Thursday evening Major Steven Town retired from the Civil Air Patrol after joining the South Bend Squadron 30-years ago in 1985.

As his career in CAP advanced, Towne was awarded the Commander’s Accommodation Award in 1994 for his service in the South Bend Squadron and in 1995 became Commander of the squadron; a position he held for three years. As Commander, the Air Force flew him to national meetings. Maj. Towne has flown on a C141 Starlifter, C130 Hercules and a KC 135 Stratotanker.

Major Towne embraced the diverse learning opportunities offered in CAP including aviation ground and air crew certifications, leadership, emergency services, and communications.

“I was interested in aviation and airshows since I was a kid and CAP offered an opportunity to connect with my interests,” said Major Towne. “I met a CAP member while attending school at Ivy Tech in 1985 and he invited me to join”.

Major Towne’s favorite duty has been working ground crew for airshows.   He said, “I enjoyed working air shows. Sometimes kids would ask for your autograph. It was better than having front row seats, being close to the airplanes, including being on the tarmac and directing ground traffic.”

Maj. Towne became a member of the newly formed Plymouth Composite Squadron in 2006. He has held positions as Safety Officer, Finance Officer and Communications Officer.

Asked what made CAP so rewarding, Maj. Towne responded “There is a niche for everyone with all of the different duties and training opportunities. CAP is one of the best kept secrets among volunteer organizations.”

Major Towne’s official retirement ceremony was held on Thursday December 17th, at the Plymouth Airport.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. For more information, contact 2nd Lt. Craig H. Rogers (317)565-3225, or visit