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« Midway Six Goes to Washington | Main | Air Force Augmentation Survey »

September 13, 2006



Yep. Good to go as is. Set the tone & attitude follows. You may not be able to change the culture of all CAP, but you're sitting in a room with 12-25 people, you very much can change the way you do business & let new folks see a dif thing than the rest of CAP. If that's the only level you can control, then get to it.


The CAP Senior Member Oath of "Enlistment" (For non prior cadets):

I (Say your name, stutter it if you are radio operator), swear to sign away an unknown number of years of my life to the Civil Air Patrol. I know that I can't have an IQ higher than 25, unless I am a pilot, then I am allowed a maximum IQ of 20. Even though I've never been to college, I will proudly wear my unearned Colonel insignia so that everyone at the local FBO thinks I'm a hero.

I promise that I will wear my uniform improperly and I also promise to weigh a minimum of 350 pounds. When I squeeze my pear-shaped body into a flight suit made for someone both half my weight and age, I will wear white socks with my low-cut civilian shoes, unless it's wintertime, where I'll wear my Wellingtons and a cowboy hat so that the entire airport knows I've got the "Right Stuff".

Since CAP has no enlisted rank structure to look down upon, I will yell at cadets for no reason whatsoever just so I can feel good about myself, even though the cadets know more than I do. I vow to stay a member until I am 90 years old, or upon my death, whichever comes first. The older I get, the more I will make sure that I'm seen in public in the Air Force uniform.

I will continually sign every letter and finish every sentence with "Semper Vi" so it will make me feel like I'm in that there Marine Corps. Every day, I will make sure at least one person each day hears about CAP's sole moment of glory, when a "damned little yellow airplane" dropped a hand grenade on a U-Boat over 60 years ago, and how that incident is why CAP must be at the forefront of homeland security today.

Finally, I realize that I can have my membership terminated for failure to keep the local donut companies in business. If I actually show up for training, I will show that my kidneys still function by drinking large amounts of coffee, and that PT is only for cadets.

So help me God. Please, help me God.


Date (No, it's NOT 1941!)

File in triplicate with CAPF 2a (previous editions may be used). Only originals will be accepted. Use of e-mail highly encouraged. Any item left blank will result in delay of processing (i.e. we will just throw it away and not tell you until you ask where your promotion is 9 months from now).


M6 wrote:

I am a member of AOPA. I'm an officer in the CAP.
As much as you'd like to believe this, man, it's just not true. The only true "officers" in CAP are the members of the National Board. The rest of us are simply "members" wearing costume jewelry.

And though I know you mean well, please don't insult the men and women who take The Oath of Commissioning and lay their lives on the line executing the words contained therein. Service in CAP just doesn't rise to that level.


Listen people.

I was there - with M6 - and one of those "men and women who take The Oath of Commissioning and lay their lives on the line executing the words contained therein." and it was his idea - in fact - it was actually an Air Force flag officers idea to use the USAF Oath of Commissioning.

Originally a National CC was being pinned and wanted to be sworn in. NHQ created an oath - it was handed to the USAF Flag Officer who took one look at it - tossed it out saying - "if they're going to wear the same uniform as I am they're going to take the same oath."

Now, whether or not we lay our lives on the line in combat or hiking our way through hurricane ravaged Mississippi - the Air Force considers us their PARTNER. I don't think you'll find too many complaints from them regarding this if it instills a sense of responsibility.

We need to be prepared to actually SUPPORT the Air Force in their mission - it's coming people.

Stop worrying about uniforms and whether the badge should be on the left pocket or the right pocket. Worry about being PROFESSIONAL PEERS with our regular Air Force counterparts. Once we start focusing on that - they'll come to us with more to do.

Go ahead - flame me out - frankly I don't care. I will be over here working on being a more professional Air Force Auxiliary Officer AND CAP Member.


I certainly hope BBQ was talking tongue in cheek. It is a bit of trueism coupled with humor, but also has a tinge of insult in it. We do have a proud tradition of service and that service should not be mocked or made light of. A number of CAP personnel died during WWII serving our country. And others have died in the performance of CAP duty in the years that followed.

As for Blackwing, the same applies. Although we do not come under fire, we have lost members during war time service and performing missions in peace time. Their sacrifice is no less important or special. Honoring their service , and the service all CAP members provide by having an oath, does not diminish or insult the service , risk or sacrifice of our brave military brethren.

