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Senior Member Spotlight: 2020 Encampment Commander Lt Col Marlene Johnson

April 7, 2020

Lt Col Marlene Johnson began her journey in Civil Air Patrol in June 2007 when she joined the program to spend more time with her niece who was joining as a cadet. Her niece was interested in exploring military-related careers. Johnson also wanted to prove that women can be strong leaders. 

Johnson began her CAP career as an Administration Officer and the Drug Demand Reduction Officer of the Yakima Composite Squadron, Washington Wing. She quickly advanced into the role of Deputy Commander for Cadets and found her love for providing young leaders with opportunities to grow and develop into well-rounded citizens.

In June 2014 she moved to Kailua Kona, Hawaii and joined the Kona Composite Squadron. There, she continued her work with the cadet program. Her love for the Cadet Program was quickly recognized, and she was soon appointed as Deputy Commander for Cadets. Johnson has served in numerous other positions such as the unit's Deputy Commander for Seniors as well as the Squadron Commander.

Johnson ended her term as Squadron Commander early to accept her role as the Hawaii Wing Director of Cadet Programs. In this position, she has been able to lead a team of Senior Members and Cadets to provide the most beneficial training to them possible. 

In 2017 and 2018, Johnson attended the Hawaii Wing encampments as a Training Officer. She served as the Deputy Commander of the 2019 HIWG encampment, during which she developed bonds with our new encampment location - Kilauea Military Camp. She also developed many bonds with sponsors expected to last long into the future development and progression of Hawaii Wing encampments.

For the 2020 Hawaii Wing encampment, Johnson is living by this quote by the Dalai Lama: “When educating the minds of the youth we must not forget to educate their hearts.” For Johnson, encampment isn’t just about the education and training the cadets are receiving, but rather about the development of who they are as a person. Turning each cadet into a well-rounded leader who understands the importance our core objective of Servant Leadership is the ultimate goal. 

“Mahalo to my team who has helped me so much through this process already. I look forward to our continued work, the work we do with the soon-to-be selected staff. A huge advanced thank you to all the students who are going to give up a week of their lives to receive this highly beneficial training.”  - Lt Col Marlene Johnson 

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