Col. James Allen Ridley, Sr. is the Northeast Region (NER) Chief of Staff and former Commander of the Connecticut Wing, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. As the Region Chief of Staff, he is part of the region command staff and is responsible for leading the region staff, the NER Promotions Committee, and represents the Region Commander at events when requested.
Col. Ridley joined CAP in April 2004 along with his son Maj. James Ridley II, CAP, a former Spaatz Cadet and was the Cadet Programs Officer for the Col. Francis S. Gabreski Squadron on Long Island, NY. He served as the squadron’s Deputy Commander and Public Affairs Officer before taking command of Suffolk County Cadet Squadron VII which he had renamed the Leroy R. Grumman Squadron in honor of the founder of the Grumman Aircraft Corporation. Col. Ridley has also held the roles of Long Island Group Cadet Programs and Public Affairs Officer, New York Wing Public Affairs Officer, Northeast Region Public Affairs Officer and Northeast Region Plans and Programs Officer before assuming his roles in the Connecticut Wing. Upon transfer to the Connecticut Wing and before assuming command on 20 May 2017, Col Ridley held the positions of Western Connecticut Group Commander and Wing Chief of Staff. He served as the 2013 and 2014 Connecticut Wing Encampment Commander and directed the 2016 and 2017 Northeast Region Staff Colleges and the 2016 Northeast Region Cadet Leadership School.
Col. Ridley holds Emergency Services Qualifications such as IC1 (trainee), IC2, OSC, PSC, GBD, GTL FRO and MS among others. He was presented the 2014 Connecticut Wing Commanders Award and has earned the New York Wing Staff Officer of the Year, New York Wing PAO of the Year and New York Wing Cadet Programs Officer of the Year Awards. Col. Ridley’s decorations include the Distinguished Service Award, six Exceptional Service Awards, five Meritorious Service Awards, eight Commanders Commendations and earned his Level V of the Senior Member Professional Development Program after attending the 2014 National Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.
Col. Ridley holds a Master’s Degree in Technological Systems Management from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from SUNY Old Westbury College. Col Ridley is an Advisory Technical Account Manager for BMC Software as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Suffolk Community College. Col. Ridley is a product of the U.S. Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corp, Hofstra University and a former platoon leader with the 423rd MP Company, 77th ARCOM, U.S. Army Reserve.