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Senior Membership

CAP Senior Membership is open to men and women who are over the age of 18. Civil Air Patrol offers a unique opportunity for individuals to serve their community and country. Senior members take part in a wide range of activities including...

Search and Rescue Training and Service
Homeland Security
Counterdrug Reconnaissance Flights
Aerospace and Leadership Educational Opportunities
Teaching and working with cadets


Prerequisites for Senior membership:

1. Possess the desire, willingness, and capability to promote the objectives and purposes of Civil Air Patrol.
2. Must be at least 18 years old. Active duty members of the Armed Forces can join CAP as a senior member at any age.
3. United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.
4. No felony conviction by any court of record whether federal, state or military.
5. No pattern of arrests and/or convictions including but not limited to sex offenses, child abuse, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI), dishonesty and violence.
6. Submit your fingerprints for a background check
7. If you were previously in the active duty military, you must have been discharged under honorable conditions.
8. Fill out an application
9. Pay dues (see below)


Being a CAP senior member is, for many, one of the most enriching parts of their lives outside of church, family, and work.
Like most clubs and organizations, CAP will introduce you to new endeavors and you will make many new acquaintances--some of whom will become friends for life.
However, unlike most organizations, CAP has a life saving mission, and fulfilling that mission provides our members with a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
As a CAP senior member you will be joining a highly motivated, all volunteer team. You will find that the other senior members of your unit are civic-minded, like yourself, and that professionalism, dedication and national patriotism are characteristics they have in common with you.
A phrase often heard from CAP seniors, when asked why they joined is, "I wanted to give something back to my country. . . ."
After you join the squadron, you will be assigned to a squadron staff position, with duties and responsibilities based on your personal expertise, squadron staff needs, and your desire to serve.
Corresponding to your staff position, you will also have a specialty track. Some specialty tracks are Operations, Logistics (supply), Administration, Chaplain, and Public Affairs. There are also specialty tracks for CAP's three missions: Cadet Programs, Emergency Services, and Aerospace Education.
There are many other specialty tracks (you can choose more than one!) and you will receive text material, ample practice, and in some cases, testing to refine your specialty skills.
Emergency Services, besides being one of our main missions, is an exciting part of your CAP experience. . . .and you don't have to be a pilot to help out! While ES training is an optional part of your overall CAP duties, it is encouraged to help with our unit's effectiveness. With few exceptions, all CAP senior members are qualified at the basic emergency service level.
Emergency services has numerous duty positions, much like the specialty tracks. They have precise skill sets that you can learn and practice at your own pace. You can learn the fine arts needed to locate downed aircraft, learn how to operate specialized equipment such as communication and direction finding gear, and many others. As your experience level increases, you will get the chance to plan search and rescue missions and even be the officer in charge.
Note that there are no physical fitness requirements (or tests) to be a CAP senior member. Also, there are no educational requirements to join--in fact, six months after you sign-up, you will be promoted to second lieutenant!
CAP is an Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. However, all our members are civilians. As a member, you will not be required to purchase a uniform. However, to participate in United States Air Force sponsored activities you will be required to follow US Air Force grooming standards and wear the Air
Force uniform (CAP version) or wear an authorized CAP corporate uniform (Air Force grooming standard optional).
To find out more about our exciting and enriching program, please come to any meeting. The senior meeting occurs at the Texas Department of Transportation Flight Service Office on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 pm. Please click on the VISIT link of the home page for further details and directions.



As a CAP volunteer, your rewards are not monetary, but they are as tangible as money in the bank. Nothing compares to the sense of satisfaction that comes with a job well done, particularly if that job is saving lives or aiding communities. As a CAP member, you will be recognized as a vital member of a national team with a tremendous heritage of serving those in need--and doing it well. Advancement in Civil Air Patrol is clearly visible to your friends, family and business associates by the distinctive CAP uniforms with their military-style grade insignia, ribbons and badges. Some members choose to quietly serve and not wear a uniform.


Civil Air Patrol offers aerospace education and a wide variety of leadership and technical training opportunities for all CAP members, including Air Force correspondence courses. Special training is also conducted for those participating in search and rescue as mission pilots, observers or ground team members. Communications training is highly specialized and presents unique opportunities to network with other communicators from around the country. These new skills, and the self-confidence that goes with them, make you even more valuable in the workplace and in other community activities.


Civil Air Patrol members are easily recognized in the community since they wear a variety of distinctive uniforms. Since CAP is the official US Air Force auxiliary, members are also authorized to wear the Air Force uniform with distinguishing CAP badges and insignia. Wearing Air Force blue is a tremendous way to publicly demonstrate support and affiliation with this branch of our Armed Forces.


CAP members gather regularly at meetings and conventions around the country. There is also a national convention held in a different city every year. Air travel to and from the convention may be provided by the Air Force if available.


