HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Civil Air Patrol works as a partner and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. They are here to search and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster, and work to keep the homeland safe.
They also have a mission to train and develop youth through their cadet program.
Former Civil Air Patrol Board of Governors Chairman Jayson Allyn Altieri explained the opportunities cadets have in the program.
"Many of our civil air cadets are trained and actually perform both emergency service missions like search and rescue, disaster recovery and assisting FEMA in other operations," he said.
Youth as young as 12 can join Civil Air Patrol, and the organization also make it possible for those with a disability or medical condition to serve their country.
Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Jamison Satterlee joined Civil Air Patrol in 2015, and he handles a wide range of responsibilities.
"They don't discriminate against people if they are speech impaired, in a wheelchair, they accept everybody," he stated. "From all different walks of life. I do things that range from aerospace education to emergency services and cadet programs."
On top of all of the responsibilities, the patrol also gives Satterlee a place to belong.
"They immediately accepted me for who I am, and they immediately trained me into the person I am today," he said.
The acceptance gave Satterlee the opportunity to soar without even leaving the ground.
Civil Air Patrol operations go beyond flight operations and include cybersecurity, public information, and many other ground operations. Youth interested in joining the cadet program can find more information here. Adults interested in joining Civil Air Patrol can find the process here.