Civil Air Patrol

SAR Academy

Dates: 26 July – 3 Aug 2019
Location: Fort Custer, Battle Creek, MI 49037
Mission Base/EOC: Fort Custer
Commandant: Lt Col Gus Gettas
Questions: Email to They will be directed to the proper staff member.


Please fill out the Camp Grayling Base Access Request Form here.

Order your SAR Clothing Gear here.

2018 Academy Photos can be found here.

Please come back soon for the 2019 SAR Academy details. We are working hard to identify the dates and location.


Thank you for your interest in the 2019 MIWG SAR Academy. It is one of the most physically demanding, academically stringent, and rewarding activity that Civil Air Patrol has to offer. Whether you are a senior member or cadet, you will be provided with hands-on SAR, field leadership experience, and survival training.

This Academy takes place in the wilderness with no modern conveniences available to the students. Conditions are primitive, with no indoor plumbing and no electricity. Bathing will be provided and will be available in a Lake. Sleeping will be only in tents, or constructed shelters regardless of the weather experienced. Weather can be dry or rainy, with temperatures changing from the high 90’s to 40 degrees within hours. All cell phones will be collected at sign in, and students may only call home in the event of an emergency. The knowledge that you will gain about yourself, the CAP Emergency Services Program, and search & rescue will remain with you for the rest of your life.

The Academy is very demanding, both physically and mentally. The curriculum and standards of the Academy’s training, facilities, and equipment are constantly evaluated for improvements and needed updates as funding allows. The staff are all volunteers and consist of cadets and senior members. They will teach and train you for nine full days. You are expected to do your best for those nine days!


To all SAR Academy Students,

Thank you for your interest in the 2019 Michigan Wing Search and Rescue Academy.  SAR Academy is designed to help meet the emergency services mission of Civil Air Patrol by providing better trained and qualified personnel to support our operational missions.

This booklet explains what is expected of you and provides guidelines for your behavior while at the Academy.  We have high standards of behavior and participation – we expect you to work hard – and have a good time while doing it!  SAR Academy operates in a professional atmosphere while still adhering to military customs. The emphasis is   on emergency services skills with the assumption you’re already knowledgeable in your military skills.  We will be guests at Camp Grayling and as guests on their facility, the behavior of our students will reflect directly on SAR Academy, Michigan Wing,  and Civil Air Patrol. All students are expected to adhere to standards of behavior that will bring  credit to our organization.

SAR Academy is a demanding activity. As in actual missions, there are challenges to your endurance and mental problem solving. It is our intent to help prepare you academically as well as mentally and physically for the challenges that may await you when you serve others in emergency situations. Please do your part to prepare by drinking more water during the weeks prior to SAR Academy and also meeting the CAP Physical Fitness Category “I – Unrestricted” listed in CAPP 52-18.

If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Depending on which course you are participating in, you will have instructors and a Senior Course Commander. They‘re all willing    to help you and answer your questions.  As the Commandant,  I am also available if you have a problem or questions that don’t seem to be receiving an answer. Please remember to start  your questions at the lowest level in the chain of command.

SAR Academy will give you a great opportunity to advance your emergency services skills, share/gain knowledge of emergency services, make lasting friendships with students and staff from across Michigan Wing, and you will probably have some fun in the process.

Congratulations on choosing to be a part of an excellent Academy! I look forward to meeting you.

Lt. Col Gus Gettas, CAP
2019 MIWG SAR Academy

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