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Cadet Membership

So you want to be a Cadet...

Congratulations on wanting to be a part of tomorrow's aerospace leaders!


Today's Cadets... Tomorrow's Aerospace Leaders

     Established in 1942, Civil Air Patrols Cadet Program Mission is to transform youth, ages 12 through 20, into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders. Cadets are exposed to a wide variety of content in Leadership, Aerospace, Fitness, and Character. This exposure opens opportunities in career fields in Commercial or military aviation, Cyber Security, STEM professions, and many more. The Cadet Program offers a safe, positive place to develop leadership skills within an Air Force-themed extracurricular activity that teens find fun and meaningful. With over 27,000 cadets nationwide and almost 1,000 hometown squadrons, Civil Air Patrol does not contract any military commitment. The Cadet Program models its rank system after the United States Air Force with grades up as high as Cadet Colonel. These young leaders wear the Air Force uniform and are proud to call themselves Cadets


Cadet Members and Parents 

New Cadets:

The CAP Cadet Program is a year-round program where Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.
To become a cadet, you must be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. Cadets usually meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer.



Thank you for supporting your child's interest in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. CAP is a volunteer, non-profit organization that also serves as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force. Our three missions are to develop youth through a cadet program, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform live-saving humanitarian missions.

The program accepts new cadets who are at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. It is a year-round program with weekly meetings at a local CAP squadron and additional activities on weekends or during the summer. 

CAP is not a military or boarding school, but a youth development program that incorporates aviation and military customs and courtesies. Through their experiences as CAP cadets, young people develop into responsible citizens and become tomorrow's aerospace leaders. The leadership skills, self-confidence, and discipline cadets gain through CAP prepares them to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves in life. 

To fulfill its goal of developing young people into responsible citizens and aerospace leaders, the Cadet Program is developed around five program elements: Leadership, Character Development, Aerospace Education, Physical Fitness, and Activities. As cadets participate in these five elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way. 

Parents Guide to the CAP Cadet Program


Step 1

Contact the squadron and arrange to visit a meeting with your parents. 

Step 2

Attend at least three weekly meetings.

Step 3

Complete the Membership Application  

The local CAP squadron will give you a membership application or provide you with information on how to apply online. Download the Cadet Membership Application

Annual membership dues vary by state. Idaho Wing Membership fees are $38 for cadets

Step 4 

Submit your application through one of the following ways:


Ask your squadron commander if you are eligible to apply online.  Only new cadets can join online.  Former members have to submit a paper application.

When you join online, your form of payment is charged immediately.  However, the membership is in a pending status until the squadron commander verifies the prospective cadet's proof of identity. 

Once the proof of identity has been confirmed, the commander can approve the application and the cadet will be an active member.   For a list of acceptable documents used for the proof of identity, please see Attachment 2 in CAP Regulation 39-2 CAP Membership.


Fax applications to 334-953-7771.  

Include credit card information to process the application. The required information includes:

  • Type of Card - Visa, MasterCard or Discover 

  • Card Number 

  • Expiration Date 

  • 3 Digit Security Code on the Back of the Card 

  • Name on Card


Dues can be paid by check made payable to Civil Air Patrol or by money orders.   

Mail your completed application and dues payment to:

Civil Air Patrol/DP
105 S. Hansell St.
Maxwell AFB, AL  36112 

Expedited Mail 

FedEx and UPS are both delivered directly to the National Headquarters building.  

Priority/Certified Mail from the United States Postal Service may be delayed several days while it is routed through the Air Force base mail system.  

When your application is received by Member Services at National Headquarters, it is date stamped and processed in order by the date it arrived.  The cadet will receive an automated welcome email when the membership is processed. 


Step 5 & Beyond

Join our in-squadron training flight and complete the first achievement and start your amazing journey as a cadet! 

Additional Materials 



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