The Hertz Corporation offers rental car discounts to CAP members for both business and pleasure travel. A special Hertz identification card is furnished to each member upon request. Rates and discounts may be obtained by calling Hertz at 1-800-654-3131.


The CAP affinity VISA card offers senior members and the parents of cadets an opportunity to apply for a credit card that actually supports CAP. Each time the card is used in a transaction, a donation is made by the bank to support CAP. The CAP emblem and the member's grade are embossed on the front of this distinctive credit card.


Civil Air Patrol members and their families are eligible to join the Maxwell-Gunter Credit Union (located at Maxwell AFB, AL). MAX offers a variety of services including:

VISA and MasterCard with no annual fee and lower interest
Interest-paying checking accounts
Low interest loans
Money Markets, CDs, and IRAs
For more information, call (334) 279-7550


As a Federally chartered non-profit organization, Civil Air Patrol is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. This entitles members to claim various expenses as charitable contributions. These include:

+ Membership dues
+ Expenses for uniforms and training materials
+ Out of pocket expenses while participating in CAP activities
+ Mileage on personal vehicles
+ Travel and living expenses while participating in CAP activities


Purpose: To speed up the process of becoming a productive CAP senior member. The first 6 steps are applicable to any senior member.
Overview: You will need a CAP Form 101T before you can train for any crew positions or participate in any mission on the ground or in the air. You will need to get to Step 6 below before you qualify to get a 101T. You can qualify to fly the airplane without being qualified to fly on CAP missions (You can fly in the airplane with a just a CAPID card and a uniform). If you are itching to fly, complete Steps 1 thru 4 and then go directly to Step 9.

General Training

1. Attend a few meetings, meet the Squadron members, and learn about our mission. Fill out the application form and fingerprint card. There is also a yearly due fee. Please visit the following website for current rates:

2. While you are waiting for your CAP membership number, go to www.cap.gov and download the following:
a.CAP Senior Member Fast Start Handbook
b.CAP REGULATION 50-17(E) Cap Senior Member Training Program Read Chapters 1-4 to understand the first 2 levels of training. Level 1 is a high-level orientation. Level 2 is the technical training required to participate in Search and Rescue.

3. Find the training officer and get your Level 1 training. This consists of two videos. If done at the evening meeting, it will take 2 evenings. You need to get Level 1 done before you can do anything where cadets are involved, which is just about everything. You'll need your CAP member number before they can send in the paperwork, so if you haven't done Step 1, do it now.

4. Sooner or later, you'll want to order a uniform. The least expensive option for summer wear is the blue polo shirt with CAP seal (Item number 0964 - $18.31). You wear it with gray pants and black shoes. The phone number for CAPMart (formerly known as the Bookstore) is 888-834-1781. The regulation for uniforms is CAPM 39-1. Senior members have a choice between military (Chapter 2) and civilian style uniforms (Chapter 6). The embroidered CAP polo shirts take 6-8 weeks to order. The cheaper, faster one is mentioned above.

5. Sign up for the next General Emergency Services (GES) course and/or take the test online. It gives you an overview of how CAP participates in search missions and how it works with other agencies. You'll need to take the course to get your General Emergency Services rating. At the end, you'll take the CAP116 test (100 questions). You can familiarize yourself with the course material by reading these:

i. CAPR 60-1, CAP Flight Management,
ii. CAPR 60-3, CAP Emergency Services Training & Operational Missions,
iii. CAPR 60-4 Volume I, Part 1&2 Emergency Services Mission Forms,
iv. CAPR 60-4 Volume II, CAP Emergency Services Training Forms,
v. CAPR 60-5, Critical Incident Stress Management,
vi. CAPR 173-3, Payment for Civil Air Patrol Support,
vii. General Emergency Services (GES) Tasks, and the GES Course.

For those of you who would like some additional source material to assist in your preparation of the CAPT116 test, there is a PowerPoint presentation on the National Web site that covers almost all the information needed to pass the second half of the CAPT 116. The link to get to that PowerPoint presentation is: CAP 116 Test info

6. At the end of the course, you will fill out a Form 100 and receive your GES card. Now you are ready for Level II Training. You will need a Form 101T signed by the Squadron Commander before you can participate in any flying training or participate in any ground or air missions.

Aircrew Training

7. The three flying positions are Mission Pilot (front left seat), Observer (front right seat) and Scanner (rear left seat). To qualify as a Mission Pilot or Observer, you must first complete the Scanner course. That doesn't mean you can't prepare for all three while you wait.

