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Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles showcase how their Civil Air Patrol experiences have helped shape former CAP members’ lives and careers. Reconnect with CAP here.

Pineda, Chris Hisp Heritage flyinga

CAP Alumnus: Academic Scholarship Let Him 'End Up in the Right Place'
To help realize their dreams of flight, Civil Air Patrol cadets can apply for scholarships and awards to ease the costs of lessons, solo flights, instrument rating, camps, and more. And sometimes that financial assistance comes at just the right moment.

That proved true for Christopher Pineda, a cadet and then senior member in the Nebraska Wing’s Omaha Composite Squadron from April 2010-July 2021.

The $2,500 Board of Governors academic scholarship he received in 2018 enabled him to enroll in the University of Nebraska Omaha’s aviation program and continue achieving flight certifications. He’s now a corporate pilot.

Pineda’s path toward his aviation career began in Civil Air Patrol, thanks to guidance from his father, Air Force veteran John Pineda, who joined the Omaha squadron in January 2003 and now holds the CAP rank of major  …



anh 3Former Georgia Wing Member: CAP Provided Chance to ‘Do More ... Find Ways to Give Back’
What if one day you heard a sound above you, looked up, and saw the most amazing machine flying through the air. You didn’t know what it was … only that it soared and swooped like a bird – but wasn’t a bird – and to a young girl’s eyes it was simply magical. 

That was Anh-Thu Nguyen’s first glimpse of a plane as an 8-year-old in her poverty-stricken rural Vietnam village. Little did she know her childhood fascination with the máy bay (flying machine) – “the most amazing thing a child could ever see,” she recalled­ ­– would forever change her life. 

“I was just mesmerized,” said Nguyen, a member of Civil Air Patrol’s Georgia Wing from 2017-2021 …


KCx2aCadet-Turned-Fighter-Pilot: CAP ‘Invaluable for Preparing You for the Future’
“There I was … at 7,000 feet … when …”  

Many Civil Air Patrol cadets dream about completing a harrowing – but safely landed – flight. And retired Air Force Col. and former California Wing cadet Kim Campbell got to do just that.  

On April 7, 2003, her A-10 fighter was hit by enemy fire. Much of the aircraft’s normal systems was destroyed, but Campbell manually piloted the crippled jet back to base safely – a rare feat considering the heavy damage. After the mission, she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism. … 

FUllerMoonTo the Moon, Then Mars: CAP Alumnus Helps Manage Artemis Program
Talk about a red-letter month for aviation.

December, of course, marks the founding of Civil Air Patrol. The birth of powered flight occurred Dec. 17, 1903, on a frigid windswept North Carolina dune thanks to the Wright brothers. Fifty years ago marked the successful end of America’s first lunar landing program with the Apollo 17 mission.

 And this Dec. 11 featured another milestone—the successful conclusion of an unmanned soup-to-nuts test flight, the inaugural mission for the Artemis program.

The unmanned flight is the first page of a new chapter in lunar exploration. Artemis is intended not only to allow humans to live on the moon but also to serve as a way station on the way to Mars.

And a CAP alumnus, Sean Fuller, is the public face of the Artemis effort …