Maj. Claude Hawkins

CAP Legal Officers are appointed at the various levels, beginning at the squadron level. CAPR 111-1(E) sets forth the qualifications and duties of a CAP Legal Officer. Civil Air Patrol is the corporate client of all CAP Legal Officers. While Legal Officers may advise and educate CAP members in the various legal aspects of serving in Civil Air Patrol, CAP Legal Officers do not represent the individual members.


Responsibilities of a CAP legal officer include, but are not limited to:

(1) Rendering legal advice and opinions regarding CAP activities.

(2) Assisting the unit safety officer in conducting safety investigations.

(3) Investigating complaints under the direction of the unit commander in accordance with CAPR 123-2.

(4) Conducting legal reviews of adverse personnel actions including proposed membership non-renewals and terminations prior to wing (or region) commander action. Also responsible for reviewing letters of notification to members concerned.

(5) Serving as CAP representative at termination appeals hearings

(6) Serving on unit membership board as directed by the unit commander.

(7) Advising the unit commander on legal implications of CAP programs and activities to include interpretation of laws, regulations, and directives; contracts or agreements; claims; insurance; real estate; taxation; investigations; corporate records; fund raising; and relations with local agencies.

(8) Monitoring compliance with CAP Constitution and Bylaws and CAP directives.


Professional appointments and promotions of legal officers are covered by CAPR 35-5(E). The Wing Legal Officer is required to review all appointments and promotions of legal officers under CAPR 35-5(E) to insure compliance.


In addition to the Wing Legal officer, the Arkansas Wing also includes the following Legal Officers:

Arthur R. Formanek, Bentonville, AR

Ector R. Johnson, Mountain Home, AR

Reba M. Wingfield, Little Rock, AR


If your squadron has an attorney who is willing to serve as a legal officer, please contact the Wing Legal Officer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who may become a CAP legal officer?

CAPR 111-1(E) provides that Civil Air Patrol Senior Members who are licensed attorneys.

To whom does a CAP legal officer owe his or her duty?

CAPR 111-1(E) specifically provides the a CAP legal officer owes a fiduciary duty to the Civil Air Patrol in a corporate capacity. The CAP legal officer represents the Civil Air Patrol rather than individual members.

To whom does a CAP legal officer report?

CAPR 111-1(E) requires a legal officer to report to a corporate officer-commander (National, region or wing commander) directly, or to or through legal officers who do report to a corporate officer (e.g., a squadron legal officer may report to a group legal officer, who reports to a wing legal officer).

Where can I obtain additional information concerning legal aspects of the Civil Air Patrol?

The General Counsel of the Civil Air Patrol maintains a page on the main web site of the Civil Air Patrol. Additional information may be located at the NHQ General Counsel web site