Senior Membership

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in your community? Do you want to honor and serve America? Then become a volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary! When you join the ranks of more than 56,000 CAP volunteer members, you may participate in a variety of activities:

  • General aviation search and rescue
  • Mentor youth in our cadet program
  • Join other federal and nonprofit organizations to provide disaster relief and homeland security
  • Help local educators teach students about aerospace education
  • Support CAP’s communications network, one of the most extensive in the nation
  • And much more…

Benefits of being a CAP volunteer:

Serve your community and your country by developing and enhancing your leadership skills, providing a positive influence on today’s youth, and enjoy the camaraderie and fellowship of other adult volunteers!

The Process

We suggest that you begin your CAP membership by attending three meetings before joining to learn more about the program and how you would like to be involved. When you are ready to sign up, obtain a membership application package from our squadron recruitment officer. The package includes a checklist of all documentation required such as the application form (CAPF 12), a Livescan fingerprint card, and References. Fill out the application documents and obtain references.

You can bring your completed application to the next squadron meeting to give it to the Personnel Officer along with the membership fees/dues. You will need to meet with the Squadron Commander and your application package will be presented to the Membership Review Board.

Please note that all expenditures for CAP are tax deductible!

The personnel officer will forward all of the paperwork to the National Headquarters of CAP, and you should expect to receive your membership card along with a packet of information within 4-6 weeks. Your involvement in CAP is limited until your membership appears in e-Services. Instead, this is an excellent time to complete many of the other requirements described below. You are also encouraged to come to any or all local functions of CAP to see how CAP works, meet people, and become involved.


The goal of Level One training is to orient you to the CAP organization and program. The Foundations Course is blended learning with online content and live discussion.
Operational Security, Equal Opportunity, Cadet Protection and Safety are also components of the Foundations Course. The Professional Development Officer will work with you on completion of all requirements.

Level One should be completed ASAP since it is a prerequisite for almost everything that follows in the program. Upon completion of Level One, uniforms may be worn.


How much does it cost?

Annual membership dues vary by state, but averages about $89. You will also be responsible for any required uniform items.

What’s the time commitment?

On average, members meet one night a week for 2 1/2 hours. You will also have the opportunity to attend additional training, conferences and other activities.

Are there Grooming Standards?

An important consideration for anyone considering whether to join CAP is the grooming standards.

For males, the hair must be neatly combed, no longer than one inch in length on the top of the head and not touching the ears; fad hairstyles are against regulations. Facial hair is not permitted in certain uniform combinations

For females, the hair must be neatly combed back into a bun at the nape of the neck; hair is to be styled with products to keep it from coming lose or having stray or fly away hair. This is not a comprehensive list but gives a recruit an idea of the standards.

Colognes are not worn by male or female officers.

A potential member should talk to the Recruiting Officer regarding any questions he or she has on grooming standards. Grooming standards at Squadron 85 will be strictly enforced. You can view CAP’s complete regulations on grooming and uniforms by looking at the CAPM 39-1.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes. CAP members have the privilege of wearing a uniform. We will give you more information about the types of uniforms, both military and civilian, that are available to wear. A CAP uniform must be worn by every person in any CAP vehicle (including aircraft), and should be worn while involved in any CAP activities.

I’m not a pilot, is there a place for me in CAP?

Absolutely! Pilots are one of our most visible positions in CAP, but most volunteer members do not fly. Youth development, aerospace education, or public relations are just a few areas that you may be interested in.
For more information, contact your local unit.

Am I considered a member of the military?

No, as a CAP volunteer member, you are a civilian and under no obligation to any branch of the military.

Are there checks into Background and Character?

Yes, all adult members of CAP undergo a Federal Background Check and Local Reference check.