October brings the new fiscal year and because our activities can be impacted by delayed funding streams, October always requires some careful planning.
I finished my last F40 with the wing commanders on the 4th. This allowed me to focus my attention on two very important topics—recruiting and retention. While I had started reading articles on this topic last year, I have began reading widely to increase my depth of knowledge in the area. Recruiting and retention are areas where every member can make a difference; it begins with how we treat each other and the effort we give to our interactions and meetings with others. Units that welcome new members and help them develop a sense of belonging then follow up with consistent, engaging activities often keep their members longer. Volunteers have many organizations competing for their time and energy. It is up to us to make Civil Air Patrol the activity they enjoy most and want to continue
On our conference call on the 20th, I began discussing this topic with the wing commanders. Every commander, at every level, needs to make recruiting and retention a priority so our organization has the members it needs to complete the missions of Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, and Emergency Services. As our service to our
communities, states, and nation increases more people will be needed to fill the needs of the organization. I challenge each of you to think about what you can do to support our recruiting and retention efforts.
On the 21st, I departed home for the Missouri Wing Conference in St Louis. It is always a pleasure to visit Missouri Wing; I had the honor of joining about 130 members for a great event. Col O’Neill and I picked up BG Myrick and Lt Col Myrick at the airport and Friday night began with mixers for both cadets and seniors with snacks provided by MSgt Charline O’Neill. Saturday morning Chaplain Hale kicked off the General Assembly with an invocation and Lt Col Scott Lawson, a longtime member of Missouri Wing, retired from CAP. This was meaningful for me because Lt Col Lawson was a regular chaperone at cadet activities I attended in the early 1990s. Thank you for your service to CAP, Lt Col Lawson!
Missouri Wing has a unique, interesting tradition of having all award nominees wear a medal so that others can recognize them for their achievements. We also conducted several promotions.
Col John O’Neill and C/Amn Boston Steele assisted in promoting MSgt Charline O’Neill to SMSgt and Major Dean Hamilton was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
BG David Boyle addressed the assembly and had many kind things to say about Civil Air Patrol standing with the Missouri National Guard during disasters and helping the citizens of the state. Several of the “Of the Year”
awards were presented in the morning including Inspector General of the Year. Col Erica Williams and Major Marsha Williams accepted this award on behalf of Col Emmitt Williams who passed away in September.
When I visit a wing, I try to find its hallmark or a characteristic to highlight in my comments. The Missouri Wing motto is “Show Me Excellence” so I used that as a springboard to talk about the excellence Missouri Wing has shown in the last year in all three Civil Air Patrol Missions. In Cadet Programs, five Missouri Wing squadrons were named
Quality Cadet Units. Also, the North Central Region Squadron of Distinction is the Wentzville Composite Squadron. The Wentzeville Composite Squadron, under the leadership of Major Joe St. Clair, was named Squadron of Distinction because it led the region in recruiting, retention, cadet milestone awards, and first time encampments. I also praised C/Col Caleb Couture and C/Major Josiah Horn for their contributions to the North Central Region Cadet Advisory Council. In Aerospace Education, Major Trumbly, the creator of the Aerospace Science Technology Center, has helped over 2,000 kids learn more about AE through his travelling museum in less than 2 years. C/Col Couture earned 2015 National Brewer Award recognition in the Cadet category and the National Airline History Museum, with whom the wing has a strong partnership, earned non-CAP Brewer honors that year as well.
I also recently had Col O’Neill brief the other wing commanders in NCR about the great AE weekend activity Missouri has implemented. While CP and AE are strong programs in Missouri Wing, I chose to highlight
Emergency Services. In September, the MO-111 squadron in St Louis deployed on an ELT search and found the injured pilot in less than half an hour. I shared a quote from Miracle on the Hudson pilot Chesley Sullenberger that I feel is very applicable to Civil Air Patrol. Sully said, regarding his efforts on that day in January 2009 when he had to land on the Hudson River,
“For 42 years I have been making small, regular deposits in the bank of education and training so that on that day I could make a very large withdrawal.”
His efforts to increase his education and training resulted in 155 lives saved. This is what members of CAP have done for 75 years. We train week in and week out so that when AFRCC, or another agencies, call, we can save lives.
I left the wing with two other pieces of wise advice from Sully. “Take care of each other,” and “a reputation is made one person, one interaction, one day at a time.” Those wise words are applicable to and can make a positive difference in every unit in Civil Air Patrol.
I want to offer my congratulations to all the Missouri Wing Award winners:
Squadron of the Year: Wentzville Composite Squadron
John Otradovec Lifetime Achievement Award: Col William T. Winkert
Senior Member of the Year: Capt David Chilenski
Cadet of the Year: Cadet Lt Col Kole Tilson
Torch Award: Capt Alan Altis
Frank G. Brewer Aerospace Education Award – Senior Member: Maj Ernie Trumbly
Frank G. Brewer Aerospace Education Award – Cadet: Cadet Capt Luke Young
Frank G. Brewer Aerospace Education Award – Non-CAP Organization: Aerospace Technology Center, Joplin MO
Jeanne M. Holm Aerospace Education Officer of the Year: Capt John Roper
Aerospace Education Member of the Year: Mr. Rich Piper Coordinator of the Science Teachers of Missouri 2016 Conference
Jack Sorenson Cadet Programs Officer of the Year: Capt David Risko
Cadet Junior Officer of the Year: C/1st Lt Katherine Jenkins
Cadet NCO of the Year: C/2d Lt Abigayle White
Drug Demand Reduction Officer of the Year: Capt Mike Toedebusch
Orientation Pilot of the Year: Maj Scott Murrell
Emergency Services Officer of the Year: Maj Tom Martin
Incident Commander of the Year: Maj Austin Worcester
Operations Officer of the Year: Maj Bobby Redfield
Communicator of the Year: Capt Steve Vogt
Mission Base Staff Member of the Year: SMSgt Charline O’Neill
Character Development Officer of the Year: Maj Jennifer Smith
Squadron Chaplain of the Year: Chaplain (Capt) John Harth
Senior Chaplain of the Year: Chaplain (Lt Col) Leonard Hale
Professional Development Officer of the Year: Lt Col David J. Ellis
Public Affairs Officer of the Year: Lt Col David A. Miller
Recruiting and Retention Officer of the Year: Lt Col Dean Hamilton
Safety Officer of the Year: Capt Stephanie Workman
Administration Officer of the Year: 2d Lt Jade Dicks
Finance Officer of the Year: Maj Dave Futch
Historian of the Year: 1ST Lt Larry Corbin
Information Technology Officer of the Year: 2d Lt James Gregg
Legal Officer of the Year: Lt Col Dan Harlan
Legislative Officer of the Year: Lt Col Randy Fuller
Personnel Officer of the Year: 2d Lt Erica N. Johnson
Property Manager of the Year: Maj Bobby Redfield
Transportation Officer of the Year: Maj Martin Alderman
On October 31st, I departed Kansas with Col Linette Lahan for the Wing Commander course at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. I think that will make a good topic for the next trajectory.
Charline O’ Neill to SMsgt
Dean Hamilton, MO WG, Lt Col
Bruce Kipp, SD WG, Lt Col
Jason Suby, MN WG, Lt Col
New Region Staff:
Col Erica Williams as DCS Professional Development
Lt Col Bill Sander as DCS Aerospace Education
MN WG 16-M-0751 Find
MN WG 16-M-0761A
MO WG 16-M-0757
MO WG 16-M-0773