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 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. 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 the 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
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) uniform.
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). See your local squadron
commander for details. BDUs and other uniform items may be
available through your squadron's supply, and may
be purchased through the clothing sales store on military
Q: How do cadets obtain uniform insignia?
is CAP's official supplier of uniform insignia.
Q: Where do the patches, insignia, etc. go on the uniform?
A: For cadets, see the New Cadet Guide. For seniors, see the Senior Member Welcome Booklet.
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 differ
Q: Does CAP have activities outside the squadron meetings?
A: Yes. Visit the Activities
page for information about Encampment, Leadership
Schools, National Special Activities, and more.
Q: Does CAP offer any scholarships?
A: Yes. See the scholarships
page for details.