April 2022
Volunteers serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.
Inside This Issue... Early CAP member sets records as female flyer, '70s uniform flashbacks, first female navigators highlight, donating stocks, newest female leaders, cadets participate in rocketry, alumni spotlight, tax time, CAP mourns Hawaii Wing members, Final Salute, more...
Early CAP Member Set Records as Female Flyer
CAP honors Louise McPhetridge Thaden, an early member of both CAP and "the Ninety-Nines.” Established in 1929 by 99 women pilots, members of the Ninety-Nines Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots, promote advancement of aviation through education and scholarships. 

CAP’s national artist, Maj. Ron Finger, has depicted a historic aircraft (pictured above) similar to one Thaden flew during the 1940s.
Capt. Dominic Deshaies
Alumni Moment
"From my first flight lesson with Civil Air Patrol to accepting a pilot position with my first airline, PSA Airlines, Inc., I'm beyond grateful to say I can continue care for my passengers under the AA brand with mainline American Airlines. I can't help but give credit to those who mentored me, supported me, and motivated me to continue to follow my dream of becoming an airline pilot. Here's to a 35-year career with my dream airline. The sky is never the limit!" Dominic Deshaies, CAP cadet alumnus
What's your CAP story?
Recognize These Uniforms?
CAP alumnus Andy Davis came across some cadet memories while converting old Super 8 reels.

"A weekend retreat at Camp Varnum in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This was around 1974. I was very active with CAP in the early '70s which planted the seed for a 40-year career in aviation."
Do you remember Civil Air Patrol Uniforms from the 1970s?
Yes, I do, and I wore one of them!
Yes, I recognize those!
This is my first time, thanks for the throwback images!
The First Female Navigators: Mary Kay "MK" Higgins

"If you can't see it, you can't be it."
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mary Kay Higgins was one of the first six women trained as Air Force navigators. Seven years earlier, in 1970, she was the first female recipient from our Illinois Wing to earn CAP's top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award. As an active CAP member she later served as director of cadet programs for the Nebraska Wing. She also served as a CAP-USAF liaison officer for the National Capital Wing.

This video was created to celebrate overcoming gender barriers in the Air Force 45 years since the first female class of navigators began their training. (U.S. Air Force video by Matthew Hester and Airmen 1st Class Rome Bowermaster and Kailey Viator)
Donating Stocks and Supporting CAP
Are you looking to make a difference with CAP and your taxes? By donating a gift of stock to CAP, you can skip the capital gains tax and take a charitable deduction for the entire donation amount if you itemize deductions.
Celebrating CAP's Women Leaders
With the recent selection of Col. Virginia Nelson as Pacific Region commander and Col.Rose Hunt as Great Lakes Region commander, 50% of CAP’s region commanders are now female.
Saving Lives
CAP's search and rescue missions continue. This map represents the number of saves since Oct. 1.
Civil Air Patrol Salutes our Volunteers...
Past and Present
Alumni & Friends Spotlight

Lt. Col. Mark Kukucka

Cadet Alumnus
Maryland Wing
Why did you join Civil Air Patrol?
The prospect of flying was the only lure I needed to join Civil Air Patrol in April 1975. While in the ninth grade, a local squadron set up a recruiting table in the school’s cafeteria. From that I learned that the Gunpowder Composite Squadron met Thursday evenings at a local deactivated Nike Ajax missile base in Kingsville, Maryland. After attending a few squadron meetings, my younger brother and I jumped in with both feet.

