One of the Civil Air Patrol’s longest-serving and most active members, Lt. Col. Edward F. “Ned” Lee of the California Wing, has been appointed to the nonprofit, all-volunteer organization’s Board of Governors.
In his 40-plus years as both a CAP cadet and senior member, Lee – a retired Army National Guard infantry officer and presiding California Superior Court judge – has supported all three CAP missions – cadet programs, aerospace education and emergency services. “I started as a cadet airman and worked my way up the ranks of Civil Air Patrol,” said Lee. “I will use that experience to represent all of CAP’s 59,000 members in the field.”
Before his appointment to the Board of Governors by Civil Air Patrol’s National Executive Committee, Lee served as the organization’s national cadet program adviser. As the principal staff officer for CAP cadets, he monitored the many activities of the more than 24,000 cadets and made recommendations for program expansions and improvements to CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter.
Lee is also a former police detective and is a graduate of the National Interagency Counter Drug Managers Course. He has worked closely with CAP’s Drug Demand Reduction team to ensure that all CAP cadets benefit from a drug-free lifestyle.
In California, Lee has deployed with Civil Air Patrol working in earthquake-ravaged areas and supporting Red Cross emergency shelter programs. As a Guardsman, Lee was activated as a task force commander during various floods, wildfires and civil disturbances. During his Guard career, Lee also deployed overseas to Panama, Ukraine and Japan.
During his Civil Air Patrol career, Lee has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Paul E. Garber Award, CAP’s second-highest award for senior members who complete Level IV of the organization’s senior member training program. As a California Wing cadet in 1975, he earned the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, CAP’s highest cadet honor. Only about one-half of 1% of all CAP cadets achieves the award.
With his appointment, Lee becomes the second Spaatz award recipient to serve on the Board of Governors. The first is former CAP National Commander Brig. Gen. Rich Anderson, who was appointed to the board in 2009.
The Board of Governors is a team of expert advisers consisting of representatives from CAP volunteers, the U.S. Air Force and civilians involved in education, aviation and emergency management. It serves as the strategic policy-making and guidance body for CAP.
In addition to his volunteer duties with CAP, Lee sits as a judge of the California Superior Court in Santa Clara County, where he presides over felony matters, including murder, child molestation and “three strikes” cases. He and wife Christine, also a Spaatz award recipient and lieutenant colonel in CAP’s Pacific Region, have two grown daughters, one of whom joined CAP as a cadet and went on to earn the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.