Joining CAP in senior year?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TitoRocket, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. TitoRocket

    TitoRocket Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I just started my senior year in high school, and I was wondering if my joining Civil Air Patrol this late could be held against me? I feel as if it looks like I'm doing it just to check off another item on my list.

    However, that is not the case. I really only found out what CAP is in the latter half of this year's summer. I remember regretting not joining ROTC in school, as I really wanted to dedicate a part of my life to a military lifestyle. When I found out that CAP fit in my schedule, and I was still able to join, I jumped on the opportunity.

    I really love it so far, and being with like-minded people (I finally met two other USAFA hopefuls!) is something that I would have given anything for. However, I am nervous that the admissions board would not see it this way; that I am just doing it because it 'looks good'. Should I even make it known that I was in CAP, for this really brief amount of time?

    I intend to devote as much time as I can to it, and maybe I can prove my sincerity with dedication? I truly wish I could've known about it and joined earlier in my life (one of the cadet's recent experiences in it was amazing to listen to). In this case, ignorance was definitely, definitely not bliss.
     
  2. HopefulCadet-2018

    HopefulCadet-2018 New Member

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    Do it. As a fellow CAP Cadet, I would say that it's probably one of the best things I've ever joined, and if you already love it and are willing to put in the work, then there is no reason not to do it. Also, there is a lot that you can do, even in just a year.

    Also, if for some reason you don't get accepted to the Air Force Academy on the first try, you'll have another year that that you can work to achieve what you want to Civil Air Patrol. From what I've heard, you can still be a cadet if you are either at an academy, in ROTC, or in the reserves, although you probably won't have much time to spare.

    Anyway, I hope this helped, and I'm really glad that from the sound of it, you like Civil Air Patrol as much as I do.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would suggest you take a moment to step back and understand the WCS system.

    CAP is great, do it if you love it, but do not put more into it than that. It is not as if they are going to say OMG this candidate is in CAP, he must want it more than the candidate that isn't, appt him, never mind their WCS. Not trying to be rude, I am trying to illustrate that your perception that it shows sincerity towards dedication because you are in CAP is not going to get you an appointment. Sincerity is not awarded pts to the WCS.

    Highest WCS wins. ECs are part of that score. Take the time to understand how the AFA views ECs. However, remember it is a smaller % of the score than your PAR. The reason it is called Whole Candidiate Score is because it is every facet.

    You can be in CAP, but if your cgpa, SAT is low or you bust the CFA, you hurt your WCS, and as much as you are dedicated or sincere, it won't get you an apptmt.

    FWIW, also realize if you are doing AFROTC scholarship as plan B, they do not include anything after your jr yr. It would not count towards your AFROTC WCS.
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I don't believe either candidate implied this in any way.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Packer, you may be correct, but this is what I read
    Hence, why I said, do it if you love it, don't do it if you think that somehow it proves sincerity or dedication.

    I say it all the time, the problem with forums like this is we can mis-read the posters intention.

    You took it one way, I took it another, in the end the OP could have meant it a different way.
     
  6. Seamonkeydo

    Seamonkeydo Member

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    I believe the question was, will it look bad (not good), as if the person was doing it to check off a square.

    Does anyone have an answer to the question? Would the powers that be read into the recent involvement as a negative?
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    When you look at a resume, you look at the entire package, and you try and form an opinion of the "Whole Person". If a person didn't have a lot of activities, sports, clubs, etc... on their resume and they took up CAP, JrROTC, Scouts, etc... in their senior year; it could be perceived as someone doing it just to pump up their resume. Most of these activities are the type that takes years to master and build up levels of leadership and increased responsibility.

    On the other hand, if a person already has a kick butt resume where they play 2 or more varsity sports and have varsity letters for 2 or more years; has leadership positions in clubs, activities, etc..., has a lot of volunteer time, etc...; it could be perceived that the individual simply enjoys being involved with a lot of activities and assuming their grades are good, is very good at managing their time.

    But the 2 most important things are: 1) Do it; or anything; because you WANT TO. Don't worry how it's perceived. 2) Most board members will strictly score you on your achievements. There's not a lot of room for scoring you lower because of perception. In other words; it might not help you to be in CAP or another similar activity only for 1 year; but it most times won't hurt you either. So, if you want to do it, then do it. If you don't really want to and are doing it to make your resume look better, then you'd be better off trying to excel MORE in an activity you're already in, or improving your GPA or ACT/SAT scores. Remember, there are HUNDREDS of activities you could possibly do. CAP, JrROTC, Scouts, etc... (With the MANY YEARS normally involved), won't gain you any more points than another activity that you spent years in and achieved equally high leadership roles in. In other words, it's not like CAP is worth 10 points and marching band is only worth 5 points and FBLA is only worth 3 points. It doesn't work that way. Everyone has different interests. The academy wants and expects that diversity. They don't want just ALL football players who are in CAP, JrROTC, and Scouts. They want the swimmers, soccer players, track, band, spanish club, young Republican/Democrats, Math club, etc... WHAT you do isn't important. HOW WELL you do it and how well you ADVANCE in it; IS IMPORTANT.
     
  8. TitoRocket

    TitoRocket Member

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    Sorry about the vagueness of my post; I should've clarified 'sincerity' as "sincerity in CAP". :redface:

    Thanks for the WCS info though Pima! I think I was just too hung up on the EC facet of it (it's really the only thing that's still dynamic for me right now; the other facets of physical and academics are pretty cut and dry in comparison).

    And thanks Christcorp! I'm relieved that they score it via progress in an activity. I just wish I were a year younger and in CAP, it's the one thing I look forward to in the hectic schedule of being a Senior.
     

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