Lt. Col. Seth D. Hudson has been appointed Civil Air Patrol’s new national historian, according to Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, national commander/CEO.
Hudson, an 18-year CAP veteran and Southwest Region member, succeeds Col. Frank Blazich Jr., now CAP’s national historian emeritus.
Hudson has served as historian at every level of Civil Air Patrol, most recently as assistant national historian.
“In addition to having served as historian at every echelon of Civil Air Patrol during his almost two decades of membership, Lt. Col. Hudson brings a wide range of experience in all of CAP’s missions to this new post,” Phelka said. “I’m excited to welcome him as our new national historian.”
Hudson has served with the National History Program nearly a decade, Blazich said. The program is crucial to preserving CAP’s heritage and legacy from its of the coastal patrol missions in the early 1940s to the present day.
Blazich has been a mentor to Hudson as part of the national history effort.
“I am pleased that Lt. Col. Hudson will be succeeding me as national historian,” Blazich said. “He has the talents and dedication, which will take the program further and farther than ever before.”
Blazich added, “I look forward to serving under his leadership and assisting the National History Program and the corporation to the best of my abilities.” Blazich will continue to serve on the history staff as the national curator.
Along with his work as an historian, Hudson continues to serve as a character development instructor for the Texas Wing’s George H.W. Bush Composite Squadron in College Station. He also served as director of administration for the Southwest Region and is active in emergency services, including serving as an incident commander for counterdrug and homeland security missions on the U.S.-Mexico border.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency administration and planning from the University of North Texas in Denton and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University.
Denton is also home to the unit where Hudson launched his CAP career, Nighthawk Composite Squadron, one of the largest CAP squadrons in Texas.
Hudson is the author of Civil Air Patrol’s list of fallen members. Over 80 years at least 220 CAP members — as well as three from the U.S. Air Force and two from the Army Air Forces — have died while serving in CAP. Work began in 2015 on the project, which records not only the names of the fallen also but the stories behind their sacrifice.
In a 2021 cover story in Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, Hudson said, “By remembering the members who died serving America’s communities, a part of them continues to serve.”
Reared in a military family, Hudson joined CAP as a teenager in 1997 in preparation to join the military. He rose through the ranks to become cadet major and cadet commander of the Nighthawk squadron.
He is a rated private pilot, seaplane pilot and is one of only about 20 CAP balloon pilots rated for lighter-than-air flight in the nation.
“CAP was the inspiration to continue my career in local emergency services, and I rejoined as a senior member to give back to the organization that made me who I am,” he said.
Hudson said he’s humbled by the appointment as national historian.
“I was excited by the opportunity to serve our National History Program and our historians nationwide, to preserve and promote the amazing history of our organization,” he said.
Hudson said he will take a twofold approach to the job.
“As CAP historians, we research and preserve our past through documents, artifacts, and stories,” he said. “We also support today’s missions with relevant historical information and context.
“We support our commanders and staff officers with relevant historical data to further empower them to make informed decisions,” he added. “I will serve CAP’s development and innovations moving forward by remembering the past.”
Hudson officially assumed the role of CAP national historian Sept. 1.