We are an all-volunteer, civilian organization of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary called the Civil Air Patrol. The Shawnee Composite Squadron is located in Marion, IL. We have been tasked with three missions from the Air Force; Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs. In emergency services, the CAP performs 90% of all inland search and rescue missions coordinated through the Air Force.
We also have a major role in most disaster relief efforts within the United States. Civil Air Patrol also has a leading role in the education of aerospace of not only the members of the CAP, but also the American public. Members, as well as the public, could participate in activities from model rocketry to actual flight training. The cadet program is a unique youth leadership development program like no other. Youth ages 12 to 18 have the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience while developing everything from their morals to their education.
Cadets wear an Air Force uniform (supplied by the members) and participate in drill and ceremonies, both of which teach them self-discipline, teamwork, and integrity. Physical fitness and health is another main goal of the cadet program. By being educated on physical fitness and healthy living, cadets and seniors are able to continue this lifestyle outside of the program. Once the cadets progress through the program, they can be eligible for several flight and academic scholarships to further their knowledge and education.
This past fiscal year, the Shawnee Composite Squadron was awarded the Aerospace Education Excellence Award, the Annual Incident and Accident Free Certificate of Achievement, the National Quality Cadet Unit Award, and several of our members were also awarded the Civil Air Patrol Achievement Award which is a high level award. Our squadron chaplain was also named the Illinois Wing Chaplain of the Year. In the past year, our membership has increased by 250% and is still climbing.