Does CAP need change? You bet!
I was a formal Lt Col 18-year Member of CAP, very much involved with the program from being a Squadron Commander, and to serve on various positions on Wing Staff. I must admit I enjoyed the program, but realized over the past decade, CAP was changing and getting to PC in trivial issues and policies. More focus seemed to be on Liability Issues than what was best for the Program. Especially involving Cadets, the CAP Mission, and what one could do for the program.
When I joined back in the 1970’s, the volunteer theme was “what you can do for CAP.” Nowadays, its not what-you-can-do for CAP, its WHAT-YOU-CANNOT-DO. I realize after 911 the world has changed, and many volunteer programs are coming under new rules and guidelines to participate in the program, but CAP has seem to let those with their own agenda, wannabe mentality, be in control of the program, to be PC correct, and crushes those that don’t conform with PC issues as to spread rumors, false allegations, IG investigations to trivial situations that have no purpose except to get RID of someone that an upper echelon staff member does not want in the program.. Instead of focusing what is best for the Cadet Program, or what is best in Emergency Service, Senior Members, CAP just seems more preoccupied with it’s own internal policies and people in power that have no business in the position they are in.
I could go on and on as to what I have witness over the years, personal issues that happened to me, but when I read the Letter by Brig Gen Rex Glasgow, I can certainly understand his situation and feel his pain. I do not know Brig Gen Rex Glasgow personally, but I do no many prior members that have felt his frustration of the CAP program and left the program because CAP tends to drive good people out of the program because they get frustrated with the internal policies and stupidness the program sometimes seems to emit.
If you talk with anyone from the WWII generation, most veterans consider CAP a joke. Most people view CAP as Air Force wannabes, and usually are volunteer members that want to hold some sort of Military Rank just to have that title as “Captain,” Major” and so on. Unfortunately, too many of this type of volunteers are in CAP. Then, you get the dedicated volunteer that probably spends more time in CAP than his/her Job, Marriage, and family and could careless of a Rank title. This is the TRUE volunteer that is a giving individual that just wants to assist in the CAP program, to make a difference, and help others for the Mission CAP was intended to be. This individual is rare, and most time gets CAP burnt-out, and leaves the program in frustration, or is forced to resigned because of some incident that is blown-out-of-proportion, and who losses? CAP does! Because the good people leave, and the wannabes stay in power.
Yes, I’ve been gone for several years now and don’t look back. I miss the friends I made while in the program, but don’t miss the silliness that comes from National HQ, Region Staff, and Wing HQ’s. What should be done? I don’t have the answer, and really don’t care anymore; however, with that being said, the name CAP (Civil Air Patrol) should be removed and the program called Air Force Auxiliary. Make the Cadet Program and Senior Program two separate programs under the Air Force Auxiliary. The Cadet Program can be called ‘Civil Air Patrol’ under Air Force Auxiliary, and all other programs, Communications, Emergency Service, Aircraft’s, SAR Missions can all follow under the United States Air Force Auxiliary Program.
If we’re going to make changes after 911, get rid of the old 1940’s mentality. CD (Civil Defense) is now gone and is called FEMA. Let’s face it, CAP (Civil Air Patrol) needs to go and the entire program needs to be restructured under the Air Force, not civilian wannabes. If CAP is to remain civilian, then remove the Ranking Insignia’s and be a total civilian orientated program, under civilian control. Have structured positions, not Rank.
Will this happen? I doubt it, and this forum will just be another site for those to air their gripes about CAP. For those of you that enjoy the program as is, I applaud your volunteer efforts and hope you will continue to support the program, but Rex Glasgow has made a very powerful Statement, and I totally agree with his Letter, and I’m sure many other fallen members will also agree.
I’m involved with another program now and needless to say, I’m happy with it, and glad the CAP days of yesteryear are over-with, and I’m away from stupid people that make dumb decisions because they have the rank of Colonel.
No disrespect is intended to anyone in the Letter. It is just my opinion of what I have witness, and I suggest others that have similar past experiences with CAP post their views on the subject.
Very good web site.
A formal Member