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April 02, 2006


Major Carrales

I very much would like to thank COL Hodgkins for his comments. His answers, as an authority, will greatly help guide us.

I am an relative nobody...a simple CAP officer in an outpost in South Texas. That having been said, I do know that there are many fellow Threadsters here that represent the leadership of the CAP all around the nation.

That the COL would address our questions is a testament to the Threadsters here and to the Administrator of this Blog. It is also a kudos for Col Hodgkins to address us and remove and dispell certain issues about the relationship between CAP and the USAF.

Additionally, when the COL writes...

"However, occasionally I see posts that make me wince. So to those few, please “think, calm down, re-read what you wrote, then post.” Your posts reflect CAP to the outside world, so don’t write anything that will embarrass you later!"

I am called a renewed effort to use this blog for only for the benefit of CAP. And, I must admit, I stand as a man embarrassed. May I never have cause to feel that way again.

I was very much impressed, informed, educated and renewed in my resolve to further CAP from the Colonel's replies and await the rest.

Major J.E. Carrales

Al Sayre

I too would like to thank the good Colonel for his time and candor. I would also like to point out his comments on us as the "big A vs. little a" auxiliary. Those who want to see the closer relationship can do something about it, lobby your representatives in Congress. Some will say "Civil who?", and you may get the chance to bring our cause to the attention of the members. That will also help with "The best kept secret..." problem. If you want things to change, do something about it. Just griping and sniping doesn't help anyone.


Great comments Colonel, we do appreciate the information. The issue regarding lobbying congress is something that we all should think about and discuss before we pursue it. We need to agree on what we want to say to our representatives before we start lobbying them. My congressman has been very resposive to me on a number of non-CAP issues which I have spoken to him about in the past. I have no problem calling and writing him, but what exactly do we want them to do?

Lamh Dearg

I also warmly welcome Col. Hodgkins' participation in this forum - the clarifications/explanations that he has made so far are well received, and I look forward to reading more.

Regarding lobbying of representatives, if you are motivated in that regard, take some time and try to understand what initiatives are already in play at the Wing level. Many Wings have (or are planning) Congressional Squadrons at the State level, and others may already have high-level contacts at the Federal level already in place. Therefore I would suggest working within the chain and moving a coherent strategy forward that way. Uncoordinated, multiple approaches from many different members will not achieve anything other than confusion and a lot of well-meaning but wasted effort.

Major Carrales

I agree that we need to be united in our goals en re the Congress. I think the Colonels guidance via his answers to our questions may serve to focus our efforts.

I, for one, came away with an enhanced understanding of the USAF/CAP relationship.

Major J.E. Carrales


Thanks for the candid answers. As I suspected, there is no easy solution.

IF CAP cannot be placed under the OPCON of state AG's, then we absolutely must streamline the 'way too complex and time consuming process of calling out CAP assets in a state emergency.

And... I get to scratch one item off my "To Do" list for when I'm the National Commander!


Kudos to the Col for taking the bull by the tail and facing the situation.
I appreciate his response to the many questions and his candid answers. I agree the sniping needs to stop. Legitimate concerns and questions are fine but with associated respectful answers and comments. Let's put the civil back in Civil Air Patrol.


I would strongly encourage members to research & read the documents referenced by Col Hodgkins. Together with the Constitution and Bylaws of CAP, they would give members a very clear picture of the "how & why" (as well as some of the "don'ts and why-nots") of what we do as a organization. This info should be basic to any CAP member.

Anyone who has completed Squadron Officer School (SOS) will remember the 'Profession of Arms' portion of the course. It outlined the legislation that brought the USAF into being, its mission as well as the sources of authority of an Air Force Officer. In short, it tells newly-commissioned Air Force Officers "this is why you are here, and this is the source of your authority." It would be great if likewise, we expanded certain portions of CAP SLS and/or CLC curriculum to include USAF and CAP docs/pubs that would give our members a very clear picture of who we really are, and how & why we are here. I think it would enlighten members, old and new. This is not meant to be a shot at anyone individually, but it seems that the basics of who we are is is a blind-spot in our Professional Development program. In reading some of the blogs and talking to members in the field (some of whom have been in CAP for years,) there are a lot of well-meaning folks who are eager for CAP to get to the next level, but just don't have a clear picture of exactly who, or where we are right now.

The National Board meeting minutes are available on the CAP website. Take the time to read them: not just the parts on how nifty our new uniforms and ID cards are going to look, but the items that on the surface, may seem a bit mundane. If you read on, the mechanics of running CAP as a whole, as well as the options for our future of CAP is spelled out there.

badger bob

Col Hodgkins
Thanks for the candid and informative comments. Thanks also for the attempt to educate those of us that love to serve through CAP, but suffer from our own inability to control our own comments.

If we put half as much effort into executing our assignments as we did trying to figure out if black jackets were as cool as brown jackets or how we can require 60000 people to buy all new unifirms, we might be a more reliable option for the first call to action.

I was encouraged that there is a CAP-USAF recognition that our procedures are to burdemsome and unnecessarily delay our response to missions.


As both a CAP and AF member, I would like to sincerely thank Col Hodgkins for taking the time to provide candid and direct responses to questions that have been dwelling on many CAP members for quite some time. I am glad to have a senior AF leader that will provide direct responses to the volunteer force without political smoke-screens. I see it as being nothing but beneficial to us as members to know how our parent organization views our service and where plans for the future lie.

Major Carrales

Hello Nick,

I'm a fellow Texas Wing CAP officer. South Texas...CC-CAP. I know of you and publish your Cadet Activity announcements in my "Weekly South Texas CAP Almanac."

I also would like to see all this animosity that there seems to exist...or that is perceived to exist… between the USAF and CAP addressed, mitigated and eliminated.

It, such ill emotion, serves only as a retarding element to progress as well as undo interference between CAP and the USAF.

Major J.E. Carrales

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