The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) begins the new year with a new way of doing business, according to a CAP press release.
The organization’s new governance structure, which is now fully implemented, has changed the role of the CAP’s leadership and even the relationship between its 61,000 volunteers and CAP’s National Headquarters’ 100 employees. The changes reinforce the Board of Governors’ authority to make strategic policy, shift non-strategic issues to the national commander, focus the wing commanders’ role on operations and establish a “one CAP” approach to decision-making in which volunteers and national headquarters work together to achieve common goals.
“Merging of the two staffs – paid and unpaid professionals – provides for a seamless organizational structure,” said CAP’s National Commander, CAP Maj Gen Chuck Carr. “We are all on one team now.”
CAP Board of Governors chairman Brig Gen Rich Anderson described the changes as a “paradigm shift” for policy-level decisions that will prove correct: “With the Wing Commanders focused on day-to-day missions, making decisions that are important to the membership, that’s where there will be considerable benefit to be realized.”
The CAP’s new governance structure was unveiled on Aug 24 at the CAP’s 2012 annual conference in Baltimore, MD Initial implementation took place on Oct 1 when the Board of Governors approved an updated CAP constitution and by-laws that incorporated the provisions of the new governance structure.
In keeping with the new constitution and by-laws, CAP Maj Gen Carr, whose appointment as National Commander was confirmed by the Board of Governors, submitted the name of CAP Brig Gen Joe Vazquez for confirmation as Vice Commander and he was confirmed. Vazquez has no specified term and may serve sequential commanders if nominated and confirmed by the Board of Governors.
On Nov 3, the newly created CAP Senior Advisory Group selected Col Tim Verrett, of the CAP’s Pacific Region, and Lt Col Jayson Altieri, of the CAP’s North Carolina Wing, as CAP at-large Board of Governors members. The selections, which increased the number of at-large members from two to four, were the first made under the new governance structure.
Another key initiative associated with the new governance structure – updating 48 regulations to reflect the changes – was completed by the CAP’s staff on Dec 31.
With the governance structure in place, the members and staff will now focus on implementation of the organization’s two-year strategic plan – the first ever developed jointly by CAP and the Board of Governors. Achievement of the plan’s six priorities – which emphasize funding; resource, skill and youth development; public awareness; aerospace education; and institutional excellence – will be used as the basis for the national commander’s and chief operating officer’s annual performance evaluations.
“It’s a 360-degree evaluation with input from the CAP-U.S. Air Force Commander,” said CAP Maj Gen Carr, “so it is incumbent on all of us to do our very best for the organization in implementing the plan.”
CAP California Wing Commander Col Jon Stokes summed up the organization’s sentiments about the CAP’s changes in governance:
“Though there were a lot of concerns about the changes and who would be affected in the organization, the concerns were for naught. Five years from now, we will reflect on these changes and know they were for the good and for our continued growth as an organization.”