14:33 PM

Final Natl. Staff College Graduates 112 After Virtual Training

Civil Air Patrol’s final National Staff College graduates 112 students Saturday, but not without challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am so thankful for the professionalism and patience demonstrated by both the NSC staff and all of our students,” said Col. Lisa Robinson, activity director. “Every person involved in this year's college has truly worked together as a team to make this last legacy National Staff College a success." 

Historically, NSC has been held at Maxwell Air Force Base — the home of CAP as well as U.S. Air Force officer development education. For more than 50 years, the college has enhanced the leadership abilities of CAP members who are, or will be, assuming positions at the wing, regional or national levels within CAP.

“Many of our students are already commanders or on wing staff, already contributing to Civil Air Patrol’s leadership,” Robinson said.

NSC training includes seminar discussions, case studies and exercises, which depend heavily on face-to-face interactions between the staff and the students. The students focus on executive leadership, management, organizational behavior and policy formulation while examining CAP’s national-level operations firsthand.

But with COVID-19 and related Department of Defense travel restrictions, CAP leadership had looked at the options of canceling the college or converting it to a distance-learning format.

“Since this would be the last National Staff College and the last opportunity for CAP officers to complete their Gill Robb Wilson Award under CAP’s legacy program, we felt that it was imperative that the college move forward,” Robinson said.

The move to a virtual NSC made sense as Civil Air Patrol transforms its existing professional development program to a new education and training program. With the launch of Volunteer University on Aug. 4, CAP will offer both online cohorts and onsite classes to take the place of NSC and other annual professional development opportunities like it.

With that in mind, a small task force quickly put together a distance-learning 2020 NSC schedule that would cover the college’s established curriculum, normally conducted as a weeklong course, but spread it over a 13-week period. Each week consisted of one to two presentations and one to two small-group seminar discussions. In addition, the candidates had to write short essays on each of the topics presented – a new requirement for this year.

"Without face-to-face conversations, our seminar leaders had to depend on the written homework to determine that the concepts were understood and could be applied back at the candidates’ home units,” Robinson said. “This put a tremendous amount of work on the candidates as well as our staff of 35 to grade and provide feedback.

“When you consider the readings, quizzes, homework, presentations and small-group discussions, this class has devoted the same 90 to 100 hours as our in-residence format requires. I am impressed with the candidates' dedication to this process."

The 112 students in this year’s class represent 37 CAP wings, a National Headquarters squadron and three CAP region headquarters. Two of the students participated from the United Kingdom and South Korea, respectively.

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol’s national commander and CEO, said professional development activities like NSC have been instrumental in CAP’s success as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary and as a premier public service organization.

“By taking advantage of such opportunities, our members have become better leaders in CAP and in their communities,” he said.

Smith was one of many NSC instructors this year. Others, drawn from Air University at Maxwell and from senior CAP leadership as well as other sources of leadership expertise, included retired Air Force Maj. Gen. George Harrison, the 2020 NSC provost, and retired U.S. Army Col. Jayson Altieri, former chair of CAP’s Board of Governors.

“I am particularly impressed with this year’s graduates, as they have succeeded under difficult circumstances,” Smith said. “I congratulate these students, as well as Col. Robinson and her staff, on the innovative manner in which they have approached this year’s college,” he said.

“To accomplish what they have over the past 13 weeks during a pandemic is truly amazing.”

2020 NSC graduates are:

National Headquarters
Mildenhall Cadet Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Darren Cruz

Great Lakes Region
Region Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Thomas A. Rehman

Rocky Mountain Region
Region Headquarters

  • Col. Jonathan Niedfeldt
  • Lt. Col. Beverly K. Carlson
  • Lt. Col. Kent A. Hopkins
  • Lt. Col. David R. Novotny
  • Maj. Timothy S. Thornton

Southeast Region
Region Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Corey A. Hamilton

Alabama Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Bart Nelson III
  • Maj. Arnold C. Staton

Mountain Lakes Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Benjamin M. Booth

Arizona Wing
388th Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Edwin Segura

California Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Charles R. Christian

San Diego Group 8

  • Maj. Jennifer D. Davenport

San Francisco Bay Group 2

  • Lt. Col. Noel P. Luneau

San Diego Senior Squadron 57

  • Maj. Mark E. Nicholson

San Fernando Senior Squadron 35

  • Maj. Robert W. Obreiter Jr.

Lt. Col. Arthur King Composite Squadron 50

  • Maj. Jon C. Domke

Santa Cruz Composite Squadron 13

  • Maj. Randy R. Pesce

San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86

  • Maj. Kenny Loui

Colorado Wing
North Valley Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Gregory T. Deemer

Jefferson County Senior Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Susan A. Wilson

Delaware Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Kay S. Rudo

Coastal Patrol Base 2 Memorial Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Catherine H. Twyford

Florida Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Yvonne Rodriguez
  • Maj. Joseph W. Highman

Hillsborough One Senior Squadron

  • Maj. Michael J. Hively

Eglin Composite Squadront

  • Col. Joel E. Diaz

Lantana Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Joshua J .Risle

North Perry Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Susan J. Barnett

Pensacola Cadet Squadron

  • Maj. M. Mia Ottesen

St. Petersburg Cadet Squadron

  • Maj. Stuart I. Brownstein

Georgia Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Michael A. Crowe
  • Lt. Col. Phillip O. Snider Jr.

