Calling all Americans!
Do you like serving your community? Do you like flying? Do you like to honor America?
If you can answer yes to any of those questions, I have an awesome program for you. That program is called, “Civil Air Patrol”.
Civil Air Patrol, (CAP), is a nonprofit organization that specializes in Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs.
CAP’s Cadet Program teaches cadets ages 12-18 about aviation, search and rescue, leadership, character development, and so much more! If you choose to join, your life will be changed forever. You get to meet new, incredible people, challenge yourself in leadership, and open yourself up to so many awesome opportunities that can help you pursue a career in aviation. I love this program. I am so proud to have been in here for four years and counting. I have had so many of the best experiences in CAP.
Here’s one of the best parts!
You can fly! That’s right. You, yourself, with the controls of a small airplane. And for the low, low cost of free! As a CAP cadet, you get five free flights in a powered aircraft and five free flights in a glider. Each flight teaches you a different skill such as basic controls, attitude flying, weather, navigation, and more.
Here are a couple of pictures of me flying! See for yourself:
Civil Air Patrol was founded on December 1, 1941, six days before the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Since then, CAP and its over 66,000 members has rescued over 85,000 individuals (a number that is increasing each year). CAP is called to assist in many single aircraft accidents across America, using one of the largest fleets of single, piston engine aircraft in the world.
What are meetings like?
For example, in my squadron, each week has a different focus area.
The first week is Emergency Services. We learn and practice search and rescue tasks and work towards ground team qualifications.
The second week is Aerospace Education. We learn about different aerospace topics. Anything from aircraft instruments to space, to how lift occurs, and others are part of our AE meetings.
The third meeting of the month is PT (physical training). This week is dedicated to helping cadets develop healthy lifestyles. We have a physical fitness test that cadets take to earn promotions. This is an easy enough test if you’re decently fit. The core events consist of push ups, sit ups, and a mile run.
The fourth week is our character development and awards meeting. At these meetings, we recognize cadets with awards that they’ve earned, promotions in rank, etc. We also hold character development classes with related games for cadets to grow as people and leaders.
This is the basic information of my squadron’s monthly routine. Each squadron probably does it differently, but this is a good thing to base meetings off of. As my squadron’s cadet commander, this is a great system and cadets learn a lot.
Will I be yelled at a lot?
No. You will not be yelled at at meetings. However, we do have an activity called “encampment” that you can go to. These encampments are like age appropriate basic training. The intensity is raised, but still, not too much. You will not be pushed past your limit.
Is CAP the military?
No. We wear Air Force style uniforms, but you are not part of the military. If I catch you using your CAPID to get that military discount at Taco Bell, watch out 😂
How much does it cost?
Each wing (state) has different costs, but they are all low. For example, Alaska is $28 per year. Easy. They just want you to stay active, so you do have to renew your membership every year.
If you would like to know more about Civil Air Patrol, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! The squadron that I am a part of is based at Merrill Field in Anchorage. You can definitely PM me if you are interested in attending a meeting. I’ll get in contact with people and let you know of the place, time, and everything you need to know!
Thanks for reading!