4 answers

Police Explorer Program or Civil Air Patrol?

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I'm trying to decide on which after school program I should. I don't want to take both since I already have a job, and I plan on taking a lot of AP classes, and joining athletics teams. After high school, first, I'm going to get a mechanical engineering degree, with an emphasis on either Aerospace or Robotics. Then I'll either join the Air Force as a developmental engineer and make a career out of that, or join the Marines as a combat engineer, and then join SWAT. I have a choice of either joining a Police Explorer's Program that will give me the skills and knowledge to start a path towards becoming SWAT, or I can do Civil Air Patrol which will give me flight hours and teach me about the Air Force, plus Aerospace. What's going to look better on resumes and applications, and overall, what's your opinion on what's going to be better. Also, I'm already planning on joining JROTC for school. Thanks!
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4 answers

Douglas’s Answer



I am sure that both are very fine organizations and at this stage in your development, either would be a good choice.  If you plan on being a Mechanical Engineer, I think the Civil Air Patrol might be a slightly better choice as it might be a bit more technical.  But think of it this way, which ever one you pick, it might help you to decide between the two different career paths you mentioned.  Maybe, after making your choice, you discover that it is really not for you.  That would be a vary valuable piece of information and help you to refine your future career choices;.

Kim’s Answer


Civil Air Patrol. Your military experience will be enough to help you get a job in law enforcement. The CAP will help with your immediate goal. Law Enforcement is a long term goal.

I don't know how you are planning to pay for college. You may want to look at your options as far as perhaps the AF Academy or going to college in the ROTC program. There are options out there to have others pay for it. If you can do that, you will be many dollars ahead. Or, you could even go into the military as an enlisted person, get your degree, and then go OCS (officer candidate school).

Best of luck!!

Susan’s Answer


I suggest you think about what draws you to each of these paths. One is more engineering and science focused, (aerospace/ flight); the other requires more interaction with the public with a psychological/ crisis intervention (law enforcement) What do you see as the less appealing aspects of theses careers. That may help you better decide which path plays more to your strengths. The flight option may be better to accept since this opportunity may be less likely offered again... law enforcement opportunities are more abundant and are more likely to be there waiting... Good Luck!

James’s Answer


Hello Christian,

The CAP may be a better fit based on you degree plan, and joining ROTC.  You can always change if it doesn't meet your needs.  I admire you for keeping your priorities in line and using your time wisely.