By AuxBeacon News Staff
[Editor’s Note: We received this story from CAP Lt Col Robert (Bobby) G. Hill, a retired Police Detective of 26 years from Hawaii. He is currently enduring Civil Air Patrol’s Membership Action Review Panel process over a termination initiated by CAP National Commander, Maj Gen Joseph Vazquez. Vazquez initiated the termination process against Lt Col Hill for filing a Congressional Complaint against Civil Air Patrol and for insubordination for referring to CAP’s National Vice Commander, Brig Gen Larry Myrick as “Larry” in an informal email to him. On Facebook, nearly everyone refers to Myrick as “Larry”. This release demonstrates the common Civil Air Patrol tactics of delay and stacking ridiculous charges against honorable members.]
Dear AuxBeacon News,
I filed an official complaint with the Honorable Senator Mazie Hirono in July of 2014 and in March of 2016 highlighting abuses and mismanagement of public funds committed by the Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. I also filed IG complaints through the official channels of the CAP, and the result was retaliation against me in the form of removal of command and reduction in rank. Both of those issues were resolved through the CAP’s Membership Action Review Panel (MARP), and in both separate incidents it was determined that I had been retaliated against.
In September of 2015, I continued in the Civil Air Patrol, becoming certified through the Senior Inspector General (IG) course. In March of 2016, there was a vacancy in the Hawaii Wing of CAP for the Inspector General and I applied for the vacancy. I was denied consideration for the position which was directed by the upper echelon of CAP’s leadership.
Further, I added the continued abuse and discrimination to the original Congressional complaint. It was ONLY THEN that CAP even knew I filed a Congressional complaint because it had been stalled. I contacted the CAP Board of Governors (BOG) to find out why they were still discriminating against me.
As soon as CAP discovered that I filed a Congressional complaint, and also at the same time, it went to the BOG, Vazquez took the steps to terminate me with the inflated charges. One of the allegations against me was that I filed a complaint to a member of Congress, which is in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act and the CAP Whistleblower Policy. The entire termination process was in violation of CAP regulations.
f. Reason: CAPR 35-3, paragraph 4b(7). Serious or willful violations of CAP regulations or directives. You have repeatedly filed complaints with the same issues multiple times including to a member of Congress. Your demands for answers from her to complaint actions that have already been dealt with are a violation of CAPR 123-1.
First, they sent me a TEXT MESSAGE stating that the hearing was going to be in 4 days in Tennessee. After protest they regrouped and then sent official notice that the hearing was going to be in Denver Colorado, 11 days from the date of notice. CAP regulations state that notification should be made with at least 15 days notice. Regulations also state that the board should consist of impartial and fair members, however CAP hand picked members of a “hatchet squad” who’s only mission was to terminate my membership.
Using public taxpayer dollars, the National Civil Air Patrol Headquarter’s funded travel and expenses for CAP termination board members to travel from Florida (CAP Col Al Bedgood), Utah (CAP Col Robert Bost), Colorado (CAP Col Celeste Gamache) and Kansas (CAP Col Regina Aye) to go to Denver Colorado. My airfare and lodging expenses came out of my own pocket. CAP could have easily selected an impartial board from Hawaii and had the hearing in-state, for a minute fraction of the cost that they paid to clearly force my termination.
With no surprises my membership was terminated and I immediately filed an appeal through the same MARP process. I followed the CAP regulation to the letter in filing my appeal, and at this time CAP is stalling this process and sent me a memorandum to repeat my appeal process again to further delay it.
I am seeking to have my membership in the Civil Air Patrol restored, those responsible held accountable and the discrimination and retaliation stopped.
Robert G. Hill III
• A Civil War in Hawaii Wing
• Hawaii Wing Commander Forced to Step Down
• Hawaii Wing Vice Commander gets Fined for Forgery
• Member Action Blackout
• Membership Action Review Panel – Congratulations, You’re Screwed!
• Turbulence in Hawaii Wing
• Yet Another Gag Order on CAP Members
The lies the Vazquez Administration tells to deflect blame from itself are pitiful. What’s really shocking though, is how many people fall for these lies. Are we really dumbed down that much as an organization?
I suppose this question was answered when Vazquez was voted in by the BoG. I was just hoping that some lessons may have been learned since then. The 2017 selection for the next national commander will answer that question.
