Captain Roman Vitanza
Captain Roman Vitanza is the current commander of the Fort Worth Phoenix Composite Squadron, he leads the senior member and cadet members of the unit in fulfilling the nonprofit organization's three primary missions of emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education. In its role as the Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol also is a member of the Total Force, filling a critical role in Defense Support of Civil Authorities that includes preserving life, relieving suffering, and providing training support.
Vitanza joined Civil Air Patrol in March 2017 a few weeks before graduating from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Joining the York County Composite Squadron, and then shortly afterward moved to Clemson, South Carolina to join the Anderson Composite Squadron. While volunteering with the Anderson Composite Squadron, he served multiple roles such as deputy commander for cadets, public affairs, IT, historian, and emergency services officer while serving as the South Carolina wing assistant public affairs officer. Upon moving to Texas, his membership transferred to the Fort Worth Phoenix Composite Squadron as a public affairs and cadet activities officer.
Vitanza received an appointment to serve as the public affairs officer for Texas Wing in December 2020, shortly afterward receiving an appointment to serve at the national level as a public affairs officer, working on projects such as the public affairs regulation changes, the national rebranding project, and the Public Affairs Commander's Dashboard.
Vitanza holds a senior mission observer rating, a level 3 incident commander, public information officer, and one of few domestic operations awareness and assessment response tool operators. He has earned the Paul E. Garber Award, two wing commander's commendations, two region commander's commendations, a graduate of the unit commander's course, the group commander's course, the AFRCC SAR Management course, the National Inland SAR Planning course, and the EOC Intermediate Operations Course, and is a full Volunteer University instructor. He holds a master rating in public affairs, and senior ratings in information technology, emergency services, and cadet programs, and has received his basic military emergency management system certification.
Outside of Civil Air Patrol, he works for American Airlines as a crew tracker, was a member of The Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia teaching English to grade-schoolers, holds active membership in Shriners International, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Association for Computing Machinery, The Public Relations Society of America, and the Fraternity Communications Association. He is a recipient of the President's Call to Service Lifetime Achievement Award, the MLK Jr. Drum Major of Service Award, the Marion Crum Fellowship Award, The Leon Levine Foundation Award, two Major Howell Balsem Public Affairs Achievement Awards, and numerous academic honors and awards such as membership in Upsilon Pi Epsilon and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
His wife, Aubrey Vitanza, is also a member of Civil Air Patrol