Significance of Civil Air Patrol on application

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Np46201, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Np46201

    Np46201 New Member

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    I would assume that the air Force academy would give some credit to involvement in CAP, but to what extent? Currently, I am a C/SMSgt and hold several leadership roles at my squadron, but I intend to be a C/2ndLt by late June. Hypothetically, if I were not a cadet officer when I applied, would that discount me in any way? or should I wait for my promotion to mention my involvement.
    Thanks for any advice!
     
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  2. cadetcmoody

    cadetcmoody New Member

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    Absolutely put it on your application. Your AF app will be due much later on in the year, and in that time you may be able to make C/Captain (assuming you stay on top of promotions). Most importantly: take any leadership positions as possible. ‘Officer’ is a title, but saying you’re a flight commander, or were a First Sergeant makes a big difference.

    As far as if you’re not a cadet, I would encourage you to keep pursuing CAP, but it won’t make a difference (to my knowledge). If you cannot handle a para-military organization like CAP, then reconsider the academy since Officership is the goal, not the diploma.

    In summary, promote and get leadership positions. CAP gives you a huge benefit of exposing you to leadership opportunities, it’s on you to seize those. Explore AFROTC as well, if you want to show you WANT to be an AF officer.
     
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  3. hotshotberad

    hotshotberad Member

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    I’m no expert but I think the difference between being a C/SMSgt and C/2Lt will be very minimal when applying to the Academy.

    They’re definitely more interested in your school grades and standardized test scores then extra curricular activities.

    When they look at your extra stuff like CAP they’re going to be looking at how long you were in the program and what leadership positions you took, and maybe what activities you took part in, not your cadet rank/grade.
     
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  4. afrotc2022

    afrotc2022 Member

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    Agree w/ the last 2 posts completely. I am a C/Col in CAP and a USAFA candidate. I'm assuming you'll be applying for class of 2023?

    Not being a C/Officer will not "discount" you, but there should be a check-box that says "Mitchell/C/2dLt"...and you can't check it if you didn't get it. But don't try to hide that you're in CAP; even being in as a C/Amn is better than nothing. Get credit for every little thing you did in H.S. There's a lot of things that may seem small to you that USAFA may like.

    Definitely push for those promotions! IMPO, promotions are the backbone of the CAP Cadet Program...there are dividends for those who do their best to get promoted (i.e. scholarships, leadership positions, etc.) Still, you gotta DO stuff. They don't care if you got a 100% on your Mitchell AE test, they care if you can lead people. So yes, seek leadership positions. If you can tell your ALO "I led a flight of 15 cadets through a week-long encampment", that's a big plus!

    Still, school is much more important. Yeah, I was able to put that I was a Spaatzen on my app, but they want to see that I can lead people and do well in school (which is what you do at the Academy). If I passed a comprehensive test of CAP knowledge and can wear 3 diamonds...so what? I know CAP really well, and that's it.

    Bottom line: work hard in CAP and tell USAFA about it. But don't rely on that to get you into USAFA. Still, it definitely helps; not just for admissions, but down the road you'll be pulling out skills you learned years before.

    Good luck! (Feel free to PM me if you want CAP tips!)
     
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  5. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    My DS has been active in CAP, and as afrotc2022 just stated, being able to write "I led a flight of 15 cadets through a week long encampment" will go a LONG way, especially if your leadership was successful. Go after these opportunities, send in the applications for them, and keep up with your application. Show that you are truly interested in the position(s) you go for. Our Wing in our state is very large and it isn't easy to be selected for the spot you want. Also, your grade (rank) determines what positions you are eligible for come encampment time, so if you rocket through the grades, you may actually miss out on some very satisfying hands-on leadership positions. My DS missed one encampment, and our Wing cancelled another, so by the time he could get a leadership slot, his rank was actually too high to be an NCO at encampment and he was locked out from this. He did manage to become a flight Commander when he got his Mitchell, and to this day, this was his favorite encampment. When he ranked higher, he got what he felt were relatively useless positions. There simply aren't as many good slots for the higher ranking officers to fill, and sometimes filling them can be political. Just something we learned. This last winter he served as Stan/Eval (he has Eaker) and he said that he really enjoyed that job. lol!! (I'll bet!)

