Civil air patrol

Discussion in 'OTS/OCS/PLC' started by smith95, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am thinking about joining CAP - not only would it look good on an ocs resume, but it seems like a great thing to do. The trouble is, I can’t find a lot of info out there. Has anyone done it and if so, what is it like? What would I do, specifically in the emergency response field (I believe you can work in any field)? What is the time commitment?

    I have spoken with representatives there, but couldn’t get a ton of info out of them.
     
  2. Airplane girl

    Airplane girl Member

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    I’ve been in CAP for around 4 and a half years, and it’s so amazing. I have learned so much about leadership, and I’ve had so many opportunities that I couldn’t even imagine having outside of CAP. I could literally write all day about CAP, but I’ll try and just answer your questions. In terms of emergency services, what you’d be doing specifically depends a lot on where your squadron is located. The main thing that CAP does is look for ELTs, which are emergency beacons from planes. There are also missing person and disaster relief missions. The specific type of mission and the frequency of missions depends a lot on geography. Because of this, the time commitment for emergency services can vary a lot depending on where you live. Where I live, there are typically 3-4 missions a year, but some places have a lot more and some places have practically none. The amount of training for emergency services also depends on where you live, although there are national emergency services training programs, too.

    Outside of emergency services, the time commitment for the squadron on a weekly basis is typically around 2 and a half hours for weekly meetings as well as maybe one or two weekend activities per month. If you have a staff position, though, there can be a lot of work planning and getting ready for meetings and activities.

    I hope that was helpful, please let me know if there’s anything else that you have questions about.
     
  3. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    That is helpful, thanks! What specifically do you do? Do you do emergency services or something else? I’m not sold on that, it just sounded interesting.

    Also, you mentioned leadership - what opportunities for leadership are there?
     
  4. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    Like any other EC, what you get out of CAP depends on how much you invest in CAP. I have seen some CAP cadets thrive and grow their leadership and others, simply hoping to pad their college/SA résumés, quit without much to show for their efforts. CAP requires both a significant time commitment each week and then at least six months before cadets are generally placed in entry-level leadership positions.

    I would suggest finding your local squadron (lookup at https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/) and then go to a meeting to see if would be a good fit for you.

    As an aside (IMHO) - I would not recommend participating in any EC simply because it would look good on a résumé. Do what you love - explore opportunities that you are passionate about...
     
  5. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I am aware that it would look good on a resume - but I also want to be involved in something that is service oriented, as well as build leadership and other skills.

    To clarify - I actually will be entering as an adult member, and the application I am referring to is OCS.
     
  6. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    Thanks for the clarification. While all squadrons operate under the same set of operating regulations, I've found each to have a different focus and level of engagement. I would recommend visiting one or more local squadrons and see if you can find a niche for your skills and interests.
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    If you still need info...

    I've been a CAP member for....43 years.

    "Still going...."

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  8. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    Yeah any info would be helpful - I have spoken with people there and still don’t have a clear picture of what I would do each Friday... I would be joining as an adult member, FYI. Thanks!
     
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Depending upon which area you choose to focus on, you could be working with the cadet program. There you'd be a mentor to cadets in junior high and high school. You could specialize in aerospace education and then teach classes, run operations for cadets, etc. If you choose to focus upon senior member activities, you'll be involved in a regular squadron that will become involved in search and rescue operations, as well as aerospace education to community members. There's a wide area of involvement for CAP members.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83