Application Accepted!

After last Thursday’s Civil Air Patrol meeting, I Fedexed my application and fingerprint card to National Headquarters. As of today, I am officially in the system! I’m in! CAP still needs to perform the criminal background check, but assuming that I am in fact, not a criminal, I can begin my Civil Air Patrol journey.

After receiving my welcome email, I had to click on a link to set up my eServices account, which is the heart of the system. First, it asked me to set up a password and verify my personal information. I then reviewed a brief Powerpoint file so that I could click a button promising that I would never divulge “critical information” to unauthorized parties. I suppose that even though CAP is not combat-oriented, it is still military. A part of the “Total Force”.

After sending a quick email to my Commander letting giving him a status on my progress, I downloaded the Level 1 – Orientation Course which is the first thing that all new senior members need to do upon being accepted into CAP. It’s 75 pages but I am going to try to get through it all tonight, or at least before the next squadron meeting.

 

Civil Air Patrol

This week I mailed in my application for the Civil Air Patrol or “CAP” and I am so excited to become of a part of this organization that up until a month ago, I knew absolutely nothing about.  The Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. According to the organization’s own website, Civil Air Patrol has three Congressionally-assigned key missions:

  • emergency services, which includes search and rescue (by air and ground) and disaster relief operations;
  • aerospace education for youth and the general public; and
  • cadet programs for teenage youth.

In addition, CAP has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions. CAP also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross.

Since I have been a practicing lawyer for over 20 years, I was able to apply for a special appointment as a legal officer and will most likely be appointed the grade of Captain. I should receive notice at some point over the next week or two that my application has (hopefully) been accepted! It goes without saying that I have been looking to do something like this since literally high school.

I have always wanted to serve in the military in one way or another and just never figured out a way to pull the trigger. When I was a senior in high school, I spoke with a recruiter about joining the Army Reserves. In college, I looked into and actually began the application process for an ROTC scholarship. In law school, I applied for, and was not accepted, for a position with both the Army and Navy JAG Corps. Most recently, I again spoke with a recruiter about joining the Connecticut National Guard. For various reasons, none of the above ever worked out for me, nor was the timing ever right.

Then, several years ago, I again looked into joining the CT Air National Guard, and guess what? I am now officially too old to be a member of any branch of the U.S. Military! I have aged out. Although I was disappointed, I was determined to find some way to serve and that’s when I came across the Civil Air Patrol. Even though it’s a civilian organization, CAP is a part of the U.S. Air Force, members are allowed to wear official Air Force uniforms, utilize Air Force ranks and customs, and participate on missions performed on U.S. soil.

As a begin my service with Civil Air Patrol, my plan is to write and post about it along the way because I am sure that there are guys and girls like me out there who have a desire to serve and had no idea that this opportunity existed.

It’s been a while!

I just noticed that I haven’t posted since March of 2017! This is unacceptable because my wife tells me that I should write everyday. Although I am positive that posting everyday is close to impossible for me, I do need to write more and I will endeavor to do so.

Stay tuned…

Little France in New York City

So, apparently there is a section of New York City unofficially called BoCoCa, which stands for the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. I have now read that this section of town is being more commonly known as “Little France” or “Little Paris”. This fascinates me. Brooklyn is a great place to visit in and of itself, however, I would love to spend an afternoon in BoCoCa and check it out. Especially if I can listen to some people speaking French or better yet, eat in a good french restaurant.

Has anyone ever been? Does anyone even read my blog??

Languages of New York City

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I live about 1.5 to 2 hours from New York City, depending on where I’m going. Over the past couple of weeks, I thought it would be fun to drive down to a random section of the City and immerse in the local culture, language, food, etc. I’m not talking about walking around Midtown Manhattan and looking at the Christmas Tree, the Rockettes or Rockefeller Center. I’m talking about going to Spanish Harlem, Little Italy, Chinatown and anywhere else where they generally do not speak English and don’t eat hamburgers and  hot dogs five times a week.

I found this great interactive map which shows all of the predominant languages of NYC by geography. There’s an option to remove English and Spanish as well if you really want to drill down to the local culture. I am going to use this to plan my next trip.

Here’s the link:

Languages of New York City

 

 

 

Must … Learn … Spanish…

I picked up learning Spanish again, and heavy this time. No more “half-assing” these languages. Language learning is one of my passions and I decided that I need to get as close to fluent as possible in a least one of them … other than English of course. So, here’s where I’m at. I probably have an A-2 skill in Spanish, Italian and French. A-2 is what I would consider “advanced basic”. Meaning, I can read the languages with effort, converse in basic phrases and sentences with greater effort, yet probably be ultimately understood, and have little to no chance of understanding anything being spoken back to me.

I think that this is the point where most people give up. Why I am even doing this? If I can’t have a semi-intelligent conversation with anybody, what’s the use? Well, I’ve decided to get over this hurdle and I’m going to do it in Spanish!

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(This is the flag of Mexico, BTW.)

I figure that if I put at least some effort into learning Spanish every day and better yet, find someone who will practice with me (ahem … my wife) 12940228_1559453554352960_907684049_n

I admit that Gina is more skilled in Spanish than I am, which actually works out better for me. Plus, she’s kind of easy on the eyes …

So, here’s my plan, which I assume will go terribly wrong at some point:

  • Do a least three segments of Duolingo every day.
  • Read something in Spanish every day.
  • Listen to something in Spanish every day.
  • Speak something in Spanish every day.
  • Flashcards for vocabulary.

That’s it. That’s the plan.

Oh and by the way, Gina and I may hit up a Mexican restaurant from time to time to further immerse myself in the culture.

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Yum.