Midway Six

Ummm... yup. What they said.

Thanks guys.


The comments of blackwing and bbq are those of mere fools.

I say that as one who has raised my right hand and taken the oath as a Marine.

While my service now is different, I consider it no less honorable.

It is small minds like the two referenced above that plague this organization, indeed, our entire nation.

Major Cranford, CAP

The Squadron I belong to conducts swearing in ceremony for all new members. It was one of the 'small' things that turned the squadron around three years ago. Now we have an active membership of 53 Cadets, 43 Officers. Every meeting night begins with opening formation (both Officer and Cadet flights).


Small minds plaguing our nation? Hardly. As anyone who knows me will attest, I take my CAP service very seriously--but not too seriously; in an organization where someone with no more than a high school diploma can become a major general, I know that my CAP rank is not equivalent to that of military officers who wear the same insignia. I know that I underwent no selection process for my "commission" or any of the CAP promotions I received nor was there any risk of being "passed over" for promotion. I know that no additional responsibility was ever required of me for assuming progressively higher rank. I know that I cannot be ordered to do anything I don't want to do.

In short, I know that my experience as a CAP "officer" compares in no way/shape/form to that of a commissioned officer in the US military. Call it small-minded if you want, I prefer to call it "situational awareness"...for it's clear some people cannot--will not--see the difference.

Major Carrales

Be proud of your CAP sevice for what it is...not ashamed of what it is not.


The uniform alone does not make the man.
It has a very important function, when used appropriately. How you wear it, How you comport yourself, DICTATE !!!! how you will be regarded by those around you. I have worked closely with Marines at various bases on numerous occasions in excess of 2 decades.
No connection to CAP, mind you. But always I was professionally attired. It was obvious none the less that I was a civilian.
No rank, No Grade, but implied authority.
Once you prove to them your unswerving dedication to core values and to the mission, it matter not a whit, what type of uniform you happen to be wearing. The sense of brotherhood comes through from them, it's there, it's real. It's a very rewarding experience, nothing like it.
I wear the uniform correctly, maintain military grooming standards, and I work as a quiet professional when I interface with the military. Their acceptance as a peer, makes it all worth while. YES a PEER !!!
It matters not if the mission is a combatant or a non combatant one. You should know that about only 10% of our cherished people in uniform actually perform combatant roles, yet you don't hear the other 90% degrading themselves because they are only acft maint, cable splicers, computer help desk personnel, cooks or clerks who run the base "INN", process personnel orders, weather center personnel, do I need to go on?
It's the mission that counts...
Please don't tell me "civilians" are incapable of substantial support, when properly trained there is no difference.
We have thousands fwd deployed who are civilians pulling convoy security, escort duty, things traditionally done by the military..over there there's no distinction.
In this present paradyne, with no fwd line of departure etc.. rear lines.. everyone is a potential casulity..
sheep or sheepdog
(warrior) some know what I am referring to.
It's your choice, You will have to make that choice soon, that is inevitable. We need to focus on how to do whatever we may be asked to do, when that time arrives. We need to stop the destructive, and pointless morale killing, negative comments, and personal attacks.. Instead if one has a gripe, then it's your responsability to do the best in your own little corner of the world to fix it. One Airman can't fix the ills of the USAF, nor one Marine re the Corps. And one CAP officer can't fix the all ills of the Auxilliary. We need to elevete our conduct, the rest will follow. Otherwise we serve nothing ..and no one. END..


I think you might underestimate some of our abilities if you think we can't change aspects of CAP. I'm not saying it isn't a lifes work & requires tapping of our own connections in the AF & Congress, but some people have pretty good such connections & the personal leadership you describe to serve day-to-day as you describe but also to contribute to the big picture.

Reading some of the comments above I felt like I'd been hit in the gut. I've lost very dear friends killed training for CAP duty. We all sacrifice, some more than others. Go ask troops on active duty how much they love thier job, the ones that do, find out how many would do it for free or even pay for the prviledge. There's some self-debasing soles around, and you shuld sick a recruiting officer on them, but mostly they're getting paid to do a job & we respect them greatly because they don't get paid enough to do a very dangerous job that accomplishes very important missions, sounds familiar.

