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ACHIEVER: Change of Command for the Civil Air Patrol Sandhills Senior Squadron

By Staff Report, posted Sep 24, 2021 on


The Civil Air Patrol Sandhills Senior Squadron has a new commander. Lt. Col. David Gilchrist, PhD, a professor at UNC Pembroke teaching economics, finance, business law, and international management, has an extensive background in aviation, leadership and military affairs. The Civil Air Patrol is the United States Air Force Auxiliary made up of volunteers who dedicate their time to emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education. There are 39 members of the Sandhills squadron. 

Gilchrist took a leadership position as deputy commander of the Raleigh-Wake Composite Squadron and later as an Internal Aerospace Education Officer at the NC CAP Headquarters. After his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, he transferred and assumed command from the outgoing commander of the Sandhills Senior Squadron. Gilchrist is a licensed pilot for private, commercial and sea planes. Among many of his accolades,in 1978, he was awarded Distinguished Graduate of Academy of Military Science and then commissioned as an officer for the National Guard. He holds Command Pilot Rating and also has served as an air operations branch manager. He is the two-time recipient of the Commander’s Commendation Award and in 2018, he was approved for the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. 

Gilchrist has a rich educational background. He holds a LL.M. in Global Antitrust Law and Economics from Scalia Law School, George Mason University; a PhD in Economics from University of Oklahoma; an MBA business degree and Master of Arts in Managerial Economics, also from University of Oklahoma and a BS in Physics from Campbell University. He also has a real estate broker license as a trained mediator for alternative dispute resolutions.

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