CAP Members Endure Worst of Both Worlds

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By AuxBeacon News Staff

[Editor’s Note: We received this today from a CAP member. Thank you for your contribution.]

The walling off of Civil Air Patrol from the U.S. Air Force and making it a private corporation has encouraged the ugliest qualities of both types of organizations.

1. As CAP mimics USAF – it has allies in high places who think themselves unpatriotic and disloyal if they question the status quo. This goes for members too. They are drones. They are used by CAP as a body of voters, loyal members, activists, and lobbyists. CAP uses us in this context more than using us as responders. As such we are a feather-bedded anachronism.

When I was in the USAF, there were over 1 million airmen. Now there are less than 500K. However, the AF is a much more effective organization because of training, equipment, and technology.
CAP is NOT. It is effective because its members are a political force. Not in over-all numbers, but in uniforms worn doing good deeds, presentation, cadet rearing, avocation, and public relations.

The Air Force has a hierarchy with the President at the top. However, it isn’t closed to political pressure as moms and dads of airmen can be enlisted to advocate on behalf of their USAF kids (through their Congress-person) for better healthcare, benefits, food, etc, etc.

However, since CAP is independent of the Air Force we advocate and support them, funnel our cadets into their programs, but don’t really make much of a difference as a SAR organization. Aerial robots/drones will supplant our last vital mission sooner than later.

So CAP is politics more than service. CAP is more uniform than mission. CAP is a pretender.

I don’t think CAP is bad. I do think it isn’t much good. It is kind of like graffiti. Some of it is pretty artistic. Some of it isn’t anything more than announcing the presence of an otherwise invisible person, and some of it is destructive.

2. As CAP mimics corporations – Self preservation is part of all strategic planning. For the sake of shareholders that is good. For the sake of misbehaving management that is bad. Often management will confuse these two characteristics as they think themselves more important than the organization.

When this occurs the management surrounds itself with yes men. It becomes insular. It becomes defensive. It loses its dynamic presence. It is no longer making customers, friends, or providing value. It is hanging on for dear life. It isn’t much good for anything, but surviving.

So that is what CAP looks like today.

2 Comments on "CAP Members Endure Worst of Both Worlds"

  1. Avatar Erich Mueller | November 30, 2016 at 20:37 | Reply

    I was in before the “separation” of CAP from the Air Force, back when CAP had more direct Air Force oversight. There were Air Force officers as Wing Liaison Officers, Air Force SNCO’s as Wing Liaison NCO’s, CAP-RAP’s, Air Force personnel at most CAP practice (and sometimes actual) missions, and CAP was welcomed on most AFB’s; indeed, most AFB’s had a CAP unit based there.

    Then it became retired officers working for the CAP Corporation as “State Directors” and the SNCO’s became almost nonexistent.

    Now the retired officers working for the CAP Corporation are only found at the Region level.

    CAP wants it both ways.

    They want to trumpet their “Air Force-ness” when it comes to wearing the uniform, using the “Auxiliary” title (even though they are now only an Auxiliary of the AF when on an Air Force Assigned Mission) and getting their flying hours funded by the Air Force.

    However, on other matters, such as shafting members with the dreaded Form 2B on the whim of a commander (at any level), they protest “we’re a private, nonprofit corporation and handle our own affairs!” And the Air Force is quite content to let it be that way.

    The Air Force’s only real interest in CAP is the cadets – warm bodies through the gates of Lackland AFB. Most Air Force personnel don’t even know what CAP is.

    By contrast, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, when disenrolling a member, has to directly involve the Coast Guard.

  2. Avatar Not Interested | November 30, 2016 at 08:01 | Reply

    My wife and I were considering joining since we are pilots, former USAF and we wanted to do some volunteer work. I remember hearing good things about it as a youth. Times have changed… a lot. We found this web site by accident and we checked out a local unit. The unit had no discipline, order, structure or direction. You can definitely count us out. We will let other pilot friends of ours know to help keep them away too. Nobody wants to deal with an organization that cannot police their own. As a hard working tax payer, this organization serves nobody.

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