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Commander

Lt. Col. Brenda A. Reed, CAP
Commander
Granite Cadet Squadron

Lt. Col. Brenda A. Reed was appointed commander of the Granite Cadet Squadron on February 27, 2020. She brings more than 17 years of Civil Air Patrol experience to the position, including service as a former wing chief of staff, squadron commander, wing, region, and national staff officer, and wing administrator. 

Since joining Civil Air Patrol in July 2003, Lt. Col. Reed has held a variety of positions at most echelons of the organization. At the unit level, she served as the personnel officer and public affairs officer at the Carroll Composite Squadron in Westminster, Md. She later became the squadron commander, leading the unit to Squadron of the Year in 2010 and earning the Squadron Commander of the Year award. At the wing level, Lt. Col. Reed has been the wing administrative officer, the drug demand reduction administrator, advisor to the commander, and the wing public affairs officer. In 2010, she received the Wing Staff Officer of the Year award for her service as PAO. She served as director of public affairs at the Middle East Region before stepping down to become the wing chief of staff.  As chief of staff, Reed served as the wing commander’s principal assistant for directing, coordinating, supervising, and training the staff.

Lt. Col. Reed has a passion for working with cadets and has been involved in many cadet activities. She was on staff at the Tri-Wing Encampment for five years, serving as administrative officer, executive officer, commandant of cadets, and vice commander. Lt. Col. Reed was named Tri-Wing’s Honor Officer for 2004, 2005, and 2006. She is the director of the Civic Leadership Academy, a CAP national cadet special activity that introduces cadets to government, leadership, and service in Washington, D.C. In 2010, Lt. Col. Reed traveled to New Zealand as an escort/ambassador with the International Air Cadet Exchange and repeated this honor as an escort/ambassador to Belgium in 2016. Lt. Col. Reed was the IACE project officer for the Maryland Wing hosting for three years and the 2017-2018 Middle East Region hostings. She served on the national cadet scholarship committee for three years. Mentoring cadets is important to Reed and she was awarded the CAP-USAF Torch Award twice (2008 and 2010) as top mentor selected by the Maryland Wing cadet of the year. Reed was awarded the Wing Cadet Programs Advocate of the Year Award in both 2006 and 2009.

For much of her CAP career, Lt. Col. Reed has focused on public affairs and has been privileged to see many of her articles and photos published. She was co-chair of the national branding/style guide committee and chair of the national committee to develop a public affairs plan template. She is a graduate of the 2008 and 2018 National Public Affairs Academy and was one of four bloggers on CAP’s Congressional Gold Medal website. She served as PIO for the 2015 South Carolina flood mission and was the CAP NHQ PIO for Middle East Region during Hurricane Matthew. She was named Wing PAO of the Year in 2005 and Middle East Region PAO of the Year in 2009. Lt. Col. Reed has also earned six first place Balsem Awards for her public affairs work in social media, photography, and website content.  She currently serves on CAP’s national staff as the public affairs education and training coordinator.

Lt. Col. Reed is very interested in meeting member needs through distance education and currently holds the position of dean, online learning programs, for Civil Air Patrol's Volunteer University.  Nearly 10 years ago, she initiated the Maryland Wing e-learning program, designing and implementing courses attended by students around the nation. She is regularly contacted by CAP members from various wings for advice on designing online training courses. She was the national e-learning coordinator and director of the national online Squadron Leadership School and Corporate Learning Course for several years. 

Lt. Col. Reed has completed Level V of CAP’s professional development program and holds master ratings in cadet programs, command, administration, public affairs, and finance. She has a senior rating in the historian specialty track and a technician ratings in the personnel and professional development specialty tracks. She graduated the Middle East Region Staff College as well as Air University’s Air Command and Staff College.  Her CAP decorations include a Distinguished Service Medal, an Exceptional Service Award, five Meritorious Service Awards, a region commander’s commendation, 10 wing commander’s commendations, a CAP achievement award, a national commander’s unit citation, and two unit citations.  She was named Maryland Wing’s Senior Member of the Year in 2017 as well as Middle East Region Senior Member of the Year and Civil Air Patrol’s National Senior Member of the Year in 2018.

Lt. Col. Reed holds a Bachelors degree in history from the University of Maryland University College where her studies emphasized the Renaissance period. She earned her Masters in Distance Education and e-Learning (MDE) with a teaching and training specialization from University of Maryland University College, graduating summe cum laude.  She continues to be involved in the MDE program as a guest lecturer for the mentoring program.

Professionally, Lt. Col. Reed is a distance education consultant helping nonprofit organizations with their e-learning needs. She is married to retired USAF Chief Master Sgt. Tom Reed and is mother to three grown children and has two grandsons. Two of her children were cadets: the former Cadet Capt. Jenn Reed and former Cadet Col. Jake Reed, who is married to former Cadet 2nd Lt. Caddi Golia. Her son was named CAP’s National Cadet of the Year in 2008.

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