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First Woman to Command Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing

posted Dec 16, 2017, 5:16 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Jan 10, 2018, 7:56 PM ]

Washington Wing's Next Commander Selected   

Story by Capt. Jessica, Jerwa, Washington Wing Public Affairs

December 16, 2017

McChord Field – Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing will see its first female commander installed in April 2018 at the organization’s annual training conference and banquet in Wenatchee, Washington. Colonel (Select) Shelly J. Norman will assume command from Colonel James P. Furlong. The Washington Wing state headquarters is at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and has nearly 1,500 members statewide.

Norman joined Civil Air Patrol's Fire Mountain Composite Squadron in Lewis County in 2002 and was initially appointed the Emergency Services Training Officer. She later served as both Deputy Commander for Cadets and Seniors and then Squadron Commander. Not surprisingly, Norman has continued to hold increasingly demanding roles in the organization in Washington Wing and at the Pacific Region headquarters. She has served the region as Health Services Officer and Assistant Inspector General and was instrumental in the success of Region Staff College from 2007 to 2017 while serving in positions such as Co-Director, Seminar Advisor, Medical Officer and Evaluations Officer. Prior to her selection for Wing Commander, Col. (Sel.) Norman served as the Washington Wing Deputy Inspector General Continuous Compliance Officer where she was responsible for implementing a “continuous compliance” initiative in Washington Wing to increase mission readiness among the membership.

Outside of Civil Air Patrol, Norman is licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner and holds two national board certifications to practice Family Medicine. She is a member of several Nurse Practitioner organizations and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Norman was born and raised in California before relocating to Washington in 1981. She currently lives in Winlock, Washington with her two sons and considers the state her home.



Locally, Washington Wing Civil Air Patrol members operate a fleet of 23 vehicles and 14 aircraft (Cessnas 172s, 182s, and a 206, as well as 2 Blanik gliders) for inland search and rescue missions and cadet orientation flight instruction. The wing is comprised of 774 adult members (ages 18+) and 707 cadets (ages 12-21), organized into 27 squadrons, who contributed a value of $4.9 million in volunteer hours to their local communities and the state of Washington in 2016. Visit www.wawg.cap.gov for more information.