What began on December 1, 1941, as a civilian effort to augment America's defenses has become a multi-functional volunteer organization that serves America today with the same spirit of dedication and commitment. Since 1948, CAP has worked arm-in-arm with our Air Force partners and each year provides more than 85% of all inland search and rescue support as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley AFB, Va.

In addition, CAP volunteer members repeatedly respond to calls from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross when
disaster strikes in the form of floods, hurricanes, forest fires, or other natural and man-made disasters. They perform valiantly and selflessly with little thought for their own comfort and well-being, spending endless hours away from family and jobs to serve their fellow Americans.

Equally important is the work we do with the youth of America. Civil Air Patrol Cadet Programs provides young men and women, ages 12-20, with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. CAP presents an alternative life-style to drugs and teenage violence, thus giving thousands of young people the opportunity to embrace the leadership roles of the 21st century with confidence and determination.

Each year presents many memorable challenges and opportunities for CAP in all three of our mission areas: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. Our volunteer members answer every challenge and meet each opportunity with an unparalleled strength of character.