It appears the CAP officers assigned to the termination board by Vazquez were willing participants that benefited personally at the expense of Taxpayers. From what I have read, the CAP termination board ordered Lt. Col. Hill to fly at his own expense to Denver when he lived in Hawaii. The CAP footed the bill for the termination board which was a complete waste. This is outrageous for a volunteer organization and it’s in violation of federal law. Corruption at its worst.
Another reason why few people consider the CAP a serious “total force” partner.
I would probably call the CAP vice national commander “Larry,” too. As soon as he shows me his commission as a U.S. military officer, I’ll show him mine.
Speaking from personal knowledge, the quality of the CAP “experience” has taken a huge nosedive in the last 10 years. This is at least true for my locale here in the greater Los Angeles area. I am about 30 now and I was recently considering rejoining as a Senior Member.
After seeing the sorry state of affairs at so many formerly great squadrons, I decided against it. I mean, its really abysmal: a lot of squadrons have shut down or are barely functioning in no small part due to absent or neglectful leadership. I’ll take my lumps for not wanting to be an agent of change, but why would anybody want to be a part of this? I understand Lt Col Ninness’ argument that we are simply in some sort of recession… but, I don’t think so.
This is something else entirely that is happening in this region. Perhaps it is the zeitgeist of the anti-military, pro-stay-at-home-on-your-Xbox mentality, but I think CAP may have its greatest days behind it.
You guys ran this story on Friday the 3rd and Skip Munger covered it over at News of the Force. Here’s the readout:
NOTF on Friday March 3rd 2017
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has apparently forgotten that its members are civilians and have not ever signed away their First Amendment rights. In this story, the CAP is drumming a lieutenant colonel out of the corps for writing to his congressman about Civil Air Patrol abuses. The story includes the letter the officer got from national commander Major Gen. Joe Vazquez, which on reading shows that and other “trumped-up” charges against this officer. In one place, Vazquez wrote that people are the CAP’s biggest asset in a letter telling this officer he is being terminated from membership, and in another place even says that “CAP assets are the property of the CAP.” So, now, the national commander is describing the CAP’s volunteer members as “CAP property.”
Just as one of your readers mentioned, my congressman is more interested in getting his picture taken with a CAP cadet than he is in fixing the corruption within the program.
I have sent you a private message about his dealings. Please use the info wisely.
As your superiors, we must intimidate, punish and discredit you so that we DETER you from lodging complaints and establishing evidence trails. It does not matter whether you communicate your finding through a CAP commander, CAP IG, AF102 or Congressional complaint. The moment you created tangible evidence of an expressed concern that exposes your CAP commander as unresponsive, incompetent, unsafe, or criminal, we must move to destroy your credibility.
If we didn’t totally squash you like a Palmetto bug, then we would have to deal with MORE and MORE complaints against what y’all perceive as our malfeasance and exploitation of you. By increasing your pain and anguish, we increase the cost for you to expose us. We are very good at this, as you can see from the CAP suicides over the past few years. Their choice, both in the early grooming and in the final resolution.
Tom Kettell has written some very important articles in the IG Audience that will help you understand more, but you have to read between the lines.
Word on the street is that there was more regarding the Bobby Hill situation. All of Bobby Hill’s former squadron members were also retaliated against very recently.
From what I understand, the now Hawaii Wing King Pat Collins suddenly decided he wanted to change the squadron commander who took over after Bobby’s removal/termination despite the squadron running fine. This occurred after the wing king came home from a meeting with the brass at National HQ.
After a bogus selection process that contained two other highly qualified squadron members who were Bobby Hill supporters, the wing king picks the least qualified, least experienced individual not from that within squadron… and here is the zinger, the person picked was Ed Zayas’ Deputy Commander minion in his former squadron who was at his side during the start of the whole debacle.
Last week, the members of the squadron who were Bobby Hill supporters who just so happened to be the same folks that testified in the Ed Zayas forgery incidents that also have been protesting the unjust change of command were transferred out of the squadron to the “ghost squadron” HI-000, an “on paper” squadron (penal colony). To my understanding they transferred two 50 year members and several members with 20 and 30 plus year members and others that have stellar service records and high level qualifications. What a waste of experience and talent!
This whole situation of the change of command and now the ultimate transfer of individuals is for obvious retaliatory reasons for their previous support in reporting the prior wrongful incidents and association with Bobby Hill. It sure looks like this wing king is probably taking orders from above to put the screws to these members as they were responsible for reporting what led to the the fall of Zayas, Wong and ultimately Bishop exposing the shenanigans of people in high places of a severely broken CAP.