Hawaii Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Col. Chantal L. Lonergan

Kona Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Marlene .F Johnson

Illinois Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. John W. Fletcher
  • Lt. Col. Steven K. Weber

Group 4 Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Jerry G. Scherer

Col. Shorty Powers Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Gerold A. Baumgartner

Cornelius Coffey Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Carol T. Curtis
  • Maj. Alicia S. Williams

Indiana Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Brian W. Schmuck

Titan Cadet Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Frank E. Merrill

Kansas Wing
Heartland Cadet Squadron

  • Maj. Patricia A .Crockett
  • Maj. Robert D. Crockett

Emerald City Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Eric F. Davis

Kentucky Wing
Group III

  • Maj. Michael A. Weimer

Louisiana Wing
St. Tammany Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Don W. Ducote

Massachusetts Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Stephen P. Hood
  • Lt. Col. Walter O. Nelson Jr.
  • Maj. Michael E. Causbie

Westover Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Patrick S. Routier

Boston Cadet Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Carleton W. Jones

Michigan Wing
Maj. Kevin A. Adams Memorial Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Christopher A. Ballard

South Oakland Cadet Squadron

  • Maj. Jessica DeAngelo Bowden

Minnesota Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Gerald M. Rosenzweig

Mississippi Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Jerry W. Eichelberger

Vicksburg Composite Flight

  • Maj. Eugene J. Rogillio

Missouri Wing
Col. Travis Hoover Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Jered M. Horn

Fort Leonard Wood Composite Squadron

  • Senior Master Sgt. Charline A. O'Neill

Platte Valley Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Kevin L. Oliver

Montana Wing
Malmstrom AFB Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Bethany K. Lenell

Nebraska Wing
Gen. Curtis LeMay Offutt Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Dale R. Wuster

Nevada Wing
Douglas County Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Robert J. Williams

Las Vegas Composite Squadron 70

  • Maj. Gary A. Van Cott

Reno Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Sandra B. Steffensen

New Hampshire Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Darlene A. Cray

Hawk Composite Squadron

  • Maj. James (Nick) N. Orgettas

New Jersey Wing
Group 221

  • Lt. Col. Carol J. McCloud

Group 225

  • Maj. Julio A. Pastoriza

Jersey City Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Jorge Ramos
  • Maj. Gilberto Sanchez

Raritan Valley Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Lorraine Denby

New Mexico Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Tyler C. Leaf

New York Wing
Long Island Group

  • Maj. Wayne H. Smith

Suffolk Cadet Squadron 10

  • Lt. Col. Andrew A. Balistreri

Brian M. Mooney Cadet Squadron

  • Maj. Stephen A. Nocita

North Dakota Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Trevor J. McDowell

Ohio Wing
Group IV Headquarters

  • Maj. Aharon V. Cohn

Wright Patterson Composite Squadron 

  • Maj. Scott A. Glenn

Columbus Senior Squadron

  • Maj. Jeffrey D. Marshall

Oklahoma Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Jim R. Emory

Broken Arrow Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Scott E. McCarty

Enid Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Lynn E. Turrell Gould

Flying Castle Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Marlene M. Webster

Pennsylvania Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Maj. Glenn F. Carman
  • Maj. Carl L .Kelley

Group 2

  • Maj. Ivan K. Sears

Rhode Island Wing
Legislaative Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Robert M. Gubala II

South Carolina Wing
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Christopher R. Peterson

Ace Basin Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Tina M. Peterson

Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Peter S. Stern
  • Maj. John S. Pak

Low Country Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Crystall J. Eudy

Tennessee Wing 
Wing Headquarters

  • Lt. Col. Joel E. Diaz
  • Maj. Jason S. Alley

Knoxville Senior Squadron 1

  • Maj. James P. Duffy 

Wilson County Senior Squadron

  • Maj. Robert R. Frase

Dickson County Composite Squadron

  • Maj. David Dweck

Texas Wimg
Group VII

  • Maj. Dennis A. Bazemore

Fort Worth Senior Squadron

  • Maj. Steven P. Blanchard

Bell County Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Allison K. Pollitt

David Lee (Tex) Hill Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Curtis S. Trull Sr

Lakeshore Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Robert A. Wieneke

Red Oak Cadet Squadron

  • Lt. Col. Jane B. Smalley

Virginia Wing
Coastal Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Dennis J. Borgerding
  • Maj. James L. Greco

Montgomery Composite Squadron

  • Maj. David A. Schuh

Newport-News Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Jared L. Mast

Tidewater Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Robin D. Haight

Wyoming Wing
Cheyenne Composite Squadron

  • Maj. Jan L. Johnson