Lt. Col. Rich Ferguson was presented with the Field Grade Officer of the Year award and he was also recognized for 50 years of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) volunteer service at an end-of-year ceremony for the CAP David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron of San Marcos, Texas. Lt. Col. Ferguson joined CAP at the age of 14. Growing up, his father was Commandant of Cadets at the squadron in Tulare, California, then Squadron 83 Commander in San Diego, California, and then Group 3 Commander, California Wing. At Rich’s first encampment in 1963, he was awarded the Outstanding Male Cadet Noncommissioned Officer trophy. At his second encampment in 1965, he served as the Cadet Wing Adjutant, with rank of Cadet Lt. Col. Rich was the Squadron Cadet Commander for many years, earning the Ira Eaker Award. He also received a CAP sponsored scholarship that allowed him to obtain his solo pilot rating.
When Rich turned 21, he let his CAP membership lapse as he turned his attention to attending AFROTC at San Diego State University to become an Air Force pilot. Rich resumed his membership in CAP as a senior member in October 1976, while assigned as a C-5 instructor/evaluator pilot at Travis AFB, California.
Rich relocated to the CAP Kelly Composite Squadron, Texas Wing, in San Antonio in 1985 when he transferred to Kelly AFB where he served as a C-5 evaluator pilot and Director of Operations at squadron and Wing levels. In 2001, Rich retired from the Air Force Reserve and the 433rd Airlift Wing as Operations Group Commander with the rank of Colonel. In 2008, he transferred to the CAP David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron in San Marcos. He became the Deputy Commander for Cadets, helping in many of the cadet training programs and contributed significantly to cadet and senior member training in emergency services, among other duties. He now serves also as Administrative and Personnel Officer for the San Marcos squadron and also for Texas Wing, Group V.
The San Marcos squadron commander, Capt. Mauricio Urquiola said, "Lt. Col. Ferguson is the welcome face for all parents, soon to be cadets, and senior volunteers at our squadron and has been a pillar for our squadron in the past decade. His dedication and unconditional support for all activities, and especially for the cadet program, has made him a role model for all of us in the squadron."