CAP National Command Chief

Chief Master Sgt. Robert M. Dandridge of the Missouri Wing will be Civil Air Patrol’s next national command chief.

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO, announced the appointment Wednesday.

As national command chief, Dandridge will head CAP’s noncommissioned officer, or NCO, corps, which has about 200 members.

In his new post, he’ll serve as a representative to the national commander, participating in the decision making process, as appropriate, on technical, operational and organizational issues. He will be responsible for reviewing U.S. Air Force, CAP-USAF and CAP wing instructions and policies and providing input and recommending changes for those instructions and policies affecting CAP members.

“I have confidence that Chief Master Sgt. Dandridge will excel in this position,” said Smith. “He had a distinguished 30-plus year career in the Air Force, which included service as the command chief to multiple installations throughout the United Kingdom and Norway, combatant command first sergeant to the U.S. Transportation Command and inspector expertise to a major command. In CAP, his assignments have included serving as the command chief for both the Illinois and Missouri wings.”

Dandridge retired from the Air Force in 2008 as a command chief master sergeant, following three decades of distinguished service, much of it abroad. He joined CAP in 2004 and has served as the Missouri Wing chief master sergeant since 2016. Previously, he served as the Illinois Wing’s chief master sergeant, handling a variety of assignments from 2012-2016.

“With the inherent diversity of Civil Air Patrol and military, I have developed excellent managerial and human resources techniques with which to best deal with a diverse volunteer workforce,” said Dandridge. “The subjects of employee and volunteer satisfaction and developing a positive workplace climate are two of my strongest suits, as well as exhibiting and living the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary core values.”

Dandridge said he looks forward to working with members of CAP’s NCO corps. “I believe our great cadets and officers should have the opportunity to witness NCOs in both categories of cadet and senior membership,” he said.

Dandridge replaces Chief Master Sgt. Dennis H. Orcutt Jr., who has served as national command chief for nearly a year. He is stepping down because of personal and professional obligations.