Randy Bolinger
Chief of Marketing and Strategic Communications
Civil Air Patrol

15:37 PM

Envisioning the Future

Randy Bolinger

​​​​​Civil Air Patrol is on the move – evidence is everywhere. Imagine how many more lives have been saved through the advent of innovative technology like cell forensics and the expanding capabilities of state-of-the-art aerial imaging that state and federal agencies rely on.

Groundbreaking initiatives like Cadet Wings, Volunteer University, Cadet Interactive, Adopt-a-Classroom, the Innovation program, STEM Kits and more are designed to meet the needs of constituents and members alike in new and exciting ways for the next generation.

As an 80-year-old organization, Civil Air Patrol could have just as easily lost relevance and faded into obscurity like Oldsmobile or the Office of Civil Defense – but it didn’t. In the past few years, CAP made great strides in redefining an approach to strategic planning and goal-setting, technology integration, safety, philanthropy, marketing and more. Exploring a new visual identity will help demonstrate to partners, donors, members and future members that CAP is more interested in being a dynamic forward-looking Total Force partner for the future than continuing to relive the glory days of World War II Civilian Defense.

Yes, CAP is abundantly proud of its roots, but the past needn’t hold the organization back from envisioning a bold future.

And to prove that point, the Board of Governors recently adopted a new Mission-Vision statement to guide the Strategic Plan. About 15 years have passed since the Mission-Vision Statements were updated, and it became evident they no longer aligned with the organization’s strategic plan. Frankly, some claims in the current Mission Statement don’t accurately reflect the Civil Air Patrol value proposition.

The new statement reflects the innovative nature of Civil Air Patrol by blending both the mission and vision into a single, elegantly crafted statement of purpose. Many powerful organizations like General Mills, Harley-Davidson, UNICEF and Gulfstream Aerospace have crafted blended statements to help lead organizations through periods of growth and change.

Soon there will be no need to remember two statements – mission and vision – or worry about conjuring an elevator speech about Civil Air Patrol. At just nine words, the new blended statement is a masterpiece of economy and precision, and the use of alliteration makes it easy to remember. The new blended statement captures both the essence of the CAP value proposition (what we do, who we serve and how we’re different) and inspires.

Civil Air Patrol leadership is planning to reveal the new statement of purpose at the National Conference in August – the perfect place to be inspired about the future. Before then, considerable work is needed to prepare to launch a bold new statement. There are countless places where the statement(s) will need to be changed, like websites, corporate profiles, membership cards, business card templates, collateral and more. In fact, when you spot the current mission statement somewhere, send us a note at MAC@capnhq.gov to add to a growing list of places to make the change.

Civil Air Patrol’s 80th anniversary marks a pivotal time in the life cycle of the organization. CAP is not maturing so much as evolving to meet the needs of the 21st century. CAP’s ability to adapt, adopt and develop the technology, tools and programs needed to serve our communities, saves lives and change the trajectory of young lives should inspire people to join our cause as a force for good.

Now let’s talk about updating that 80-year-old logo.