top of page


Ever hear a HMRS rumor that you aren't sure is true?  Check here to see if its been answered!

Q - What makes HMRS different than NESA?


A - The biggest difference between HMRS is the environment in which the school is taught and the goal of training not just qualified CAP ground teams, but CAP members who are capable of performing search and rescue missions in protracted, isolated searches, for 72-96 hours without resupply.  While we have some classroom facilities and use many of NESA’s training materials, most of our school is taught in field conditions and includes a 3-4 day Field Training Exercise in the woodlands of Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Trail.


Q - Can I wear the Ranger Parade uniform outside of Hawk Mountain?


A - No.  The only Ranger specific items that are permitted to be worn outside of HMRS are Ranger Tabs as authorized by CAPM 39-1.  See the HMRS Uniform Policy for more specific guidance on uniform wear.


Q - Can I wear all the same Ranger Parade attire on the new CAP ABUs?


A - No.  There are specific guidelines for what can be worn with ABUs at this time.  While we continue to discuss possible variations with National Headquarters, all members must comply with the NHQ policy for ABU wear per CAPM 39-1 supplement and the HMRS Uniform Policy.


Q - Why do HMRS Rangers wear white parade belts?


A - Webbed pistol belts have long been an essential piece of military equipment to carry gear such as first aid kits, supplies, canteens, ammo pouches, and of course, pistols.  Honor Guards and Air Force Security Police (Forces) adopted the White Pistol belt for ceremonial wear even with camouflage uniforms.  CAP Rangers adopted this custom and the belt is a traditional, visible symbol for HMRS staff during the school to readily identify staff members around base.


Q - Why does HMRS wear orange shirts and hats in uniform?


A - Pennsylvania state law requires a certain percentage of safety orange to be worn when occupying State Game Lands during hunting seasons.  Because the HMRS borders on most sides State Game lands, our training is conducted on this property and therefore we must comply with state laws.  The use of orange shirts and hats allow us to ensure we are always in compliance.  It is also a great way to visually maintain accountability in the field of all our personnel!


Q - I hear students aren’t given water during the whole week of summer school.  Is that true?


A - No.  The HMRS facilities has water infrastructure on site and cadets can refill their hydration freely during the week. During the FTX students learn how to procure water from natural sources to supplement what they carry into the field. Hydration is a key operating health requirement, and is emphasized at the school.  


Q - Do students have to kill and eat rabbit during the school?  


A - As part of a class on survival, cadets are instructed on how to properly (and humanely) kill, skin, and cook a rabbit.  This is essential instruction on learning to survive in the wilderness.  These rabbits are bred for consumption and are obtained from a local meat supplier.  Students are given the opportunity to opt out of any part of this instruction and are not required to participate or consume the rabbit as a requirement of the course.  For basic schools, the instruction is a demonstration by staff, not hands-on for the students.


Q - I hear students aren’t allowed to shower for the whole week of summer school.  Is that true?


A - No.  While students aren’t afforded a shower every day, the school does have shower facilities that cadets are given an opportunity to use a couple times during the week as schedule and field exercise conditions permit.


Q - What kind of medical facilities exist on the mountain in case of emergency?


A - The HMRS has two facilities for medical operations, a training building and a medical operations building.  The medical operations is well stocked and is manned 24/7 during the school with qualified Medical Doctors and Nurses who are able to provide initial first response and patient stabilization while local Emergency Services respond.  Due to the remoteness of the HMRS facility, we are capable of providing first response care to a wide range of emergencies while it takes the approximately 30 minutes for local emergency services to respond.


Q - Who owns the HMRS property?


A - The HMRS property was a part of the 209 acre Colonel Phillip Neuweiler farm and property in Albany Township. A southern parcel, known as ‘the swamp’ was where Col Neuweiler started the Ranger Training School in 1956. In 1970  ownership passed to Rangers Inc. a holding company consisting of 5 key members of the Hawk Staff intent on preserving the training facility. Rangers Inc operated the schools and training facility at cost, with the intent of transferring the property to CAP. In 1983 the remaining members of Rangers Inc. donated their interest to Civil Air Patrol. Since 1983 is has been owned by CAP and administered by Pennsylvania Wing.  It consists of 72 acres of land including many permanent structures, obstacle course, 75 foot rappelling tower, base exchange, and reconstructed crash sites.


Q - Can I use the HMRS facility for unit events and training?


A - Of course!  Because the facility is owned by CAP it is available for any unit to use upon request.  In order to request use of the facility, contact Lt Col DeEtte Riley at  Use of some parts of the facility such as the obstacle course or rappelling tower will require permissions from higher headquarters and supervision by certified HMRS instructors for safety.


Q - How do I apply for HMRS Training?


A - For Weekend events - Chose the appropriate school under Register above.  All attendees must submit a completed CAPF 31, 160 and 161 by e-mail or in person at the sign-in.  Forms can be submitted electronically to  For the 9 day school in July follow the instructions located here.

bottom of page