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Author Topic: is civil air patrol a Military organization  (Read 20221 times)
JCSCADET
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« on: September 16, 2005, 02:41:07 PM »

I know Civil Air Patrol and the United States Air force have a close connection.  but due to the lack of knowledge at my squadron i need to find out if CAP is a MILITARY organization.  and where can i find it in black and white.

Also, shouldent a member know this before becoming a unit commander?
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 02:50:22 PM »

I know Civil Air Patrol and the United States Air force have a close connection.  but due to the lack of knowledge at my squadron i need to find out if CAP is a MILITARY organization.  and where can i find it in black and white

NO! CAP is not a military organization, CAP is not part of the Armed Forces of the United States, and CAP members are civilians, not military personnel by any stretch of the imagination.
 
If your unit is really that in the dark, you might need to bring some people in from Group or something and get your leaders, both cadet and senior, some orientation and professional development training.  This is a basic characteristic of our organization.  It's akin to being in some other organization and not knowing whether it's a charity or a for-profit company.
 
Civil Air Patrol is a corporation, created by Public Law, with humanitarian missions (AE, CP, ES).  CAP enjoys the status of the official Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, but we are the civilian auxiliary.
 
If we were really in the military, CAP members would have DoD issued ID cards and would have to get processed into DEERS and all sorts of other lovely things.  But we don't, because we're not a part of the military.  While we enjoy a close working relationship with the military, and they allow us to play on their things and work alongside them sometimes, we're still an outside civilian organization.
 
This is spelt out clearly in most every CAP recruiting publication, as well as all over NHQ's website.
 
The CAP Knowledgebase also tries to tackle this misconception here.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
Westernslope
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 04:54:09 PM »

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« Last Edit: May 29, 2006, 03:14:42 AM by Cadetofthe60s » Report to moderator   Logged
Major_Chuck
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 554

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 07:05:30 PM »

You will hear a lot of debate about this topic between those who seen our designation as the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (which is an honor in itself) and our status as a Federally chartered Non-profit corporation.

We are not a military organization nor are we bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  We do however receive oversight, funding, and support from the Air Force as their 'auxiliary'. 

Our corporate status enables us to do a lot that if we were under direct AF control we would not be able to do.

1.  Generate revenue/fund raisers.  Air Force is prohibited from generating revenue.

2.  Enter into agreements with local and state governments as well as Federal agencies and other non-governmental agencies such as the American Red Cross.

Hurricane Katrina is a prime example.  The military could have gone into the hurricane area on day one but by law was prohibited to without being requested by the governors of the states and then approved by the Secretary of Defense.   Local and State Governments had only to contact our National Operations Center to obtain CAP support.

Are we part of the Air Force?  Yes and no.  We are their 'civilian auxiliary' and a member of the Air Force family.  We are not a military force.  We are not part of the 'Profession of Arms'. 

Final thought:  We wear an Air Force style uniform, very similar to a military uniform.  A uniform configuration that was approved by the USAF.  The general public makes no distinction between a USAF uniform and CAP Uniform.  They see 'Blue', Blue means Air Force.  While we may not be military we need to wear that uniform with the same pride and respect that our military brothers and sisters wear theirs. 
« Last Edit: September 16, 2005, 07:15:36 PM by Major_Chuck » Report to moderator   Logged
Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
BillB
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 09:17:28 PM »

I think everyone is missing the point that the question was asked by a cadet. I think he was looking at the military aspects of the cadet program, D&C, chain of command etc.
While CAP is NOT part of the military, it follows it's militay heritage from World War II when CAP was started as a totally civilian organization, and transferred to the US Army Air Force. As part of the USAAF, CAP provided pre-flight pilot training, vasics of military life and classwork of value to a person going into the military. But over the years, mainly since the 1970's, CAP has slowly moved to more of a civilian run organization. But CAP still has it's roots in the USAF as the Official USAF Auxiliary, and as such alot of the military aspects are involved, mainly in the cadet program. Do we wear the uniform of the USAF, yes and no, we wear the basic uniform, but with distinctive CAP insignia. And the uniform is worn in a military manner.
If you're asking if CAP is OPERATED as a military organization, the answer again is yes and no. CAP operates along military lines, but unlike the military you can quit at any time. CAP observes the military rank and command structure, so again the answer is it is "semi-military" while remaining a civilian organization with USAF oversight.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
JCSCADET
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2005, 10:11:54 PM »

if civil air patrol was part of the United States Air Force shouldnt we all have to go throught basic training and such?
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Westernslope
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2005, 10:55:02 PM »

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« Last Edit: May 29, 2006, 03:09:59 AM by Cadetofthe60s » Report to moderator   Logged
ladyreferee
Member

Posts: 95

« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2005, 03:06:16 AM »

I know Civil Air Patrol and the United States Air force have a close connection.  but due to the lack of knowledge at my squadron i need to find out if CAP is a MILITARY organization.  and where can i find it in black and white.

