Why did you join Civil Air Patrol?
I joined CAP in 1989. One of my classmates was a cadet and invited me to visit a meeting. I had been going to airshows and flying remote control airplanes with my older brother for many years. Leadership was the part of the Cadet Program that appealed most to me, but I ended up loving all aspects of it. I also wanted to serve, and CAP was a way for me to do that. Due to some health issues, the military was not a career option for me. Two of my uncles served in the Air Force and provided me encouragement during my cadet years: one was a senior NCO and one was a WWII fighter ace.
What is your current career?
I am a professor in the Instructional Design and Performance Technology doctoral program at Baker University. I am also the Directed Field Experience Coordinator and IDPT Program Coordinator. I’ve only been at the university for a few months. Previously, I was an academic dean at a community college. Editor's Note: Col. Aye is also the North Central Region Commander for CAP.
What specific lesson/experience from CAP has influenced your career or your life?
I can’t count the lessons learned in CAP that have helped me in my career and life. When I joined CAP I was a shy, seventeen-year-old with a very limited view of the world. CAP gave me confidence in myself and my abilities. Through National Cadet Special Activities (NCSAs) and International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) , Civil Air Patrol showed me the world beyond the town of 1,000 where I grew up.
The leadership lessons I learned in CAP have served me well in my career. Those lessons have helped me advance to positions of responsibility more quickly than others. CAP also provided some great leadership experiences that helped me build a stronger resume. Some of the strong female leaders who have been my mentors in CAP also provided a great example for me to follow. Finally, the Core Values provide a great foundation for success in CAP and outside the organization.