MARB Reinstates Member Guilty of Embezzlement

Col John Tilton
CAP Col John Tilton

By Skip Munger | News of the Force

One reader questioned the Col John Tilton caper. You may remember that Tilton was appointed by former CAP national commander Tony Pineda just before Pineda was taken down. Col Tilton remained on the Board of Governors (BoG) for 2-2 ½ years of Gen Amy Courter’s tenure, when he should never have been on the BoG in the first place. He had been a wing or region commander before he was appointed to the BoG.

But just before his appointment to the BoG by Pineda there was an inspection of Tilton’s command. The wing or region failed the inspection, mostly because of an amount of money Col Tilton did not – and would not – account for. The results of that inspection however, did not come in until after Col Tilton was seated on the BoG. So the BoG elected to remove Col Tilton from that board.

Col Tilton appealed that decision to the CAP’s Membership Action Review Board (MARB) and the MARB ordered Col Tilton’s reinstatement to the BoG. According to a source close to the issue, the BoG refused to re-seat Col Tilton, and the CAP hired outside legal counsel (not a CAP JAG officer) to review the issue. That outside counsel, the source said, reviewed all of the CAP’s regulations, its Constitution and by-laws, and returned a legal opinion that the BoG did, in fact, have the authority to remove Col Tilton from the board, and that the MARB had no authority to reinstate him.

The legal opinion, the source said, went on to say that the MARB only has jurisdiction over adverse membership actions, such as demotions, termination of membership, etc, and that Col Tilton’s removal from the BOG was not an “adverse” membership action as defined in the CAP’s rules and regulations. Still, questions were raised about how all that could happen – including how information about the failed inspection could sit at the CAP’s national headquarters for all that time and no one ever mentioned it, and no “adverse” membership action against Col Tilton was initiated over the issue. In the meantime, however, the missing money, over which Col Tilton had control, is still missing.

And, you may remember that, as members of the BoG termed out, or retired, the number of people who were suspected of leaks to CAP Insights from the BoG dwindled. Mostly, it came down to three people: Gen Hopper, Gen Chitwood, and Don Rowland, the CAP’s national executive director. Gen Chitwood lost re-election to the post of national vice commander and Hayden went silent – no more Gen Chitwood. But within the last few days, Hayden has gone up on the ramparts again. He is clearly getting some leaks from the BoG, again.

Could the leaks be coming from Gen Hopper, who is the chairman of the BoG until Feb 10, when CAP Brig Gen Richard Anderson takes over? Hayden does make passing mention of Gen Hopper being threatened with losing his retirement, but only a passing mention. But Gen Hopper is retired from the Air Force, and his retirement/pension is “set in stone” by federal law. No one from the CAP could affect, or have any affect, on his retirement, despite CAP Insights’ claims to the contrary.

Two things occupy most of Ray Hayden’s copy on CAP Insights. The first has to do with governance issues and Hayden says the BoG is sending out a request for proposals (RFP) for consulting help to look at the CAP’s governance issues, particularly ones that have to do with clarifying the roles of the national commander and the national executive director. Clearly, somebody doesn’t think that should happen and it would be a “waste” of the CAP’s money. And Ray Hayden says in bold that the CAP “already has a CEO – and it’s Rowland.”

A highly-placed CAP source tell us that the contract has been issued, and that the review of the CAP’s governance issue and applicable regulations could take “6 to 8 months.”

The second thing Hayden talks about on CAP Insights are charges against some senior officers made in their civilian lives outside of the CAP. When someone is named for a senior office in the CAP, they have to undergo a fresh background check to take the office. And who would receive the results of those background checks? Well, it’s our understanding that Rowland opens ALL of the CAP’s mail and then distributes it to the sections concerned – if he wants to.

Rumor has it that Don Rowland is running scared right now of losing his job. But does the BoG have any plans to remove or replace him? According to one highly-placed source, the BoG, for whom Rowland directly works, has confidence in his ability and has no plans to replace him. But other sources have told News of the Force that Rowland is not even qualified for the job he holds with the CAP – according to them, Rowland’s prior experience was running a warehouse for the U.S. Air Force.

And as to Gen Carr situation and his civil conviction that Hayden keeps harping about on CAP Insights, it’s our understanding that it WAS NOT a felony – but we’re also being told that nobody at the CAP – including Gen Courter – knew anything about it until AFTER he was elected vice commander. So, if a background check was done on him before taking office, did Rowland somehow conceal this information until after Gen Carr was elected? The incident involving Gen Carr, we understand, resulted from some type of disagreement with his teenage step-daughter in which the local police became involved. However, that does not rise to a criminal offense of domestic violence or domestic battery, as CAP Insights alleges.

As to CAP Insights’ allegation that Gen Courter has “been telling everyone” that Gen Carr would become the CAP next national commander, and that Col James Rushing would be the next national vice commander, a source close to the CAP told us, “Those officers are elected by a secret ballot. How could Gen Courter possibly know – or predict – the outcome of a secret ballot?”

Meanwhile, there have also been rumors that the U.S. Army Cadet Corps is “planning a merger” with the CAP. But USACC Col Joseph Land, Sr., the chief of staff of the USACC, has told us in an exclusive telephone interview that’s not true. “There’s no merger,” Col Land told us. “A ceremonial MOU is to be signed between the USACC and the CAP at the CAP’s National Board Meeting and Convention in Louisville, KY, in August, but that only has to do with joint participation in color guard events, drug demand reduction training and how the two cadet organizations can have cooperative relations,” Col Land said.

Col Land added that, “You know, the CAP is really a bi-polar organization – it deals with a cadet program, aerospace education and search-and-rescue. We [the USACC], however, only deal with cadets.”

When we asked Col Land about a rumor that the USACC checks the background and financial status of its prospective cadets, Col Land told us that’s not done. He said the USACC’s cadets come, basically, from three sources: they join traditional home-town USACC units; they come from middle class and lower-class environments; and “they pay less to attend a USACC summer camp than some kids do to attend similar events in the Boy Scouts.” Col Land said that the cost to attend a USACC Military Adventure Camp does cost a “couple of thousand dollars” for two week at camp, “but that about a $1,000 over-ride after the organization pays for the cadet’s uniforms, lodging, meals, etc, and it costs them next to nothing to attend the next summer camp.”

And Col Land told us that effective in August, the USACC will be re-instituting a full-time military academy, based on VMI and other full-time military schools. The new school will be known as the Forest Hills Military Academy, the colonel said.

“Founded in 1909, the U.S. Army Cadet Corps (USACC) holds the distinction of being the oldest and longest-serving nationwide cadet organization in the United States. Veterans of the Corps of Cadets include senior military officers, public officials and business leaders. All members of the U.S. Army Cadet Corps, past and present, have the common bond of pride in their country and a strong belief in its founding principles.”

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