Civil Air Patrol

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Let'sGoFlying, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Let'sGoFlying

    Let'sGoFlying Member

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    I am a freshman in high school and was thinking about joining civil air patrol. I plane to go to the Air Force Academy to become an AF officer and to be a pilot; I am a student-pilot eager to be old enough to solo. Anyway, what is Civil Air Patrol, is it different from AFJROTC, and what do they do in CAP?
     
  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    I've been in CAP for about 4.5 years and have loved it. It's different from AFJROTC in some regards:squadrons are community based instead of school based, we have a different senior member (adult) program, and we have a bigger focus on Emergency Services.

    Both programs are AWESOME, don't get me wrong. But here are some cool things I've done in CAP:

    Visited the FBI Academy, CIA, and other relatively hard to access places in the DC area
    Spent over two weeks in Australia with international air cadets
    Attended seven encampments, six as staff (those are pretty cool)
    Worked outside for a week with AF Civil Engineers in Florida

    If you have any specific questions about CAP, let me know! I'm more than happy to talk about it, and you have more than enough time to get the Mitchell Award before you'll have all your interviews.
     
  3. ArielsMom

    ArielsMom Member

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    CAP - Great volunteer and leadership opportunities

    My DD, an AFROTC scholarship recipient this year (she did not apply to the AFA) has been a CAP member for five years and I cannot say enough good about the program.

    As stated by previous poster, it differs from AFJROTC in that it is a community (volunteer) based program. I would recommend it because:

    • Leadership opportunities are plentiful (she has been cadet commander, color guard commander, flight commander, etc.). You will have the leadership requirement the AFA is looking for fulfilled.

    • She has been to flight academy twice and soloed in a glider. Powered flight academy is also available as is hundreds of other training activities (nationally and internationally).

    • The cadets are involved in numerous service activities, many of them involving veterans. If your school requires service hours, CAP will fulfill that requirement.

    • There are purely social activities and I can assure you it is nice to have a group of friends outside of your school.

    • There are senior members (over 21) so CAP can become a lifelong commitment if you choose.
    Here's a link to DD's squadron (https://sites.google.com/a/utwg.org/blackhawk/home). Visit the "Squadron News" page for some of their recent activities. I can assure you if you join your local squadron you will not be disappointed.
     
  4. Republic_Commando

    Republic_Commando Member

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    Since your interested in becoming a pilot in the AF, this would be of great interest to you. I had the pleasure of spending a week down in Columbus AFB last summer courtesy of CAP, undergoing a week of simulated AF undergraduate pilot training. If you want to fly in the AF, I highly recommend this national cadet activity. The link below has a trailer with some of the cool things you might be doing down there. If you have any questions feel free to ask me.

    http://suptfc.com/
     
  5. JMS

    JMS Member

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    My DS is in CAP as a cadet. It is very much like Jr ROTC in many respects, but, as other posters have said, with a greater emphasis on emergency services/ search and rescue training. They also have a emphasis on aerospace education.
    All that aside, I feel it is a better option than JrROTC because (at least in our area) JrROTC is a school activity run during the school day. It is a level 3 (not college prep) class. One who is intending to go to a competitive college or Academy really can't afford to use school hours on level 3 classes that are not mandated. One needs level 1 and 2 classes for college prep. CAP is run in the community (outside of the school day) and is an extracurricular. Hence, one can gain the JrROTC experience without watering down the High School transcript.
     
  6. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    Attended SUPTFC in Columbus for CAP as well, only a year before you (2010). Great activity with great instructors.
     
  7. Shurstell

    Shurstell Member

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    If you have an opportunity and desire to do both CAP and AFJROTC, take both. You will be able to advance more quickly through the CAP ranks if you are also an AFJROTC cadet. Also, if the two organizations are not already communicating, you can begin that process and improve both units by sharing community service opportunities and, more importantly, experiences and ideas. Not only is this good for the organizations, but it is also very good for your community.
     
  8. Shurstell

    Shurstell Member

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    I agree that it's important to take higher level classes to be considered competitive, but if the AFJROTC unit at his school is active, it would be a great addition to the OP's resume. CAP units are usually smaller than AFJROTC units and do not share the same level of competitiveness for leadership as does AFJROTC. Also, having four years with an AFJROTC Distinguished Unit w/ Merit pretty much guarantees a person a nomination to USAFA.
     
  9. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Honestly, I wouldn't try and do two cadet programs. If you have time for two cadet programs, you certainly have time to study more, play sports, volunteer, and study more. I would find the one that fits your life and your schooling situation the best.

