These days, our lives are filled with news that’s hard to face – a global pandemic, divisive politics, and civil rights issues. These concerns have forced their way into our personal lives, and in many respects, this is probably a good thing. Our country may be struggling, but I am confident we will emerge from these trials stronger than ever.
Your continuing support of the Civil Air Patrol and Arizona Wing is key to our future. We’re still probably months away from face-to-face meetings, but we’re not dead in the water in terms of moving about our communities and our state and influencing people we encounter. We respond to SAR missions, we sponsor and assist with blood drives, we travel to and from our airports, we relocate equipment, and in the coming months, I anticipate that our involvement in these and even new types of activities will only increase. The most important six inches on our road to full remobilization are between your ears. As your commander, I can’t tell you how important it is, and how proud I am, that you use that distance well!
As American citizens and Civil Air Patrol members, we represent the whole spectrum of political ideologies that comprise this nation’s culture. Our national commander says, “We strive, always, to be an inclusive organization that values and respects all our members.” Our core values as CAP members drive us to demonstrate integrity and respect in everything we do, both within CAP and as citizens in the communities where we serve.
You are, of course, entitled to your personal perspective, but don’t let the line blur between your personal and CAP lives. When you wear the CAP uniform, when you display your CAP affiliation on your social websites, you are representing the whole organization, including the U.S. Air Force, our Total Force parent organization. It is not appropriate to wear your uniform at a political event or a demonstration. It’s deeply inappropriate to strike a hard ethnic opinion which can, in any manner, reflect poorly upon the Civil Air Patrol –- especially in light of our organizational equal opportunity and diversity mandates. Remember that CAP takes no side in the issues we are facing today, and when you’re representing CAP, you shouldn’t either.
Acknowledge the risks related to activities at certain locations at certain times and don’t go there. If you haven’t heard from a fellow member in a while, give him or her a call, just to check in and share some stories. Abide by CAP’s COVID-19 protocols and help our fellow members do the same.
I am profoundly proud that my comments likely will come as news to no one reading this. I’m equally proud of how your behavior has honored this wing, the Civil Air Patrol, and our communities, state and nation in recent weeks.
Col. Rob Pinckard, CAP
Commander, Arizona Wing