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Vice Commander


Colonel Richard L. Griffith, CAP is the Vice Commander, Great Lakes Region Civil Air Patrol. He assists the commander in organizing, training, equipping and maintaining Auxiliary forces to pursue Homeland Security, Disaster Relief, Search and Rescue, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education missions across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Region consists of 3,000 officers and 3,200 cadets organized into six wings, 32 groups and nearly 200 squadrons operating 70 aircraft. The Region flies more than 10,000 hours, conducts 3,000 youth orientation flights, and involves 180 schools in STEM programs each year.

Griffith became a CAP cadet in 1989 and an officer in 1995. He was commissioned by the US Air Force in 1997, and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq and conducted Hurricane Katrina relief operations. He has held CAP leadership roles from flight commander to national committee chair; flown as aircrew in the C-182T/R, C-172P, and GA-8; and supported disaster response, SAR, and counterdrug operations. In 2009, he led the chartering of the Anderson Prep Academy, CAP’s second largest cadet unit.

From February 2010 until May 2013, Colonel Griffith was the Indiana Wing commander. During this period, the Wing flew 6,972 hours without a mishap, and received the “Paul W. Turner Award” given to Civil Air Patrol’s best safety program. In 2013, the Wing received an overall “Highly Successful” rating from a joint US Air Force & CAP Inspector General Team during the quadrennial Compliance Inspection Program, with “Highly Successful” ratings in Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Command, and an “Outstanding” rating in Cadet Programs.

Colonel Griffith chairs the National Promotion and Awards Team, leads wing-level compliance inspections, and chaired the National Uniform Committee. Outside CAP, Col Griffith is a board-certified healthcare administrator with the Veterans Health Administration. He, and his wife Jamie who is also a CAP officer, reside in Indianapolis with their five children.

Education and Professional Development
1997 BS Public Health, Indiana University
1998 USAF Commissioned Officer Training, Maxwell AFB, AL
1999 NESA Incident Command School, Distinguished Graduate, Camp Atterbury, IN
2003 Master of Healthcare Administration, Baylor University
2004 USAF Squadron Officer School (In Residence), Maxwell AFB, AL
2007 US Coast Guard Inland SAR Planner’s Course, Chicago, IL
2007 CAP National Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL
2010 CAP Region and Wing Commander’s Course, Maxwell AFB, AL
2014 CAP National Inspector General College, Distinguished Graduate, Kirtland AFB, NM
Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives

USAF Awards and Decorations
Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Unit Award
Outstanding Unit Award w/”V” and oak leaf cluster
Iraq Campaign Medal w/campaign star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
2000 ACC Medical Systems CGO of the Year

CAP Awards and Decorations
Distinguished Service Award w/bronze clasp
National Commander’s Unit Citation
Unit Citation Award w/two bronze claps
Disaster Relief Ribbon w/”V” and two bronze claps
SAR “FIND” Ribbon
Gill Rob Wilson Award w/bronze star
General Carl A. Spaatz Award w/silver star

Dates of Promotion
Colonel - 2010
Lieutenant Colonel - 2005
Major – 2003
Captain – 1995

(Current as of 2/1/2019)

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