Anyone Here Ever Fly for the Civil Air Patrol?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MBDiagMan, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    It seems that some of the work done by the CAP is quite worthwhile. Has anyone ever had any experience with them? Would you like to comment?
     
  2. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    "paging DenverPilot. Nate, pick up the nearest white paging telephone"
     
  3. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Paging Mr David White - thoughts?
     
  4. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...


    NO comment.
    :mad2::mad2::mad2::mad2::mad2::mad2:
     
  5. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was a member of the 22 Squadron of the Delaware Wing of CAP. Although I live in PA ( DE is a 45 min drive) I joined the DE Wing because they flew A LOT. CAP is like anything else, there are good wings and bad wings, good squadrons and bad squadrons.

    I liked my squadron primarily because 1) They flew 2) They didn't take themselves to seriously thinking that they were " real military" 3) it was an all adult squadron.

    I did not want a composite squadron that had adults and kids I've done the whole scout thing with my daughter so I just wanted to be around adults.

    There were Wannabees in the Wing, usually fat older guys, well fatter and older than me who were col this and Commander that. These were the guys that said we couldn't wear a particular shirt because it was the wrong shade of blue. We mostly just laughed at them. The guys in my squadron leadership included were very good guys and one woman.

    There are some squadrons where I hear only the "elite" higher ranking guys fly and its very political and you havre to wait for ever to get any stick time.

    Like I said our squadron flew a lot we were contracted by the State Dept of Transportation to fly traffic twice a day every day and three times a day every day in the warmer months. They also flew drug interdiction. IIRC that was essentially flying a LEO over some fields in southern DE to see if any pot was growing. We practiced SAR which I enjoyed but I joked that the only thing that got lost in the state of Delware was a stock certificate. I'd imagine that Squadrons in more remote and mountainous areas ie Colorado, Wyoming etc actually got to use their SAR skills.

    So why did I leave? Well ironically as much as the squadron flew I NEVER got to fly PIC because it was impossible to book a CAP certified CFI to do the training with me, there just were not enough of them.
     
  6. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've found the CAP similar to the CAF (Commemorative Air Force) If you can find a good unit, it is worthwhile. Otherwise, lots of politics and BS that really makes it a miserable experience.

    I know some folks who have had positive experiences. I have looked into two units so far and found that they were completely dis-organized and pretty much useless.

    If there is one in your area, I would recommend looking into a Coast Guard Air Auxiliary unit before the CAP.
     
  7. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    i just joined in order to help get a glider orientation ride program started with the local cadets. it will be interesting to see how much paperwork really is required for a glider to take off
     
  8. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My experience was mixed.

    I met and flew with some great pilots.

    I was able to 'rent" a well equipped 180 HP C172 for $50/ hour.

    I tried to participate in the Composite Squadron thing. Some of the kids really took to me as I was a pilot and retired military but didn't "act like it."

    A few too many of the "Seniors" were "jealous."

    I didn't have time for the drama, didn't need to beg to set up or run a training event, and tired of reading endless "Air Force Lite" manuals written by a band of bureaucratic monkeys...

    If you wanted to a fly S&R practice or actual mission -- well, let's just say you'd better be related to the "right" people.

    On balance - I can't say I miss it.

    :dunno:
     
  9. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I feel lucky in belonging to a no-BS squadron and group. And in my participation around the state, I've encountered very few jerks. The bureacratic BS from higher HQ does get a bit much sometimes though, and I hope they are done changing the color of the flight suits.

    Right now my biggest beef is that you can't apply "glass" panel training received elsewhere and just take the CAP flight check; you have to find someone with the time to give you the CAP training instead. That's why I wish we still had a round dial plane at our squadron.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  10. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Probably depends on the squadron...I'll tell you this: I've witnessed some extemely scary flying by supposedly "high ranking" pilots within CAP.
     
