In a memo to CAP Unit Commanders dated 24 August:
As we embark on our 65th anniversary celebrations across the country, more and more units will have an opportunity to provide presentations to civic organizations on the history and capabilities of this great organization. Many of you already have standard briefings that are used for this type of presentation, but I encourage you to be sure your briefings are up-to-date. As I travel around the country I find that individuals who are unfamiliar with Civil Air Patrol have trouble understanding our structure and membership categories. Specifically the term “Senior Member” often evokes the visible picture of aged or less than fully capable. This clearly is not reality nor is it the perception we want to portray. Therefore, I have asked my staff to recommend a new membership term to replace “senior member” for discussion at the November NEC. The new term will more accurately reflect the capabilities of our highly trained, technical CAP adult member. For now you are authorized and encouraged to use the term “officer” instead of “senior member” when making these external presentations.
- ANTONIO J. PINEDA
Major General, CAP
:: Here's another thing to scratch off my, "Things To Do When I Become National Commander," list that I keep tucked in the pocket of my
big ugly service cap.
I love getting rid of the term Senior Member for exactly the reasons outlined by the General
I'm still a bit torn on what to replace it with...
So what does it mean to be an officer?
I'm OK with being referred to as a CAP Officer. (Cue polite cocktail party chatter: "I'm a CAP Officer, I hold the grade of Captain.") The problem remains that nobody knows what the hell CAP is.
I can see why NHQ like this better than Air Force Auxiliary Officer. (They can't seem to distance CAP from the Air Force fast enough these days can they?) But I still consider myself a member of the Air Force Auxiliary. No matter what they paint on the the tail.
The question is, what does the Air Force think?