CAP Marking 70th Year as U.S. Air Force Auxiliary
Civil Air Patrol is celebrating another milestone anniversary this year — the organization’s 70 years as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
Congress passed Public Law 80-557 in 1948, and President Harry S. Truman signed it into law on May 26, formally establishing CAP as the volunteer auxiliary of the Air Force. Before that, CAP had served in support of the Army Air Corps, but the new law ensured that the partnership would continue with the newly formed Air Force.
Civil Air Patrol celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding in 2016 and the 75th anniversary of its CAP cadet program in 2017.
The auxiliary anniversary, which will serve as the theme for CAP’s 2018 National Conference in Anaheim, California, in August, is just as meaningful.
“Civil Air Patrol highly values our service to the Air Force and, by extension, to our communities, states and nation,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and chief executive officer. “We strive for excellence and professionalism in performing our current missions, while we partner with our stakeholders to determine what capabilities they need us to field in the future.”
CAP fulfills its role as the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force through such vital services as assisting with aerial intercept and unmanned aerial vehicle training, as well as disaster relief aerial reconnaissance and search and rescue. Its citizen volunteers — 59,000 members strong in 1,445 communities across America — respond to disasters; help teachers and students with aerospace-related science, technology, engineering and math educational resources; and provide youth with the opportunity to develop strong ethical character, leadership and self-confidence that will allow them to excel as adults in their chosen professions.
The legislation creating the auxiliary also authorized the secretary of the Air Force “in the fulfillment of the noncombatant mission of the Air Force Establishment to accept and utilize the service of the Civil Air Patrol.”
In celebration of Civil Air Patrol’s 70th year as the Air Force auxiliary, CAP has authorized a new logo to be used throughout 2018. Created by Maj. Erik Koglin of the Tennessee Wing, the logo made its official debut this morning during CAP’s Legislative Day on Capitol Hill.
CAP National Historian Col. Frank Blazich said the logo’s basic design stands in homage to the shoulder patch in use by CAP members in 1948.
“The shoulder patch at the time featured a red rocker above a blue disc, upon which was seated the white triangle with a superimposed red propeller,” Blazich said. “The red rocker, with white lettering ‘Civil Air Patrol’ featured on the logo, is reminiscent of this patch. The silhouettes of a Cessna 182 and USAF F-35 Lightning II evoke the 70-year partnership, soaring high in formation, the contrails an indicator of the passage of time.”