Frequently Asked Questions
About Civil Air Patrol


  • Membership 
  • Adult Supervision
  • School
  • Uniforms
  • Flying
  • Cadet Promotions
  • Scholarships
  • Additional Questions & Concerns

    Q:  How much does it cost to join CAP? 
    A:  The initial cost is $67.00 (2 checks- $35 & $32 made payable to Civil Air Patrol).  Thereafter there are annual NY Wing dues of $32 and LI Group dues of $15.

    Q: What is the process for joining as a Cadet?
    A: Attend 3 Squadron meetings to determine if CAP is for you. Then complete the application here,  and bring it in with your 2 checks:  $35 & $32 made payable to  Civil Air Patrol.

    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.  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 CAP.

    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. We meet weekly for about 2 1/2 hours and offer special activities on the weekends and during the summer. If a cadet is unable to attend a CAP activity, they should let their element leader know in advance. Like any extra-curricular activity, cadets will get out of CAP only what they put into it.


    Adult Supervision

    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 Officers) 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 cadets to see their 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:  There are 3 basic cadet uniforms:  The short-sleeve (Air Force style) blue uniform, the BDU (camouflage) uniform and the PT uniform.  These are worn according to a published schedule on

    Q:  How do cadets obtain uniforms?
    A:  New cadets are eligible to receive the Air Force style blue uniform at no cost to them through the Cadet Uniform Program, upon joining (depending on the availability of Air Force funding). BDUs and other uniform items may be available through your squadron's supply or may be purchased through the online Vanguard clothing sales store or local Military supply stores.

    Q:  How do cadets obtain uniform insignia?
    A:  Our squadron has a limited supply of the basic insignia.  Purchase is also available through Vanguard, CAP's official supplier of uniform insignia and uniform items.

    Q:  Where do the patches, insignia, etc. go on the uniform?
    A:  See the uniform manual CAPM 39-1 included in the 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. 5 Orientation flights are free to cadets. See the website for information about when the next opportunity to fly is scheduled.

    Cadet Promotions

    Q:  How do cadets advance and earn promotions?
    A:  Cadets advance at their own pace through self-study and group study. 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 differ slightly.)



    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:  The Squadron's website has a great deal of information and links.  Also the National website, is another source.  Finally CAP's on-line Knowledgebase is also great source for more specific information about CAP programs.