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FAQ for Parents

How is CAP’s Cadet Program structured?

Cadets join and begin the process of working through Civil Air Patrol’s 16 achievements (or “levels”) by participating in weekly meetings on Thursday evenings at the Army National Guard Armory in Concord, NH (or at another local squadron).  They also have the opportunity to participate in weekend activities throughout the year.  As cadets advance through the achievements and are promoted to higher ranks, they have increasing opportunities to take on bigger and more important leadership roles at the unit, state and national levels.

Cadets receive a set of leadership and aerospace textbooks and study them on their own time outside of Civil Air Patrol meetings.  They take their tests to advance and promote online, on their own time, through our secure national testing website.

Cadets are authorized to wear Air Force uniforms (both dress uniforms and field uniforms) with special CAP Cadet insignia.  As part of the values the program instills (including self-discipline, attention to detail, setting the example, and personal responsibility) Cadets are expected to maintain their uniforms (clean and iron them, shine their boots & shoes, and place their insignia correctly) and maintain CAP grooming standards (appropriate haircuts and shaving, for example).  Civil Air Patrol provides much of their uniforms (their dress blues and ABUs or field uniform), but parents are usually responsible for buying certain personal items such as insignia, boots and shoes, and some accessories.

What are the minimum requirements for my child to join?

  • Age: Be at least 12 years old, but not yet 19.

  • Have satisfactory grades in school

  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

  • Be willing to meet CAP standards (haircut, shaving, wearing uniforms properly and maintaining them, attending meetings regularly, etc.).

  • Be drug, tobacco, and alcohol free.

How much does it cost to become a cadet?

Civil Air Patrol works hard to minimize the cost for cadets to participate in the program.  All new cadets receive a full binder and set of textbooks, attendance at a full year’s worth of weekly meetings and activities, and coverage by CAP liability insurance (when participating in CAP activities) as part of their annual membership fee.

  • Annual National Cadet Membership Fee: $44

  • Uniform costs can vary depending on where they are purchased.  The squadron has a uniform pack that can be purchased during inprocessing and the squadron will order all uniform items on your behalf, or you are able to procure the uniform items on your own.  Following Basic Cadet graduation, Cadets receive a $100 Vanguard voucher towards their Blues uniform. 

There are additional training opportunities, including weekend activities and longer summer leadership camps and training opportunities that will have fees associated with them. Civil Air Patrol strives to keep the cost as low as possible for cadets and in some instances, needs-based or merit-based scholarships are available.

How do I get my son or daughter involved?

The first step is to visit a weekly Civil Air Patrol meeting (Thursday evenings, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at the NH Army National Guard Armory in Concord, NH)Contact our Squadron to schedule a visit and have your questions answered.  The Concord Squadron takes on new members during the spring and fall, usually as part of our Open House & Membership Nights, but you can come at any time to find out more about Civil Air Patrol. During your visit, a member of the squadron staff will review the steps to becoming a Cadet in the Civil Air Patrol!    

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