Illinois Wing Commander
Colonel Robert Dempsey
About the Commander
Col. Robert Dempsey is the Commander of Illinois Wing, Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary. He is responsible for the Command and Administration of approximately 1500 volunteers, aircraft, vehicles and communications equipment to support federal, state and local missions.
Col. Dempsey began his Civil Air Patrol career as a cadet in 1977 and brings 40 years of experience of various roles to the Wing Commander position. He affirmed, during his Assumption of Command 15 July 2018, ” I have tried to live up and perform to the highest standards in service to my community, state and nation as a proud and dedicated member of Civil Air Patrol. I strive to lead by example and follow the CAP Core Values to the best of my abilities when performing the simplest or most complex tasks. ”
Col. Dempsey most recently served as the Illinois Wing Director of Cadet Programs and Group 22 Commander. He has held positions such as Group Communications Officer, Squadron Commander, Squadron Deputy Commander for Cadets, Squadron Project Officer, with his initial beginnings as a Cadet member.
Col. Dempsey holds advanced Emergency Services ratings in Aircrew, Ground Team and Communications. He has received many awards and citations over the years most notably, 2010 Illinois Wing Cadet Programs Officer of the year, 2 unit citations, 4 Achievement Awards, 4 Commanders Commendations, 3 Meritorious Service Awards and the Gill Robb Wilson Award – the highest Professional Development Award.
He has attended 18 Illinois Wing Encampments serving as the Deputy Commandant for Cadets 2006 -2011, and the Commandant for Cadets 2012 & 2013, Flight Commander (Honor Cadet) in 1981, Squadron Commander (Honor Officer) in 1982 with a Glider solo in 1979, Balloon solo in 1980, and Power solo – 1981. He served on the Illinois Wing Cadet Advisory Council Chairman in 1983 and as an instructor in Safety, SLS, CLC, TLC, ACUT/BCUT/ICUT, UCC, Emergency Services and Regional Staff College.
Col. Dempsey holds a Masters Rating in Cadet Programs with Technician Ratings in Communication and Command.
Col. Dempsey’s Civilian Education:
2000-2006 Masters of Business Administration with a Concentration in Operations, Loyola University
1985-1987 Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology, Southern Illinois University
1982-1985 Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology, Southern Illinois University
Col Dempsey is a Senior Engineer with the S & C Electric Company’s Underground Switching and Protection Engineering Group. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Mount Prospect, IL and have three grown children.