"The Cadet Program has changed my life for the better. Within
Civil Air Patrol I have found confidence, passion and a strive to do
better in everything I do. When I first joined Civil Air Patrol I was
quiet, did not like to get up in front of people, and did not want to be
in charge. I also had no major interest in science, engineering,
technology, or aerospace. I am now able to take charge of a group and
lead them to complete a given task. I am comfortable giving lessons and
am pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering.” -- 2012 IACE Cadet
Today's cadets are tomorrow's aerospace leaders.
Through its Cadet Program, Civil Air Patrol transforms youth aged 12 to
20 into responsible citizens.
CAP is the volunteer, non-profit
auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its three missions are to develop its
cadets, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform live-saving humanitarian missions.
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to the CAP Cadet Program
Strategic Overview of the Cadet Program
GUIA PARA PADRES
Parents are welcome to participate in CAP. No prior military service or
special skills are required. Whether you want to help chaperone cadets
once in a while or become a full-fledged senior member active in CAP
missions, we would love to have you get involved in CAP.
- help arrange carpools, plan social events, raise funds, and connect
the squadron to your hometown by serving on an informal parents'
- To volunteer, talk with your son's or daughter's squadron commander.
Cadet Sponsor Member
- occasionally support cadets as a chaperone or driver
To volunteer,talk with the squadron commander, who will give you a
membership application, help you get fingerprinted, and complete an
orientation course. Annual dues vary by state.
- take a leadership role in the Cadet Program, and/or participate in CAP's aerospace education and emergency services missions
To volunteer, talk with the squadron commander, who will give you a
membership application, help you get fingerprinted and complete an
orientation course. Annual dues vary by state.
Any time you have a question or concern about CAP, please feel free to
contact your son's or daughter's squadron commander. If local leaders
are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, the wing
headquarters, which oversees all the squadrons in your state, will be
glad to help. Use the unit locator
to find contact information (click your state, and then click the link for the "001 Wing Headquarters" unit).
Frequently Asked Questions Membership
Q: How much does it cost to join CAP?
A: Annual membership dues
vary by state.
Q: What are the age requirements for joining CAP?
A: Youth aged 12-18 may join CAP as cadets and remain cadets until age
21. In special school program squadrons, sixth graders may join, even
if they are under age 12. Of course, adults of any age are welcome to
join CAP, too.
Q: Are cadets obligated to join the military?
A: No, but many do. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter
the Air Force at an advanced grade (E-3) if they choose to enlist. The
service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience.
Approximately 10% of the USAF Academy cadet corps got their start in
Q: What level of commitment is expected from cadets?
A: CAP expects cadets to participate actively, but of course CAP
recognizes that cadets have school, family, and other obligations that
take priority. Most squadrons meet weekly for about 2 1/2 hours, and
offer special activities on the weekends and during the summer. If your
son or daughter is unable to attend a CAP activity, please have them let
their commander know in advance. Like any extra-curricular activity,
cadets will get out of CAP only what they put into it.
Q: Who leads and supervises the cadets?
A: CAP takes its responsibility to safeguard youth very seriously. The
adult volunteers who interact with cadets (known as CAP senior members)
have been fingerprinted and screened by the FBI. Also, as part of their
leadership training, advanced cadets lead and mentor new cadets under
the guidance of senior members. For more information, see our cadet protection policy
Q: Do cadets need to maintain a certain grade point average to participate in CAP?
A: Of course, school comes first. CAP expects cadets to maintain
"satisfactory performance" at school, as defined by the cadet's parents.
Because CAP emphasizes self-discipline, it's not uncommon for parents
to see their son's or daughter's grades increase as a result of their
participation in the Cadet Program.
Q: Why do cadets wear uniforms?
A: CAP uses uniforms to promote teamwork and develop self-discipline.
The uniform motivates cadets to set high standards for themselves and to
live their core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and
respect. Additionally, cadets practice military customs and courtesies
as part of their leadership training.
Q: What uniforms do cadets wear?
A: The basic cadet uniform is the short-sleeve Air Force style blue
uniform. Most cadets also choose to wear the optional BDU (camouflage)
Q: How do cadets obtain uniforms?
A: Beginning 1 June 2015, parents and/or squadrons, you will
provide BDUs to new cadets as soon as possible after joining, and CAP will
provide a $100 voucher towards purchasing the blues uniform after the cadet
earns the Curry. See
your local squadron commander for details. BDUs and other uniform items
may be available through your squadron & apos;s supply, and may be
purchased through the clothing sales store on military installations.
Q: How do cadets obtain uniform insignia?
is CAP's official supplier of uniform insignia. Here is a list of the insignia needed for the "blues" and "BDU" uniforms:
|Air Force "Blues" Uniform
||Camouflage "BDU" Uniform
|Flight cap device - CAP0748A
||"Civil Air Patrol" cloth tape - CAP0599K
|3-Line nameplate - CAP0599M
||Cloth nametape (last name) - CAP0599HA
Q: Where do the patches, insignia, etc. go on the uniform?
A: See the uniform mini-posters (PDF) included in your son's or daughter's member kit.
Q: What's involved with cadet orientation flights?
A: Through orientation flights in powered aircraft and gliders, cadets experience flight first-hand.
CAP's pilots are licensed by the FAA, follow a syllabus for each flight,
and ensure the flight is conducted safely. Orientation flights are free
to cadets. See the squadron commander for information about when the
next opportunity to fly is scheduled.
Q: How do cadets advance and earn promotions?
A: Cadets advance at their own pace through self-study and group study (see cadet superchart).
To progress, cadets must (1) participate actively; (2) pass a written
leadership test; (3) pass a written aerospace test; (4) pass a physical
fitness test; (5) participate in character development forums; and most
of all (6) demonstrate they have the maturity to accept increased
responsibility. (In some stages of the Cadet Program, these requirements
Q: Does CAP have activities outside the squadron meetings?
A: Yes. Visit our Activities page for information about Encampment, Leadership Schools, National Special Activities, and more.
Q: Does CAP offer any scholarships?
A: Yes. See our scholarships page for details.
Additional Questions & Concerns
Q: I have more questions about CAP. Where can I find answers?
A: CAP's on-line Knowledge Base is a great source for more information about CAP programs. Of course,
your son's or daughter's squadron commander will also be glad to answer