Your Next Mission is a podcast hosted by 12th Sergeant Major of the Army Jack L. Tilley. The episode airing this morning features Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, Civil Air Patrol national commander/CEO, and Chief Master Sgt. Todd Parsons, national command chief, talking about some of their favorite subjects — CAP and our work serving communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.

CAP Episode Also Available on Podcast's YouTube Channel 

CAP's National Legislative Campaign Makes Annual Stop on Capitol Hill

Hundreds of adult members and cadets from CAP's 52 wings and eight regions traveled to Washington, D.C., last week as part of the National Legislative Day campaign a hybrid campaign with Legislative Day in-person meetings Feb. 29 on Capitol Hill and virtual meetings from Feb. 12-March 15.


CAP annually reports to Congress, as required by law. It's the organization's opportunity to inform members of Congress about CAP's operations and programs and its connection with the Air Force as a Total Force partner through in-person meetings and delivery of the Report to Congress, now available online.

The Legislative Day meetings and the Capitol campaign have already drawn their share of media attention, including this video report on the Oklahoma Wing's Capitol Hill delegation:

Members from several CAP wings have also visited their state legislatures in the past week, including:

'Virginia Wing Visits State Lawmakers'
'New York Members Meet with Legislative Squadron'

Last week's CAP visit to the nation's capital brought together four past and present Board of Governors chairs — (from left) Brig. Gen. Richard Anderson and Cols. Jayson Altieri, Brad Lynn, and John Langley, the current chair. Pictured here at the Spaatz Association Awards Gala the evening of March 2, the BoG chairs were also on hand for Legislative Day and CAP's annual Winter Command Council meeting.

California, New Jersey, Virginia Wing Cadets Seek CyberPatriot Crown

The California Wing's Fullerton Composite Squadron 56 is sending a cadet team (right) to the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition national finals for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in seven years, joined by entries from the New Jersey and Virginia wings.

The Raritan Valley Composite Squadron team (bottom) from New Jersey will be making a second straight appearance on the national stage.

The Virginia Wing’s Burke Composite Squadron team (left) is a first-time finalist after scoring highest among the three CAP teams, followed by the Raritan Valley team. 

The Fullerton Composite Squadron cadets team returns to the finals as a wild card team after recording the highest score outside the top two performers in each of the six All Service Division categories — CAP, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy Junior ROTC.

The CyberPatriot XVI national finals are set for March 15-19 in Bethesda, Maryland.

More About CAP's CyberPatriot Finalists

For Women's History Month, Civil Air Patrol highlights a recent visit with Jerrie Badger, one of seven remaining members of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program during World War II, by female cadets in the Georgia Wing's Forsyth Composite Squadron.

More About the Georgia Cadets' Visit with Badger

South Dakota Wing's B1 Crash Photos 'Pivotal,' 'Groundbreaking': Air Force Investigator

The South Dakota Wing’s photography mission proved “pivotal” and “groundbreaking" in the aftermath of a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer crash Jan. 4, according to the president of the safety investigation board studying the mishap.

The bomber crashed while attempting to land at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The crew ejected without serious injuries. The Air Force interim safety board tasked the South Dakota Wing with flying photography surveys around the area, acting in Civil Air Patrol’s role as the auxiliary of the Air Force. “Your assistance ... was not only pivotal, but groundbreaking for mishap analysis,” said Col. Christopher Chandler, safety investigation board president, in a memo of appreciation. 

“The tireless support, dedication, and cutting-edge technology was invaluable to the success of our investigation efforts.” 

More About the Wing's Photography Mission

North Central Region's Theis to Assume Command

Col. Thomas B. Theis, North Central Region vice commander, will soon take over command of the seven-wing region from Col. John O’Neill, whose four-year term ends June 1.

Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, Civil Air Patrol’s national commander and CEO, announced Theis’ appointment Feb. 26. ”I am enormously pleased to welcome Col. Theis to region command,” Phelka said. “His extensive knowledge across numerous mission areas, as well as his depth of command experience, have prepared him well to lead the members of the North Central Region.”

Theis is no stranger to CAP command, having served as Minnesota Wing commander from 2008-2011 and then the last eight years as region vice commander.

