Civil Air Patrol

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by A299, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. A299

    A299 Member

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    Hello all, I am a junior in HS and I was just curious about joining a local (around 40 min away) Civil Air Patrol program. Considering I am already a junior with not much time to gain leadership in the program, would it still be beneficial for me to be involved in the program anyway? I really want to join the group but I also don't want to 'waste' time on CAP when I could be gaining leadership in my other extra curricular activities.
     
  2. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    My DS is a junior too and has been in CAP for the last 4 years. He is the Deputy Commander of his Squardon. It is a great activity, and one learns a lot about leadership, civic duty, aerospace, and search/rescue. I would wholeheartedly recommend CAP to anyone. You can fly planes too! However, to be honest, in your case, I wouldn't recommend it. It seems as though your sole motive is to add to your leadership credentials for the purposes of applying to the AFA. Given the short period of time that you have and the periods in between rank promotions, you wouldn't be able to achieve any leadership positions. Also, I believe an Admissions Officer can see that you joined at the last minute. I think you should do activities you want because you have a genuine interest and not to look good for your application. Best wishes to you.
     
  3. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I joined CAP as a junior and held two fairly significant staff positions by the time I applied to USAFA. While the leadership opportunities vary greatly by squadron, it is likely that senior members will consider older cadets for leadership positions sooner than their younger counterparts. Also, I personally don't think that starting something in your junior year is "last minute", especially if you get heavily involved. I don't mean to contradict Padre, but I would definitely consider CAP if you have the time to swing an 80 minute round trip once or twice a week (unless there is another good new activity closer to home that you could use those 80 minutes on ;)).

    P.S. So long as you are under 18, you do indeed get to fly planes AND gliders! :smile:
     
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  4. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    WBY, your experience and viewpoint are appreciated. I think the key is getting heavily involved and putting your heart into it.
     
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  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    If you are joining CAP for a resume check-off - your lack of dedication will be duly noted. If you LOVE what they do, are dedicated, and passionate, what difference will it really make (not quoting Hillary here :biglaugh:) ? Do what you LOVE, and your passion will show. OK, you are late in the game, yes. But it is a great experience anyway.
     
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  6. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    My DD was never in CAP and she got an appointment. CAP helps - just like any other activity which highlights your leadership and teamwork skills. Remember, CAP isn't available everywhere and to everyone.

    You may be better off continuing in whatever sports/clubs/community services in which are already involved and gain leadership positions in those activities. Focus on those things that interest you.
     
  7. grelyk97

    grelyk97 New Member

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    I joined CAP when I was turning 15. I have to say it put me on the track to apply to USAFA and become an Airmen. I've only been in for 3 years now, but I put my heart into it because I love the program. That shows on my resume, as I am attending my 8th wing encampment this winter.

    You get out what you put in. If your extracurriculars are already good, I wouldn't overload yourself and get burned out. But if you'd like to have a chance to put on a uniform beforehand and learn a lot, I'd say absolutely! The dedication level is the deciding factor.
     
  8. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I know on here you read a lot about the big 4 leadership topics (CAP, JrROTC, Team Captain, Girl/Boy State) but keep in mind those aren't the only places to show leadership. People tend to tie their leadership to big organizational names but that doesn't' have to be the case. Organize a group of your friends and go clean the park that's leadership as well. Start a club school and run it, leadership.. check! Start a food drive run one at your church.

    One of the key things to being a good leader at your age is to find something you love and mange projects within that love.

    Don't get me wrong you'll more than likely love CAP and you should try it out to see if you will but not for putting it on a resume.
     
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  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    In a nut shell, and paraphrasing what some others have already said.

    Forget the academy or college and their applications. If neither was a factor, and you wanted to do CAP, then do it. That's the only thing that matters.

    If applying to the academy or a college application has any bearing whatsoever on you wanting to do CAP, then you're doing it for the wrong reason. Don't do it.

    Do the things you love and you have a passion for. In all of those, you can find leadership opportunities. That will help your application. Just as much, if not MORE, than doing CAP.

    If you choose to do any activity, because you think it's going to help your application, then most likely you're doing that activity for the wrong reason. And it will show.
     

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