Eighty-one of Civil Air Patrol’s mid-level executives from across the nation gather in Alabama this weekend for National Staff College, an annual activity that turns 50 this year.
National Staff College, or NSC, coordinated out of CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, is an organization-led professional development opportunity. First held in 1968, NSC has proven to be instrumental in building CAP’s success as a premier public service organization and as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary.
The college is designed for CAP senior members who are, or will be, assuming leadership positions at the wing, regional or national levels within the organization. The training, scheduled from April 22-29, helps these volunteers sharpen their skills for top-level success.
“National Staff College goes a long way in developing our adult officers’ executive level management skills for future service in high levels within the organization,” said CAP National Commander and CEO Maj. Gen. Mark Smith. “These skills will allow the participants to become more effective leaders, both in CAP as well as 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.
As part of NSC’s 50th anniversary observance, Lt. Col. Thomas S. Vreeland, one of the newest members of CAP’s Board of Governors, will be a guest lecturer. Vreeland graduated from the first NSC in 1968 as the young founder and commander of a New York City squadron. He was 20 years old and still in college.
Vreeland, who went on to a notable career in education and information technology before rejoining CAP in 2006, said he will use his NSC address as an opportunity to reflect on the things that remain the same in CAP and the things that have changed.
NSC 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.
The benefits of NSC extend beyond CAP. 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 serving as director of NSC.
“We’re really excited about this year’s class and its place in NSC history,” said Desmarais. “We have a very diverse group of leaders coming here from 33 different wings to learn from our Air Force, Army and CAP experts.”
The banquet speaker for the graduation ceremony next Saturday, April 29, is Dr. David R. King, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School as an attending trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, King has 17 years of service with the Joint Special Operations Command and multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the last coming in 2017. He is one of the principle inventors of ResQFoam, a “trauma foam” meant to combat internal bleeding long enough for a soldier or patient to reach a medical facility and receive a lifesaving operation.
In addition to Vreeland and King, scheduled 2018 speakers include:
- 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.
- Air Force Col. Michael Tyynismaa, commander, Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force (CAP-USAF), which provides advice, liaison and oversight to CAP National Headquarters.
- Air Force Master Sgt. Don Pierson, military instructor for aspiring officers at Maxwell AFB.
Civil Air Patrol speakers include:
- Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander.
- Brig. Gen. Ed Phelka, CAP national vice commander.
- John Salvador, CAP chief operating officer.
- Chaplain Col. Jay Hughes, former CAP Chief of Chaplains
- Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region commander.
- John Desmarais, CAP director of operations.
- John Swain, CAP government relations director
National Staff College participants
CAP National Headquarters
- Congressional Squadron – Maj. Marcus Thornton
- Group IV – Maj. David Girolami
- 120th Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Charles Pierce
- Wing Headquarters – Chief Master Sgt. Noel Furniss
- Los Angeles County Group 1 – Maj. Glenn Wiggins
- San Diego Group 8 – Lt. Col. Ross Veta
- Long Beach Senior Squadron 150 – Maj. David Powell
- San Diego Senior Squadron 57 – Maj. David Wallace
- Los Alamitos Glider Training Squadron 41 – Lt. Col. Stanley Clark
- Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron – Maj. John Siebert
- Silver City Cadet Squadron – Maj. Paul Patnoad
- Marco Island Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Alexander Craig
- Gwinnett County Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Michael Willis
- Dekalb County Cadet Squadron – Lt. Col. Richard Choate
- Rockdale County Cadet Squadron – Lt. Col. David Hamby
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Justin Bekker
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Cols. John Patrizi, Robert Taylor and Tod Whitmore
- Lewis Composite Squadron – Maj. Val Mertens
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Justin McElvaney
- Group 5 – Maj. Ronald Reid
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Donald Hahn
- Howard Williams Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Danny Phillips
- Lawrence Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Paul Bayless
- Wing Headquarters – Majs. Keith Clapp and Paul Ault
- Group III – Lt. Col. Robert Sobotka
- Louisville Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Joshua Leslie
- Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron – Maj. Terry Logan
- College Park Composite Squadron – Maj. Robert Thompson
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Shawn Wyant
- Highpoint Composite Squadron – Maj. Gareth Todd
- Maj. Kevin A. Adams Memorial Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Paul Koehn
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Douglas Rutherford
- Wing Headquarters – Maj. Joseph St. Clair
- Group 1 – Lt. Col. Austin Worcester
- Group 5 – Lt. Col. Raun Hamilton
- Pegasus Composite Squadron – Lt. Col Charles Harter
- Springfield Regional Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Johnnie Nichols
- Table Rock Lake Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Charlie Stone
- Wentzville Composite Squadron – Maj. Jennifer Smith and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Miller
- Pine Belt Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Felix Diaz
North Carolina Wing
- Wing Headquarters – Chaplain Lt. Col. Marcus Taylor
National Capital Wing
- Arlington Composite Squadron – Maj. Aaron Newman
- Fremont Cadet Squadron – Lt. Col. Leonard Cassell
New Hampshire Wing
- Lebanon Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Charles Freeman
New Jersey Wing
- Wing Headquarters – Chaplain Lt. Col. George Guyer
- Bayshore Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Harvey Gonzalez
- New Jersey Legislative Squadron – Lt. Col. G Mark Loreto
New Mexico Wing
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Griffyn Lane
- Albuquerque Senior Squadron 2 – Maj. Gregory Griffith
New York Wing
- New York City Group – Maj. Michael Woolfolk
- Wing Headquarters – Majs. Richard Hazeltine and Darrin Scheidle
- Douglas County Composite Squadron – Maj. Dale Brown
- Nellis Senior Squadron – Majs. Robert Lopez and Ezekiel Martin
- Jim Bridger Middle School Cadet Squadron – Lt. Col. Karen Hursh
- Group VII – Lt. Col. Jennifer Hicks
- Woodward Composite Squadron – Maj. Anthony Barros
Rhode Island Wing
- Wing Headquarters – Col. William Stranahan
South Carolina Wing
- Emerald City Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kathryn Dowling
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Alfred Climie
- Group III – Lt. Col. Donald Gulliksen
- George H.W. Bush Composite Squadron – Maj. Forest Allen
- Lakeshore Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Peter Morford
- Midway Composite Squadron – Maj. Julian Howe
- Nighthawk Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Michael Parkhill
- Thunderbolt Composite Squadron – Maj. Chad Bray
- Lackland Cadet Squadron – Lt. Col. Jacob Stauffer
- Sheldon Cadet Squadron – Maj. Jason McDonald
- Wing Headquarters – Lt. Cols. Calvin Chandler and Elliott Korona and Majs. Brian Howard and Jeff Mauro
- Prince William Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kimberly Frady
- Columbia Basin Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Keith Weber
- Twin W Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kenneth Butler
West Virginia Wing
- Beckley Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kenneth Dilley