A recently retired U.S. Air Force general and a longtime Civil Air Patrol member have been selected to serve on CAP’s Board of Governors.
The Secretary of the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Sandra (Sandy) Finan of Colbert, Washington, to join the board, effective immediately. She succeeds retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Leon Johnson, the president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., who completed a six-year term on the board on Oct. 26.
Lt. Col. Thomas S. Vreeland of CAP’s New York Wing was selected by the CAP Senior Advisory Group, replacing Col. Tim Verrett as an at-large member of the board. Verrett’s term ended on Nov. 2.
“I thank Gen. Johnson and Col. Verrett for their leadership and look forward to the opportunity of working with Gen. Finan and Lt. Col. Vreeland,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol’s national commander and CEO. “Both have vast professional experience that will contribute greatly to CAP’s growth and success.”
Finan’s extensive military background includes more than 30 years in the Air Force.
The general entered the Air National Guard in 1982 as an enlisted cryptographic equipment repairperson. She received her Air Force commission in 1985 as a distinguished graduate of Officer Training School.
Finan has served in a variety of space and nuclear assignments in missile crew operations; training and evaluations; satellite command and control; and satellite operations. She has held senior staff assignments as the Air Force Global Strike Command inspector general and the Air Force Space Command director of nuclear operations.
Her commands include a space operations squadron, a missile wing and a center. She deployed to the Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia as the director of Space Forces in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Previously, she was commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
Before her retirement earlier this year, Finan served as deputy chief information officer for command, control, communications and computers (C4) and information infrastructure capabilities (IIC) for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, she provided expertise and broad guidance on policy, programmatic and technical issues relating to C4&IIC in order to achieve and maintain information dominance for the Department of Defense.
She also managed efforts defining Department of Defense policies and strategies for design, architecture, interoperability standards, capability development, and sustainment of critical C2 and communications for nuclear and non-nuclear strategic strike, and Defense and National Leadership Command capabilities.
Vreeland, a resident of Copake Falls, New York, is a former senior executive in the federal government who has served as CEO of several technology companies and as a director, board member and philanthropist in educational nonprofit organizations. He is currently the director of the Vreeland Institute, a prize-winning international think tank.
His 25-plus years of CAP service — first as a cadet/senior member and later as a senior member — spans 57 years and includes achievement at the squadron, group and wing levels.
He was an early Gen. Carl A. Spaatz cadet (award recipient number 27) and Frank Borman Falcon Award recipient (number 6), and later — as a senior member — received the Gill Robb Wilson Award with Silver Star (number 2,644). He also served on the national commander’s staff as Advanced Technology Program officer in the operations directorate.
Other CAP awards include the President’s Volunteer Service Award-Silver Medal for extensive volunteer service in 2017 and the National Frank G. Brewer Memorial CAP Aerospace Education- Lifetime Achievement Award, which he also received in 2017.
Professional awards of note include the Computerworld Laureate, which Vreeland received in 2002. The national award is given to the top 100 computer professionals in the country, and was awarded in the category of educational technology. It honors those who use information technology to benefit society. He also received the “In the Arena” Award in 2003 from the Center for Digital Government. The award recognizes some of the most innovative, hard-working and trend-setting IT leaders in the nation.
Vreeland is a member of the New York Wing’s Westchester Cadet Squadron 1, which he founded in 1966. Most recently, he served as plans and programs officer for both the squadron and the wing before his appointment to the Board of Governors. He was also the wing’s director of information technology.
Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors, or BoG, consists of four Air Force appointees, three members appointed jointly by the secretary of the Air Force and CAP’s national commander, and four members-at-large selected by the CAP Senior Advisory Group (CSAG). CAP’s national commander, national vice commander, executive officer and eight region commanders serve as voting members on the CSAG. The CAP inspector general, command chief, chief operating officer and CAP- U.S. Air Force (CAP-USAF) commander are non-voting members of the CSAG.
The 11-member BoG generates strategic policies, plans and programs designed to guide and support the volunteer service of the organization’s 52 wings. CAP’s national commander and chief executive officer, the organization’s chief operating officer and the CAP-USAF commander serve as advisers to the BoG.