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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.

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.


Civil Air Patrol isn't just for future leaders, it's for leaders of today. Adult members, referred to as Senior Members, come from numerous backgrounds which adds to the wealth of experience Civil Air Patrol can draw from to provide a robust program of leadership, aerospace education, physical fitness, and moral and ethical decision making. Adult membership comes in two different but equally important roles:

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.


Ready to join Civil Air Patrol? Great! Once you've attended at least three weekly meetings to get the feel for the squadron visit to start the application process.

Download the Cadet Membership Application

Download the Senior Membership Application Once you've made your decision complete the Senior Membership Application and FD 258 Fingerprint Card (available at our squadron).

Annual membership dues vary by state.

Click here for the membership dues table.

In addition to the national application fee Mt. Airy Composite Squadron has squadron level dues of $15.00 annually payable to Mt. Airy Composite Squadron.

Submitting applications

Online — 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.

Mail — 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. Bldg 714

Maxwell AFB, AL  36112 


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

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