More About Theis and His Appointment

New Oklahoma Wing Commander Chosen

Lt. Col. David E. McCollum has been selected as the next commander of the Oklahoma Wing, succeeding Col. Aaron Oliver. 

A formal change of command ceremony will take place in April at the Oklahoma Wing's annual conference. 

McCollum's Civil Air Patrol began in May 2008, fueled by a lifelong interest in aviation and spurred by CAP’s vital role in the high-profile search late that summer and fall for adventurer Steve Fossett after his plane disappeared. 

He honed his leadership and public affairs skills in various positions within the Texas Wing, ultimately becoming a qualified search and rescue mission pilot. 

After joining the Oklahoma Wing in December 2014 he served as the wing’s public affairs officer, director of emergency services, and chief of staff.  

He also commanded the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron from August 2019-June 2021. 

More About McCollum and His Selection

South Carolina Wing Cadet Joins Spaatz Award Ranks

Cadet Col. Nathan Charles Mercer of the South Carolina Wing received Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, in a presentation ceremony Feb.19 with CAP’s national commander doing the honors.

The ceremony’s theme centered around resilience and determination, highlighted by information about Mercer's cadet experiences as well as his volunteer service outside CAP.

Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, national commander and a Spaatz award recipient himself in 1993 as a Michigan Wing cadet, presented the award. Chief Master Sgt. Todd Parsons, national command chief, presented the newly promoted cadet colonel with a U.S. flag that flew over the Capitol on Dec. 1 in his honor and in celebration of CAP's 82nd birthday. 

More About Mercer and His Achievement

NRAT's Henderson Receives Air Force Civilian Award

Lt. Col. John C. Henderson, vice commander of CAP's National Radar Analysis Team, was honored in February as the 505th Command and Control Wing's Civilian of the Year.

Henderson, a civilian who serves as chief of a three-person Operating Location embedded within the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said his volunteer work with CAP helped him earn the award.

The radar team's founder and first commander, Henderson designed the radar analysis suite now used by CAP. Most recently, he directed the analysis for a missing U.S. Marine Corps F-35, which helped a multi-agency team locate the crash site.

Hunt Family Scholarship Furthers Legacy of Service

Family means everything to Col. Rose Hunt. As one of 16 children (she’s No. 5), mother of five (sons Corey and Ken and stepchildren Levi, Hannah and Luke) as well as grandmother of 11, she understands the art of giving, taking care of others, and loving what you do and how you do it.

The Hunt Family Cadet Scholarship is her way of helping Civil Air Patrol cadets achieve their dreams while honoring her late brother, Herb, and father, Harold.

More About the Family's Cadet Scholarship

NHQ News

Meet CAP's Director of Aerospace Education

A familiar face at Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Shayla Broadway Freeman, is now Civil Air Patrol’s director of aerospace education. 

“We’re all excited that Dr. Freeman has accepted and look forward to seeing her passion and drive for aerospace education continue to grow,” said John W. Desmarais, Sr., CAP’s chief operating officer. 

Freeman, who holds a doctorate in rural education/organizational change and leadership, has been at National Headquarters since 2018 and has been a CAP member since 2015. 

During her time in CAP’s aerospace education program, she has taken on many roles, including co-manager of AE’s highly successful STEM Kit program, which focuses on the education fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

More About Freeman and Her Credentials

Simplify Giving with a Donor-Advised Fund

A donor-advised fund, an account you set up with a charitable sponsor such as a community foundation or financial services company, allows you to recommend how much and how often money is granted to qualified charities such as Civil Air Patrol.

You can suggest a grant or recurring grants now to make an immediate impact or use your fund as a tool for future charitable gifts.

Learn More About DAFs

Notifications for Summer Activities Delayed

This year’s summer activities primary placement notifications have been delayed and will go out March 15.

We recognize the excitement and anticipation that surround the announcement of summer activities, and we share in your enthusiasm. The delay is regrettable but necessary to ensure the integrity of the process,said Margarita Mesones, cadet activities program manager.

Anyone with questions or concerns should reach out to the Cadet Programs' support team at [email protected].

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Report Your Blood Donations to CAP

For more information, go to Operation Pulse Lift's new webpage on There you will find the latest Blood Donation Center schedules, instructions on how to set up a BDC, and other mission information.

Submit to PROPS
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