Marines’ Nude Photo-Sharing Scandal Prompts Calls for Justice
Based on my readings, Civil Air Patrol U.S. Air Force Auxiliary is engaging in a coverup on par with the Roman Catholic Church pederasts.
Looks like Bishop exited command of Pacific Region at around the same time as Vaz needed to initiate this 2B Termination
I find it odd that Vazquez, the CAP National commander is personally involved in a WING termination. It is OUT of his jurisdiction. From my long experience in the CAP, this is definitely the classic Pineda/Myrick abuse process of Intimidation, Isolation, Defamation and Time.
VAZQUEZ is attempting to “shoot the messenger” or whistle blower to cover up the Hawaii Wing and other scandals to make the CAP look good for Congress so that they will approve more monies against what the real Sen McCain would believe is warranted. In my opinion, as an active CAP member in good standing, Vazquez seems to have rightfully earned a 2b himself. Who could 2B him? How is that process initiated? Who holds these men accountable? Is it really only the decreasing membership?
Congress, please fix this mess and rid our organization of these reprehensible leaders. It is YOUR job to provide oversight and NOT look the other way while WE the members continue to suffer. Please DO YOUR JOB no matter how many bodies show up on your doorstep paid for by our abused member dues begging for more money and offering you photo shoots with young cadets.
The typical process is called Intimidation, Isolation, Time.
When those who fester into positions of “authority” see someone who is rising above, might make “them” look bad, or if someone has evidence against a person in such a position of “authority,” the machine is on automatic.
The individual is instantaneously faced with a wide scale attack to intimidate them across as much of CAP as can be done.
This often fails, because people get ticked off by the attack. This – in turn – becomes the threat of a 2b action against them, while the spreading of rumors and lies behind their back begins. They are labeled as “disgruntled members,” and the weak minds of those who renew chant it across the Internet at high speed.
If this does not completely stop the member in place, an actual, yet fraudulent 2b is created and the Isolation begins at that point. Anyone found “assisting” the displaced member in any way will also be attacked, and added to the “disgruntled” list.
Then, the “powers that be” simply wait out the time. If this doesn’t work out smoothly, those in contact with the (about to be former) member will suggest that things do not look so good for you right now, perhaps you should turn in your CAPID card and take a little time off – come back when things calm down a bit…
They will be blacklisted at CAPNHQ, and they will not be allowed to ever renew…
There is no transparency in CAP.
Myrick is a huge part of the problems in the west. He is mentioned in the following deposition of David Maxwell…
For what it’s worth, I honestly think Lt Col Hill is a hero who has been patient through more abuse than a VOLUNTEER could be expected to endure. Civil Air Patrol has become an accident in waiting.
Someone hasn’t read the linked articles to fully appreciate the history of forgery and retaliatory abuse in CAP’s Pacific Hawaii Wing.
Bobby Hill and others in Hawaii Wing did properly follow the chain of command when they attempted to have CAP authorities correct Eduardo Zayas and his forgery. It was only when the information of the criminal forgery of Capt Jack Dixon’s signature was made public through the Maui News that CAP’s commanders took the appropriate action. This game of wrist slap, cover-up, reprisal and delay is happening throughout the program from Florida’s Atlantic Ocean, up into Georgia through Oklahoma and Colorado, up into Idaho and down to the Hawaiian Islands.
Members have endured retaliations all over the United States in Civil Air Patrol simply for having evidence of wrong doing. Their commanders seek to discredit these people so that they can continue to advance in the program.
It stinks and everyone is beginning to see it.
I read this story and I wanted to be angry. Angry at the member for not trusting the chain of command and filing a Congressional complaint or angry at CAP leadership for letting its relationship with its membership deteriorate so far that trust and integrity are called into question even if it is merely a outsider’s perception, but I can’t because I am amused by this one and countless other membership disputes that result in membership terminations and hard feeling on both sides of the situation. The end analysis always seems to show a waste of time, talent and treasure on menial issues that have little or no impact on mission objectives, but rather seem to be ego driven; mostly by guys that really believe they are a Colonel or a General because they have a paramilitary costume and they happen to answer the phone with a rank first.
