By: Lt Col Joyce Nader, PAO, PIO, Legal Officer, FL 182
Dateline: July 15, 2015, Maxwell Air Force Base, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Maj Adrian Cuarta and Lt Col Joyce Nader attended National Staff College (NSC), hosted by the National Headquarters for Civil Air Patrol (CAP), from May 24-30, 2015, which is held annually at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, the home of the CAP National Headquarters.
It proved to be a nostalgic visit for Nader, as her late father, Lt Eli Nader was stationed at Maxwell. Nader’s father Lt Nader, after completing his fighter pilot and aerial photography training, flew P-40s and P-51s, and ended up in the European Theatre of operations during World War II.
To honor her late father, Nader purchased a heritage legacy brick from the CAP Foundation, to be placed at the base of a CAP aircraft situated in front of the CAP National Headquarters. The CAP Foundation’s purpose is to promote and support CAP, its mission and programs. This is accomplished by providing “direct financial support to the organization; enabling it to provide scholarships to cadets for flight training, cadet program support, aerospace education activities, and direct support fo CAP STEM programs.” (Source: http://www.capfoundation.com/about_us/)
Cuarta and Nader also participated in the joint purchase of two more bricks, one from the NSC 2015 class, and the other from their seminar group, Seminar 5, led by the very able seminar leader Col Jane Davies.
NSC is conducted annually, and is required to achieve Level V, the highest level of professional development for senior members in CAP. It then qualifies a member to receive the Gil Robb Wilson Award, named after the famed aviation pioneer and founder of CAP.
The programs held throughout the week at NSC were varied, informative, and interesting, with topics ranging from leadership training and development, team exercises, a seminar practicum, as well as information on the future and direction of the organization, presented by its top leaders, including the National Commander, Maj General Joseph Vazquez, and National Vice Commander, Brig Gen Larry Myrick.
One of the week’s highlights was a visit to the CAP National Headquarters, followed by a class photo.
A tour of the historic Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Museum provided a framework for the civil rights movement, and the struggle during World War II to integrate the US armed forces. This effort was led by, among others, General Benjamin O. Davis Jr., a West Point graduate, distinguished aviator, and the first African- American general officer in the US Air Force. The Level II award for CAP senior members is named after this pioneer four-star general.
The keynote speaker at the graduation banquet was the granddaughter to Gil Robb Wilson.
Chaplain (Capt) Jill Paulson read letters between Wilson and his mother, after the loss of Wilson’s beloved brother, her younger son, after he was killed fighting during World War I. Paulson was a moving and powerful speaker, and had the NSC graduates spellbound.
Unlike Cuarta, who served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, Nader had never stayed on a military base. She was awe-inspired by the playing of reveille every morning, taps every evening, and the national anthem.
It was a long, but productive week, meeting other CAP members from around the US, speaking with the CAP leadership, learning new leadership and team building skills, and sharing in the camaraderie.
Cuarta recommends “attending Region Staff College when eligible, and definitely National Staff College, as it is a unique CAP experience not to be missed.”
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for the past 73 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Visit the Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol at http://sercap.us and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sercap