Rodriguez Named Next Puerto Rico Wing Commander
Lt. Col. Juan Rodríguez has been named Puerto Rico Wing commander after years of serving in diverse leadership roles within the organization.
Rodriguez will succeed Col. Edgardo Torres, commander since December 2018, at the wing conference Dec. 3 in Mayaguez.
Rodriguez joined Civil Air Patrol as a cadet in May 1977 and earned the organization’s highest cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, in December 1980. As a senior member, he most recently served as CAP’s national diversity officer.
“Lt. Col. Rodriguez has provided exemplary leadership to CAP in numerous positions,” Col. Andrea Van Buren, Southeast Region commander, said in announcing the appointment. “His understanding of complex situations enhanced our ability to respond quickly to situations such as the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by several hurricanes.
“In addition, he helped mold the national diversity officer position to help CAP respond to the changing needs of an evolving world. His know-how and professional demeanor are invaluable additions to the Southeast Region leadership team,” Van Buren said.
“Civil Air Patrol has been a part of my life for a very long time and helped guide my development as a young person,” Rodriguez said. “I experienced firsthand the positive impact of the CAP cadet program and remain committed to its outstanding level of training for youth ages 12-18.
“At the same time, I balance that with a boots-on-the-ground knowledge of how vital CAP’s capabilities are in emergency response, search and rescue, and aerial imagery, particularly after a natural disaster,” he said.
“We make a significant difference through what our volunteers provide every day.”
Rodriguez has served in such leadership positions as squadron commander, aerospace education officer, emergency services officer, squadron public affairs officer, squadron historian, wing finance officer, adviser to the wing commander, inspector general augmentee, and wing agency representative.
For the Southeast Region, he served as assistant deputy chief of staff for professional development and for cadet programs and as diversity officer.
His training includes completion of U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer School and Civil Air Patrol National Staff College. He holds Master ratings in finance and cadet programs; senior ratings in command, emergency services, and aerospace education; and technician ratings in inspector general, public affairs and historian specialty tracks. He has also served as director of the Puerto Rico session of Regional Staff College.
He is a qualified mission scanner, mission observer, ground team member, mission staff assistant, air operations branch director, public information officer, finance and accounting section chief, and liaison officer. He is a certified as a Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot Single-Engine Land and a Part 107 small Unmanned Aerial Systems pilot.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico; a postgraduate diploma in banking operations from the School for Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Graduate School of Business; and a maste’s in professional management from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business in Florida. He holds certificates as a FAA Private Pilot-SEL and a FAA Part 107 sUAS pilot.
His CAP decorations include Exceptional Service Award, Meritorious Service Award with three bronze clasps, wing-level Commander’s Commendation Award with three bronze clasps, and Achievement Award with one bronze clasp.
Outside CAP, he is chief operating officer and lead project manager for a location intelligence and geographical information systems company based in San Juan — the latest phase of a successful domestic and international career in the financial services and consulting fields that's lasted over 25 years.
1st Lt. Alysia English
Director of Public Affairs