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A life-changing journey - Civil Air Patrol By Ananya C

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

“Forward, march! Flight, halt! Fall out!” My flight sergeant yells commands as my flight stands in formation and marches around the building. This activity, drill, is one of the many things that make up the program, Civil Air Patrol. Civil Air Patrol, or in short CAP, is an organization that executes search and rescue missions, provides comfort in times of disaster, and works to keep the country safe. Founded in 1941, CAP focuses on using expertise to keep up the community’s well-being as well as promoting aviation and aerospace-related fields. In addition, through the four core values, integrity, excellence, respect, and volunteer service, CAP shapes its cadets to become future leaders.

I have been a part of CAP since February of 2020. However, my journey so far has been different from other cadets and their first years: the majority of my CAP experience has been virtual. An important part of CAP is promoting to higher ranks. Though CAP meetings have been virtual for the past couple of months, promotions are ongoing. While other cadets attended meetings in-person during their first years and got themselves promoted, I had to plan and work with my Commanders to schedule and display the required abilities to get the promotion. This situation of being virtual taught me to be self-driven and self-motivated to promote as quickly as possible to attain the title of Major.

In addition, through CAP I have learned how to manage my time effectively. I participate in different events and educate myself on various topics, such as aerospace, communications, etc. Participating in the aforementioned events and courses prepare me to apply for higher staff positions, such as Aerospace Team Lead. I also work through courses such as Introductory Communications User Training to get qualifications, and perform physical training to qualify for higher ranks. CAP has helped me acquire time management skills to manage my various extracurricular activities.

Being a part of Civil Air Patrol has made a large difference in my life, even though I have only been a part of it for six months. CAP has shaped me to become a more disciplined and organized person. The various activities that CAP conducts will help mold me to be a good leader by the end of my CAP journey.