Joe Abegg joined CAP as a cadet in Illinois Wing in 1973. By 1977 he had earned the Spaatz Award, Ranger Expert, the Blue Beret (original school), CAP pilot's wings, an Air Force Academy nomination and an Air Force ROTC scholarship. By 1981 he was an Aerospace Engineer, an Air Force Pilot and a CAP Squadron Commander. His military career spanned 26 years as an officer where he served in numerous flying, command and control, and leadership assignments to include his last assignment as the CAP-USAF Northeast Liaison Region Director of Reserve Forces and twice chair of the National Reserve Forces Working Group. His CAP career continued when he transferred to the New Jersey Wing in 1981. There he served as Wing Director of Cadet Programs, Squadron Commander again, Chief Check Pilot, Chief of Stan/Eval, Chair of the Flight Evaluation Board, CAC Advisor, as lead pilot for the winning team at the 1986 CAP National SAR Competition and as a Group Commander.
From 2005 through 2009 he served at CAP National Headquarters as the National Director of Emergency Services and led 26 national projects, chaired the National Emergency Services Committee and was a member of the National Operations Committee, the National Home Land Security Committee, and the National Coast Guard Subcommittee. From 2009 through 2010 he served as the Northeast Region Director of Operations and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
During his spare time he has been on staff at 24 Cadet Encampments, 21 Region Staff Colleges and five National Cadet Special Activities. He is a graduate of the Air War College, the Inland SAR School, the CAP IG School, the CAP C4 School and the CAP PAO Academy.
In 1987 he started his civilian career as a pilot for Pan Am. After the demise of Pan Am he was hired at United Airlines. While at United he has served as a Line Check Airman and Captain on Boeing 757s/767s, and he is currently a Captain flying Airbus 319s/320s with over 23,000 flying hours.