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Recruiting & Retention


The Recruiting and Retention program includes activities designed to make the Civil Air Patrol missions and activities attractive to the public and Civil Air Patrol’s current membership. The overall goal is to persuade and ensure that membership in Civil Air Patrol is worthy of the prospective, active, and inactive member’s time and commitment.

Join CAP

Ready to join CAP as an active adult or youth member?  Here’s how to get started. 
If you are interested in an Aerospace Education Membership, please click here.
If you are interested in a National Patron Membership/Cadet Sponsor, please click here.

Step 1.  Find a local CAP squadron

All active CAP members join through a local squadron.  You can find squadrons near you by entering your zip code or city and state in the online unit locator found on the home page. The local squadron is the best place to find answers to specific questions about membership (examples: What would I do in CAP?  How often do you have extra activities?  How quickly can I become a CAP Pilot?)
Types of Squadrons

Senior squadrons only have an adult program for senior members 18 years of age and older.  Cadets are not accepted into senior squadrons.

Cadet squadrons only have a youth program for cadets.  There are senior members in this program, but their purpose is to manage the youth program.  Adults join if their primary interest is working with the cadets.

Composite squadrons have both a senior and a cadet program. 

A Group is an administrative unit and does not usually accept new CAP members.

​Step 2.  Contact the squadron 

Call and/or email the unit contact person and confirm the meeting date, time and location.  You can also take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about membership eligibility.  Keep in mind that the phone number or email posted is often the personal contact information for the CAP member.  All of our members are volunteers and try to respond to membership inquiries as soon as possible, so please give them a few days to respond.  If you encounter a wrong number or incorrect email address or otherwise have difficulty contacting the local unit, please email us through the Contact page for assistance.

​Step 3. Visit a meeting

The best way to learn more about CAP is to attend a meeting.  You’ll have a chance to see how meetings are run and what types of activities are available.  You should visit all the squadrons that are convenient to you.  Each squadron has a different leadership, culture and volunteer opportunities. 

​Step 4. Membership Application

The local CAP squadron should provide you with a membership application, fingerprint card (for adults), inform you of the amount of annual dues, and if they require any squadron dues.   Cadets can now apply online - ask your squadron for more information.

​Download the membership applications here:  SENIOR            CADET

​Annual membership dues vary by state.  You can view the membership dues table here.  

Incorrect dues will delay the processing of your membership.

​Applications without the squadrons commander's signature will not be processed. 


USAF-CAP Recruiting

Come Learn About The Civil Air Patrol

Getting Prepared For A Recruiting Campaign

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