Major General-Select Edward D. Phelka
Major General-Select Edward D. Phelka has been selected to become the Chief Executive Officer/National Commander of Civil Air Patrol. He was named to the top leadership position and selected for promotion to Major General (two-star) on May 21, 2021, by CAP’s Board of Governors. He will assume command from Major General Mark Smith, CAP’s current CEO/National Commander, on Aug. 26, 2021, at the Summer Command Council meeting.
His primary duty as CEO/National Commander will be to lead CAP’s 54,000 volunteers in fulfillment of the nonprofit organization’s three primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In its role as the Air Force auxiliary, CAP is a member of the Total Force, filling a critical role in Defense Support of Civil Authorities that includes preserving life, relieving suffering, and providing training support.
As CAP’s current National Vice Commander, General Phelka serves as a Brigadier General (one-star). In addition to advising General Smith and the Board of Governors on operational and policy issues, he is also a member of both the Command Council and Senior Advisory Group (CSAG), advising the National Commander and the Board of Governors on operational and policy issues.
General Phelka assumed his role as National Vice Commander on Sept. 2, 2017, at CAP’s National Conference. Prior to his appointment to the post, General Phelka served as Commander of CAP’s Great Lakes Region, beginning in March 2015. He was responsible for leading the region’s six wings, including his home state of Michigan. Before that, he served as National Controller — CAP’s principal adviser on financial accountability and logistics. He held that role from August 2011-January 2015 after commanding the Colorado Wing from December 2007-April 2011.
A resident of the Greater Detroit area, General Phelka joined Civil Air Patrol as a Michigan Wing cadet in 1987, earning the General Carl A. Spaatz Award in 1993. Following transition to senior membership in CAP, his assignments included three years as Commander of Michigan Wing’s Livonia Thunderbolt Cadet Squadron and two years as Commander of the Southeast Michigan Group, Director of Cadet Programs in both the Michigan and Colorado wings, and Chief of Staff for the Colorado Wing.
General Phelka is an instrument-rated commercial pilot for single and multiengine airplanes, as well as a Certificated Flight Instructor, CAP Cadet Orientation Pilot and Check Pilot Examiner with more than 2,100 flying hours. Outside CAP, he spent 15 years in leadership roles within the airline and software industries and presently works as a professional pilot and flight instructor.
He and his wife, Dr. Amanda Phelka, have two children, Daniel and Katherine. Current as of 24 May 2021
Current as of 24 May 2021