​Rising CAP leaders headed to Alabama for National Staff College

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – Beginning Sunday, 86 of Civil Air Patrol’s rising leaders will gather in Alabama for a weeklong activity that will sharpen their skills for executive-level success in CAP.

National Staff College, coordinated out of CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, is an annual professional development opportunity instrumental in CAP’s success as a premier public service organization in America and as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary.

The college is designed for Civil Air Patrol senior members who are, or will be, assuming leadership positions at the wing, regional or national levels within CAP.

“National Staff College helps our adult officers build their professional development portfolios and enhance their leadership experience,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez. “Their week at Maxwell will help them become better leaders in CAP and in their communities.”

The curriculum includes seminar discussions, case studies and exercises, along with presentations by top officials inside and outside the organization. Participants in the seven-day course concentrate on executive leadership, management, organizational behavior and policy formulation while examining CAP’s national-level operations in great detail.

The benefits extend beyond Civil Air Patrol. The leadership, communication and executive management skills, made available through the course at a fraction of what such classes would cost at various schools and universities, are in high demand by employers in all industries.

Col. Jean Desmarais, CAP’s national professional development officer, is director for National Staff College.

“We’re really excited about this year’s class,” said Desmarais, adding that it is one of the largest classes in recent years. “We have a very diverse group of leaders coming here from 33 different states, plus Puerto Rico, to learn from our Air Force, Army and CAP experts.”

Scheduled 2017 speakers include:

  • Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John G. Meyer Jr., former Army commander with 33 years of distinguished service, including assignments in Vietnam and Germany, and a variety of posts in the U.S. He is the author of Company Command: The Bottom Line, an authoritative leadership book widely used by the Army and other military services.
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. George Harrison, former commander of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Harrison will also serve as provost for the college.
  • Air Force Lt. Col. R.C. “Archie” DeJesus, director of staff for the 479th Student Squadron at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. He is also a lieutenant colonel in CAP, serving as commander of the Florida Wing’s Emerald Coast Senior Squadron in Pensacola.

Other Civil Air Patrol speakers include:

  • Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander.
  • Brig. Gen. Larry Myrick, CAP national vice commander.
  • Air Force Col. Michael Tyynismaa, CAP-USAF commander.
  • John Salvador, CAP chief operating officer.
  • John Desmarais, CAP director of operations.
  • John Swain, CAP government relations director.
  • George Vogt, CAP chief of safety.

On Wednesday, May 24, the participants will travel about 35 miles east to Tuskegee, Alabama, for a tour of Moton Field, where the famed Tuskegee Airmen trained during World War II.

The training at National Staff College is a requirement for earning the Gill Robb Wilson Award, CAP’s highest professional development achievement. Because of the course’s graduate-level design and its focus on national-level operations, participation is usually restricted to members who hold the CAP grade of major or above and chief and senior master sergeants who have completed CAP’s Region Staff College or its equivalent and have received their wing commanders’ endorsement. 2017 NSC participants include:

CAP National Headquarters
National Headquarters Squadron – Col. Frank Blazich (Alexandria, Virginia) and Lt. Col. William Manser (Glendale, Arizona)

North Central Region
Region Headquarters – Col. Thomas Theis (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Northeast Region
Region Headquarters – Lt. Col. Judith Hewett (Jacksonville, Florida)

Rocky Mountain Region
Region Headquarters – Maj. Kristin Freeman (Kuna, Idaho)

Southwest Region
Region Headquarters – Maj. Seth Hudson (College Station, Texas) and Senior Master Sgt. Charles Grosvenor (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Alabama Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. David Hartin (Tuscaloosa) and Maj. Harvey Yarborough (Morris)

Mobile Composite Squadron – Maj. Andrew Hanes (Foley)

Central Alabama Senior Squadron (Center Point) – Maj. Charles D. Moore (Alabaster)

Arizona Wing
Wing Headquarters ­– Lt. Cols. Robert Pinckard (San Tan Valley) and Linda Yaeger (Glendale)

Tucson Composite Squadron 105 – Lt. Col. A.C. Sperling (Tucson)
Arkansas Wing
42nd Composite Squadron (Little Rock) ­– Lt. Col. Robert Allison (Cabot)

115th Composite Squadron (Northwest Arkansas) – Lt. Cols. Sharon Gempler (Bella Vista) and Marina Scott (Rogers) and Majs. Charles Rine (Springdale) and David M. Walker (Bella Vista)

California Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Floyd McCormick (Castle Pines)

NorCal Group 5 (Sacramento) – Lt. Col. Robert Olea (Chico)

Diablo Composite Squadron 44 – Maj. Timothy Albert (Martinez)

Fresno Composite Squadron 112 – Maj. Neil Kuykendall (Sanger)

Hemet-Ryan Composite Squadron 59 – Maj. Robert Sears (Winchester)