  11. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Like this one.....
    Two "highly trained 20,000+ hour CAP check pilots who gave the glass form 5 check rides to other CAP pilots..... Flew right into the side of a mountian.

    http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/u4b2kd554gb1l455l2rijkzh1/C03142012120000.pdf
     
  12. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  13. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Easy.... read the report..... the high time pilots were steam gauge pilots that were NOT allowed to fly a glass CAP plane... didn't seem to stop them though. it is the old "do as I say.. not as I do"..:yesnod::redface:
     
  14. flyingmoose

    flyingmoose Pattern Altitude

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    Yes I fly with civil air patrol quite a bit. I am a mission pilot now and currently the maintenance officer for our squadrons airplane. So where to start....Hmm well I like cap sometimes and other times I really don't. But with all that said, I am in a squadron that has some really good guys/gays in it and we all get along great. If you are interested in it you should just do it and see if it is for you. I find myself trying to not pay attention to all the political BS that comes from the higher ups and just do what we do in our local unit. There can be times of alot of flying and then there can be other times when there is not a whole lot going on. Trying to stay current in 4 different airframes is kinda difficult sometimes. Anyway I don't know if I anwered your question or not but all in all I like it. It keeps me flying more.
     
  15. flyingmoose

    flyingmoose Pattern Altitude

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    I cannot read the link you put up, but it is not true that the pilots were not qualified to fly the plane. The left seat PIC was signed off to fly it, he also would not have been able to get a release without it. The right seat guy was not signed off to be a pic in g-1000, but I guess that does not matter.
    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20071121X01832&ntsbno=SEA08FA023&akey=1
    Its under 1st pilot!
    Anyway didnt mean to get off topic
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  16. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The statement that "It was further reported by CAP personnel that the pilot had not been trained in CAP G1000 equipped airplanes, and was not authorized to fly G1000 equipped CAP airplanes." is under the heading of "Second Pilot."

    Under the heading of "First Pilot," the report says "According to a flight log provided by the Nevada Wing of the CAP, the pilot had accumulated 74.7 hours in Garmin 1000 (G1000) equipped Cessna airplanes, and 34.2 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot had received G1000 training from a CAP instructor; the instructor was factory trained at the Cessna training facility in Independence, Missouri. The pilot's training was conducted in accordance with the Cessna FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) training program. The curriculum included 3 ground school sessions of 4 hours each, and three training flights of 2 hours each."

    So it appears that the PIC had the necessary training and authorization. CAP does not require glass panel training for passengers unless they are acting as observers, which probably was not the case here.

    In any case, smacking into a mountain on a VFR night flight night is a planning issue and a procedural issue, not a glass panel vs. round dial issue. The probable cause does not mention the glass panel.

    http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/cdvcenuxkihcsyizqeds14451/Y03142012120000.pdf
     
  17. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Don't get me wrong.... The CAP is a worthwhile and productive idea..

    The execution of their mission is seriously flawed, creates a potential hostile enviroment based on ex military people running roughshod on others who joined the organization in the hopes of helping others, and the old boy network sometimes leads to death. IMHO.
     
  18. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    You are correct.... but I am adding the complete description of the first and second pilot, the part you left out.

    The First Pilot
    The left-seat first pilot, age 73, possessed an FAA airline transport pilot certificate for
    airplane multiengine land and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land. The pilot also
    possessed multiple airline transport category type ratings, a turbojet flight engineer rating, as
    well as flight navigator certification. It was reported by Civil Air Patrol personnel that the
    pilot had accumulated a total flight time of 25,000 hours. The pilot's personal logbooks were not
    accounted for during the investigation.
    The pilot held a second-class FAA airman's medical certificate, which was issued on September 10,

