I understand Col Joe Casler (I’m not sure he deserves to be called colonel) has been appointed as the Civil Air Patrol’s new North Central Region (NCR) commander. He served in the United States Air Force for 4½ years and in the Air Force Reserves as a Colonel for 23 years. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a flight service specialist.
I was in the CAP from April 1976 until October 2004, and had the pleasure of serving under a number of region and wing commanders. I also served at Region HQ for a number of years. I had the pleasure of being a unit commander (with both of my sons as members and my father, who was a CAP chaplain for St Louis Composite Squadron No. 1). I had the honor of being the Missouri Wing’s director of communications, the wing’s director of emergency services and many other positions. I was the wing’s director of emergency services, working under Lt Col Don Garner (the director of operations) and under Col Joe Casler when he was the Missouri wing commander. I believe my record shows that I complied with all regulations and with all directives.
However, in the Fall of 2004, my time with the CAP came to a halting end, because of Col Joe Casler. That happened because of the fact that I disobeyed a direct order from him: that was to sign off on Lt Col Mike Bush as a mission pilot when Lt Col Bush didn’t have a current medical. Col Joe Casler directed me to do it anyway, while standing in front of the CAP building in Sedalia on a graded SAREX. (If my memory recalls, Lt Col Mike Bush was the vice commander for Col Casler).
My reply was that I would not sign off on Lt Col Mike Bush’s 101 card for the reason given above, and that as he (Joe) being the wing commander, he had the authority to approve Lt Col Mike Bush’s (or anyone else) as he saw fit. He told me (and I can’t quote the exact words anymore as that was too long ago), but he said that “I had just signed my death warrant as a CAP member.” With in 2 weeks, he blackballed me for non-renewal at National Headquarters.