Q11: Myself and other members of my family are all members of Civil Air Patrol. How can we distinguish the difference between our CAP roles and our family roles and be successful at both?
Many members who have family members in Civil Air Patrol sometimes struggle with this question. While our CAP roles are important while we are performing our CAP duties, at the end of the day, we still have to return home and resume our family roles and relationships.
Some members prefer to draw the line as soon as they put the uniform on or report for duty. They put all family relationships on hold and only the CAP roles are performed.
Others seem to blur the lines completely and still refer to each other by their family relationship, even while performing CAP duties. However, this practice does not lend itself to a professional CAP image for these members or their unit.
So what is the best solution? If we look to our Core Values of CAP membership, those being Integrity, Excellence, Volunteer Service and Respect, we can find some guidance. When we avoid appearances of impropriety by trying not to be the one who has to approve, proctor or validate a family members accomplishments, we live up to the Core Value of Integrity. When we help all of our members, not just family, achieve all we can by doing the best that we can, we live up to the Core Value of Excellence. When we recognize that we all donating our time and are giving up something, some maybe more than others, we live up to the Core Value of Volunteer Service. And when we realize that each of us has something worthwhile to contribute, that each of us may have opinions or ideas that we would appreciate being heard, that each of us still have much to learn, and that when the brainstorming stage of problem solving is over and a decision has been reached, that we all need to support that decision, we live up to the Core Value of Respect.
For many members, CAP is like an extended family and value all of our members the same as family. We all share in each others accomplishments, heartaches, and fellowship. And like family, we don’t always agree with each other, but we support each other the best we can!