Is the Civil Air Patrol a Military Organization
Is the Civil Air Patrol Part of the U.S. Military?
No. The Civil Air Patrol is not part of the U.S. military armed forces.
Instead, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is an all-volunteer civilian non-profit organization that is focused on three missions: emergency services, aerospace education and our cadet programs.
As the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, we assist the United States with a variety of non-military activities that would otherwise be conducted at taxpayer expense. For example, we conduct approximately 90% of all inland search and rescue missions assigned by the Air Force - all with volunteers who donate their time on the missions and in training.
Likewise, the CAP assists the Air Force inside the United States with humanitarian missions and at large events like air shows. CAP members do not deploy outside the country for any mission.
It is easy to understand how someone not familiar with CAP could think that we are part of the military. After all, Civil Air Patrol members wear uniforms and observe USAF customs and courtesies.