    My DS was also able to secure spots at national special activities, like Cadet Officer School at Maxwell AFB (around 120 cadets nationwide selected) and Civic Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C. (24 cadets nationwide selected). These activities involved a week or two of relative independence far away from home, and the Cadet Officer School, in particular, was academically intense. I would have to say it was like being at college, with dorm rooms, reading and written assignments, speeches to prepare and deliver before the group, etc. These two activities, in particular, are impressive, develop a lot of maturity, and I would be surprised if they didn't help his application a lot.

    But also, as mentioned, there are check boxes on the application form specifically for the Mitchell Award, the Earhart Award, and the Spaatz Award (there is no checkbox for the Eaker Award) so it must matter some to the Academy if you managed to earn these, too. For my DS, CAP was his real exposure to military style customs and courtesies and leadership and he likes it. It contributed to his desire to attend USAFA.
     
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  6. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    When reviewing the Class of 2021 Demographics, CAP came in @ 9% approx 110 cadets out of 1200. Obviously if you are in it, let the AFA know but...it's about achieving the best WCS...IMO, CAP is not as big of a deal as some think it is. I think community service, or working while attending HS, etc. weigh more. It's just an opinion & everyone is allowed to have one as well as you can disagree, but I just don't see it in the #'s. I wouldn't put all my eggs in CAP (or any other basket), it's the WCS.
    Do the best you can on the SAT/ACT. Participate in Athletics, be in the National Honor Society, evidently Boys/Girls Scouting is appreciated, etc. Read one of the several books out there about getting into a SA. If those authors say that CAP is a highly rated program, I will stand corrected, surprised, but corrected. Good luck.

    http://www.neoafapa.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/2021_-_Demographic_Profiles.224160126.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    CAP involvement adds direct points to a WCS.

    Community service hours add no points unless you are a leader of a community service project and that is counted in your leadership score.

    Working in HS adds no points to the WCS. The only effect it would have would be a boost in their score due to having to work because of a unique family situation that may have prevented participation in other extracurriculars.

    Stealth_81
     
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  8. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Good points. CAP steady at approx. 10% of last couple of classes.
     
  9. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    The fact that CAP appears as an activity on only 10% of a typical incoming USAFA class does not necessarily imply its relative insignificance as a leadership training organization. Another 12% of the incoming class were JROTC cadets. Between the two organizations, this is more than 1 in 5 incoming cadets. The reason CAP is the less represented of the two organizations may be because they don't have much - or any - presence on high school campuses. You have to go out of your way to be involved in CAP, attending weekly meetings and events which are off-site from high school. I still run into people who know about JROTC - have it in their school - but have never heard of CAP. Also, many who are already active in JROTC at their high school do not feel the need to also be active in CAP, which appears from the outside to be very similar (although there are many who are in both organizations). CAP can be demanding on your time.

    The leadership opportunities provided by CAP are many and varied and highly relevant to learning about the Air Force mission. If you like CAP, by all means go for it and become as involved in leadership as you can. There is a wide variety of ways you can lead, and many squadrons offer opportunities such as CyberPatriot teams that introduce cadets to highly desired skills in today's Air Force and corporate world. USAFA is looking for candidates with leadership aptitude and CAP is an excellent place to get a chance to flex your leadership muscles. I am not sure our DS would have received his appointment were it not for his extensive contributions in CAP.
     
  10. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Stealth: If you are/were an ALO in prior years when ALO's could view a candidates' WCS, could you comment on the importance of CAP then? Thanks.
     
