November began with me at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama attending the Wing Commander’s Course. Why would a new region commander attend this course? One never gets to a position where one no longer needs to learn and improve oneself. I had never visited the new National Headquarters as it was still under construction the first time I attended the Region and Wing Commander’s Course. If you get the opportunity to visit our headquarters at Maxwell, I would recommend it.
The building is amazing and the paid employees who work there are just as incredible. I am always in awe of the amount of knowledge the staff have and are willing to share. The course was directed by Col Jon Stokes; he and Bobbie Tourville did a great job. It is unbelievable how much one can learn when immersed in
a subject for a week! I was really tired in the evenings because I was so busy learning things during the day. I learned about a lot of new initiatives in Civil Air Patrol and I am excited for what the future holds for our amazing organization. I am grateful for the support of MG Vazquez and BG Myrick to allow me to
attend the course. Both generals spent time with the fifteen students in attendance. I was honored to attend the course with four wing commanders from NCR: Col Lahan (Kansas Wing), Col Steiner (North Dakota Wing), Col Small (South Dakota Wing), and Col Garlough (Minnesota Wing). I was also able to spend time with
Col Jason Bailey of the North Carolina Wing and Col Arlinda Bailey of the Tennessee Wing. My maiden name is Bailey so it was very interesting to have three Baileys in attendance at the event. I took a family picture in front of the aircraft at headquarters with my cousins!
The second event of the month involved a drive to Sioux Falls, SD with Col Rick Franz and C/Capt Donald Leonhardt for the North Central Region Cadet Advisory Council meeting. It is very hard for teams to work well together and achieve great things when they do not have the opportunity to interact in person. We kicked off the new
CAC year with a meeting in Sioux Falls to make plans for a productive year. C/Lt Col Joshua Klosterman worked with Major Nich Gengler and Major Todd Epp of the South Dakota Wing to find facilities for our meeting. The region is very grateful for their kind support of our efforts. Under the leadership of C/Lt Col Joshua Klosterman (chair), C/Capt Donald Leonhardt (vice) and C/Capt Joshua Horn (recorder) tackled the agenda with gusto and the team worked hard to make plans for an active year. The representatives in attendance (C/1st Lt Noah Enders, KS WG; C/Capt Ethan Compton, MN WG; C/2nd Lt Hannah Compton, NE WG; C/1st Lt Anika Bohmer, ND WG; C/2nd Lt Jaden Peterson, SD WG; C/1st Lt Blake Hayden, SD WG) were absolutely inspiring to work with, and I can’t wait to see the good work they do this year. While in Sioux Falls, I was honored to visit the local unit and observe three teams participating in CyberPatriot. The three teams were led by C/Msgt Chris Schuppan, C/A1C Sam Moser, and C/TSgt Isaiah Klosterman. The Klosterman family, which boasts seven members in CAP, hosted the CAC for a chili dinner on Saturday night. The food and the hospitality was amazing. Thank you to South Dakota Wing and the Klosterman family for helping make the weekend so successful!
En route to the meeting, I bought a wreath from C/Capt Leonhardt for the grave of Major Grover Fanning who rests in the military cemetery at Fort Leavenworth. I hope to participate in Wreaths Across America next month and I’ll tell you more about Major Fanning at that time.
I spent an hour or so on a CSAG call on the 15th and followed it with a call with the NCR wing commanders on the 17th to share the info. I always enjoy the calls with the CAP leadership team because I learn a lot. The discussion on the wing commander call is also enlightening, and it is important for us to all stay in touch. Communication is critical for our wings and region to be successful. No matter how hard we try, I always find that more communication is helpful. We have also been honored to have Lt Col Jeffrey Meyers, Mr. Otto Wachholtz, and Mr. Greg Maier on our calls. I think having the NCR CAP-USAF team represented on the calls has been very helpful as well. We always look forward to the words of wisdom they can share with us and we feel more like one team when we share information with one another. I followed the meeting on the 17th with a conference call on the 21st with my small team of region staff members (Col Theis, Col Weston, Col Plum, Col Kuddes, Lt Col Blodgett, Lt Col Morris, Lt Col Plum, and SMSgt Mudry). Because it is hard to have a productive meeting with 50 plus on a conference call, the region meets in four smaller groups.
One item North Central Region has focused on in November was completing Annual Inventories. NCR completed its 2015 inventories in 2016 which is not acceptable.
We have to be good stewards of our assets. One aspect of good stewardship is completing inventories on time and taking good care of the property. Our internal goal for the completion of inventories was 30 November. Waiting until the deadline is not a good approach to compliance. We never know what will happen that might prevent us from completing a task (illness, technology glitch, etc.). I am proud to say that South Dakota Wing was the first to complete all its inventories, followed closely by Kansas Wing. I want to extend a big thank you to the Logistics personnel and commanders in these wings for their hard work in meeting the goal I set. Minnesota Wing followed behind them with a couple computer issues slowing their completion. However, they were motivated to get them done and doing their best to do so; thank you also to Col Garlough and his team for their efforts. On 30 November, many of the inventories for the region were complete (about 530 out of 560). Another area of stewardship is being conscientious and ensuring that no damage occurs to the property we are entrusted to maintain.
Unfortunately, we a few items damaged in November including a vehicle and an aircraft. I know that the only way to prevent damage entirely is to wrap the assets in bubble wrap and put them in a warehouse; however, I am always disappointed when I see damage in the SIRS system that is preventable. Hangar rash and minor vehicle incidents often occur when we are not practicing risk management. Risk management is something that we need to consider at all times and it can help us take care of the assets we have in CAP. As Mr. George Vogt at NHQ would say, we should be asking ourselves what is the worst thing that can happen and how can I prevent it? We should think about this every time we use a vehicle, fly an airplane, or have a meeting. It takes every one of us actively practicing risk management to protect each other and our assets.
I took a few days off from CAP activities to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family on the 24th and do some Black Friday shopping on the 25th. I no longer participate in combat shopping. That’s what I like to call the trip to the store on Thanksgiving night where you sleep on the sidewalk and stand in line for hours to be the first in the store. I would have to need an item pretty badly to take on that challenge; however, I did hit a lot of online sales from the comfort
of my recliner with a pug assisting me. For anyone who wants a similar shopping experience, I have a pug who is ready to travel and assist! The pugs, Winston and Charlotte, have been very good about CAP taking me away from home in my role as a region commander but I can tell that their patience is thinning because they have started to stand in front of the suitcase in protest when I get it out of the closet.
We had an NCR Finance Committee meeting on the 28th and I prepared to leave on the first for the gala in Washington DC. I think the gala will make an excellent topic for the next Command Trajectory.
Kansas continue its support of the American Red Cross with 13 transport mission as well as two for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Minnesota conducted two missing person searches.
Missouri Wing had a find on an ELT mission.