Col. Eugene “Gene” L. Egry III has been selected to command Civil Air Patrol’s Mid-Atlantic Region, officially accepting the appointment made July 15 by Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, CAP’s national commander and CEO.
Egry, former Delaware Wing commander and the Mid-Atlantic Region’s current vice commander, will succeed Col. Bruce Heinlein, region commander since October 2018. He will be sworn in Oct. 15 at the West Virginia/Mid-Atlantic Region Conference.
“I am excited to welcome Col. Egry to command of the Mid-Atlantic Region,” Phelka said. “He was selected from a rich pool of talented candidates and brings a broad skill set and deep experience to this new role. I have every confidence that Col. Egry will continue the tradition of excellence in leadership of the Mid-Atlantic Region.”
Egry, 59, of Catonsville, Maryland, has been an active member of Civil Air Patrol for 43 years with a history of effective leadership at the squadron, group, wing, and region levels in Pennsylvania and Delaware. His experience also includes national assignments as a CAP Volunteer University instructor for all levels of the senior member education and training program and as a mentor with the National Mentorship Program, working with multiple CAP members nationwide.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next Mid-Atlantic Region commander,” Egry said. “Throughout my career in CAP, I have been fortunate to learn from true inspirational servant leaders who invested their time to mentor me. They inspired me to dedicate my life to serving others through our great organization.
“Their ‘leadership by positive example’ was key in shaping me as a leader as well as motivating me to give back and mentor the next generation of leaders.”
A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Egry joined CAP as a cadet in June 1979 and held various cadet command and staff positions, including Lehigh Valley Composite Squadron 805 cadet commander and Pennsylvania Wing Ranger staff member since 1980.
He served as the cadet commander of the 1983 Pennsylvania Wing Encampment, for which he was awarded his first Commander’s Commendation.
As a senior member, Egry has held various command and staff positions: Lehigh Valley Composite Squadron 805 commander (recognized as the 1992 Northeast Region “Squadron of Distinction”), Group 80 commander and deputy commander, Group 3 commander and deputy commander/North, member-at-large for the Pennsylvania Wing Standards and Planning Committee for Ground Search and Rescue, Pennsylvania Wing director of Ranger staff training, Pennsylvania Wing executive committee member, director of operations, and vice commander. He later served as Delaware Wing vice commander.
Egry served as commander of the Delaware Wing from September 2007-September 2011. As wing commander, he was responsible for conducting CAP’s missions with over 500 members, eight aircraft and 10 vehicles.
He served as the chief of staff of the then-Middle East Region from October 2014-October 2018 before becoming the region’s vice commander. Following that four-year term, Egry is poised to lead the more than 7,500 members of the region, which consists of CAP’s Delaware, Maryland, National Capital, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia wings.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the members of Mid-Atlantic Region as their next commander,” he said. “This is an as awesome responsibility. I look forward to what our team will accomplish over the next three years. The commitment and dedication of our volunteers will ensure we continue to serve our communities by performing our missions with excellence.”
Egry is an active participant in CAP’s emergency services program, holding several mission qualifications that include incident commander-Level 1, ground team leader and mission observer. He is a certified emergency medical responder in Maryland.
He is a graduate of the National Inland Search and Rescue Planning Course and two Air Force Rescue Coordination Center search and rescue manager courses. He served as ground operations director for the Pennsylvania Wing in 1990 and 1992 for the Northeast Region Search and Rescue Competition. The team was selected as the top mission coordination team. He is a graduate of the 2008 National Inspector General College and 2020 National Safety Officer College.
He currently serves as one of the CAP liaison officers to the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Response Coordination Center, where he has supported several significant natural disaster events.
Egry holds CAP Master ratings in command, emergency services, aerospace education, cadet programs, safety, and personnel
He has been recognized with numerous awards and commendations during his CAP career, receiving seven Commander’s Commendations, one National Commander’s Commendation, two Meritorious Service Awards, four Exceptional Service Awards, and a Distinguished Service Award. He earned the Expert Ranger Award, the highest proficiency grade awarded by the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger Program.
Outside CAP, Egry has 37 years of information technology experience. He moved to Maryland in 2004 to pursue a career opportunity at GEICO Insurance Co. in Chevy Chase. He is a senior manager in the GEICO Technology Services department, managing a team of over 20 engineers responsible for human resources, payroll, financial and learning systems. The Project Management Institute certified him as a project management professional.
He earned an associate’s of applied science degree in data processing technology from Lehigh County Community College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Kutztown University.