About Civil Air Patrol


CAP Vision Statement

The nation’s finest citizens serving our communities with integrity, service, excellence and respect.

CAP Mission Statement

Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground service,

youth development and promotion of air and space power.

Civil Air Patrol Motto

"Semper Vigilans" (Always Vigilantt)

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a Congressional-chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, services, which includes search and rescue (by air and ground) and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public and cadet programs for teenage youth.

Civil Air Patrol History --In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was born one-week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services. Read More CLICK HERE.

"Civil Air Patrol makes a huge impact each and every day, going above and beyond to make a profound difference in America's communities.  As a vigilant CAP volunteer, you save lives and preserve liberty for all."   Maj. Gen. Amy Courter former CAP National Commander.





In August 2015, the Air Force updated and expanded the Air Force’s descriptions of total force and Airmen to now consist of regular, Guard, Reserve, civilian and auxiliary members.

With this newest change, Air Force leaders will consider each part of the total force, including the auxiliary, when determining the most effective and efficient ways to complete the mission. CAP has approximately 57,000 volunteers and 550 aircraft assigned to more than 1,500 units stateside available or currently supporting non-combat missions on behalf of the Air Force.

“Civil Air Patrol enjoys a proud legacy of selfless sacrifice and service to country and community that spans decades,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Vazquez, the CAP national commander. “Our ability to augment the Air Force is second to none. We provide 85 percent of inland search and rescue missions and disaster-relief support to local, state and national agencies as well as aerial reconnaissance for homeland security and remain continually postured to offer more.”

Beyond CAP’s support to achieve its homeland responsibilities for non-combat operations, the organization has been recognized for their efforts to inspire hundreds of thousands of cadets and K-12 students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and training.

“Civil Air Patrol’s increased exposure has a direct impact on attracting youth interest in STEM-based activities which are skills necessary to develop the innova
tive Airmen our Air Force needs,” said Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III. “We proudly welcome the Air Force auxiliary by extending our badge of honor as Airmen.”

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no member shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any CAP program or activity on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, or disability (formerly handicap). It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no applicant sex, age, color, religion, national origin, or disability (formerly handicap). Annual Non-Discrimination Policy Letter



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