Adult (Senior) Membership

Have you ever wanted to serve your country, but you didn’t quite know how to go about doing it?

Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the community, or to help prepare our next generation of leaders?

You can do all of those things and more as a Senior Member of Civil Air Patrol!

Let’s get one thing out of the way: just because we use the name “Senior Member” does not mean you have to be a senior citizen to join CAP! We use the terms “Cadet” and “Senior” to distinguish between youth members (ages 12 to 20) and adult members (ages 18 and up). [You might have noticed there is some overlap in the ages between Cadets and Seniors. If you are under 18, you can join CAP only as a Cadet. If you are over 18, you can join CAP only as a Senior. If you are exactly 18, you can choose either one; but, keep in mind that a Cadet can stay in the program only until age 21; at that point, he or she must move from the Cadet Program to a Senior membership.]

As a Senior Member, you will be carrying on a tradition of public service that began in 1941, barely a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. CAP’s mission then was much more limited than today, and our members are involved in a wide range of activities. Here are just a few of them:

  • Search And Rescue (both air- and ground-based)
  • Communications
  • Disaster Relief
  • Teaching others about Aerospace technologies and their importance
  • Mentoring youth in our Cadet Program

If you are a licensed pilot, CAP provides opportunities for you to qualify to serve as a Mission Pilot, working as part of a trained aircrew performing aerial search and rescue flights, as well as opportunities to fly counterdrug missions in support of federal and state enforcement operations. You can also help in developing our youth by becoming a Cadet Orientation Pilot, giving cadets an exciting opportunity to learn about flying first-hand. To fulfill these roles, CAP owns and maintains the largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in the world (primarily Cessna 172 and 182 models), and employs state-of-the-art electronic observation and detection equipment.

If you are not a pilot, that’s okay — although CAP is best known for its aerial search-and-rescue activities, there are many other options and choices for members to get involved. CAP has over two dozen different specialties to master, from Administration and Cadet Program Management to Public Affairs, Logistics, and Information Technology. We even have a specialty for members of the clergy (the CAP Chaplain program). Your experience and training outside of CAP can guide you in choosing a specialty, or you can try something you have always wanted to do but never had the opportunity before.

By now, you probably have some questions. While we can’t possibly answer them all here, we can at least answer the ones that are asked the most:

  • How much will it cost me to join? There are annual dues, plus expenses for your uniform(s). There may also be some offsite activities from time to time that will have fees associated with them. Since everyone’s situation is a little bit different, we can’t possibly list all of the exact costs here. We will be happy to sit down with you and discuss the details.
  • Okay, about the uniform…do I really need to wear one? Yes and no. While there are some situations and activities in which a uniform is optional, there are many in which a uniform is required. There are a wide variety of uniform choices and combinations available, and we can review all of these options with you.
  • I’m not a pilot, but I’d like to learn. Can CAP teach me to fly? CAP does not offer a pilot training program, but there may be opportunities to obtain training at reduced rates through a local flying club or from local flight instructors. Check your local telephone directory for “Flight Schools” or “Flying Clubs” to locate the closest ones to you.
  • How much time will I need to give? Our squadron meets for 2-1/2 hours each week. There are other activities available to participate in throughout the year, especially during the summer. The actual amount of time you give can vary depending on your commitments and interests.
  • Am I considered part of the military when I join CAP? No, absolutely not! CAP is an all-volunteer organization, and as a civilian you would have no obligations to any branch of the military.

We won’t kid you here — the work is not always easy. But, the rewards from providing a valuable service to our community and our nation are very great.

Are you up to the challenge?