One of the Civil Air Patrol’s long-serving and most active members, former CAP National Commander Brig. Gen. Richard L. Anderson of Woodbridge, Va., has been elected chairman of the nonprofit, all-volunteer organization’s Board of Governors.
Anderson was elected chairman at the Board of Governors’ fall meeting at CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John M. Speigel of Vienna, Va., was elected vice chairman. Both will serve two-year terms, beginning in February 2011.
The Board of Governors is a team of leaders consisting of representatives from CAP volunteers, the Air Force and civilians involved in education, aviation and emergency management. It serves as the strategic policy-making and guidance body for CAP.
In his 41-plus years as both a Civil Air Patrol cadet and senior member, Anderson – a retired Air Force colonel with 30 years of service in missile/space operations and international political-military affairs – has supported CAP’s three primary missions of cadet programs, aerospace education and emergency services.
Anderson joined CAP as a cadet in 1969 and earned his pilot wings through cadet flying scholarships. He served as a squadron cadet commander, chaired the Virginia Wing Cadet Advisory Council and earned Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award No. 193, CAP’s highest cadet award. He recently completed his third term as president of The Spaatz Association, an organization of 1,800 past and present award recipients who seek to develop American aerospace leaders like Spaatz, who was the first Air Force chief of staff and the first chairman of the CAP National Board.
As a CAP officer, Anderson served as a squadron commander, wing commander, region commander and national vice commander before being elected as one of the organization’s youngest national commanders in August 1993. He served as national commander for three years, through August 1996, and currently serves as secretary of the CAP National Advisory Council, made up of former national commanders. He is the first Spaatz Award recipient to serve in any of these positions or as vice chairman and chairman of the Board of Governors.
“I started as a cadet airman and worked my way up the ranks of Civil Air Patrol,” said Anderson. “I hope to put this experience to good use in representing CAP’s more than 35,000 senior members and 26,000 cadets who serve America each day.”
Before his appointment to the Board of Governors in 2009 by CAP’s National Executive Committee, Anderson served as the organization’s national adviser for strategic missions. He has been awarded Life Membership in CAP by the National Board and is a recipient of the Silver Medal of Valor, seven Distinguished Service Medals and Gill Robb Wilson Award No. 55. He is a command pilot with 2,100 flying hours and possesses a Federal Aviation Administration commercial pilot certificate.
Anderson retired from the Air Force last year as the senior military assistant to the deputy under secretary of defense at the Pentagon. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Readiness Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal. He also wears the Command Space Badge and the Secretary of Defense Service Badge.
In 2009, Anderson was elected to represent the 51st House District in the Virginia General Assembly, founded in 1619 and now the oldest democratically-elected legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. He and wife Ruth, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, have four children.
Speigel retired from the Air Force in 2005 after commanding at every level in the Air Force, from detachment to wing, including service at the Pentagon and in South Korea.
As a long-range planner at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Speigel worked on the Airlift Master Plan and the Total Force Plan, a benchmark document to validate the future airlift force, including purchasing the C-17 aircraft. He was a member of the Air Force Chief of Staff’s Operations Group, where he worked personnel, manpower and communications issues, and also served as the senior military assistant to the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
While in the Air Force, Speigel received several awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters.
Speigel currently works for Lockheed Martin Corp., a global security and information technology company based in Bethesda, Md.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 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 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction 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 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com