Retired Air Force General Serving as Hawaii Wing Member
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. has joined the ranks of Civil Air Patrol, as a member of the Hawaii Wing’s West Oahu Composite Squadron.
“We are honored to have a retired four-star within our ranks,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO. “To have a proven leader like Gen. Johns in CAP provides an incredible role model for both our senior members and our cadets, especially our cadets.
“We welcome Gen. Johns and look forward to working with him toward the betterment of the Hawaii Wing and Civil Air Patrol.”
Johns said he’s proud to be in CAP and appreciative of the welcome he has received from Col. Chantal Lonergan, Hawaii Wing commander, and other members of the wing.
Johns retired from the Air Force in 2013 and most recently served as a co-CEO for FlightSafety International, a Berkshire Hathaway company. FlightSafety International offers an array of training simulators and systems that help train 70,000 commercial and military pilots a year.
Johns’ current focus is on Civil Air Patrol and specifically its cadet flight opportunities. “Retiring from the Air Force and FlightSafety International, I wanted to focus in assisting youth exploring their passion for aviation,” he said. “If there is a desire, then how can I, along with many other adult leaders, assist them in developing a pathway to realize their dreams.”
Lonergan described Johns as “a humble servant leader” who has asked her and others in the wing to refer to him as Ray. “In turn, this is how I have been introducing him,” she said.
Lonergan said she reviewed Johns’ interests, provided him resources and discussed his participation in CAP before referring him to the West Oahu squadron. The unit, based in Kapolei, is one of 13 in the Hawaii Wing. It has nine senior members and 30 cadets and is one of the more active squadrons in the wing.
“Ray has approached his membership with the true heart of a volunteer,” she said. “He has jumped right in, attending online weekly wing briefings and participating in squadron meetings since joining CAP. We are grateful for his time and service.”
Johns served in the Air Force for 36 years, retiring with the full rank of general on Jan. 1, 2013. In his last Air Force assignment, he commanded Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
Johns is also a highly experienced pilot. He started flying at 14 and continued in the Air Force as a test pilot, flying over 5,000 hours in more than 83 different aircraft. He was the chief test pilot and test program manager for the VC-25 Air Force One Replacement Program.
It’s that flying experience he hopes to share in CAP. With Lonergan’s encouragement, Johns said he wants to expand youth aviation education and flight programs in Hawaii.
“At this point my desire is to put smiles on the faces of our cadets, then to help them build their own path toward a career — be it in the military or civilian worlds — and be there to mentor them along the journey,” he said.
Mentoring is in his DNA, Johns said, because he benefited so much from it during his youth. “My hope is that my combined experiences, from Air Force leadership and flight test, to running a commercial training programs (FlightSafety), provides a strong foundation to inspire and assist the cadets in realizing their dreams,” he said.
“So many people helped me along the way, from my first instructor pilot in the Cessna 150 to NCOs, civilians and others who trusted me, shaped me, challenged me and clearly defined my career in the Air Force. Now it’s about inspiring our youth.”