8. Take the Basic Radio Operators course. You'll need this for Observer and Mission Pilot

9. You can fly the airplane without Steps 5 thru 8. To fly the airplane, you need to do a few more things (including Steps 1-4).

a. Get proficient. Practice!
b. You'll need to prove current medical, BFR, and 3 T/O & landings in 90 days.
c. Take the CAPR 60-1 Annual Examination. You can take the exam on line.
d. Complete the Aircraft Questionnaire (CAPR 60-1, page 17)
e. Fill out a Texas Wing Pilot Records Checkist
f. Schedule a Form 5 Check ride with your CAP Check Pilot.
g. Take the Form 5 Check ride. (Show up in uniform -- did you skip step 4?)
h. Make copies of your paperwork for personal reference. Reprint any certificates
i. Turn your paperwork in to your squadron Admin and Stan/Eval officer (goes in your pilot folder).

Cadet Membership

CAP Cadet Membership is open to young men and women who are enrolled in 6th grade or higher and are under the age of 19. Cadets join CAP for many reasons. Many join because they are interested in pursuing careers in aviation. Others join because of an interest in emergency services or the military. CAP has many things to offer cadets including...

Aerospace Education (including flight opportunities)
Leadership and Management Training
Search and Rescue Training and Service


The Col. Joe Kittinger Phantom Squadron is a Senior Squadron, meaning we do not have Cadet members. However there are two outstanding Composite squadrons in the Austin Area:

Apollo Composite Squadron
Pegasus Composite Squadron

Prerequisites for Cadet membership:

All applicants for cadet membership must meet the following:

1. Twelve years old (or attending 6th grade) through 18 years old.
2. Enrolled in or graduated from a public or private school or college with a satisfactory record of academic achievement.
3. Not married.
4. Not a member of the active duty Armed Forces.
5. United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.
6. Good moral character.
7. Attend a minimum of three cadet meetings
8. Fill out an application
9. Pay dues
10. Purchase uniform items

Other Cadet Resources:

Want to see what other cadets around the country are up to? Go to http://www.cadetstuff.org/

As a CAP Cadet, your life will take on new and meaningful challenges.

Cadets have many roles to perform and duties to fill once they sign on. Honesty, integrity, hard work and dedication are all hallmarks of a successful cadet. Since CAP is voluntary, attendance is also voluntary, but cadets soon find that "you get out what you put in". . . .but you will not be alone.
The CAP cadet unit is a team. It has cadet leaders and teachers whose success will be judged by how successful you are. Dedicated senior (adult) officers administer the program and help the cadet leaders guide and mentor you in your cadet career--until you move up into a leadership role yourself. The cadet program is multi-faceted, presenting several areas of knowledge and skill to equip you for a successful future.
You will be heavily exposed to the wonder and intrigue of aerospace science and its history.
You will learn about Air Force drill and ceremonies (marching) and proudly wear the Air Force uniform. You can also volunteer to help with CAP's Emergency Services mission and participate in Search and Rescue exercises, Ground Team Exercises, and (depending on age) you may even go on real life search and rescue missions!
CAP training can lead to appointments at military service academies, such as the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. CAP membership can also lead to college and flight training scholarships.
Each weekly meeting is designed to present one major aspect of your overall training. During the meeting there are two hour-long periods; one for leadership training and one for specialized training.
During the leadership hour you will first learn how to be a follower. As you move up in the ranks, you will learn how to be a leader. Here, you will learn Air Force drill and ceremonies, proper uniform wear and care, and cadet basic knowledge. This training will bolster your confidence and enhance your decisiveness--both essential to being a good leader.
In the second hour, depending on the week, you will attend a class on aerospace education, moral leadership, emergency services, or physical fitness.
Aerospace education is a mission of the Civil Air Patrol. Here you will learn from trained aerospace instructors about the fundamentals of aircraft and rocket flight. You will learn about cockpit instrumentation and aviation Weather. You will also learn about the history of aerospace, from the early efforts of pioneers like Orville and Wilbur Wright and Dr. Robert Goddard, to modern day aviation heroes. Moral Leadership gives needed balance to your growing capabilities by presenting the concepts of authority and responsibility. CAP is one of the few youth organizations that stresses and teaches the ethics and moral principles of follower ship and command responsibility.
Physical Fitness rounds out the moral and command leadership training by encouraging physical wellness. Cadets are required to run one mile and perform sit-ups as part of their advancement in rank.
Don't worry, though. It starts out easy with ever-shortening mile time requirements. Of course, cadets who are unable to perform the physical fitness course for medical reasons are exempt.
Emergency Services are another vital CAP mission. Although not required as part of a cadet's career, many cadets desire to participate in this CAP fundamental. Once per month, basic ES training is provided and can cover topics ranging from basic first aid and CPR, to advanced airborne search-route planning.
Special activities occur several times per year give you experiences that are simply unavailable in any other organization. CAP, in conjunction with the Air Force sponsors many activities that broaden a cadet's experience.
Orientation flights on CAP and military aircraft, summer encampments, Parachute Jump Orientation courses, Cadet Officer School, Cadet Leadership School, and more are available to all who join.


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