    2007, with the limitation "Must have available glasses for near vision

    The Second Pilot
    The right-seat second pilot, age 71, possessed an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane
    single-engine land, multiengine land, and single-engine sea. The pilot also held an airline
    transport pilot certificate for rotorcraft-helicopters and commercial privileges for gliders.
    Additionally, the pilot possessed a flight instructor certificate for single and multiengine
    airplanes, instrument airplane, helicopters, and gliders. The pilot also possessed advanced and
    instrument ground instructor certification, a flight engineer certificate for turbojet and
    turbopropeller airplanes, airframe and powerplant mechanic certification, and flight navigator
    certification. The pilot held multiple airline transport category type ratings for both helicopters
    and airplanes. CAP personnel reported that the pilot had accumulated more than 28,000 hours of
    flight time, comprised of both military and civilian flying experience. The pilot's personal
    logbooks were not accounted for during the investigation.
    The pilot possessed a first-class FAA airman's medical certificate, which was issued on May 25,
    2007, with the limitation "Must wear corrective lenses."
    Civil Air Patrol personnel reported that the pilot had served in the CAP for more than 50 years. At
    the time of the accident the pilot was the Director of Operations for the CAP's Pacific Region. The
    pilot was also the former National Vice Commander, serving in the capacity for one year before
    serving as the Pacific Region commander for four years. Additionally, the pilot had held the
    position as the California Wing Commander. It was further reported by CAP personnel that the pilot
    had not been trained in CAP G1000 equipped airplanes, and was not authorized to fly G1000 equipped

    CAP airplanes


    This is the culture of the CAP... "I have tens of thousands of hours", they show up at meetings and want people to bow to them and they act like god....

    Not my cup of tea. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm not sure what significance you're attaching to the part you quoted. Doesn't the NTSB routinely report on the flight time of accident pilots?

    I don't have any information one way or the other on whether this commander was one of the ones who wanted to be bowed down to. I've had very little contact with CAP higher-ups.
     
  20. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    I also find it VERY odd that during an extensive NTSB and CAP internal investigation they could NOT find either one of the pilots log books.:dunno:. Were they really high time pilots or legends in their own minds.?
     
  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Burned up in the post-crash fire?
     
  22. flyingmoose

    flyingmoose Pattern Altitude

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    The part he left out is irrelevant. You were the one who said that the pilots were NOT allowed to fly a glass CAP plane. The PIC for the flight was in fact allowed to fly a glass cap plane. The second pilot means nothing. I fly in cap with alot of people who have nothing like 25,000 hours and the attitude that you have encountered. That being said if you have met some of those types it is not right to paint with such a broad brush.
     
  23. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    You are correct.... I will retract my broad brush suggestion and hope no one else chimes in to support my position.
     
  24. rainsux

    rainsux Line Up and Wait

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    > I also find it VERY odd that during an extensive NTSB and CAP internal
    > investigation they could NOT find either one of the pilots log books

    Really??? My wife has no clue re: my logbooks; both the paper logbooks and
    the electronic logbooks. Ditto for the airframe, engine & prop logbooks.

    What are they gonna do, search the house, garage, cars, hangar, safe
    deposit boxes, etc? I really doubt that a Judge would sign a warrant
    for those searches (unless there was compelling evidence of a crime).
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  25. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Lets be real here.. anyone who has 25,000 hours has 20 -25 individual log books they accumulated over 50 years of flying... I am 99.9999 % sure both of these guys didn't have EVERY one of them in their flight bags that night. Plus... as CAP member you know how they look at your log books before every form 5 check ride... Somewhere there would be copies to show the NTSB. IMHO.
     
  26. Mike5250

    Mike5250 Line Up and Wait

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    Did they allow you to rent the planes for personal flights as well? There was a cap in Fl that had nice 182's for $85 an hr.
     
  27. BiffJ

    BiffJ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back to the original posters question........

