FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton thought she was only presiding over the unveiling of a new exhibit commemorating the history and significance of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). A veteran of the United States Air Force and member of the Kentucky Military Hall of Fame, Lt. Gov. Hampton joined the organization in December 2014 after the commander of the Kentucky Wing’s Bowling Green Senior Squadron invited her to be the unit’s public affairs officer.
“I started to go through the training modules, had completed the first one successfully and was beginning the second when Matt Bevin called me and completely ruined my plans,” she said jokingly.
The exhibit ceremony unveiled a combined effort of the Personnel Cabinet and the CAP, with historical accounts of the organization’s purpose, missions, and heroes.
During the ceremony, however, Sr. Master Sgt. Cory Felts, Director of Cadet Programs from Bowling Green arrived. “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “and welcome to the promotion ceremony for Major Jenean Hampton.”
He continued, “The Civil Air Patrol National Commander, acting upon the recommendation of the Great Lakes Region Commander and Kentucky Wing Commander, has placed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, integrity, and qualities of Major Jenean Hampton. In view of these special qualities and her demonstrated potential to serve in the higher grade, major Jenean Hampton is promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel, Civil Air Patrol.”
“I am so honored and certainly did not expect this!” Lt. Gov. Hampton said. “This is such a worthy organization. For those who get involved, it gives our young people the chance to get hands-on aviation experience, and to become familiar with the military. I am proud to be a part of it. And actually, I think I just surpassed my husband in rank!”
Founded in 1941 to mobilize the nation’s civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a non-profit organization that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its mission is to provide emergency services and disaster relief, support aerospace education and cadet programs for youth.