The Civil Air Patrol Resignation of Lt Col John Kachenmeister

Lt Col John Kachenmeister

By Lt Col John Kachenmeister | Former Member

[Editor’s Note: We received this from a Florida Wing member in late February 2019.  “…this man was not only a great Squadron Commander, but a graduate of the CAP IG College. He posted on CAPTalk until very recently.” He was falsely accused of CAP cadet protection violations for reporting wrong-doing in the Florida Wing. He went on to have a more rewarding and successful career in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary where many former CAP members reside.  We apologize for the delay in getting this story posted.]

“I have come to learn that the well-intentioned regulations and processes of CAP are being manipulated to achieve personal retribution. I can no longer function as a commander or a member in such an environment.”

Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2011 22:11:00 +0000
Subject: Message for all of my CAP friends

After long and serious consideration of the events of the past month, I have decided to resign from the Civil Air Patrol. I have already submitted my letter of resignation to Major Littlefield.

As most of you know already, I was suspended on February 2, 2011 for unspecified “Cadet Protection” violations. The only information I have been given is that these cadet protection violations took place during the Auxiliary Officer Training School, on 15-16 January. I can only deny this allegation in general terms, since no one has seen fit to tell me precisely what activity was alleged. I did not abuse any cadets.

I believe that this action was triggered by the same retributive internal politics that triggered similar complaints against Major Weiser and Lieutenant Cambron. This belief is supported by the fact that the suspension came two and a half weeks after the alleged incident, but one day after I made a visit to the Osceola Cadet Squadron to get the new commander started off right. I have come to learn that the well-intentioned regulations and processes of CAP are being manipulated to achieve personal retribution. I can no longer function as a commander or a member in such an environment.

It is my sincere hope that we will all remain friends. My plan was to leave CAP after my command tour at Merritt Island had ended. I wanted to remain in command for three years, seeing the Squadron through its 50th anniversary, then quietly slipping away unnoticed into drooling, diaper-wearing, senility. But sometimes plans do not work out. Like learning German in high school thinking I would be sent to Germany rather than Vietnam. That plan didn’t work out, either.

I had thought that this command tour would be my “Sunset” assignment, and I was right. I just didn’t know we were looking at Sunset in Zulu time.

But… don’t think I am going to turn into some ponytail-wearing civilian slug. (Although I did consider joining a biker gang, and still might… who knows?) . I have already submitted paperwork to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Coast Guard, being a way smaller service than the Air Force, has developed its Auxiliary into an actual augmentation force. I’m looking forward to training on a whole new skill set, and even more adventures. They also have a small aviation section. I have already been out on one mission with them, crewing a boat to enforce the maritime exclusion zones set up for the launch of Discovery. My rank does not transfer over… I am back to wearing “Midshipman” rank, but there’s no cut in pay, thank God!

So PLEASE keep in touch and don’t forget to invite me along for beer and burgers on occasion! My uniform may change, but not my phone number.

Yours,
John Kachenmeister

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2 Comments on "The Civil Air Patrol Resignation of Lt Col John Kachenmeister"

  1. Avatar SkyHarbor22B | May 6, 2019 at 11:47 | Reply

    I used to be a member of Civil Air Patrol. There is another alternative to leaving the corruption of that program for the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

    https://twitter.com/usafexplorers
    http://www.usafexplorers.org/index.html
    https://www.slideshare.net/tblock141/usaf-explorers-program-overview

  2. On 8 May 2012, Capt David Littlefield of the Florida Wing appealed his removal from command of Group 4 alleging the removal was motivated by retaliation. The Florida Wing Commander, Col Michael N. Cook, removed then Maj Littlefield from command on 1 Mar 2012 for not following an order. He subsequently demoted then Maj Littlefield to the grade of Captain on 5 Jul 2012 for abuse of authority. At this time the demotion was added to the MARP appeal. After a review of the appeal materials, the MARP found that the removal from command was inappropriate and was based on what the MARP determined was the improper application of CAP regulations by the Florida Wing Commander and Southeast Region Commander. The demotion action was also deemed to be inappropriate. On 13 Dec 2012, the MARP reinstated the grade of Maj for David Littlefield. Since Group 4 was disbanded by the Florida Wing Commander on 15 Apr 2012, Maj Littlefield could not be reinstated to his command position but the MARP did order his records be amended to reflect that he remained in command of Group 4 through the date of its disbandment.

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