New Commander Takes Over New York Wing
Col. William F. Martin III is the new commander of the New York Wing, taking over Jan. 27 from Col. John Jones after the completion of Jones’ three-year term.
Col. Everett Hume, Northeast Region commander, presided over the change of command ceremony at 174th Attack Wing Headquarters at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.
Martin spoke afterward about his vision for the future.
“I was fortunate to assume command of a very strong wing,” he said. “My first priority as commander is to continue the legacy of excellent work we do. After that I want to implement new initiatives, including those that improve our members’ experience.
“We need to increase membership so we can better distribute the workload. This could mean engaging with other organizations to increase awareness, increasing general recruiting, and also targeted recruiting for specific skills,” Martin said.
“Leadership is action,” he added. “Taking a vision and making it happen. Making sure those under your command have what they need to complete the mission.
The new commander also had advice for aspiring leaders in the audience: “Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Anything is possible for those who are motivated to succeed.”
“Our members give so much of their precious time,” Martin said. “I want to lessen that burden, through process improvements and use of technology.”
He spoke from experience, having served as the wing’s director of information technology since December 2019. An enterprise information technology professional with 40 years of experience, has used his skills to benefit CAP, including development of a billing system for minor maintenance charges.
“The manual process used to involve many members and could require up to three months to complete a billing and payment cycle,” he said. “It can now be completed in as little as a few hours, including receiving and depositing payments.”
Martin discovered CAP by happenstance, he recalled. “I was about to make a U-turn in a parking lot at the airport and saw a sign that said Civil Air Patrol — USAF Auxiliary.” A few weeks later he ran into CAP members in flight suits eating lunch at the same airport.
“They invited me to a squadron meeting the next week, and the rest, as they say, is history,” he said. He joined in April 2009
Martin served previously as Orange County Senior Squadron commander, two terms as Catskill Mountains Group commander, and most recently as wing deputy chief of staff for operations.
He holds operational qualifications as a mission staff assistant, mission scanner, mission observer, airborne photographer, air operations branch director, liaison officer, planning section chief, operations section chief, and incident commander. He holds Master ratings in command, information technology, and professional development and is Senior-rated in emergency services.
Hume, region commander, presented Jones with a Distinguished Service Award for his service as commander.
Jones thanked those in attendance, his vice commanders, chief of staff, wing staff, group commanders, and squadron commanders. “I am just the guy that got to stand out front the past three years,” he told them. “All of you are the ones who do all the work.”
Lt. Col. Franklin Birt
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
New York Wing