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.