Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Maryland Wing hosts Unit Commanders Course

1/21/2018 — WOODSTOCK, Md. —
Maryland Wing hosted a two-day Unit Commanders Course, part of Civil Air Patrol’s professional development program, to new or prospective squadron commanders on January 20-21, 2018, at Maryland Wing headquarters in Granite, Md.  Nine current or aspiring commanders participated in this training program.

Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol executive leadership is committed to ensuring that future unit commanders and program managers are afforded access to professional development and training opportunities. CAP offers numerous career development curricula through its professional development programs. Included in the diverse training opportunities is the Unit Commanders’ Course (UCC) which underscores the importance of effective leadership and command principles.

Maryland Wing provided its members the opportunity to participate in a blended format of the UCC. The blended course format requires students to complete prerequisite online training which is supplemented by a two-day classroom curriculum. This classroom-style instruction affords students the opportunity to personally interact with established and prospective commanders and participates in robust discussions.  The UCC intensive course syllabus includes major aspects of CAP program administration, membership development, regulations and compliance, mission effectiveness, stewardship and numerous other leadership and command objectives.

Lt. Col. Don Ells, Group II commander, served as the UCC course director. Ells and course instructors, comprised of MDWG executive staff, provided students an expert representation of successful leaders to emulate. Instructors included:

Lt. Col. Chris Howell, Vice Commander – Forces
Lt. Col. John Henderson, Vice Commander – Operations
Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, Chief of Staff
Lt. Col. Scott Harris, Inspector General
Lt. Col. Frank Jarosinski, Deputy Commander, Group II

UCC is CAP’s primary course for new and aspiring squadron and group commanders. It is designed to ease the transition from serving on squadron staff to becoming the commander, leader and link to higher headquarters. Senior members who have completed the Level II, Technical Training aspect of their professional development program are qualified to take the UCC. The objective of the UCC is to build a cadre of well-trained officers who are prepared to lead and manage at the squadron level. Graduates are able to weave the management responsibilities of command with the leadership skills necessary to build and encourage their team of dedicated members from all walks of life and of all ages to accomplish CAP’s mission and squadron objectives.

Graduates of the January 2018 UCC included MDWG squadron commanders:

Lt. Col. Lisa Egry, Fort McHenry Composite Squadron
Lt. Col. Rick Stuart, Maryland Wing’s Legislative Squadron
Capt. Brian Green, Towson Composite Squadron
Capt. Kevin Harris, Arundel Composite Squadron
Capt. Laura Smith-Velazquez, Mt. Airy Composite Squadron
1st Lt Carol Scanlan, Carroll Composite Squadron

Additional graduates included MDWG staff and senior members:

Maj. Charles Gibson, Inspector General team member
1st Lt. Kevin Chan, Upper Montgomery Composite Squadron
2nd Lt. Steve Lang, St. Mary’s Composite Squadron

CAP commanders are mission-focused and hold themselves and their unit’s members accountable to high standards of performance. CAP encourages aspiring leaders to consistently act to improve their capabilities. Command can be the most rewarding experience in a professional or volunteer career. How command success is achieved depends on how good members are prepared for the role. Understanding the responsibilities of command and the programs are the keys to a successful command. A leadership transition occurs every time a leader assumes a new position and must lead others with new and/or broader responsibilities. CAP Unit and program commanders take action to manage people and resources to ensure that their unit, in partnership with other squadrons, groups and wings, will be ready and able to support the Mission for America.

Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 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 for more information



By Capt. Alice Raatjes, CAP
Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Maryland Wing

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