Willis to Assume Georgia Wing Command
Col.-select Michael Willis has been named the next commander of the Georgia Wing
after serving in diverse Civil Air Patrol leadership roles for a combined total of 30 years.
Willis will formally succeed Col. Jeff Garrett, wing commander since 2019, in a change of command at the Georgia Wing conference in September. Garrett is succeeding Col. Andrea Van Buren as Southeast Region commander.
“Col.-select Willis brings a distinguished list of CAP accomplishments to this position,” Van Buren said in announcing the appointment.
“He has most recently demonstrated his commitment to our members in his oversight of the CAP national mentoring program. The duties include supervising 40 members of staff and 500+ members in the program.”
“His values and determination make a lasting impression on those with whom he interacts. He is a tremendous asset to our organization,” Van Buren said.
“My personal leadership philosophy can be summed as, ‘Make people your first focus and your missions will excel,’” said Willis, the Georgia Wing’s director of safety and assistant chief of staff. “We are nothing without our dedicated volunteers who freely give their time and talent, no matter when we call upon them.
“It is inspiring and deeply humbling to see what our teams can achieve, and I look forward to this opportunity with the Georgia Wing.”
Willis originally joined CAP in 1987 as a cadet in the Illinois Wing’s Shorty Powers Composite Squadron and achieved the grade of cadet master sergeant before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1990.
In the Air Force he maintained the avionics systems on the B-1B and B-2 bombers, joining the first Air Force B-2 maintenance flight of the 393rd Bomb Squadron. After a year, he became a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where he served until leaving active duty in 1995.
He was awarded the Air Force Achievement, Good Conduct, National Defense, and Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service medals.
Willis returned to CAP in October 1996 as an adult member in the Illinois Wing’s McLean County Composite Squadron. He served as group commander, squadron commander, deputy commander, and numerous other diverse staff positions in the organization in Illinois.
After transferring to the Georgia Wing in April 2017, his leadership positions included vice commander (North), Group 2 commander, and Gwinnett Composite Squadron assistant deputy commander and emergency services training officer.
Willis is a technology manager with a large insurance company in Dunwoody. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in Normal and an avionics degree from the Community College of the Air Force.
1st Lt Alysia English
Director of Public Affairs