14:42 PM

Three Added to Board of Governors

A recently retired U.S. Air Force general, a rising Air Force general and a longtime Civil Air Patrol member have been selected to serve on CAP’s Board of Governors.

The 11-member Board of Governors, or BoG, is CAP’s top governing body. It consists of four Air Force appointees, three members appointed jointly by the secretary of the Air Force and CAP's national commander, and four members-at-large selected by the CAP Senior Advisory Group.

Brig. Gen. William D. Betts was recently appointed to the board by the secretary of the Air Force, effective immediately. Betts is the vice commander of First Air Force and Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and succeeds Maj. Gen. Ken Ekman, who previously served in that role. Ekman moved to a new Air Force assignment overseas.

Also appointed to the BoG is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Cedric D. George, who will replace Robert E. Corsi on Nov. 1, when his term expires.

Col. Larry J. Ragland, CAP's national executive officer from 2014-2017, was selected for the BoG by CAP’s Senior Advisory Group. He will replace Lt. Col. Thomas S. Vreeland as an at-large member of the board. Ragland’s term begins on Nov. 11.

“I thank Gen. Ekman for his leadership and look forward to the opportunity of working with Gen. Betts, Gen. George and Col. Ragland in the months ahead,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol’s national commander and CEO. “All three have vast and diverse experience that will contribute greatly to CAP’s growth and success.”

In his new role with First Air Force, Betts is the principal adviser to the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and assists in organizing, equipping and operating air defense forces for aerospace warning and control in support of the commander. As the deputy combined forces air component commander for AFNORTH, he ensures operational readiness of assigned, aligned or gained forces for homeland defense, defense support to civil authorities, and theater security cooperation missions in North America.

Betts’ military background includes 25 years with the Air Force, beginning with a commission with the Air Force Academy in 1995. He is a command pilot with over 2,400 flying hours, the majority in the F-16. He has served as an F-35 and F-16 instructor pilot and an F-16 weapons officer and has operational experience in Far East Asia as well as combat tours in Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

Betts has served as deputy chief, Joint Doctrine Division, on the Joint Staff, and as the senior air defense officer in the U.K.’s Joint Force Air Component Headquarters. He also served as commander of the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

George, a resident of Reston, Virginia, retired from the Air Force in November 2019 as director of logistics, deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he was responsible for organizing, training and equipping more than 180,000 technicians and managers maintaining the aerospace weapons system inventory.

In this leadership role, he provided strategic guidance for materiel and equipment management, fuels, vehicle management and operations, distribution, personal property and passenger traffic management. He developed logistics readiness, maintenance and munitions policy, ensuring the readiness of the single largest element of manpower supporting Air Force combat forces globally.

George was a CAP cadet in New York in the 1980s. That experience led him to vocational high school and then to Air Force Junior ROTC, which helped him earn an ROTC scholarship to the nation’s oldest military school, Norwich University in Vermont.

After graduation in 1987, George embarked on a 32-year Air Force career, serving as a maintenance officer and holding key maintenance leadership positions at the wing, major command and Air Staff levels. His commands included the 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 35th Maintenance Group, 11th Wing, 76th Maintenance Wing and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex. He was also a Level III senior acquisition professional with a wide array of leadership experiences in Air Force and joint programs.

George recounted his Air Force tenure in a keynote address at Civil Air Patrol’s 2019 National Conference, where he challenged CAP members to always embrace their volunteer service while encouraging them to help develop the next generation of aerospace and cyber leaders.

In the past year, George has worked as an independent consultant specializing in strategic planning, transformational leadership, process improvement, global logistics and senior program management. He is a senior executive with Amazon Web Services.

Ragland, who resides in Sanford, North Carolina, is a 43-year member of CAP. Before his service as national executive officer, he commanded the Mid-Atlantic Region – then known as the Middle East Region – from 2011-2014. He also commanded the North Carolina Wing from 2005-2008. He recently served as the North Carolina Wing's director of operations.

Ragland holds an Emergency Services Master Rating and a Command Pilot Rating with more than 2,300 flight hours. He is qualified as a mission pilot, counterdrug aircrew member, mission check pilot and a cadet orientation flight pilot. He is also a small unmanned aerial system mission pilot.

He retired from a 40+ year career as a registered landscape architect in North Carolina in 2019. His landscape architectural firm received numerous national and state awards for design excellence and critical service to the community.