One of the senior members in the squadron owned a Cessna 152, and it wasn’t long before I found myself seated next to him up in the wild blue yonder. Within two years, I was selected by the Maryland Wing to take flying lessons up to the point where I soloed. Within 15 hours of dual flight instruction, I accomplished that task. Continuing toward my private/instrument and commercial pilot certificates in both airplane and rotorcraft would take a back seat because of my burgeoning aspirations to start college at the University of Maryland in College Park in the fall of 1979.
What is your current career?
I am employed with a Fortune 130 company as a nanotechnology/nanomedicine scientist. I consult with researchers on the cutting edge who employ electron microscopes in biological and material science applications. When asked what I do, I often respond that I work with things that no one can see with the human eye. I believe that anything worth doing in today’s world is being done under an electron microscope; they come in two types – transmission and scanning electron microscopes. Some of the more interesting projects I’ve worked on over the years would be: 1) with the FBI to improve identification of trace fiber evidence collected at crime scenes; 2) with Apple on the inner workings of cellphones before they became mainstream; 3) with NASA on new materials that one day may allow man to go to Mars, 4) with Boeing on failure analysis of jet airplane parts, 5) with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on security features on the $100 bill, 6) with the National Gallery of Art on the preservation of Renaissance paintings, and most recently, 7) with the Centers for Disease Control on the clinical examination of heart, lung, and liver biopsies containing the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.
What specific lesson/experience from CAP has influenced your career or your life?
I learned quickly that to advance as a cadet, you must take tests… a lot of them. A look at my eighth grade and then my ninth grade report cards would reveal that something happened. What was it? For me, CAP taught me how to take tests. It proved to lead my success in the CAP cadet program and also in high school and college classrooms. I went from being an average “C” student to an “A“ student.

Upon enrolling in college, I spent six years at the University of Maryland in College Park and earned both bachelor's and master's degrees. Our family lived on a farm, so I always had a penchant for the care and well-being of animals. This led me to enrolling in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, in the fall of 1985. While there, I had a work-study job in the lab of a prestigious researcher who saw potential in me. He recommended that I also pursue a Ph.D. in addition to a doctorate in veterinary medicince degree. After a 14-year career in college, I finally left and pursued employment in a corporate environment, which is where I happily find myself today. Everything that I have earned or have today is because of CAP.
What else should we know about you?
My parents were so inspirational and motivating in my journey through life. The greatest gift my father ever gave me was a work ethic and my mother was simply amazing in so many other ways. When I moved into a dormitory at the University of Maryland during my first semester, she gave me a portrait in which Calvin Coolidge proclaimed many virtues worth having in life – it ended with simply noting that “persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” To this day, these words guide me in most everything that I do. I don’t know who said “If you look for the good in life, you’ll find it; if you look for the bad in life, you’ll find that too … which do you prefer to dwell on?” Mindset is something that we all control – develop a healthy and productive one, and you’ll do incredible things in your life. Finally, smile – it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to!
Texas Cadets Earn Model Rocketry Badges
Fourteen cadets from across the Texas Wing assembled recently in Clyde to earn Model Rocketry Badges through the first Abilene Composite Squadron Model Rocketry Academy.

Earning a Model Rocketry Badge requires cadets pass four...
New CAP-USAF Commander Installed
Air Force Col. Tyler P. Frander became the 32nd commander of Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force in a ceremony April 13 in the main hangar at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

As CAP-USAF commander, Frander is responsible for...
Have You Notified Your Beneficiaries?

Many people and charities aren’t aware they have been named to receive a gift. Click below to see why you should share the good news.
Remembering Those Who Have Passed
CAP offers friends and family the ability to make gifts in memory or honor of someone special. Tribute/memorial gifts made through the link below are listed in each issue of Civil Air Patrol Volunteer.
Hawaii Wing Mourns Loss of Two Pilots
Two CAP pilots participating in a Hawaii Wing tsunami alert training mission March 20 perished in an accident on Kaua’i.

“We lost two valued members of our CAP ohana (family),” said Col. Chantal Lonergan, Hawaii Wing commander. “Our hearts remain with their families.”
Civil Air Patrol - Development
Kristina E. Jones, M.A., CFRE, Chief of Philanthropy
Col. John M. Knowles, Deputy Chief of Alumni Relations
Donna Bass Maraman, Development Manager
Rebecca Armstrong, Donor Database Specialist

(334) 953-9003 Direct
(833) IAM-4CAP Toll Free
Interested in talking about the legacy you want to leave?
Contact Kristina Jones, Chief of Philanthropy, at legacy@gocivilairpatrol.org