Also, shouldent a member know this before becoming a unit commander?

Major Chuck posted a link to the Virtual Historical Museum for the Civil Air Patrol on another discussion.  Here is the link you should check out. 

"One of the goals of the CAP Historical Foundation is to build a museum dedicated to our rich history.  That of course takes a lot of money and a lot of time and is  years down the road.

However, they have created a virtual musuem which is rather interesting.

http://www.caphistory.org/index.html

A lot of interesting photos and facts that could add to your internal and external AE programs."

Thanks Major Chuck for this fascinating view of our rich CAP history! 
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CHERYL K CARROLL, Major, CAP
Major_Chuck
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005, 03:08:24 AM »

I know Civil Air Patrol and the United States Air force have a close connection.  but due to the lack of knowledge at my squadron i need to find out if CAP is a MILITARY organization.  and where can i find it in black and white.

Also, shouldent a member know this before becoming a unit commander?

Perhaps it would help if we knew the reason for your question.  Is the lack of knowledge at the cadet level or the unit commander level?

There is lots of documentation stating that we are not a military organization but at the same time we are rooted in military tradition.

Regarding basic training.......as part of the leadership training/experience for cadets, cadets should be providing most of the basic training - whether it is at squadron level or at an encampment.

So true, the question was open ended so you're getting a lot of open ended answers.  If you can be more specific we could narrow our answers for you.

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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
flyguy06
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2005, 11:42:42 AM »

CAP is not a military organization per se, but we do follow military rules and regulations and military customs and courtisiousies. The cadet program is very military and I believe that if you are a senior member that works with cadets, you should conform to military customs as well. Nothing ticks me off more than to see SM's that work with cadets wear the blue shirt grey slcaks combo. How can you tell a cadet to wear his uniform correctly, if you don wear one yourself? Its not setting a good example in my book. Thats why I tell Sm's that work with me they WILL wear one of the military style uniforms or they wont work with cadets. You can wear the BDU uniform even if you dont met the height and weight standard
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JaL5597
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2005, 11:58:43 AM »

CAP is not a military organization per se, but we do follow military rules and regulations and military customs and courtisiousies. The cadet program is very military and I believe that if you are a senior member that works with cadets, you should conform to military customs as well. Nothing ticks me off more than to see SM's that work with cadets wear the blue shirt grey slcaks combo. How can you tell a cadet to wear his uniform correctly, if you don wear one yourself? Its not setting a good example in my book. Thats why I tell Sm's that work with me they WILL wear one of the military style uniforms or they wont work with cadets. You can wear the BDU uniform even if you dont met the height and weight standard

Cool.  Knowingly and willingly violating the uniform manual.

I know plently of highly motivated senior members who are not allowed by regulation to wear the military style uniforms. 

I see it as shooting your program in the foot if you try to limit the participation on the sole basis of what uniform the senior members wear.
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arajca
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2005, 01:35:03 PM »

CAP is not a military organization per se, but we do follow military rules and regulations and military customs and courtisiousies. The cadet program is very military and I believe that if you are a senior member that works with cadets, you should conform to military customs as well. Nothing ticks me off more than to see SM's that work with cadets wear the blue shirt grey slcaks combo. How can you tell a cadet to wear his uniform correctly, if you don wear one yourself? Its not setting a good example in my book. Thats why I tell Sm's that work with me they WILL wear one of the military style uniforms or they wont work with cadets. You can wear the BDU uniform even if you dont met the height and weight standard
1. The level of "military-ness" depends on the unit. Some units imagine themselves as Real Military and some more as a military-styled youth group. Right or wrong, that is a decision each unit makes, repeatedly.
2. You must have a whole bunch of seniors if you dictate who works with cadets based on what uniform they wear. You also present a very poor example of tolerance, if you base - as it seems - someone's value on what clothes they wear.
3. Since when do you have the authority to over rule National regs? Regs say senior members who work with cadets will wear a CAP uniform. It does not specify which uniform, just a uniform.
4. If SM's (and cadets over the age of 18) don't meet the height/weight requirements for the AF uniform, THEY CANNOT WEAR THE BDU. So you are telling them to violate the regs.
5. While you may not like the golf shirt uniform, there are many SM who wear it because they don't feel right wearing the AF uniform, they can't afford the aviator shirt, or they don't have time to set it up. There are many other reasons.
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ladyreferee
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Posts: 95

« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 11:09:03 PM »

Okay guys, step back and chill.   ;D  A senior who doesn't meet the weight/height restrictions can wear the blue smurf BDU.  I believe the problem that flyguy was talking about was that he doesn't like to see a senior wearing a blue AF shirt with grey slacks - he was mixing two different uniforms!  Either pick one or the other.  As they say, do as I say, not do as I do..... (I had a great golf instructor once who taught well but had a horrible slice.....)   :D

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CHERYL K CARROLL, Major, CAP
Camas
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Posts: 452

« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2005, 01:30:18 AM »

Quote from: flyguy06
"How can you tell a cadet to wear his uniform correctly, if you don't wear one yourself? Its not setting a good example in my book. Thats why I tell Sm's that work with me they WILL wear one of the military style uniforms or they won't work with cadets. You can wear the BDU uniform even if you don't met the height and weight standard"

Lets rethink this- refer to CAPM 39-1.  I appreciate that it's a tough call when cadets are in a military-style uniform and seniors aren't but if a senior doesn't meet grooming and/or weight standards that's just the way it is.  Also please review your last sentence.  I would have loved to wear BDU's when I didn't meet weight standards but couldn't. 

Quote from: Ladyreferee
"A senior who doesn't meet the weight/height restrictions can wear the blue smurf BDU."

Not anymore - that uniform was phased out sometime ago.
 
  Maybe this discussion should be in the "Uniforms" board.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 10:48:29 PM by Camas » Report to moderator   Logged
ladyreferee
Member

Posts: 95

« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2005, 01:51:42 AM »

Wait a minute.  Isn't the CAP Distinctive Blue Field Uniform (page 79 of the CAPM 39-1) called the blue smurf BDU?  That is the one I was referring to.  Those haven't been phased out since I am looking at the March 23, 2005 manual and those are what is pictured.  I'm sorry but I wouldn't know of anything that had been around but no isn't since I've only been a member for a year.
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CHERYL K CARROLL, Major, CAP
BillB
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2005, 02:40:02 AM »

The blue BDU can be worn by seniors that do NOT meet weight standards. It's called the "blue field uniform", it has no connection to the old smerf uniform. No military insignia  (wings etc) can be worn of the blue BDU where they can be worn on the woodland BDU.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
arajca
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Posts: 4,433

« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2005, 02:55:09 AM »

Wait a minute.  Isn't the CAP Distinctive Blue Field Uniform (page 79 of the CAPM 39-1) called the blue smurf BDU?  That is the one I was referring to.  Those haven't been phased out since I am looking at the March 23, 2005 manual and those are what is pictured.  I'm sorry but I wouldn't know of anything that had been around but no isn't since I've only been a member for a year.

CAP used to have a light blue (Smurf shade) coverall - mechanics style, not flyers style. It was frequently refered to as the "Smurf suit". Usually in a negative way. They were phased out about three years ago. The field uniform is identical to the bdu in cut and pattern, it is just midnight blue instead of woodland camo. The field uniform is frequently abbreviated as bbdu for "blue bdu".
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shorning
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 968

« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2005, 05:59:11 AM »

5. While you may not like the golf shirt uniform, there are many SM who wear it because they don't feel right wearing the AF uniform, they can't afford the aviator shirt, or they don't have time to set it up. There are many other reasons.

And oddly enough that is still a uniform! ::)  The regulations state that seniors working with cadets will wear a uniform.  It does not specify which one to wear.  To require your senior members to wear a specific uniform to participate in one of the core programs is a little draconian.

I'm active duty Air Force and I still prefer to wear the corporate uniforms for CAP.  Personally, I'd like to see more seniors in corporate uniforms. I don't think most seniors need to wear AF-style uniforms...
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Matt
Seasoned Member

Posts: 469
Unit: NCR-001

North Central Region
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2005, 01:09:30 PM »

*scratches head*

Still trying to figure out how we tapered out to uniforms again.

*Ends Pondering*
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Matthew Kopp, Maj, CAP
Director of Information Technology
North Central Region
shorning
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 968

« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2005, 01:15:03 PM »

[redacted}
« Last Edit: September 23, 2005, 01:24:37 PM by shorning » Report to moderator   Logged
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