Falcon Senior Squadron 40 (Fullerton) – Maj. Craig Newton (Orange)

San Jose Senior Squadron 80 – Lt. Col. Jacoba Sena (San Jose)

Colorado Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Gary Falls (Arvada)

Boulder Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Rick A. Skinner (Boulder)

Evergreen Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Andrew Rajca (Fairplay)

Foothills Cadet Squadron – Maj. Mary Cast (Lakewood)

Connecticut Wing
Silver City Cadet Squadron – Maj. Ashley La Plante (Middletown)

Delaware Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Cols. Robert Hotchkiss (Newark) and Robert A. Mooney (Camden) and Maj. Robin McCray (Newport)

Florida Wing
Wing Headquarters – Majs. Samuel Chiodo (Riverview), Eric Cooter (Ellenton), Sharon Nichols (Longwood) and Rafael Salort (Navarre) and Senior Master Sgt. Scott Jung (Land O’ Lakes)

Group 6 (Jupiter) – Maj. Alex Rodriguez (Weston)

Hillsborough One Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Robert Maxey (Seffner)

Marco Island Senior Squadron – Maj. Robert Corriveau (Naples)

Gen. Chuck Yeager Cadet Squadron – Maj. Bryan Barry (Riverview)

Georgia Wing
Wing Headquarters – Maj. Samuel Levie (Sharpsburg)

Peachtree-DeKalb Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Joanne Janchus (Johns Creek)

Cobb County Composite Squadron – Maj. Linda Kotula (Ellijay)

Peachtree City Falcon Field Composite Squadron – Maj. David Serafin (Peachtree City)

Hawaii Wing
Wing Headquarters – Maj. Victor Torres (Honolulu)

77th Saint Louis Crusaders Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Edward Green (Kaneohe)

Illinois Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Robert Dempsey (Mount Prospect)

Indiana Wing
Bakalar Composite Squadron (Columbus) – Maj. Robert Rothenberg (Indianapolis)

Iowa Wing
Wing Headquarters – Maj. Ron Mutchler (Des Moines)

Kansas Wing
Flint Hills Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Roger Eaton (Manhattan)

Kentucky Wing
Boone County Composite Squadron – Maj. Jaimie Henson (Independence)

Maryland Wing
St. Marys Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Thomas McKean (Great Mills)

Mississippi Wing
Wing Headquarters – Maj. Charles Wells (Clinton)

Missouri Wing
Table Rock Lake Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. David J. Ellis (Branson) and Maj. Thomas J. Martin (Kimberling City)

New Jersey Wing
Group 223 (Matawan) – Majs. John D. Lamb (Levittown, Pa.) and Christopher Trotter (Hatboro, Pennsylvania)

North Carolina Wing
Franklin County Composite Squadron – Maj. Richard Netherby (Wake Forest)

North Dakota Wing
119th ANG Cadet Squadron (Fargo) – Maj. Justin McDowell (Dilworth, Minnesota)

Oklahoma Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Bruce Sheppard (Durant)

Edmond Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Brandon Welch (Oklahoma City) and Maj. William Wright (Yukon)

Oregon Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Christopher J. Wade (Sweet Home)

Columbia Composite Squadron – Maj. Bradley Naas (Portland)

High Desert Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Rogers Walker (Bend)

Pennsylvania Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Cols. William Parish (Mechanicsburg) and Wayne Toughill (West Chester)

Northeast Philadelphia Composite Squadron 104 – Maj. Andrew Notarfrancesco (Philadelphia)

Puerto Rico Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Edgardo Torres (Aguadilla)

South Carolina Wing
Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Nicole Shaffner (Elgin)

Greenville Composite Squadron – Maj. Norman Spurling (Taylors)

Tennessee Wing
Group 3 – Lt. Col. Raymond Rader (Hermitage)

Texas Wing
Wing Headquarters – Col. Sean Crandall (Brownsville)

Group II – Lt. Col. William Schroder (Rowlett)

Sulphur Springs Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Choya Shanahan (Sulphur Springs)

Texoma Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Jeffrey Harrell (Denison)

Utah Wing
Wing Headquarters – Maj. Michael Knutson (Salt Lake City)

Salt Lake Senior Squadron – Majs. Joseph Breault (Salt Lake City) and Michael Collett (Park City)

Virginia Wing
Wing Headquarters – Col. James Covel (Front Royal) and Lt. Col. Michael Wormington (Charlottesville)

Leesburg Composite Squadron – Maj. Paula Towry (Leesburg)

Wisconsin Wing
Super R.I. Bong Senior Squadron (Superior) – Maj. Danny Carter Jr. (Duluth)


Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace/STEM education and serve as mentors to 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.

Contact info:Julie DeBardelaben – jdebardelaben@capnhq.gov – 334-953-7748, ext. 250Steve Cox – scox@capnhq.gov – 334-953-7748, ext. 251