Sadly, many of these same “officers,” who are all too quick to file a complaint or proposal membership termination, rarely stop and talk to the other side and are satisfied with the pitfalls of transactional communications associated with email or text messages; at least pick up the phone, have a conversation on the subject first. Maybe its all a misunderstanding perpetuated by poor syntax, grammar or local interpretations that is all too often lost in an email. It is interesting to note in Joe’s letter to Bobby, there is no mention of a phone call or personal communication like a Skype call. Maybe this happened, but I doubt it? I know if I was the National Commander, I would have picked up the phone and called this member directly. I am sure we could have reached a solution; either resolved to Bobby’s satisfaction or at least to the benefit of the organization like Bobby takes a leave of absence to gain perspective. Who doesn’t need a vacation from CAP sometimes? Personally, I see membership termination as a leadership failure! Unless it is for blatant fraud, waste or abuse like a Wing Vice Commander using a Corporate Owned Vehicle for personal use because he is under(un)employed at the time and can’t afford to fix his car or a TAC Officer getting arrested for drug possession at an encampment. Furthermore, adding to the “it would be sitcom funny if it wasn’t so sad file” there is a systemic failure of leadership in CAP because even the newest members know the form number used to terminate membership, but can’t tell you what form to use or how to submit someone for an award or decoration for good work.
So, I am amused by this story because CAP has a great leadership curriculum and leadership laboratory to explore that curriculum, but it is only used by Cadet members. Remarkably, if this same scenario played out in the Cadet World when I was still a Cadet Program Officer, I would have admonished the cadet leadership for forgetting their core values, guiding principles and their leadership mantra. When a leader fails to take care of his or her subordinates’ whole person by safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those subordinates there is no hope of achieving the mission objectives. When a leader abdicated these basic responsibilities he is no better than a manager who claims he is just following procedure.
So, if I was still a Cadet Program Officer and I was leading a discussion for a lessons learned debriefing for those involved in this situation I would give a “D-” to Bobby and and “F” to Joe.
Bobby, you showed a dedication to mission and organization that is admirable. You need to work on your tact, timing and diplomacy. While you may think you had no other recourse than a Congressional complaint, you still could have taken the high road and kept this out of the tabloids. I get it. I have felt angry and betrayed by CAP, too. What would you have done differently?
Joe, you get an “F” because you have to own the situation from cradle to grave as a Major General and accordingly, I am going to give you more introspective questions to answer. Was this a failure of your personal leadership? A failure of those you delegated authority to? Did you talk to Bobby? How were you considerate of Bobby’s emotional state? As a leader, you have to protect even those you don’t like and especially those that are critical of you. Did you hold Bobby to a standard you have let others slide on? Complaints are your leadership barometer. At any point, did you think if Bobby was in charge and your roles were reverse that he would take the same action against you? Did you lead or manage this situation? Are you proud of the outcome?
Why is it that a cadet officer is better prepared to lead a large organization like CAP than those in charge? Now, you see why I am amused by this story and not angry. If these guys were cadets this would be a growth opportunity for both.
But, I genuinely feel for those that have poured their heart and soul into CAP by donating their time, talent and treasure only to be repaid with vicious ad hominem attacks. That is not amusing!
Final thought. Both sides get poor grades for leadership failures. I begrudgingly give AuxBeacon.org high marks only because even the guy that cleans out septic systems can be a craftsman. I truly wish CAP leadership was better so that your media channel was more positive. Please understand, I wish you didn’t have to exist like this.
Dear Bobby Hill,
Do yourself a favor, after you clear yourself of these garbage charges, resign from this group of amateurs. These same tactics are used all over the United States by a group of individuals that obviously have no other self worth than their own inflated egos and the stupid patches on their arm. In the New England Region, MA & RI wing, the same nonsense goes on and there has been a mass exodus of anyone that is considered a professional. Career pilots, engineers, businessmen, all have left due to the same feeble mentality. Save yourself the aggravation, get away from these morons.
Former RI Mission Pilot and DO
After all the CAP commander crash drama in Georgia and Florida Wing during Col Al Bedgood’s command of Southeast Region, it makes sense that National is using him as a compromised dirty jobs tool. You guys don’t seem to have released all the info on this Sad Sack. Whatcha waitin’ fer?
Just goes to illustrate how things work “behind the scenes”. Back room deals, boards comprised of loyal commanders, funds spent to house the board but not the CAP member involved.
Even though a new commander will be picked by the BOG soon, the process is already decided. Myrick will move up and get two stars and Kettell will get his first star. Even though applications are being solicited, it is just for show. Don’t think for a moment the process is not already decided.
Members who complain are not tolerated especially when it makes “leaders” look bad. Rules do NOT apply to anyone in command and with birds or stars.
The message is clear. Pay your dues, support command lifestyle.
Even now cadets are being used to solicit funds for corporate elegance and sustaining status quo.