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CAP (Civil Air Patrol) Good idea for Son

USAFW

New Member
Hello,

My son was thinking about getting into the Civil Air Patrol. I was looking for some details and information from people that have been in it. He is a hopeful graduate from either the US Air Force academy or the US Navy academy. If you could tell me if it is a worth while experience and if it will be good on your applications to the colleges above. Thank you for your help.

*EDIT* For all who were arguing about the age of my son, he is 12. He has researched and told me almost everything i know. I just wanted to make sure i know what i am sending my son to.*
 

GO_AV8_DevilDog

Round 2...
Contributor
Hello,

My son was thinking about getting into the Civil Air Patrol. I was looking for some details and information from people that have been in it. He is a hopeful graduate from either the US Air Force academy or the US Navy academy. If you could tell me if it is a worth while experience and if it will be good on your applications to the colleges above. Thank you for your help.
If there is anything I can tell you about the CAP is that you need to get him started as soon as possible, especially if he wants to get into an academy. I'm currently a Deputy Commander of Cadets here at the local squadron (something to do while i'm in college) and can say that as a former cadet, and as a current senior member, that it is an excellent program for young adults.

Now what I mean about start him early is that if he is motivated enough and has enough time, becoming an officer in the CAP is looked on highly at the Air Force Academy and I'm sure it will not hurt with any USNA applications.

This is an excellent opportunity for your child, and if he has any interest in aviation/military/both he will go far.

PM me for more details
 

NavAir42

I'm not dead yet....
pilot
I'd imagine it can't hurt.

As to what his expierience will be, good or bad, that will depend on what he puts into it. Just being part of CAP will not get your son into any of the service academies.
 

skidkid

CAS Czar
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
I think playing a varsity sport would almost certainly trump CAP. I would think it would be important to keep CAP in perspective with regard to grades and sports.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
None
Contributor
CAP, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, they are all worthwhile programs in their own right.
Just make sure you/he are/is doing what interests you/him and not use it to get a leg up 10 years down the road. It will be a long 10 years if that is the case.
 
Reactions: m26

HH-60H

Manager
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
I think playing a varsity sport would almost certainly trump CAP. I would think it would be important to keep CAP in perspective with regard to grades and sports.
To a degree, but honestly I think/assume most people at the Academies have good grades, lettered in varsity sports and had some other leadership extracurriclar activity like CAP, Boy Scouts, etc.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
CAP's fine. It's not necessarily better than sports, band, student newspaper, drama, what have you. The Academies look for commitment and leadership in a diversity of activities.

And also - he should be asking around for this information, sir, not you. I know you're trying to educate yourself and be involved in the process, but when parents are looking for information and asking questions instead of the candidate, it raises antennae at Admissions. Does the candidate want this, or does the parent? Because if it's just "I'm going because dad wants me to," it's almost a guarantee that the kid won't make it through. And if the candidate is content to sit back and let mom and dad do the legwork, that doesn't speak well to his/her self-motivation and desire, which he/she will need in spades to get through USNA or USAFA.

Fester
USNA '99
 

GO_AV8_DevilDog

Round 2...
Contributor
CAP's fine. It's not necessarily better than sports, band, student newspaper, drama, what have you. The Academies look for commitment and leadership in a diversity of activities.

And also - he should be asking around for this information, sir, not you. I know you're trying to educate yourself and be involved in the process, but when parents are looking for information and asking questions instead of the candidate, it raises antennae at Admissions. Does the candidate want this, or does the parent? Because if it's just "I'm going because dad wants me to," it's almost a guarantee that the kid won't make it through. And if the candidate is content to sit back and let mom and dad do the legwork, that doesn't speak well to his/her self-motivation and desire, which he/she will need in spades to get through USNA or USAFA.

Fester
USNA '99
Assuming that his son is 12 years old, I don't think it's that big of a deal to have is dad out asking around about a program for him.
 

HuggyU2

Well-Known Member
None
Yes, but like with all activities, the quality can depend on the adult leadership. So check it out, which I'm sure you plan to do.
You'll see a lot of posts on various forums making fun of CAP, but don't read too much into it.
 

OSUbeaver

Time to musk up
pilot
Sorry if this is jacking the CAP thread, but the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps is another GREAT program for high school age kids. I was in it for 4 years and got to do some really awesome training. It also did a great job preparing me for NROTC as I already knew basic skills (marching, facing movements, uniform wear, history, general orders, ranks and rates, etc, etc), I'm sure it would be just as useful for an academy hopeful. Here is the website, worth checking out as an option: http://www.seacadets.org/public/
 

Godspeed

His blood smells like cologne.
pilot
my son, he is 12. He has researched and told me almost everything i know.
ITS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU FESTER.(With all due respect sir) :D

All kidding aside, I think that is awesome that your kid is getting interested in all of this at such an early age. There are a lot of ambitious youngsters out there, but most unfortunately don't have a direction. Your son has both.

Other good programs are NJROTC, Boy Scouts, Volunteer Organizations, etc

I think I'll echo what Uncle Fester said: There are a multitude of other activities that are out there that would help your son with an academy application later on. I think the big picture here is that they want well rounded applicants.

If he is really interested in Civil Air Patrol, then I think you should encourage him to pursue that route vs. telling him he needs to become the star quarterback of the high school foot ball team. He'll be more motivated to succeed if he is pursuing something on his own accord. That's the way it was with me anyhow.
 
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