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[INCOMPLETE TEXT FROM ORIGINAL PUBLICATION]
from conventional usage. I shall for the sake of brevity omit my open-ended questions and report only focus questions.
Background on the subject organization
The CAP is a volunteer civilian auxiliary of the USAF, which was founded on December 1, 1941 for civil defense purposes. It currently has three missions:
1 emergency services which include search and rescue operations for crashed aircraft;
2 aerospace education to promote aviation;
3 cadet program, similar to boy/girl scouts.
The emergency service mission is overemphasized, as evident in content analysis of communication, as this is the most militaristic, hegemonically masculine, and heroic mission.
CAP is both an instrumental (Babchuk and Gordon, 1962) volunteer organization comprised solely of unpaid volunteers (Smith, 1981, p. 28), and a para-military organization. The volunteers receive no or little day-to-day supervision, training, and support from CAP's parent organization, the USAF. As a paramilitary organization, its structure parallels the USAF and has adopted its departmentalization, ranks, career ladder, uniforms, regulations, and culture. Departmentalization starts with the local Squadron to the Group (several squadrons usually covering a county or more), Wings (in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), eight Regions (consisting of several Wings), and National Headquarters. CAP's "command and control" structure has adopted the USAF's commissioned officer ranks from Second Lieutenant (2LT) to Brigadier General (BG). The CAP career ladder is one that parallels the USAE Members are expected take training, and get assignments to get promoted from Second Lieutenant (2LT) to Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in a "CAP career." CAP's uniforms are virtually identical to the USAF's commissioned officers' uniforms. CAP has its own version of all applicable USAF regulations, five to eight inches thick depending on location. The culture of the USAF has been adopted in that CAP has hyper-masculine values, e.g. hierarchy, patriarchy, authoritarianism, conformity, man using technology to conquer nature.
From the last, 1989, CAP official data available, there was a total membership of 69,000: 41,000 adults, and 28,000 "Cadets" (under the age of 18). Commanders interviewed believe, and observations support, that there is a trend for membership to decline (which will be discussed later). Members were classified by age. "Cadets" were children in a boy or girl scout-like program, and "Senior Members" were adults[7,8]. Any citizen of the USA could be a member after they passed a "Cadet protection screening" (fingerprint screening to look for child molesters). CAP owns 530 aircraft and 1,300 vehicles. Members own 8,000 of their own planes which they use on CAP missions.
There are six types of members of "senior members" (adults) (Cheng, 1996):
1 Heroic veterans - according to unit commanders are "the backbone of the CAP." These members are Euro-American male, senior citizens (over 70 years old), World War II or Korean War veteran pilot with a hegemonically masculine, militaristic, and bureaucratic attitude.
2 Wanna-be heroic veterans - imitators of "heroic vets", usually middle aged Euro-American males who were never in the military,
3 Just a pilot - they only want to fly and not deal with the bureaucracy.
4 Wives - who perform traditionally "female" tasks such as serving refreshments, secretarial work, newsletter editing, etc.
5 Miscellaneous - members who did not fit the above categories.
6 Unknowns - inactive members who could not be studied.
Centrality of the uniform
Uniforms are very important to the CAP:
* In the 1-day "Level I" training (orientation), two hours were spent on the topic of uniforms. Most questions asked by students during the session I attended were about uniforms.
* Often squadron meetings observed, uniforms were the topic of conversation 20-30 percent of the time.
* The CAP Uniform Manual is 92 pages long outlining when, where, and how to wear, and what to wear on the uniform (CAP Manual 39-1). The "Wing Supplement" (state level regulations) to CAP Manual 391 (CAPM 39-1) is nine pages long. Groups (intermediate unit) and Squadrons (basic local unit) may have additional uniform regulations.
* The uniform committee is one of the most important committees in CAP. Assignment to this committee signifies high status. It is a feeder assignment for top national office.
* The CAP bookstore catalog is in four colors and is 40 pages long with 28 pages devoted to uniform items. They even have their own toll free (800) telephone number. …