Civil Air Patrol


New Member
Jul 17, 2017
I'm an incoming High School freshman this year and am thinking about joining my local Civil Air Patrol cadet squadron. Does anyone have any experience with this program and be willing to give their opinion on it?
My DS has loved it! He's been a member since 8th grade and has done some amazing things with CAP! What region are you in? PM me and I would be happy to put you in touch with him!
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DS loved CAP and became a Spaatz Cadet. He is now in his first year at USAFA. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have..
My DS loved CAP. He joined it and made a goal to get the Billy Mitchell. He did earn it and so much more. He participated in Cyber Patriot competition and attended Power Flight Academy where he did his first solo. He is now in his second year at USAFA.
I have a 14 year old girl and 12 year old son in CAP Charlotte NC squadron. I searched hi and low for years trying to find an amazing leadership program. It does depend on your squadron but for the most part in my opinion it is hands down the best youth leadership organization out there. Especially if your goal is a service academy. And especially if your goal is the USAFA. It is part of the Air Force chain of command now! Has been the last three years. I would strongly recommend CAP and set out a goal to get the Mitchell but even if you don't get that high up in rank it will still look great! It is very time consuming though but worth it!
I was active in CAP for 6 years before I started college. I think it is a fantastic program that I credit with putting me on the path I am currently on. However, keep it in perspective. It is an extracurricular.

On your entire USAFA application, it checks maybe 2 boxes. The leadership lessons you learn through the program are universal, but do not prioritize it over grades, SAT/ACT, physical fitness, or team sports. Again, CAP is a great program, but it is not the most important thing to the Academy.
DS was in CAP for just about 6 years. Became a Spaatz Cadet, won Cadet of the Year at many levels to include region. Served as Cadet Commander and is now a C4C. We've been fortunate enough to put three straight Cadet Commander's into USAFA. Something our squadron is extremely proud of.

CAP is an outstanding organization, but it does vary squadron to squadron. Best of luck.
It doesn't cost anything to check it out. Go to your local squadron, meet some people, check out its size and how it's run, and then make a decision. Ultimately you should do it because you enjoy it, not because it checks boxes. BTW I did CAP and am personally a very strong advocate.
I am a C/Airman in Civil Air Patrol. My experience in Civil Air Patrol has been good. Civil Air Patrol can prepare you a lot if you're joining the Military, going into the civilian workforce, or interested in aviation. CAP is basically the United States Air Force Auxiliary, and has three missions; 1. Emergency Missions. Civil Air Patrol performs 85% of all inland search and rescue missions, and participates in disaster relief and other missions assigned by the Air Force. 2. Cadet Program. Civil Air Patrol has a cadet program from 12-18 year old's. In the Cadet program you can gain military knowledge, get an aerospace education, fly planes, and other cool stuff while at the same time serving your nation. 3. Aerospace Education. Civil Air Patrol teaches Cadets about aerospace education basically. But, Civil Air Patrol is a great organization Civil Air Patrol has a thing called Encampment, its like a boot camp for Civil Air Patrol aka Cadet Basic Training, you're defiantly going to like that, you get to stay on a military base for a week, and do stuff like riding military aircraft, going on obstacle courses, learning military drills, and marching drills, and getting a taste of how military life is, and just bunch of stuff that you would do in training, but it is pretty hard, and you will be yelled at. And CAP has other events that you might like. If you reach to C/2nd Lt, you can enter the Air Force as an E2, and you will be more considered for ROTC or getting in the military academy if you plan on doing that. But, honestly. Some members have bad experiences, some have good experience, your experience is how you make it.