On January 4, 2020, Col. Robert C. Pinckard assumed command of Arizona Wing from Col. Martha Morris. Southwest Region Commander Col. Joe Smith presided over the traditional military change of command ceremony, which was held at the Scottsdale Airport Aviation Business Center.
“It’s a great honor for me to have been chosen to lead the Arizona Wing,” Pinckard said. “I’m following in the footsteps of some exceptional wing commanders.”
Approximately 200 Arizona Wing members, their families and invited guests attended the ceremony. Several awards were presented to CAP members, including a Certificate of Commendation for Lifesaving to 2nd Lt. Frank Arvizu, Deer Valley Composite Squadron, for rescuing five people from a vehicle involved in a five-car accident.
Pinckard assumes command of a wing that highly rated and well respected. “This is a great team of top performers,” Pinckard said. “I look forward to working with you to achieve continued success.”
Pinckard joined Willie Composite Squadron in Chandler, Arizona, in 2001 and served as the squadron finance officer and cadet programs officer. In 2007, he assumed command of the squadron. Subsequently, he was promoted to group and sector commander positions before becoming the wing chief of staff in January 2016 and vice commander in July 2018.
He is an active incident commander, ground branch director, and ground team leader, with a master rating in emergency services and has three additional master ratings, one senior rating, and five technician ratings in a wide variety of CAP specialty tracks.
During his CAP career, Pinckard has been credited with more than 100 finds and three saves during Arizona Wing operational missions and has assisted with the physical rescue and recovery of the victims of multiple air crash and missing persons missions.
Pinckard has organized, conducted and taught at numerous ground and combined air/ground search and rescue and wilderness survival courses throughout Arizona Wing. He has trained and qualified numerous CAP ground team search and rescue and wilderness first aid members as well as many representatives of Arizona county sheriffs’ SAR teams who have participated in Arizona Wing ground team training. Pinckard also has instructed at several Unit Commander Courses, Squadron Leadership Schools, and Corporate Leadership Courses, as well as at Regional Staff College.
By day, Pinckard is a founder, owner and CEO of Allen & Pinckard Industrial Contractors, Inc., a 25-year-old, $8 million/year, multi-licensed specialty contractor operating in the western U.S. Pinckard and his wife, Pat, reside in San Tan Valley, Arizona, where they breed and train prize-winning Appaloosa horses.