    I flew with the CAP in the New Mexico wing for a few years back in the 80's and 90's. I got mission observer and pilot rated and due to the high numbers of clouds with rocks in the in New Mexico we got to do a lot of SAR work. I got a lot of flying time in planes I would not likely have had a chance to fly elsewhere and I met a lot of very good pilots and people doing it. Of course there were some gumbies in the unit and you will find that no matter what you do or where you go. Most of them didn't fly much or mainly used the aircraft to keep current and stayed out of SAR. I can't think of a single person I flew with on a search that I wouldn't fly with again. I learned a lot about flying and about being on the ground wishing I would be found (for future reference anyway). I'm looking at getting back into the CAP here in Indiana though I don't imagine they do as much flying out here. I did a lot of maintainence on the aircraft as an A&P and that helped me a lot too.

    I guess the question is if you're interested in getting into the CAP what are you looking to get out of it? Some guys want to be Wannabee officer types with wings and all that and some of us want to fly and put something back into what we get out of it. Our squadron had no cadets and most of the wannabees only showed up at meetings and parties. Maintainence meetings were well attended because it reduced the hourly aircraft cost for those who showed up and worked. Other squadrons have issues with big heads and wannabees so pick carefully and select the group thats doing what you're interested in.

    Hope that helps

    Frank
     
  28. BiffJ

    BiffJ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Proficiency flying was easily available and at the time cheaper than any of the local FBO's. Our wing had a variety of 172's, 182's a 206 or two, a Maule MXT7-180 and a couple of T34's. Not sure if they have any of the other stuff anymore or just cessna's. We were expected to remain current in aircraft that we were mission qualified in so a few hours a month wasn't tough. On the other hand it wasn't easy to check out a plane for a trip. The planes weren't there for our benefit and pleasure but for search and rescue work or other humanitarian aid. Our squadron did a lot of blood runs and organ transfer. Some of this couldn't be done easily if a plane we needed was on a trip somewhere. On the other hand NM Wing did enough SAR work that we were pretty well equipped so it could be done but was difficult.

    Hope that answers the question

    Frank
     
  29. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    I read what I think are the requirements for the Civil Air Patrol (the BF sent me a text thinking it was "free airplane flying"), and I just saw a bunch of red tape. I don't have the hours etc and I do not know how I feel about the whole thing. What you wear, do, time you have to put in, etc.

    What I think I want to do is be "mission assistant" for Angel Flight but I have to pay them money (not true in all States but true here even for the PIC's).

    I need to get back in touch with the President, he was nice, and we talked on the phone. I sort of gave up when I got really busy with my training and put every dollar towards it.
     
  30. Graueradler

    Graueradler Pattern Altitude

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    My wife helped me make a decision on "re=upping" after a year of membership. She simply asked = Lets see now, If you come home from every meeting pi**ed off, tell me again why your are doing this.

    Horribly bureaucratic and inefficient and have totally forgotten that it is the "Civil" Air Patrol. I don't need any more playing military. I am proud of my military service but don't need to play soldier any more.
     
  31. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What are Forms 1 through 4?
     
  32. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Out here in the big hills, the CAP Mountain Flying course was written by, and conducted by, the same person who wrote the Colorado Pilots Assoc Mountain Flying Course. The only difference was the front cover.

    But can I use the CPA course to satisfy the CAP requirement? Nope.

    But revenge is sweet - the CPA course has been consistently improved (material, videos, etc) while the CAP course remained stagnant. And CPA is getting calls every year to conduct a private course for a type club. Last year was Cirrus.

    Of course the CPA course is $ while CAP is free. But I'll stick with the CPA version.

    This year, CPA Mtn Course is June 9 and Aug 18 @ KBJC.
    www.coloradopilots.org
     
  33. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes and no. I agree with the ex-military attitude. Just because I never wore a blue suit with stripes or bars doesn't mean I'm an idiot (and yes, I get treated that way sometimes from some of the older members).

    Every squadron is different. If you're interested, go visit as many as you can in your area.

