Governance Changes Coming to the Civil Air Patrol

Board of GovernorsBoard of Governors

By Skip Munger | News of the Force

Members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)’s Board of Governors (BoG), the organization’s policy-making body, presented the corporation’s new internal governance structure today to CAP members attending the 2012 National Board and Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD.

BoG members participating in the announcement included Brig Gen Rich Anderson, the BoG’s chairman; retired Air Force Maj Gen John Speigel, the BoG’s Governance Committee chairman; CAP National Commander Maj Gen Chuck Carr; and retired Air Force Brig Gen Sanford Schlitt.

The changes, which address long-standing governance issues and include recommendations designed to ensure best practices, focus on the role of the BoG and the CAP’s National Board and National Executive Committee, as well as the selection process for the organization’s top executives.

• The CAP’s National Commander will serve as the CAP’s Chief Executive Officer and will report directly to the BoG, which will select and evaluate the Commander’s performance.

• The CAP’s National Commander will henceforth be selected from top candidates vetted by the BoG’s Personnel Committee. Candidates must be a CAP member in good standing. Required credentials include a bachelor’s degree, completion of the CAP’s Level V Professional Development Program and prior service as a CAP Wing Commander. Selection will require a two-thirds majority vote by the BoG.

• Annual goals identified by the BoG with input from the National Commander will be used as the basis for the commander’s performance evaluations.

• The position of the National Headquarters’ Executive Director will be renamed “Chief Operating Officer.” The BoG will hire and evaluate the COO, who will report to the BoG for administrative matters and to the CEO for operational matters. The BoG will review the COO’s performance annually.

• The CAP’s current National Board will become the “CAP Command Council.” Its 63 members – the National Commander, National Vice Commander, Chief of Staff, Region Commanders (eight) and Wing Commanders (52) – will serve as advisers to the National Commander. The CAP Command Council will continue to meet twice annually to discuss operational issues related to the CAP’s missions.

• The CAP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will be renamed as the “CAP Senior Advisory Group.” The CSAG will review and recommend policy changes to the BoG. It will consist of 11 voting members – the National Commander, National Vice Commander, the CAP Chief of Staff and eight Region Commanders. The COO and CAP-USAF Commander will be ex officio, non-voting members.

• CAP membership on the BoG will change from two to four member-at-large positions. The National Commander and National Vice Commander will not serve on the BoG; however, the National Commander will continue as a permanent BoG adviser. Term limits for BoG members will include a staggered rotation schedule to ensure orderly transitions. The term will be three years for Secretary of the Air Force appointees, CAP members and industry representatives. If approved by the appointing authority, BoG members may be extended one additional term beyond their original appointment.

• The National Commander will nominate a candidate for Vice Commander and the BoG will confirm the selection. The Vice Commander will serve at the will and pleasure of the National Commander, with no specified term of office.

• The CAP’s General Counsel will be the principal legal officer and secretary for the corporation. The volunteer National Legal Officer will become the Chief of the CAP Legal Corps.

• The CAP’s Chief Financial Officer will serve as treasurer of the corporation.

“The governance changes will streamline the organization’s decision and policy-making processes while still taking into account the important inputs of CAP’s leaders in the field,” said Maj Gen Carr. “Expanding the member-at-large positions from two to four also postures members to have a greater voice in policy changes affecting the future direction of the organization,” Carr said, adding, “I encourage all members to embrace these changes, which will better position CAP to serve our nation and our communities.”

The BoG’s governance decisions will be provided to the Constitution and By-laws Committee for action, with initial implementation of the changes set for October.

“I have been affiliated with the CAP governance structure for three decades, and I feel strongly the modifications we’re implementing will significantly enhance the way in which CAP is governed by the BoG and led by our volunteer national leadership,” said Gen Anderson.

The board’s recommendations were briefed to key Air Force leaders at the Pentagon, said Gen Anderson, including the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force leadership has endorsed the changes.

The BoG formed the Governance Committee after receiving an internal governance report from a CAP Governance Committee consisting of volunteer leaders, as well as an external governance study conducted by BoardSource, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. These reports, as well as information gleaned from meetings with outside experts and member surveys, were used to help develop the new governance structure.

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