The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded in December 1941 shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and was 
made an auxiliary of the United States Air Force by act of Congress in 1947. Since that time, CAP has been tasked with three missions:  Emergency Services, Cadet Programs, and Aerospace Education. 

At Arlington Composite Squadron, our focus is on the first of these three missions where we encourage and provide training, both initial and recurrent, to our members. As a result, many of our senior members are rated aircrew (i.e. mission pilots, observers, and scanners) while some of our cadet members have been trained as ground searchers. Below you'll find a summary of each of CAP's missions.

Emergency Services Patch

CAP is best known for its members’ work in search and rescue and disaster relief

missions; however, CAP is expanding its role in the 21st century to include an

increasing number of homeland security operations and exercises. CAP also

performs counterdrug reconnaissance missions at the request of law enforcement

agencies and can do radiological monitoring and damage assessment. CAP

members undergo rigorous training to perform these missions safely and cost


Cadet Programs Insignia

CAP’s cadet program trains young men and women in teamwork, moral leadership,

aerospace education, technical skills to support emergency services, and military

history and customs. Through national encampments, a college and flight training

scholarship program, and the International Air Cadet Exchange, CAP cadets 

broaden their horizons, learn to assume responsibility, feel self-confidence and 

set goals for their lives.

Aerospace Education Patch

CAP maintains both internal and external aerospace education programs. CAP

members, both adults and cadets, follow a rigorous program to learn about aviation

and aerospace principles. CAP also reaches out to the general public through a

special program for teachers at all grade levels. Through this program, CAP 

provides free classroom materials and lesson plans for aerospace education and

each year sponsors the premier national conference in this field.