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Wing Commander

Colonel Rajesh Kothari

Colonel Rajesh Kothari is the Commander of the Michigan Wing of Civil Air Patrol (“CAP”).  He is responsible for the overall management and execution of CAP’s missions in Michigan and working with its 1,400 members, located in 39 units around the state.  As a Civil Air Patrol member for more than 35 years, Colonel Kothari has served across a variety of echelons and numerous roles, including beginning his CAP career as a cadet in 1981.

Prior to his appointment as Commander in September 2018, he served as the Commander for Group 705 in Southeast Michigan and as CAP’s Coordinator of National Cadet Special Activities providing oversight of CAP’s nearly 50 cadet special activities held around the country.  During his career, Colonel Kothari has served as CAP’s National Executive Officer, Activity Director – Cadet Officer School, Wing Vice Commander, Wing Chief of Staff, Group Commander, and two terms as a Squadron Commander.  He currently serves as the Chair of CAP’s Investment Committee and has served as the Chairman of the CAP Foundation.

In addition to his command leadership roles, Colonel Kothari has been an active participant in CAP’s emergency services operations as an Incident Commander and Ground Team Leader. He has served as an instructor at a number of local, state-wide and regional emergency services training programs.  He has participated in over 60 Emergency Services search and rescue missions as Incident Commander or Ground Team Leader with nearly a dozen distress finds and 2 saves.

Kothari has earned numerous commendations for his service, including Commanders Commendations, Meritorious Service Awards, an Exceptional Service Award and two Distinguished Service Awards.

Professionally, Kothari is the founder and Managing Director of Cascade Partners, an investment banking/private investment firm focused on middle market mergers & acquisitions. This is the third company that he has help found.  He serves/served on the Board of Directors of over a dozen businesses and non-profit organizations and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Colonel Kothari is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and currently holds Series 7, 9, 24 and 28 licenses from FINRA.

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