  11. toms663

    toms663 5-Year Member

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    First off I have no knowledge about the acceptance of CAP Cadets into usafa. However, I been an instructor and mentor to a team that made it to Nationals of CyberPatriot from CAP and a Officer in CAP. In 4 years, two members from CyberPatriot have applied to usafa and one is at prep now, and is doing really well. This year there are two who have applied and are waiting. Both were officers and have extensive experience. My son is one of them. My daughter, who didnt do CAP, is a C1C at usafa (Senior). She really wishes she did! Out of our squadron in 4 years I count 6 members applying and two are in, with a third trying again. I think CAP preps cadets well, and if they get to do things like CP its really a help with STEM. I am not sure if anyone at usafa really cares that my son made it to nationals of cyberpatriot but whatever he does in life he has a strong back ground in stem for it.
     
  12. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Our DS will be the fourth member of his local CAP squadron (a relatively small squadron!) to attend USAFA in recent years. Three of them are there now. Basically, anybody from his squadron who applied to USAFA in the last 3 years got an appointment. One year, there were two cadets at the same time. Not an exceptional amazing squadron, really. Just exceptional young men.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  13. jeffinCharlotte

    jeffinCharlotte Member

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    The big difference with CAP importance now is it is now part the Air Force total force and is part of the chain of command as of the last three years. That is huge! You are considered part of the Air Force as a volunteer/cadet as young as 12! There is no other EC that prepares you better for being in the military in my opinion. A lot of new boy/girl scouts are leaning towards CAP now if their dream is a service academy and particularly USAFA. And for the low percentage of 9% of any given class is that you have to go out of your way to find CAP. More people know about Scouting or JROTC. The opportunities in CAP are 2nd to none if you seek them out. I have 4 middle and high schoolers and as a parent-of all ECs I have been a part of CAP is the best. Get your Mitchell and seek leadership positions! But like said above it really does depend on your squadron. We are in a great squadron and it is almost like being in the Air Force itself. And if you want to fly it is the only EC you should do!
     
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  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    How significant is CAP? It's as significant as you WANT it to be. Just having an entry on your application that says you were in CAP, isn't significant by itself. Same with asking if JrROTC, Scouts, Band, Sports, Clubs, etc. are significant on your application.

    Many people have on their application that they played sports, were in JrROTC, etc. And basically, it showed that they simply "Participated". If you want CAP, or BAND, or SPORTS, or CLUBS, or JrROTC, or ANYTHING to be SIGNIFICANT on your application, then you need to show that you did MORE than JUST PARTICIPATED. EVERYTHING comes BACK to LEADERSHIP!!!

    Were you a "Team Captain"? Did you get the Billy Mitchell Award in CAP? Were you a COMMANDER in JrROTC? Were you a section leader, drum major, or other positions of advancement in BAND? Did you make Life or Eagle Scout in Scouts? There are 50+ players on a football team. Not ALL of them are equal. There are approximately 33,000 Senior Members in CAP; Not ALL of them are equal.

    CAP, as well as MANY OTHER activities CAN be very SIGNIFICANT on your academy application. But that all depends on what you did in that activity. If all you did was PARTICIPATE, then it will mean very little. You would have been better of being involved in a different activity that you are PASSIONATE ABOUT, and therefor were MORE INVOLVED. As a leader, as a team member, as a mentor to younger members, someone who made an IMPACT to the activity.

    CAP is a very good activity. So is JrROTC, Scouts, Band, Theater, Sports, volunteering, school officers, high school clubs, etc. But what's important, is that you are involved in activities that you are passionate about, excel in it, succeed as a leader in it, and make a difference. It's easy to see the difference between someone who is passionate and someone who simply participates.

    DON'T TRY AND LOOK FOR SQUARES TO FILL IN ON YOUR APPLICATION. THEY DON'T EXIST!!!

    Admissions, ALOs, MOCs, etc. have been doing this a while. They know the difference.

    Best of luck.
     
