Civil Air Patrol

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Runner2020, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Runner2020

    Runner2020 Member

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    Anyone else on here currently in/has been in Civil Air Patrol? If so, how has it helped you in your experience either applying to, or being at the USAFA? Did Encampment (staff or basic) help you at all for BCT/BMT?

    Just in case you haven't heard of CAP, it's a cadet program similar to AFJROTC. I'm in both, so if you have any questions about either feel free to ask!
     
  2. Fyterpilot22

    Fyterpilot22 USAFA '13

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    I was in NJROTC and held many leadership positions. Having four years of JROTC/CAP helps tremendously as far as the military aspect. I already knew how to shine shoes, make my be, march, etc. They may be little things but having all the help you can get for BCT makes a huge difference and allows you to focus on other things like memorizing staff lists.

    When coming to BCT, I decided to play it safe and "dumb down" so that I wouldn't stand out in the eyes of cadre or my peers. I still helped my peers with shining shoes and such but I didn't make myself a target for cadre. :thumb:
     
  3. Runner2020

    Runner2020 Member

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    That's great to hear! And hopefully all that time you take learning how to make hospital corners gets applied. That took me the longest to master. :biggrin:
     
  4. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    Yes. I was in for 4 years and was a C/1st Lt. I went to PAWG Enc, staffed MEWG Enc, and attended E-tech and COS, as well as other miscellaneous events.

    For me, it was pretty decent prep, especially Encampment (from both ends). PAWG at the time I went was a relatively high-stress environment, so I knew I could handle yelling. Having staffed an Encampment (and done a lot of logistics work) I also was able to read my cadre pretty well.

    I'd say it was a real advantage for a week or so. After that, everyone had mostly figured out how to deal with basic and it wasn't a big deal. Now, any advantage I have from CAP is basically some general knowledge (AF ranks, etc), a general concept of aerospace history.

    And of course, don't mention that you were in CAP. Tell the truth if you're asked, but don't make a big deal of it. Invisibility is the goal.
     
  5. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Just a note on this...don't freak out about keeping it secret or flying under the radar. I was super stressed and spent way too much time worrying about my cadre's reactions if they did find out I was in CAP. They eventually did but they were super cool about it...I never caught any flak from any of them about it. Just do what they tell you to do and help your classmates out and you'll be fine.

    Besides, keep in mind that a good chunk of your cadre (about half for me) were in CAP/JROTC.
     
  6. Runner2020

    Runner2020 Member

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    That makes sense. I know between AFJROTC and CAP, they tend to not like it if you're committed in another program. While I was at SLS (or LLA, as it's called now), they was one other CAP cadet from a different squadron near mine, and he told me the same thing. If you don't mention it, they'll leave you alone.

    My first two years in AFJROTC however, were fueled by "Of course you know this! You're in CAP!" whenever I knew the drill or AE questions. Sometimes I wish it hadn't gotten out at all!
     
  7. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    CAP, JROTC and Prior Enlisted will all be targeted by cadre, but not always in a negative way. They are looking for maturity and experience to help guide your flight in the right direction. "Staying invisible" should mean stay humble, don't chime in on every Air Force subject they are teaching.

    Definitely NEVER correct the cadre in from of the flight. NEVER talk down to any of your flight mates about superior knowledge or experience.

    Never use the phrase: "When I was in CAP/JROTC/Prior Enlisted. . ." unless expressly asked by someone about your past experiences.

    It's possible the cadre might call on you to confirm things during one of their lectures to the flight. They might go on a long winded speech about the importance of properly using the chain of command and they say something to the affect of, ". . . isn't that right, Runner2020?". Sometimes your experiences may not align with what they're saying exactly. Don't worry about it, just nod your head and move on. If you absolutely need to correct a cadre make sure you address them privately.

    Like some one said earlier, the military advantage will fade within a week or two. The cadre will want to develop other basic cadets so don't be discouraged if you aren't picked for flight chief or whatever. The entire school is a leadership lab. The cadre are learning as well, they are going to make mistakes.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    Currently a CAP cadet. Current Eaker working on Spaatz, several encampments, the expected package. :cool:

    As a CAP cadet it definitely helped me with a lot of the smaller details, like drill and customs and courtesies. I had a little bit of a change as I'm Army ROTC, but I didn't feel completely foreign going in.

    That being said, it's still a big leap going from a junior to a senior program. There will still be much to learn, but like I said the familiarity helps get you off on the right foot.
     
  9. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    +1 to BlahuKahuna... didn't mean to imply that you should be overly worried if your cadre do find out. Just don't be "that guy"--the one who always knows (or thinks he knows) what's going on because he was in CAP. It's great, and you may have learned a lot, but live in the present--you WILL learn lots of new things, and they WILL do things differently, so be humble about it.
     

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