October 20, 2007

CAP Jr.


From Flying Minutemen, comes an interesting tale. CAP is expanding it's cadet program to include younger persons below the age of 12. I'm not going to regurgitate what's already stated there, but I will voice my own personal opinion on the matter. Firstly, we should take away a point or two:

  • It is a program offered at elementary schools, and not as a separate entity within squadrons. In this way, it's similar to the JROTC program, only at a lower level of education.
  • It maintains CAP's mission of Character development, Aerospace Education and Physical Fitness training, but moves it from an extra-curricular activity to an intra-curricular one.
  • It apparently is not military styled

I think it's a good idea. Although it may not seem it, I am a Cadet Programs guy, and many a time have I been forced to tell a young kid he or she couldn't join because of their age. As the Flying Minuteman said, it is another level in which our third and forgotten mission is creeping back. One thing I must disagree with, however, is the philosophy of aiming it towards more agrarian segments of the United States. Rather, I see potential in this program within inner-cities to get children early before they turn to a life of gangs. The CAP cadet program itself is a good method of doing so; this can serve as a supplement.

One other thing: who the hell is "Cappy" and when did he get here?

3 comments:

tribal elder said...

CAP cadet program-agrarian vs. urban environments

CAP is a tough sell, at least in one big city.

1) A substantial portion of this major city's adult population is non-English speaking. In the old country, uniforms are associated with oppressive governments.

2) Volunteers don't have the political loyalty that payrollers have, so local gov't or school board have little interest in volunteer-operated activities, unless it's something VERY politically 'blue'. You could get permission for a HS arts program for GLBT youth, but not for a squadron.

3) JROTC high schools, those 'free' programs, compete with the after school, not-at-all-free CAP program. CAP also competes for after school hours with entry level part time jobs.

4) At least some big cities are military-unfriendly. They've driven out armories and the military side of airports.

In contrast, when I drove cadets to a small, rural area church from encampment this Summer, the pastor acknowledged our presence from the pulpit, and a number of young (and adult) attendees wanted to know more about CAP after the service.

Michael said...

When I was a cadet ( 1966 -1970 ) Cappy was a character in the filmstrips they used to show us on an ancient projector culled from the Air Force Academy surplus bin. Now it seems that Cappy has morphed into a balloon or even an eagle!

Michael said...

When I was a cadet ( 1966-1970 ) Cappy was a character in the filmstrips they used to show us on a ancient projector rescued from the Air Force Academy surplus bin. No Cappy seems to have morphed into a balloon or even an eagle!