Now, blackwing's followup was all quite true, and I'll be the first to say we want to change every bit of that. We've had a lot of conversation on the Portal about the topic & while something will make its way to NHQ for review, there are pretty serious programs kicking in at the grassroots level. Not to sound like a hippie, but it might just be a movement, and pretty soon here NHQ is going to have to get on the ball to catch up with the force on the ground that is tierd of waiting of CAP to get on the ball & in the game.


Every squadron I have been to I have initiated an oath of office which is taken upon the member receiving their first officer rank promotion.

However, the oath of office I have our folks do is not the same exact oath as that of the Air Force officers. I designed the CAP officer oath of office based on excerpts form the "Oath of Application" that everyone who joins as a senior member agrees to by signing their name on the dotted line for membership, plus a little bit of fancy rhetoric that sounds much like the Air Force oath of office, just tweaked towards the CAP.

I did not want our CAP officers to take the same oath of office as the Air Force for 2 reasons. 1) The CAP officer's duty is not to engage in warfare (defending the constitution of the US against all enemies...), and 2) the Air Force still does not respect the commissioned officer ranks of the Auxiliary in the same manner that they do Active Duty, Reserve or Guard.

In the aftermath of Spet 11th, and in light of a more supportive USAF, I am beginning to reconsider those two points. I also am an active duty officer and can say without hesitation that my CAP duties in the air or on the ground are usually much more dangerous than my active duty job. Certainly the Auxiliary is engaged in the Global War on Terror. But there certainly is a clear difference in what military officers are expected by the law to be bound to and those of volunteer officers of the CAP.

I wish I had the oath of office I have been employing in the squadrons I've been active in, but I am currently deployed with USAF, so I don't have it available here. Certainly when I get back I can post it.

For now, I'm just curious what thoughts are out there on the above-mentioned dillema of mine.


Your issue aside, there's no magical powers with any oath to make it actually mean something legally. Using the AF oath just makes them feel like part of the family. The version you describe I'm sure is quite adequate though.

As far as your phiolsophical issue, we all deal with that. CAP has identity issues, and there's a lot of varriablity from one person to another. I think what we'd all be confortable with is a situation where you still have the choice of being deployable or not, but once deployed the expectations of both AF or CAP personnel should be the same (not being armed or assigned combat missions takes care of the rest). That's a cultural issue that CAP has to deal with, & I think most of us can feel that CAP is on the verge of some kind of major change one way or the other.


Well... how's this little tweakage to the Oath of Office, suitably modified for CAP:

I, [state your full name] having been appointed a [grade] in the Civil Air Patrol, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I voluntarily subscribe to the objectives and purposes of the Civil Air Patrol. I agree to be guided by and comply with the Constitution, Bylaws and the rules and regulations of the Civil Air Patrol; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, SO HELP ME GOD.

Opinions, comments, flames?

(prepares to don firesuit for the expected flames directed at me...)

Capt. Jim Thomasson

To all concerned: The CAP Senior Member Oath of Office is just fine as it is, being a part of Civil Air Patrol's historic tradition. As with most things, it is what you make of it. Most promotions that I have witnessed out in squadrons are very casual and not much more then replacing the epaulet sleeves, saluting and shaking hands. CAP has a protocol for promotions and for awards/decorations. As Personnel Officer for the North Carolina Wing, I have expanded on the protocol and have a Cadet Honor Guard escort in the officer being promoted while all other officers present are called to attention (and stay at attention for duration of the promotion ceremony). The promoted officer receives a certificate of office which contains all the formal language. We are planning something similar though not as formal for Duty Assignments. Awards and Decorations are a big deal! Promotions, awards and decorations are our only paychecks. We need to make it a big deal..... recognizing the hard work our officers do day in day out.

On another note (and my pet peeve) there is a huge misuse of the terms rank and grade. I have the GRADE of Captain. Rank is only a level of seniority ..... between officers of the same GRADE, the one who achieved that GRADE level first "out-ranks" the other. Simply a measure of seniority.

I encourage all Civil Air Patrol officers to recognize each other for the work each does. Reward those doing more than "the call of duty" by nominating them for appropriate awards/decoration nominations! By recognizing each other, we promote esprit de corp and improve moral.

Semper Vigilans!

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