Lt. Colonel John Desmarais

Provost & Project Support Officer

Lt Col John W. Desmarais, Sr. is currently serving as the Director of Operations at National Headquarters (HQ CAP/DO) Civil Air Patrol (CAP). CAP, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is Congressionally chartered to perform Homeland Security and Emergency Service Missions, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs for America.

In his current assignment, John serves as the headquarters point of contact for all emergency services, counterdrug, and homeland security matters, as well as supervising program managers for communications, the national operations center, the national technology center, standardization and evaluation, and chaplain services. Lt Col Desmarais interfaces with federal, state, and local personnel on operations issues, and assists the CAP leadership in formulating the policies, program goals, and objectives for CAP with the USAF and other counterpart agencies at the national level.

Lt Col Desmarais was born in Woonsocket, RI on the 27th of August 1973. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelors degree in Aviation Business Administration focused in Management
Information Systems with a minor in Safety of Flight, and a Masters degree in Aeronautical Science specializing in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems. Lt Col Desmarais has also graduated from the CAP National Staff
College, the US Air Force’s Squadron Officers School, Air Command and Staff College, and Inland Search and Rescue (SAR) Planners Course at the National SAR School, and the National Interagency Counterdrug Institute Military Support to Civil Authorities Course. John is also a pilot, critical incident stress management peer and instructor, certified first responder instructor, and a technician class amateur radio operator.

Lt Col Desmarais joined CAP as a cadet in 1987. He holds Master’s ratings in Emergency Services and Cadet Programs, and is also a mission qualified incident commander, aircrew member and ground team leader. Prior to his current assignment since arriving at National Headquarters in 1995 he has served as the Chief of Operations Support, Chief of Emergency Services, Emergency Services Plans Officer, and Special Activities Program Manager. Lt Col Desmarais is also an active volunteer in CAP, having served in a variety of positions within the Rhode Island, Florida, and Alabama Wings and Southeast Region.

Lt Col Desmarais has also had several special assignments in his CAP career. While still a cadet, he founded the Rhode Island Ground
Search and Rescue School in the summer of 1991. In 1996 he founded the National Ground Search and Rescue School that was transformed and incorporated into the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) in 1998, which he still supports as project officer and provost as well as President of the NESA Alumni Association. In 1998 he helped establish the national emergency services curriculum project that developed much of the training curriculum used by the CAP mission staff today.

In 2001 then Major Desmarais served as one of the national level duty officers responding to the events of September 11th, 2001. In 2002 John served as the national headquarters project officer for CAP support to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2003 he served as an agency liaison for CAP’s support to Task Force Columbia and also assisted in the
development of the CAP Concept of Employment for CAP Homeland Security Operations.

Recently, in addition to his normal duties, Lt Col Desmarais has been supporting Citizen Corps as CAP’s Affiliate representative and the Medical Reserve Corps as CAP’s representative to the Deployment Work Group.

His CAP awards and decorations include but are not limited to the Exceptional Service Award, Meritorious Service Award with two Bronze Clasps, Commander’s Commendation with one Silver and four Bronze Clasps, Certificate of Lifesaving, Unit Citation with four Bronze Clasps, Command Service Ribbon, Search and Rescue Ribbon with two Silver Clasps, Find Ribbon with two Silver Clasps and one Bronze Propeller, Disaster Relief Ribbon with “V” Device, Counterdrug Ribbon with two Bronze Clasps, Community Service Ribbon, and CAP’s highest academic award – the Gill Robb Wilson Award. Lt Col Desmarais was also selected as the National Headquarters Employee of the Year for 2002, and received the President’s Call to Service Award in 2008 for his volunteer work with CAP.

Lt Col Desmarais also holds several industry affiliations. He is an associate member of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and the International Association of Emergency Managers, and a life member of the National Association of Search and Rescue and the Air Force Association.

Major Gary Brockman

Academy Commander

Lt. Colonel Michael Long

Deputy Director/GSAR Commandant

Lt Col Long has 25 years experience in CAP, including 5 years as cadet in Alabama Wing. He was a cadet at the Maxwell Composite Squadron, earning his Earhart award in 1991.

After rejoining CAP in 1996 after time off to attend university and graduate school, Lt Col Long served in a variety of capacities at the squadron level over 11 years, including Emergency Services Officer and Operations Officer. In that time he helped develop a ground team training program for Alabama Wing (WESS - now in its 19th year) that rivals NGSAR in size if not scope. It is there that he tests curriculum changes and technology enhancements that are used each summer at NESA.


He has been involved at NESA since 2000, initially serving as an FTA in the Advanced School. After two years as the Advanced Lead FTA in 2001 and 2002, he took over as the GSAR Commandant in 2003. In 2007, he joined the new NESA unit (NHQ-007). As the GSAR Commandant he oversees the curriculum, scheduling, training, and staffing for the Basic, Advanced, and Team Leader GSAR courses. A rated Incident Commander, Section Chief and Ground Branch Director, he establishes goals for each event and each school, and is the main exercise director in the field. His staff developed the automation and technology that ensures all task training is recorded in the member records before they leave NESA. Lt Col Long is also active with amateur radio, having recently received his extra class license.  In 2014, he took the additional duty of Deputy Director for NESA.

A graduate of Air Force Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College, Lt Col Long has also attended the AFRCC SAR Management Course and augments the staff at the National Operations Center on occasion. Regardless of the assignment, he has always had two goals in CAP: to enhance cadet and senior member participation in ES activities, and continually improve CAP's response to our customer's mission needs.

Col Rickey L. Oeth, CAP

Incident Command System Commandant

Col Oeth joined CAP in 1976 as a cadet and progressed through the grade of Cadet Lt Col. As a senior member he has served in two squadrons as Communication Officer, Assistant Emergency Services Officer, and Assistant Testing Officer. Command staff assignments include the Illinois Wing Group 10 Deputy Commander, Group 12 Commander, Illinois Wing Chief of Staff, Illinois Wing Vice Commander, Illinois Wing Commander and is currently the Illinois Group 1 Chief of Staff. 

His activities include attendance at 5 Illinois Wing Encampments, 8 years on staff at the National Emergency Services Academy – Incident Command Staff School, and 12 years at the Illinois Wing Johnson Flight Academy including 10 years as the academy commander. Shortly after attending the National Emergency Services Academy – Incident Command Staff School in 2005 then Lt Col Oeth deployed as a part of the CAP response to Katrina where he became the last IC in Mississippi and demobilized the operation.

He has a Bachelors Degree and two Masters Degrees in Music and is currently employed as the IT director for the Sparta Community School District #140 in Sparta, Illinois. 

Lt. Colonel Eric Templeton

Mission Aircrew School Commandant

Lt Col Templeton joined CAP just after Sept 11, 2001. He attended the 2002 Mission Aircrew School and graduated as the Distinguished Graduate (DG) for 2002.  He returned as a staff instructor in 2003, as the Deputy Commandant in 2004.  He received the Co-Commandant position in 2006 and became Commandant of the school in 2007.  Lt Col Templeton continues to serve as Commandant for the school.

Currently Lt Col Templeton also serves as Chief Mission Check Pilot for the ILWG, and as a National Operations Center staff.

Previous CAP duties have included: Illinois Wing Vice Commander, Chief of Staff, and Director of Operations, California Wing Incident Commander and Deputy Director of Operations. Highest Mission ratings: Incident Commander Level 1, Mission Pilot, and Mission Check Pilot Examiner.

Lt Col Templeton works as a Program Manager in Crew IT at American Airlines.