Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any military service requirements?

There is absolutely no requirements to serve in the military to be a member of Civil Air Patrol. You will not sign any contract that obligates you to serve in the military. You will never be deployed in the United States or overseas as a member of CAP. CAP is the official auxiliary of the Air Force. This means that CAP is supported by the Air Force, and CAP members may wear Air Force style uniforms, but CAP members are not considered or treated as members of the United States military.

What are the costs?

Senior membership is $60 (as of 2018) annually. Uniform prices vary depending on type, size, and store location. The least expensive is the CAP polo short and gray slacks. The polo shirt is approximately $46. Wearing Air Force Style uniforms (ABU or Blues) can be more expensive.

Do I need to be a pilot?

No. There are three positions in the aircraft during a normal CAP mission: Mission Pilot, Mission Observer, and Mission Scanner. The Mission Pilot is the only member that is required to be an FAA licensed private pilot. The observer and scanner are not required to be a pilot, but they will receive training in aeronautical subjects to help support missions.

Additionally there are ground and command positions seniors can fill during missions.

Will CAP help me become a pilot?

CAP can not provide any primary (private pilot) instruction for any member. CAP can support members working on advanced ratings (instrument, commercial, etc.). Although members that participate in training gain hours in their log books, flying hours are utilized primarily for training and actual missions. However, CAP will expose all members to aeronautical subjects that are required for primary (private pilot) students. Members do receive favorable rates towards proficiency flying after after having completed one year of membership, as well as a transport mission pilot rating as a minimum. The more you are exposed to these subjects the easier flight training and FAA exams will become. Current private pilots will be exposed to regular flight and safety training more often than pilots not in CAP increasing the safety of your flying.

What rank will I receive when I join?

Retired, separated, and currently serving officers in the U.S. military may be appointed to the same rank in CAP as they served in the military. This appointment request can be initiated shortly after joining.

Retired, separated, and currently serving enlisted members of the U.S. military may receive credit for their service. Ranks are dependent on Professional Development levels, ratings and time in service.

For FAA certified private pilots, instrument pilots, and flight instructors, credit for your experience may be applied towards higher ranks in CAP.

Will I receive pay or credit for military service for participating in CAP?

No. As a non-profit volunteer organization, there is no provision to pay its volunteer members. Also, Because CAP is not part of the Active Duty military, Senior members do not receive credit towards military service. However, cadets who earn the Mitchell Award and choose to enlist in the Air Force, may enter at the grade of E-3. The award is looked upon favorably by admissions staff at AFROTC and the USAF Academy. Mitchell Award recipients who become CAP senior members are eligible to enter at the grade of 2d Lt.

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