Colonel John M. Knowles assumed command of the Maryland Wing on 24 April 2010 as the twenty-first commander of the Wing. He brings a wealth of experience to the position.
He has served in numerous capacities at all CAP echelons. He joined the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron as a cadet in 1972, serving in many cadet assignments including the cadet commander. As an officer he held multiple assignments with the Squadron including commander. He was a Group Commander from 2002 to 2006 and was the Wing Vice Commander from 2006 until 2010. At the Region level, he served as the director of the Middle East Region Staff College for three years, following three years as the deputy director. Col. Knowles has served on staff at the national cadet Civic Leadership Academy since 2004 and in 2009, Knowles was the activity director for the newest National Cadet Special Activity, the Air Force Civil Engineering Academy located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fl.
His CAP training includes: National and Region Staff College, counter drug training course, SDIS training, USAF Inland Search and Rescue School, and he has completed level five of the senior member training program. Col. Knowles holds master ratings in: cadet programs, operations, emergency services, professional development, aerospace education and technician rating in safety. He is a qualified incident commander, senior mission observer and ground branch director, along with being qualified as a ground team leader.
Knowles was named the Middle East Region Senior Member of the Year in 2009 and was awarded the Brewer Aerospace Award in 2008. His decorations include exceptional service awards, meritorious service awards, commander's commendations, CAP achievement award, lifesaving with silver star, unit citations, Ira C. Eaker Award, counterdrug, disaster relief and homeland security awards, and search and rescue and search and rescue find awards, He was presented the CAP-USAF Middle East Region Liaison Torch Award in 2002 and 2003.
Col. Knowles holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Education, both from University of Maryland. He was assigned to the USAF ROTC Detachment 330 while at the university.
He is currently employed as a Vice President with The Clark Construction Group, headquartered in Bethesda, Md. He resides in Ashton, Md., with his wife, Teri, and three children. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He was awarded the Cardinal’s Honor Award by the Archdiocese of Washington for his work with the Catholic Church, is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, and is a writer and assistant features editor/writer for CadetStuff.org.