Face of Defense: Marine Takes Service to New Heights
By Marine Corps Cpl. R. Logan Kyle
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., Oct. 6, 2010 Marines are encouraged to be active in their local community, but an instructor with the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School here has taken that challenge to new heights – literally.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Robert Hofmann contributes to the Civil Air Patrol’s mentoring program for children and young adults ages 12-20. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Robert Hofmann, who also serves as an assistant deputy commander with the Palm Springs, Calif., Civil Air Patrol’s Composite Squadron 11, was awarded the Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award after completing CAP’s aerospace education program for senior members Sept. 26.
Hofmann, who joined CAP in 2008, said the best part about receiving the award is that he now can use what he learned to contribute to CAP’s mentoring program for children and young adults ages 12-20.
“I took a 100-question exam,” Hofmann said. “It took me about two hours to complete and was an elective part of completing the next level of my professional development in the CAP.
“It felt good, as it is the first step in my education in aerospace knowledge, which is a very important part of CAP and CAP's cadet program,” continued Hofmann, a native of London, Ontario, Canada. “Teaching the cadets about leadership, drill and physical fitness is a skill set that the Marine Corps has given me, but there is still the aerospace education aspect of CAP, which I also need to learn to be able to fully teach and mentor the cadets.”
The Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide. In its Air Force auxiliary role, CAP performs 90 percent of inland search and rescue missions in the continental United States, as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, and was credited with saving 72 lives in fiscal 2009.
Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people participating in CAP cadet programs.
“Many of these people, both young Marines and cadets, come from backgrounds where they have had little or no guidance in their lives, and these young people have taken the first step to bettering themselves,” Hofmann said. “By having enlisted in the Marines, or by having joined the cadet program with CAP, they have shown that they want to do something more. It is at that point where I can help them with becoming better people and citizens and mentor them for success.”
Hofmann also challenged more Marines and sailors to step up and reach out to their communities.
“There are so many organizations that need help, and it is very gratifying to give that help,” he said. “I have met some of the hardest-working people I have ever known in the CAP, and they aren’t doing it for anything more than the simple feeling of a job well done. A lot of people think they don’t have time to volunteer, but any effort to lend a hand is appreciated.”