  15. HiSpeedLoDrag

    HiSpeedLoDrag Member

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    CAP is an amazing "secret" which is becoming more well-known. We are an AF family and didn't know much about it until our then-12 yo joined. Now 18, DS has had amazing experiences, including soaring in gliders, leading a flight of Royal Air Force Air Cadets in the UK, and learning under the tutelage of PJ, CRO, and SERE cadre. His passion for CAP fueled his desire to attend a service academy as well as help new CAP cadets thrive with the opportunities. On the flip side, CAP also helped many prior teens know this was what they DID NOT want!
     
  16. jeffinCharlotte

    jeffinCharlotte Member

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  17. MommaFalcon22

    MommaFalcon22 Member

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    Couldn’t agree more. My DS started CAP his sophomore year in High School. Moved up the ranks quickly, did his O-flight, did a Spring Encampment at GLNA, earned several awards including the Billy Mitchell Award, Cadet of the year and Flight Honor Cadet. Was offered a Falcon Scholarship, attended an accredited prep school, got his PPL and is now a C4C at USAFA and a candidate for the Flying Team. He also made some tough (and strategic) choices and had to lay other interests to the side to focus on what would help him with his appointment. He did the extra trainings, volunteer work and community service. Point being, if you’re gonna go for it, GO for it!!
     
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  18. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    I'm a <<<gasp>>> 44 year member of CAP...

    I know it helped me in my application to USAFA and was beneficial when I was a cadet.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  19. parktrack

    parktrack "Hoov!" "Target In Sight"

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    Somewhat deviating from the CAP angle, I was surprised to see that Boys/Girls State was on the same line as Eagle Scout (and maybe CAP too, don't recall) when my DS filled out his application. We were often advised by people with some military background that Eagle Scout was almost a requirement for successful application and acceptance to an Academy. Found it interesting that Boys/Girls State was grouped with these other activities, thus implying that it carried the same weight. (FWIW, DS was neither and Eagle Scout or participated in CAP.)

    The real takeaway, as others have discussed, is not so much that an applicant attended but what leadership roles did you take while participating. For example, if an applicant attended Boys/Girls State, what office did you hold?
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    If you do a little research, you can look at ANY of the Class Profiles. You'll find that only about 10% of all cadet entering the academy were Eagle Scouts. You'll find that only about 10-13% were in JrROTC or CAP. If you look at some of my many posts on this topic, you'll see where I EMPHASIZE, "PASSION". Do what you're PASSIONATE about. Don't join CAP, JrROTC, Scouts, etc. because you're trying to "FILL A SQUARE". It doesn't work that way. CAP, JrROTC, Scouts, are ALL great programs. I was involved in ALL of them. But you have to be involved because you WANT TO. If you're passionate, you'll excel. You'll obtain leadership positions. You will learn the maturing qualities that these activities have to offer. If you don't have passion, it will be quite obvious to your ALO and the review board. They can tell.

    Now; for some other stats to prove the point. As I said; only 10-13% of cadets were Eagle Scouts, or in JrROTC, and CAP. Guess how many were involved with BAND or ORCHESTRA????? 21%. How many involved in the school newspaper or yearbook??????? 12%. Boy's/Girl's STATE??????? 17%. Do you notice a trend?????? NONE ARE BETTER THAN THE OTHERS!!!!! Ready for "What the Key Is?"

    IT'S WHAT YOU DO with the activity that makes it BETTER OR NOT!!!!! Excel in it..... it's BETTER. Don't excel....... it's NOT. Become a leader in it...... it's BETTER. Don't become a leader....... it's NOT... GOT IT?????

    Of course, there are SOME attributes/activities of a cadet that are pretty universal. Considering the academy is in the top universities in the country.

    National Honor Society: 65% of the cadets were in it.
    High School Athletic Letter Award: 81% of the cadets got it. (More than 90% of cadets PLAYED High School Sports)

    This is real simple. DON'T TRY AND FILL BLOCKS.
    1. Be involved in TEAM activities; especially SPORTS
    2. Have excellent grades and test scores.
    3. Be passionate about all you do with activities.
    4. Be involved in your community
    5. Excel in EVERYTHING you are involved in
    6. BE A LEADER.