For the New PAO

Information for New Public Affairs Officers*

Congratulations on becoming a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in the Civil Air Patrol!
Updated 22 JULY 2016
You are about to begin a unique adventure that will place you in a position to help not only your local squadron but the entire Civil Air Patrol tell it's great story of our fellow "Citizens Serving Communities: Above and Beyond."
This website is dedicated to you, the new PAO. Here you will find an orientation guide and links to basic resources to help you stand up your efforts. Please note that these are very basic materials. We have more advanced resources available and on the National Public Affairs site.  Please take a look at all the resources available to you from National.  I've also listed many below.
Then work with your Squadron Commander and the leadership of your squadron to determine the direction of your work. Once you have your plan set you can begin to do the work and tell the CAP's great story.
Once you have completed these steps you will be on your way. The information in this guide was collected from a huge variety of sources and was reviewed by many PAO's and senior leaders. Thank you for your helpful comments, suggestions and ideas.
Finally, communication is very important. Please make sure that your commander has you entered into e-services as a PAO. Once this is done you will receive important information updates from National NQ Public Affairs.
If you have any questions or concerns, I would be happy to help you.  email
* Many thanks to Major Al Pabon, former Director of Public Affairs for the North Central Region, Civil Air Patrol.  Maj P. you are missed. 

For the new member:  New Member Kit

Welcome New CAP Senior Member!
The Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit service oriented organization that is truly helping America.  To help you get started we have provided this New Senior Member Kit...simply click on each link below.

Pa Wing PAO Essentials for the Public Affairs Officer

July 2016



CAP Pamphlet 201 - Specialty Track Guide - Public Affairs has been updated and is available on

Feb 2016:



CAP's 75th Anniversary Planning Guide

Civil Air Patrol has updated its anniversary planning guide for CAP's 75th Anniversary. Please review the guide, along with the organization's Social Media Guidelines, and begin formulating your 75th Anniversary plans for 2016. (Access special resources for your 75th Anniversary planning by clicking on the PAO Toolkit link at right and scrolling to the bottom of the page.)
Anniversary Guide:

Social Media Guide:


A fill-in version CAP's 75th Anniversary Fact Sheet

Civil Air Patrol has an updated and redesigned CAP Fact Sheet in time for its yearlong celebration of the organization's 75th Anniversary. The 2016 Fact Sheet features CAP's new anniversary logo, and it can be printed on the front and back of a regular sheet of copy paper.
A fill-in version of the fact sheet, which allows each CAP unit to include their address and contact information at the bottom of the first page (in the shaded blue area) before printing.


Signature Block Instructions for Email
Branding is the image of the organization that comes to mind when people think of Civil Air Patrol. Our brand is shaped by letting people know who we are and what we do. Those messages must be consistent in order to be effective.


CAP Boilerplate Accessible On NHQ Public Affairs Homepage

Please note that the latest boilerplate information on Civil Air Patrol is now available through the CAP National Headquarters Public Affairs homepage on The boilerplate, or tagline, is now accessible at



Public Affairs Plan & Unit Crisis Communications Plan:  How to

With more emphasis being placed on planning in CAPR 190-1, NHQ/PA reminds DPAs and PAOs that there are online resources available to help with your Public Affairs and Crisis Communications plans. The latest tool available is this Region Crisis Communication Plan Template provided by Lt. Col. Al Nash, the Rocky Mountain Region's director of public affairs.
Other planning resources available include:



CAP Business Card Template Available Online

Civil Air Patrol’s three primary business card designs are now available for download to simplify the process of generating an official business card for our members. In addition to the three templates in Microsoft Word that can be used with Avery’s laser-scored business card...



CAP 101  "Who is Civil Air Patrol?"

The PowerPoint presentation CAP 101  "Who is Civil Air Patrol?" produced by CAP Membership Development is an excellent tool for presentations to the public.




Civil Air Patrol's National PAO Academy training is available to you online FREE.  Held at Buckley Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Academy, pick one (or any) of these PAO presentations to strengthen your unit's Public Affairs Program:




For our newest PAOs, I recommend:


(disregard the last slide, Conf Survey)



A Reminder For All PAOs:  Radio PSAs FREE!

Civil Air Patrol has a set of excellent radio public service announcements, or PSAs, available on VolunteerNow for you to use in your communities. These PSAs produced by Capt. Rick Rutledge of Oklahoma are easy to use and most radio stations will be receptive to airing them free of charge...



Are you Balsem Award Worthy?

Just about everything you do as a  PAO can be nominated for a  Maj. Howell Balsem CAP Public Affairs Exceptional Achievement Awards competition. See entry requirements to enter your work from the past year.




Contact the PAWG PAO, Lt  Col Carlson at



Lt Col Annette Carlson
Pennsylvania Wing Public Affairs & Information Officer
Civil Air Patrol

U.S. Air Force Auxiliary



Also see the USAF Air War College (AWC) Gateway to Internet Resources Public Affairs & Media Relations
(Note: These links will open a new browser window and leave this site.)