    Of course I'm also Less Than Dirt at my squadron because I have no interest in Emergency Services - my specialty is Aerospace Education and I'm the IT assistant. Another Less Than Dirt specialty. And since I have an airplane, I'm really not interested in flying a CAP C182. Besides, with all the other pilots ahead of me and only 5 check pilots, there's no chance.

    I think CAP is having a crisis of conscience - it really doesn't know why it exists right now. With satellite imagery, 406 ELTs and PLBs, and most ground searches te responsibility of the county LEOs, CAP is in a quandry. It's trying to re-invent itself to be relevant and useful but not sure how yet. I just sit back and watch the fun these days.
     
  34. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most of the Senior Members go with the grey slacks & polo shirts. But those are only needed on Official events, e.g. CAP flying missions. Otherwise, whatever you want to show up in to a meeting is usually fine.
    You're in the AFW area (me too but Colorado). We have no wing costs, only the annual AFW membership ($35?) which is a tax donation. Costs involved while flying as mission assistant is entirely up to you and the PIC. I've never asked any MA who flew with me to chip in at all.
    There are minimum requirements (hours) more to assure the pax than anything else. Be happy, some AFs require an instrument (back east) because of the weather. AFW doesn't - if it's IMC, we probably shouldn't be flying - the hills and ocean, you understand.

    I love AFW thinking SLC-APA is a straight-line route. No matter how many times we try to explain it to them, they just don't get it.
     
  35. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Regarding free flying, one of the quips is that CAP stands for Come And Pay! There are missions that are reimbursed, but it takes a lot of training to qualify to fly those, and training flights will often be at your own expense for the plane, although the instructor's time is free. There are occasionally funded training missions, however.

    You do learn a lot of worthwhile stuff in the process.

    The best way to get your questions answered would be to show up in person at a local squadron meeting. You can also get an idea of how you like the people there that way. It looks like the two squadrons closest to you are Novato and Santa Rosa. Contact and meeting info:

    http://www.cawg.cap.gov/html/Cunits/cunit5.htm

    http://flt23.cawg.cap.gov/

    http://sq157.cawg.cap.gov/
     
  36. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    However, in California, where Kimberly lives, a nomex flight suit and flight boots are required for all crew members on search flights, including search training and search checkrides. Other types of uniform are OK for other types of flying.
     
  37. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You could rent them for things such as BFRs IPCs and currency and proficiency flights. You could not rent them for personal trips such as taking the family to the shore for the weekend. You could not rent them to go and fly for lunch with a buddy and you could generally not take them out of the squadron's state beyond 20nm IIRC.
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I believe that is incorrect unless someone in Stan/Eval at Wing has a stick up their butt now. It qualified in the past.

    Have you seen this anywhere in writing, because it would be a new Wing requirement. I'd ask Stan/Eval and double check.

    You may have to provide your certificate from CPA, scan and upload.
     
  39. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've asked various people in the squadron and keep getting the NO response. Doesn't matter, I have no intentions of being a CAP pilot. Besides, the CPA course is so much better these days than the CAP course.
     
  40. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    I joined as a cadet when I was 13. Better than Scouts IMO. By the time I was 17, I was the cadet commander at my squadron, had gone through ground search and rescue school and put together training as that was the most accessible for us around the armory where we had meetings. Cadet-wise we were SAR-oriented, and not bad at it. I had planned to take lessons through CAP, since it would only have been aircraft cost, but by the time summer rolled around (when I was going to start)my position in the squadron was rudely introducing me to the politics within NJ wing at the time. Basically in my experience, it was a great learning opportunity but far too frustrating to stick with. The newspaper we'd get as members always had articles about SAR's out west involving a good deal of ai/ground coordination that seemed like a pipe dream for us to be able to pull off.
    Seems like it's hit or miss.
    After serving the real military, like some of the other folks here a) I've had about enough playing soldier and b) will not tolerate wannabees getting their rocks off being the HMIC yet violating all the grooming/uniform standards they are supposed to enforce:rolleyes2:
    If I found a decent squadron....eh maybe...