bobby Redfield, Missouri Wing

Safety Officer of the Year:  Major Michael Bordonaro, Minnesota Wing

Senior Chaplain of the Year:  Chaplain (Lt Col) Larry Biederman, Nebraska Wing

Senior of the Year:  Lt Col George Kellison, Iowa Wing

Squadron Chaplain of the Year:  Chaplain (Capt) Richard D. Chronis, Minnesota Wing

Squadron of Distinction:  Duluth Composite Squadron, Minnesota Wing

Several members earned their promotion to lieutenant colonel in March:  Max Bradley of MO-070, Andrew Dew of MN-017, Dr. Mary DiMarsico of MO-160, Steven Harris of NE-800, David Sewell of MO-001, and Mr. Otto Wachholtz of NE-001.  Otto retired recently from CAP-USAF and now joins the ranks of the volunteers!  Major Matthew Frame of Minnesota Wing earned the Paul Garber Award and SMSgt Robert Miller of MO-001 earned the Gill Robb Wilson.  Congrats to all those who progressed in grade and knowledge in March!


March proved busy for our mission personnel.  Kansas Wing conducted 13 AFRCC missions and flew more KU AFROTC orientation flights plus two TOP flights.  Missouri Wing held a flight clinic and conducted an ELT search.  North Dakota wing conducted an ELT search and disaster relief training.  Minnesota Wing held mission staff college.  Iowa Wing conducted SAR training.   South Dakota finished its Legislative Day flights and flew the commander of the 28th Bomb Wing. 

This month we talked about partnerships.  How many partnerships or potential partnerships can you see in our missions for March?  Next month, we will talk about the next area of emphasis which is in recruiting and retention.

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