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Message from General Smith

National Commander/Chief Executive Officer Message

CAP Goes to the Moon


“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”

– Erma Bombeck (20th Century Humorist, United States of America)

Greetings!  I am excited that you have discovered this message about Civil Air Patrol, accompanied by information about our amazing organization and the names of many of our members as of early 2021.  I would like to introduce you to Civil Air Patrol, our people, and the wonderful services we provide.

Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer auxiliary to the United States Air Force.  We were formed just before the United States entered World War II by citizens who saw the need for people who could not otherwise serve in the military to still contribute to the nation’s critical wartime needs.  After the war Civil Air Patrol was chartered by Congress as a benevolent nonprofit corporation and we became the Air Force’s auxiliary and, recently, a member of their Total Force alongside their active duty, reserve, and national guard forces.  Civil Air Patrol saves lives and reduces suffering through search and rescue, disaster response, and other emergency service-related missions.  We shape lives through our extraordinary cadet program for youth ages 12 to 21.  With our aerospace education mission, we inspire young people towards science, technology, education, and mathematics careers and a love for aerospace by working with educators and youth.  

Who are we?  We are 58,000-plus volunteers, aged 11 to over 100.  We are supported by some 145 paid employees.  We are united by a common set of core values – integrity, excellence, volunteer service, and respect.  We are dedicated to making a positive difference in our communities, states, and nation through selfless service.  We are proud to represent the United States Air Force.  We strive to always improve as individuals and as an organization.  We are Civil Air Patrol.

May this greeting find you well.  May reading about us inspire you to the same call which inspires us – selfless service to others to make a difference.  Working together we can inspire and help and make changes for the good.  Working together we can improve our nation, our planet, and even our universe!



                                                                                  MARK E. SMITH, Major General, CAP

                                                                                 Commander and Chief Executive Officer

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