Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet program.

Don’t see your question listed? Contact us for more information.

How old do I have to be to join?
Youth members must be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. Cadets joining a unit in their school may join under the age of 12 as long as they are in the sixth grade.
Are non U.S. citizens allowed to join?
Aliens admitted for permanent residence are eligible. Other non-citizens who are legally admitted to the country must request a waiver of the citizenship requirement through the unit they are joining.
Can I join if I have a medical condition or disability?
Civil Air Patrol does not preclude membership due to medical conditions or disabilities and is committed to doing everything we reasonably can to help cadets succeed. Keep in mind that participation in certain activities may be limited for his or her safety depending on the cadet’s condition, illness or disability. Read more about Cadets with Special Needs.
Do cadets need to maintain a certain GPA to participate in CAP?
School should always come first for the cadets. 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.
Do cadets have to join the military?

No, you do not have to join the military, but many choose to do so. 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. But no matter what career you choose, whether civilian or military, the skills you learn in CAP will be invaluable.

How often do cadets meet?

To get the most out of the cadet program you should participate regularly. Like any other activity, you’ll get out of CAP only what you put into it. Squadron 1007 meets every Tuesday from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. We also offer special activities which generally occur on the weekends and during the summer.

Click here for our upcoming schedule.

Who leads and supervises the cadets?
CAP takes its responsibility to safeguard youth very seriously. The adult volunteers who interact with cadets (known as CAP senior members or cadet sponsors) have been fingerprinted and screened by the FBI. All adult members also take a Cadet Protection course as part of their initial training. Visit this page for more information on cadet protection.
What uniforms do cadets wear?

New cadets need one uniform to get started. Eventually, the cadet will want to have both the camouflage utility uniform (ABU) and the Air Force-style blue uniform.

Upon completing Achievement 1 and becoming a Cadet Airman, cadets qualify for the Curry Blues Voucher, which covers some of the costs of the Air Force-style blue uniform. Therefore, we suggest you obtain ABUs first, and then use the Curry Blues Voucher to obtain your “blues.”

How do cadets obtain uniforms?
Uniform items may be purchased through a variety of sources. The official source for CAP insignia and uniforms is Vanguard. Shop with them at, (800) 221-1264. If you’re near an Air Force base, you can buy uniform garments (but not CAP insignia) at the Exchange or base thrift store.

Squadron 1007 also has a “supply closet,” and military surplus stores could be another option.

How do cadets earn rank in CAP?
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.)
What can cadets do outside of Squadron meetings?

While participating in weekly squadron meetings is very important for cadet’s development, there are many opportunities for cadets to get involved in extra-curricular activities across the state, region, and nation. There are too many activities to list them all, but cadet centered activities occur at every level of CAP. These range from a weekend social event hosted by the group to national cadet special activities (NCSAs). Each activity allows cadets to meet others outside of their normal squadron lives and grow as a leader while gaining a variety of new experiences.

A small selection of events that you can attend or gain leadership in staffing as a cadet:

What are the PA Wing Cadet Training Schools?

The Pennsylvania Wing Cadet Training Schools (CTS) provide much of the core training to cadets in PA Wing outside of the squadron environment. In fact, cadets from across the nation can attend the schools. The school’s core curriculum is comprised of three courses which are in-line with three of the cadet phases. The following core courses are held concurrently each summer.

  • Encampment follows a nationally recognized curriculum that immerses CAP’s newest cadets in a military style environment for approximately 1 week. Throughout the course, cadets develop personal and small group leadership skills, work as a cohesive team, and make decisions under pressure. Encampment is one of the cornerstones of the cadet program and is required to earn the Billy Mitchell Award.
  • Leadership Development Course (LDC) is the second core PA Wing course designed to teach cadets to be “first line supervisors” at the non-commissioned officer (NCO) level. This course allows cadets to hone in on their leadership skills in a safe, hands on environment. LDC fulfills one of the requirements for cadets to staff PA Wing CTS.
  • Region Cadet Leadership School (RCLS) is the final standard cadet curriculum which teaches strategic leadership and is presented in a more academic style than other CTS schools. RCLS satisfies one of the requirements for the Eaker Award (C/Lt Col) and for cadets to staff PA Wing CTS.
What are National Cadet Special Activities?

National Cadet Special Activities are activities that are open to cadets across the nation. These activities range in length from one week to two weeks in length and expose cadets to a specific focus area in the cadet program. These range from leadership schools, emergency services activities, STEM academies, and other various experiences. These activities are held across the nation and allow cadets to get exposed to a large variety of careers & opportunities. Many of these activities are hosted with the direct support or advisement of Air Force personnel. Some examples:

Does CAP teach cadets to fly?

CAP doesn’t normally provide primary flight training, but all cadets have the opportunity to fly in a CAP plane through our Orientation Flight program. With that being said, some national cadet special activities (NCSAs) and other opportunities may provide an avenue for primary flight training for cadets.

Does CAP offer any scholarships?
Yes, there are academic and flight scholarships available.
Can parents be in CAP?
Absolutely! Some opportunities to share in the CAP experience are:

Cadet Sponsor Member — Just like any other youth organization, CAP relies on a cadet’s family to support the program. Cadet parents, grandparents or legal guardians are eligible to join as a Cadet Sponsor. This membership requires the same FBI background screening process and cadet protection training as the active adult membership. First year dues are just $30 and renewals are only $20. As a parent sponsor, you’ll be able to help chaperone the kids, ride or drive in the CAP vehicles, and otherwise help the other adult volunteer members. You will not be required to wear the Air Force-style uniform.

Senior Member — If you are more interested in taking a leadership role in the Cadet Program, or want to participate in CAP’s aerospace education and emergency services missions, you should join as a senior member. Talk with your child’s squadron commander about joining as a senior member. You will need to submit and complete a membership application, fingerprint card and complete an orientation course. Annual membership dues vary by state.