CAP Commander Sacked

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The Board of Governors of the Civil Air Patrol has stripped the organization's suspended commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Pineda, of his rank, position and membership after investigating allegations that a member of CAP's Florida unit took U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College tests on Pineda's behalf in 2002 and 2003. Pineda was suspended in early August after the allegations came to light and the board of governors decided to formally investigate them. "This action was taken after careful review of the facts and circumstances and after numerous discussions of the report of the investigation against Gen. Pineda," Maj. Gen. Richard Bowling, chairman of the board of governors, said in a news release. Brig. Gen. Amy Courter, CAP's deputy commander, assumed command during Pineda's suspension and will continue in that role until August of 2008 when the board of governors will convene to elect a new commander. Courter can run.

The Pineda controversy sparked plenty of chatter on CAP forums but the organization continued to fulfill its search and rescue and other roles effectively, Courter said. "The members of the Civil Air Patrol are patriotic and highly dedicated volunteers of this great nation who routinely place duty before self to serve their communities," Courter said. "Their contributions during the search for aviation legend Steve Fossett, during Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and thousands of other noteworthy missions throughout our 66 years of service have made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of Americans of all ages. I am honored to serve as interim national commander of Civil Air Patrol."