Commander's Commentary

For those of you that pay attention to detail, this month's commentary is a day late. It wasn't because I was too busy, although I have had a pretty busy month, but I wanted to wait until after the joint Middle East Region and South Carolina Wing conference.   The conference was a big success. The credit goes to the members of SCWG, especially Col. Francis Smith, the commander, and Col. Dennis Barron from the MER, who served as the lead from the region. South Carolina welcomed us with open arms and made us all feel welcome.

 

We recognized a number of members including awarding end of tour awards for the MER staff that worked for Col. Larry Ragland when he was the region commander. Many of these staff members worked for him for three years and helped run the region. Congratulations to everyone and thank you for your service. We also recognized two members with their 50-year award, Col. Bob Towsend and Col. Dennis Barron. Next time you see them, be sure to thank them for their years of service.

 

We had our first sit down staff meeting and commanders call. The commanders and staff had the opportunity to talk about what is going on and what help they need. We used a format used by the USAF called the CUB (commander's update brief). The slides from this meeting and all future meetings will be available to you on the MER website.

 

Speaking of the website, the roll out date for the new MER site is March 1, 2015. This will give the staff a month to develop their content and move anything they want to use onto the new site. You can check it out at www.mer.cap.gov. Capt. Aaron Newman and his staff have put a tremendous amount of work into the new site that will benefit all of us. The current calendar is already live on it, so check out what is coming up.

 

Lt. Col. Dan Brodsky assumed the leadership of the cadet program staff for the region. There are quite a number of activities going on this year that he will be managing. Keep a lookout for the announcements about our two Region Cadet Leadership Schools, the Honor Guard Academy, and the multiple encampments. Selections for the MER Powered Flight Academy will begin this month, so for those of you that applied, good luck. The MER SAR College is also approaching May 15-17 at Fort Pickett. I hope to see many of you there.

 

The region met the deadline for submitting our annual safety surveys. Our success is due to the efforts of all of our squadrons. Thanks to our safety officers and squadron commanders who make sure the places where we meet are safe. There are a couple of units that need to follow up on the issues that were found. Please close the loop on those important items.

 

Legislative Day is February 27. This is the day that we meet with our members of Congress and share our story. Following that is the winter CAP Command Council meeting. If you are in the Crystal City area on Friday or Saturday come by. As long as you are there, sign up to attend the annual Spaatz Association dinner. Teri and I will be there so stop by and introduce yourself while supporting a great organization that gives back to our cadets.

 

Finally, I want to thank the Annapolis Composite Squadron in Maryland Wing for inviting me to their meeting a week ago. I had the privilege of presenting Cadet Lt. Col. Emmy Hoyt with the Ira C. Eaker Award.   She is scheduled to take the Spaatz test soon and I know she'll do great. For those of you on Facebook, I shared some pictures of the ceremony along with some pictures of Mary Feik presenting the Feik Award to three cadets in her home squadron.

 

Please join me in congratulating the following members for their outstanding achievement in December:

 

Paul E. Garber Award

Maj. Elizabeth H. Marx, MD

 

Grover C. Loening Award

Capt. Richard A. Desrosiers, DE

Senior Member Wyatt D. Evans, NC

Maj. Jeffrey W. Parcell, SC

 

Gen. Ira C. Eaker Award

Emmy N. Hoyt, MD

JadeAnn E. Miller, NC

 

Amelia Earhart Award

James R. Barrow, NC

Erika J. Fletcher, VA

Mary C. Keran, VA

Timothy D. Rex, VA

 

Gen. Billy Mitchell Award

Thomas J. Burke, MD

Jordan J. Demeritt, MD

Michael J. Kavanagh, MD

Kyle D. McVay, MD

Christopher T. Ambrose, NC

Katherine L. Fitzpatrick, NC

Landon R. Harrell, NC

Wesley T. Hren, NC

Noah P. Kovacs, NC

Jacob S. Reed, NC

Ryon A. Dimitrov, SC

Katherine E. Andrews, VA

Aaron T. Corbett, VA

Abigael G. Harwell, VA

Paul J. F. Hemsworth, VA

Joseph J. Mayer, VA

Robert J. Sorensen, VA

Alexander P. Baumgartner, WV

Emily R. Link, WV

 

JOHN M. KNOWLES, Colonel, CAP
Commander, Middle East Region