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Chief of Staff

COLONEL JAMES COVEL, CAP

Colonel Covel has been appointed as the Chief of Staff for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  He also serves on the National Staff as the Deputy Liaison Officer to FEMA and the Deputy Coordinator for the CAP Liaison Officers to the FEMA National Coordinating Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Col. Covel joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1999 and served with the Prince William Composite Squadron (Manassas, VA) until 2009.  He commanded that squadron until leaving to serve as Virginia Wing Chief of Staff.  He also served as the commander of the Virginia Wing from February 2013 to February 2017.  The VA Wing with over 1800 members is the largest wing in Mid-Atlantic Region.  He has also served as a staff officer at the squadron, wing and region levels.

Col. Covel has remained active in the emergency services mission of CAP since joining.

He is currently a senior Incident Commander and holds several other air crew, ground search & rescue, and incident management team specialty qualifications.  He has served as a CAP National Liaison Officer at the FEMA National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters since 2013.

While born in Washington, DC, Col. Covel grew up in Arlington, VA.  With brief stints in Michigan and Israel, he has resided and worked in the National Capital Region for most of his life.  He has recently retired for the second time and now resides in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.  He has four grown children, two daughters and two sons.  He also has three grandsons.

Prior to coming to the Civil Air Patrol, Col. Covel served for 20 years with the Fairfax County Police Department.  Eleven of those years were served in command positions.  He retired in 1991 with the rank of Major.  After residing in Israel with his family for a year, he returned and served as the Safety Officer and Security Manager for a regional service authority operating critical infrastructure in northern Virginia.  He retired from that organization in 2014 after 20 years of service.

Col. Covel holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.  As a CAP member, he has completed numerous training courses and has graduated from the Mid-Atlantic Region and National Staff Colleges.

(April 3, 2019)

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