399th Composite Squadron
INTEGRITY VOLUNTEER SERVICE EXCELLENCE RESPECT
Information For Prospective Members
In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America’s call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.
After the war, a thankful nation understood that CAP could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.
Civil Air Patrol is a benevolent, nonprofit organization performing
humanitarian services on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. Today, 60 years
since its inception, over 60,000 CAP volunteer members—approximately
27,000 youth and 37,000 adults—continue to put general aviation to its
best use through service in the Civil Air Patrol. They are dedicated to
saving lives, flying counterdrug missions, participating in homeland
security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and
supporting America’s educators.
Members may participate at many different levels and in many capacities. There is something to meet most every individual’s needs and interests. One unique aspect of CAP is the training provided to help a member fulfill the responsibilities of his/her volunteer “job.”
All CAP activities fall under three mission areas: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. However, the mission areas have expanded greatly over the past 20 years to include homeland security, drug interdiction and prevention, disaster relief, and tissue and blood transportation. Whether your interests lie in searching for downed aircraft, mentoring young people or providing aerospace education to America’s teachers, there is a place for you in CAP. Aerospace Education CAP’s aerospace education programs ensure that cadets and senior member have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. Cadet Programs While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP’s cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people from 12 through age 21 are introduced to aviation through CAP’s cadet program. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Emergency Services Growing from its World War II experience, CAP has continued to save lives and alleviate human suffering through a myriad of emergency-services and operational missions. Perhaps best known for its search-and-rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 95 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base, VA. Outside the continental U.S., CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the missions? Nearly 100 people are saved each year by CAP members!
Senior Membership CAP senior membership is open to adults 18 years old or older. To prepare CAP adult members for CAP’s special missions, extensive training and education in more than 20 different fields is provided. Technical training is offered to members in related areas, such as flight operations, emergency services and communications. Additional training in management and executive leadership is available as members progress through the CAP ranks. If you are currently an Active Duty Reservist, you can earn points toward retirement in the CAPRAP program.
Cadet Membership CAP cadet membership is open to young people 12-18 years old. A cadet can remain in the program until age 21. The cadet program provides opportunities to develop leadership skills using the member’s interest in aviation. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of aviation and aerospace activities at the local, regional and national levels. CAP national activities focus on a variety of aviation, aerospace, search and rescue, and pararescue courses. CAP cadets can compete for scholarships to help further their education. CAP is proud to report that 10 percent of Air Force Academy appointees are former CAP cadets. In addition, both West Point and Annapolis admit many CAP cadets each year.