Civil Air Patrol…The Best Kept Secret of the U.S. Air Force!

In 2006 at The Wings Over The Rockies Museum Open Cockpit, my son saw a 15 year old boy wearing BDU’s who was helping to show WWII Aircraft. That’s all it took, he was intrigued and now four years later he is 2d Lt in the Valkyrie Cadet Squardron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).  

The Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the U.S. A.F. founded December 1,1941, one week before the Japanese attack on pearl Harbor, by more than 150,000 citizens who were concerned about the defense of America’s coastline. Maj. Gen. John F. Curry was the first CAP national commander, and today as a cadet tests for his/her very first achievement as Cadet Airman, he/she is administered the Curry Achievement.  On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman established CAP as a federally chartered benevolent civilian corporation, and Congress passed Public Law 557 on May 26, 1948, making CAP the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Cap was charged with three primary missions:

1-Aerospace Education
2-Cadet programs
3- Emergency Services

The National Museum of the Civil Air Patrol offers an incredible virtual family field trip.  Just click to enter the museum and enjoy your journey through history. 

Click here if you’re interested in finding a unit in your state. The Cadet Program is open to anyone between the ages of 12-18 years old. Some cadets who join CAP do not pursue an armed forces career, but do gain invaluable leadership skills, make friendships, and have a whole lot of fun in the process.


Sean promoting to C/Amn Cooney June 2006
Valkyrie cadets volunteering at the Front Range Fly-In June 2006  
June 2006
Assembling the glider…
Going for my first ride

    C/A1C June 2006
    C/SrA Nov 2006
September 9, 2006 Sean and I get ready for our first Search and Rescue Exercise SAREX
Fort Logan Cemetary
Veteran’s Day November 11, 2006
Chuck Yeager with Valkyrie Cadets November 11, 2006

Memorial Day Parade
      May 26, 2007      
February 13, 2007
Wright Brothers Award
The First Milestone
Promotes to C/SSgt
April 17, 2007
Valkyrie Cadet Squadron Recognition Reception July 10, 2007
Joined by Special Guest Speaker Congressman Mike Coffman
former Colorado Secretary of State
Wyoming WingEncampment 5 August-11 August 2007         
    January 2008
             June 10, 2008 C/CMSgt
       No Picture šŸ™

July 2009 The Rocketry Program
Construct, Launch, Retrieve and Recover your rocket

    July 2009  B-17 Event at Centennial Airport 
                                     December 2008                                         
 Congressman Tom Tancredo presents Cadet Cooney with his Mitchell Award 
C/2d Lt Cooney 
5 Valkyrie Cadets earn their Mitchell Award
Second Milestone

Color Guard 2010
C/2d Lt Cooney
April 2010
…and this space right here is for Little Cooney…
I proudly announce the newest addition to the Valkyrie Cadet Squadron
Shannon Cooney
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  1. What an amazing experience! I imagine this is such a character bulider.

  2. There are actually a number of incentive to volunteer for CAP. The Civil Air Patrol is a great opportunity for young people (cadets) to learn to fly for about half price. Also, senior members who are already pilots can earn advanced ratings (Instrument, Commercial) in CAP aircraft. They usually rent the airplanes for personal training purposes for about half of what your local airport would rent a comparable aircraft for and the equipment is very well maintained by your tax dollars.

    In addition, the types of flight experience that CAP members get is very unique–from playing "terrorist pilot" for the air force fighters to chase around (which makes for some once-in-a-lifetime photo ops) to low and slow staring out the windows, to, as high as you can go radio-relay platform. The experiences are very diverse and cannot be experienced elsewhere. For more information about how you can get involved, and what CAP can do for you, go to to talk to other CAP cadets and senior members and get the real deal on how to make the most of volunteering in CAP. Oh, and when flying in an official capacity for CAP, the flight time is FREE and you can log it by special FAA exemption.

    It's a heck of a deal!

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