    There are some great benefits to joining two cadet programs, but I'm not sold that it's the best use of time for someone who wants an academy appointment. I would find one and really devote all my energy to it.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Or you could realize that only 8% of an academy class was in CAP, and only 11% of the class was in JrROTC. Which means, do CAP or JrROTC if you want to. Do it because you like it. Do it because it's part of who you are. Don't do it because you think it's somehow going to give you an edge over someone else. Below is the profile of a typical academy class. This is for the class of 2015. (Last year's class). As you can see, all sorts of people come to the academy. The one thing that is much higher than anything else is varsity letter in sports. 82% of the class was a varsity letter recipient in at least 1 sport.

    Remember, you aren't competing against a chart where you fill in the squares. You're competing against other people. If a competitor is also the class president; NHS; Boy/Girl's State; Band; Varsity sport captain; AP/IB 4.0gpa; with all the high SAT/ACT and volunteer time; etc... JrROTC or CAP isn't going to help much if that's all you have. On the other hand, you could be competing with a group of individuals at your district or state level that isn't nearly as good as you.

    Do the things you do because you want to. Not because you think they'll get you a leg up to an appointment. It won't. Here's the 2015 profile if you care. Best of luck.

    Class President 11%
    Class Vice-President 6%
    Valedictorian 8%
    Salutatorian 3%
    National Honor Society 65%
    Boys’/Girls’ State or Nation Representative 22%
    Yearbook/Newspaper (Editor or Business Mgr) 8%
    Yearbook/Newspaper (Other Staff Mbr) 10%
    Debate Team 6%
    Dramatic Production 16%
    Band or Orchestra 24%
    Chorus/Glee Club 9%
    Boy/Girl Scouts 26%
    Eagle Scout/Gold Award 12%
    JROTC Cadet 11%
    Civil Air Patrol 8%
    Academic Bowl Team 11%
    Athletic Letter Awards (1 or More/Any Sport) 82%
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Here's my "short version" and opinion...

    I'm a 37 year member of CAP; started as a cadet, did ALL the "biggie programs" including the International Air Cadet Exchange. It was a GREAT assist to my leadership "opportunities" outside of sports and school. And of course, learning the "military way" was great.

    Did it "open any doors" or "assure me" of my appointment?

    I think the fact that I have TWE's from ALL the SA's from my senior year of HS should answer that question.

    It is a SUPERB program, I love it, I reach it to cadets and senior members, and I'll stick with it until I push daisies. But it won't assure you of a single thing.

    So...if you are TRULY interested in it, we'd welcome you; it could turn into a lifelong passion!!!

    But don't do it JUST for the academy...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    CAP was a great program for my kids, and especially for homeschoolers or kids who don't have the opportunity for JROTCs in their schools, it is a doorway to leadership opportunities and friendship with people of similar interests.

    One of the best things, to my mind, about CAP is the fact that it is NOT school related. You do it because you WANT to do it, not because your school offers it and you'd rather be in CAP than dance team.
     
  13. Adrian S

    Adrian S Member

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    CAP and USAFAPS

    I can say that my daughter has been a member of CAP for the past five years and agree with all of the positive statements that CAP has to offer. My daughter joined when she was in 7th grade because she wants to fly. The experiences, and education she has received in CAP have been exceptional. She will be attending USAFAPS in July.

    I am going to "throw" this question out there... to see if anyone may have the answer... My daughter recently promoted to C/2nd Lt and received her Billy Mitchell Award. I understand, that after BMT she will be a paygrade of E-1... Will her CAP Award enable her to earn E-2?

    Thank you.
     
  14. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    All direct entry Cadet Candidates have the same rank and their pay is set by law.
     
  15. Adrian S

    Adrian S Member

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    CAP and USAFAPS

    2BORNOT2B... yes and no.. CAP is the "official auxiliary" of the USAF, and as such: "Cadets who receive the General Billy Mitchell Award are also eligible for advanced placement to the grade of E-3 (Airman First Class) should they choose to enter the US Air Force..."

    I'm not sure if/how this applies to the PS or not?
     
  16. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    The Air Force Academy Prep school is not Active duty Air Force. Different rules.
     
  17. Adrian S

    Adrian S Member

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    CAP and USAFAPS

    The "preppies" will be taking the Air Force Oath of Enlistment upon arrival at the Prep School... This "oath means they are then a member of the Air Force Reserve in the rank of Airman Basic (E-1)." ???

    The USAFA PREPARATORY SCHOOL IN-PROCESSING WORKSHEET also asks whether they are member of CAP and whether the kids have earned the Billy Mitchell or Amelia Earhart Award?

    Do you know for sure, or are you posting an "educated guess"?
     
  18. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    I took this from page 28 of the Instructions to Prep Selectees Package.

    So, regardless of the Billy Mitchell Award, your daughter will be receiving that pay.
     
  19. Let'sGoFlying

    Let'sGoFlying Member

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    Thanks ChristCorp

    I love flying and aviation, so that is the reason I'm thinking about CAP. Thanks for the info and stats!:smile:
     

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