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Knightly Merrie2Colonel Merrie Knightly's Civil Air Patrol career began in September of 2000 when she joined the 35th Composite Squadron in Bangor, Maine with her husband and then 13 year old son. At that time major changes were happening in the Emergency Services area of CAP and the squadron needed an Emergency Services Officer to usher in these changes so Col Knightly volunteered to take on the task.

After guiding the squadron through the ES changes Col Knightly was asked to move to the position of Director of Emergency Services for Maine Wing under the mentorship of Lt Col Larry Wood the Director of Operations. After Lt Col Wood's untimely death she took over as Maine Wing Director of Operations where she lead the wing through several successful Air Force Evaluations and Guided Training Exercises including two Outstanding ratings.

In 2006 the new Wing Commander, Col Christopher Hayden asked Col Knightly to be his Chief of Staff for Maine Wing where she served until being invited to take the position of Northeast Region Vice Commander North serving the Wings of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Qualified as an Incident Commander, Col Knightly has lead many missions for the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and been the Liaison Officer for one actual air craft accident in Maine Wing working with the Maine State Police.

Col Knightly has attended many CAP leadership trainings including, Region Staff College, Inspector General College and National Staff College. She has a Master Rating in Emergency Services and a Senior Rating in Plans and Programs. Col Knightly is also a member of the NER Critical Incident Stress Management team.

In February 2010 Col Knightly achieved her Level V and received her Gill Robb Wilson Award, the highest level of training for Senior Members in CAP.

Col Knightly is married to Lt Col Ken Knightly, NER Inspector General. Their son Scott is a former C/Maj, now an Officer and a member of Florida Wing serving as the units Communications Officer.

Col Mark Lee

Lee Mark100x108Colonel Mark A. Lee joined Civil Air Patrol in 1982 as a cadet, with the Philadelphia Composite Squadron 102.  As a cadet, he held every position on the cadet staff.  He commanded two Pennsylvania Wing Drill teams and competed in two Region Cadet Drill competitions.  He completed phase four of the cadet program and achieved the grade of cadet Lieutenant Colonel.    He assumed command of Squadron 102 shortly after becoming a senior member.  After successfully completing his term as Squadron Commander  Colonel Lee then moved on to serve as the Cadet Programs Office for Pennsylvania Wings Group 10 and as Deputy Commander of Group 3100.  He then went on to serve 5 years as the Northeast Region Director of Finance.  Colonel Lee returned to PA Wing and served as the first Director of training for the Wing.  He then served as the Pennsylvania Wing Chief of Staff and Vice Wing Commander.  Colonel Lee served as the Pennsylvania Wing commander from 2007-2011.

He is a CAP Pilot and holds Master ratings in Cadet Programs, Command and Safety.

His professional awards include Gil Rob Wilson (2086), Distinguished Service Award and numerous Exceptional Services Awards, Meritorious Service Awards and Commanders Commendations.   He is a graduate of the Northeast Region Staff College, National Staff College, Region and Wing Commanders Course, Inspector General College and the National Safety College.

Colonel Lee graduated from Holy Family University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology for Business, La Salle University with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and Saint Joseph’s University with a Master’s of Science in Safety and Environmental Management.

He is married with two children and lives in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. 

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Lt Col Magee is the New York Wing Vice Commander and Director of the 2018 Northeast Region Staff College.  He joined CAP as a cadet in 1967 and completed the cadet program.  He served as cadet commander of the NY Wing Encampment and was named the Outstanding Speaker at the Cadet Officer School.  He completed the Professional Development Program and received Gill Robb Wilson Award #142.  He has served as a Group Commander, Wing Finance Director and Wing Chief of Staff and he was recognized for his work with inner-city youth and the cadet program and awarded the CAP Distinguished Service Award.   Lt Col Magee is a retired supervisory agent who spent thirty-two years with Federal Law Enforcement.  His last two decades were spent with US Customs Aviation.  He is a rated CAP Observer and has been married for over forty-one years to his wife Cherie, a former cadet.

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RidleyCol. 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.