Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to join CAP?
A: Annual renewable membership dues vary by state. In New Jersey cadet dues are $45 and senior members are $65.
Q: What are the age requirements for joining CAP?
A: Youth aged 12-18 may join CAP as cadets and remain cadets until age 21. Of course, adults of any age are welcome to join CAP, too.
Q: Are cadets obligated to join the military?
A: No, but many do. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter the Air Force at an advanced grade (Senior Airman E-3) if they choose to enlist. The service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience. Approximately 10% of the USAF Academy cadet corps got their start in CAP.
Q: What level of commitment is expected from cadets?
A: CAP expects cadets to participate actively, but of course CAP recognizes that cadets have school, family, and other obligations that take priority. Our Squadron meets weekly on Thursdays from 1845 to 2100 and offers special activities on the weekends and during the summer. Like any extra-curricular activity, cadets will get out of CAP only what they put into it.
Q: Who leads and supervises the cadets?
A: CAP takes its responsibility to safeguard youth very seriously. The adult volunteers who interact with cadets (known as CAP senior members) have been fingerprinted and screened by the FBI. Also, as part of their leadership training, advanced cadets lead and mentor new cadets under the guidance of senior members. For more information, see our cadet protection policy
Q: Do cadets need to maintain a certain grade point average to participate in CAP?
A: No. However, school comes first. CAP expects cadets to maintain "satisfactory performance" at school, as defined by the cadet's parents. Because CAP emphasizes self-discipline, it's not uncommon for parents to see their son's or daughter's grades increase as a result of their participation in the Cadet Program.
Q: Why do cadets wear uniforms?
A: Because CAP is the official auxiliary of USAF, all members wear uniforms. The uniform motivates cadets to set high standards for themselves and to live their core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect. Additionally, cadets practice military customs and courtesies as part of their leadership training.
Q: What uniforms do cadets wear?
A: The Air Victory UOD (uniform of the day) depends on the activity. We wear Class A or B Air Force Blues (Air Force style blue uniform); BDUs (camouflage); and a uniform for PT (Physical Training), which is grey or black shorts and black t-shirt.
Q: How do cadets obtain uniforms?
A: The squadron has BDUs that are issued to the member. Once the cadet achieves the first grade (Airman), he or she will receive a voucher to buy the Air Force Blues uniform.
Q: How do cadets obtain uniform insignia?
A: Vanguard is CAP's official supplier of uniform insignia. Here is a list of the insignia needed for the Blues and BDU uniforms:
Q: Where do the patches, insignia, etc. go on the uniform?
A: See the uniform mini-posters (PDF) included in your son's or daughter's member kit.
Q: What's involved with cadet orientation flights?
A: Through orientation flights in powered aircraft and gliders, cadets experience flight first-hand. CAP's pilots are licensed by the FAA, follow a syllabus for each flight, and ensure the flight is conducted safely. A cadet has 5 free powered and 5 free glider orientation flights. See the Squadron Commander for information about when the next opportunity to fly is scheduled.
Q: How do cadets advance and earn promotions?
A: Cadets advance at their own pace through self-study and group study (see cadet superchart). To progress, cadets must (1) participate actively; (2) pass a written leadership test; (3) pass a written aerospace test; (4) pass a physical fitness test; (5) participate in character development forums; and most of all (6) demonstrate they have the maturity to accept increased responsibility.
Q: Does CAP have activities outside the squadron meetings?