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142nd FW CGO Council cleans up local park

142nd FW CGO council cleans up local park

142nd Fighter Wing Company Grade Officer (CGO) Council members, Capt. Miles Dodge, Capt. Amy Aranda, 2nd Lt. Kalene Kaplan, and Capt. Christopher Young pose for a photo during a cleanup event at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Ore., September 6, 2019. (courtesy photo)

142nd FW CGO Council cleans up local park

142nd Fighter Wing Company Grade Officer (CGO) Council member, Capt. Amy Aranda, clears an invasive plant species from Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Ore., September 6, 2019. (courtesy photo)

PORTLAND, ORE. --

The Company Grade Officer (CGO) Council organized a clean-up event with Portland Parks and Recreation. On Friday, September 6th, the group helped clear an invasive plant species from Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, located approximately one mile from Portland Air National Guard (PANG) Base.

The CGO Council located at PANG consists of five volunteers: Capt. Miles Dodge, 142nd Force Support Squadron; Capt. Christopher Young, 142nd Fighter Wing; Capt. Amy Aranda, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; 1st Lt. Leo Short, 142nd Maintenance Group; and 2nd Lt. Kalene Kaplan, 142nd Maintenance Group. 

The CGO Council has been volunteering in the local community for the past two years. Last year, the Council built and donated a tiny house through an outside organization that works to support homeless veterans. The house was constructed on base over the course of several months, and donated in November 2018.

The CGO Council’s members range in rank from O-1 (2nd Lieutenant) to O-3 (Captain). Capt. Aranda has been a member since she transferred to PANG in spring of 2014.

“I was motivated to join the Council as a way of meeting people at PANG,” said Aranda. “A fellow CGO invited me to a meeting and I’ve been involved ever since.” 

In addition to being a great way for qualified officers to meet and collaborate with individuals outside of their shops, the Council offers professional development opportunities for its members. It also strives to create opportunities for Airmen outside the Council.

The CGO Council is responsible for organization of the 2016 Contemporary Base Issues (CBI) Course at Camp Withycombe, located in Clackamas County, Oregon; as well as the 2016 U.S. Air Force Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) presentation at PANG.

The CBI course offered officers, Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), and future leaders the opportunity to collaborate with one another in order to identify and respond to contemporary base issues. The PACE presentation was a course titled “Professionalism: Enhancing Human Capital,” that focused on the use of self-reflection as a means of becoming better friends, parents, spouses, coworkers, and leaders. Both events impacted hundreds of service members’ careers. 

For Aranda, being part of the CGO Council has allowed her to work with other motivated service members, serve the local community, and help other service members to advance their careers.