Williams Named Next Alabama Wing Commander
Col.-select R. Brian Williams has been named the next commander of Civil Air Patrol’s Alabama Wing after a 30-year career in the U.S. Army.
Williams joined CAP as a cadet in 1981 and cites his experience in the organization as life-changing in terms of leadership, character development, and motivation. Alabama Wing vice commander since April 2021, he holds CAP masters’ ratings in command and cadet programs.
Williams will formally succeed Col. James A. Harris, wing commander since April 2019, in a change of command at the Alabama Wing conference in April.
“Col. Williams is focused on people, our most important resource, and he believes that the readiness of our Civil Air Patrol force continues to be a primary goal,” said Col. Andrea Van Buren, commander of CAP’s Southeast Region. “As a leader, he has demonstrated that he can help each volunteer realize his or her talents, matching that person with the right set of tasks to guarantee the success of both that individual and our organization.
“From his extensive military background, Col. Williams has a deep understanding of how to motivate people and set appropriate goals. These skills make him an invaluable addition to the Southeast Region leadership.”
Williams, who retired from the Army in 2016 as a colonel, is already looking to the future and setting goals for the Alabama Wing.
“I am very appreciative that the leaders who came before me have set us up for success,” he said. “We have a strong wing with knowledgeable people in place.
“With that in mind, I am looking forward to strengthening our relationships with local emergency management agencies, our sheriffs, police officers, and firefighters. We have incredible assets that we can make available to those professionals as they work to protect our communities. Our volunteers are truly force-multipliers in that regard.
“The cadet program remains a fundamental focus; I can’t think of too many other programs with its record of building maturity and leadership in our youth,” Williams said.
He holds a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College along with a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in business management from the University of North Alabama. He is a private pilot and holds an amateur radio license.
Williams has held numerous senior leadership positions within the military, including at the Pentagon, NORAD/NORTHCOM, Army National Guard Directorate, and the U.S. War College. He also served as combat adviser/chief of staff for the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command in Afghanistan.
1st Lt. Alysia English
Director of Public Affairs