We suggest that you begin your CAP membership by attending at least two meetings before actually joining to learn more about the program and how you would like to be involved. When you are ready to sign up, obtain a membership application (CAPF 12) and a fingerprint card. Fill out the application and take the fingerprint card to a local police station to get your prints taken. Any local police station should be able to do it. There is usually a small fee for this service.

You can bring your completed application and fingerprint card to the next squadron meeting to give it to the commander or personnel officer. You will also need to bring along money for dues. Ask the squadron commander or the finance officer for the current dues schedule. Please note that all expenditures for CAP are tax deductible.

The personnel officer will forward all of the paperwork to the National Headquarters of CAP, and you should expect to receive your membership card along with a packet of information within one to two months. You are not restricted from involvement in CAP before your membership card arrives. Instead this is an excellent time to complete many of the other requirements described below. You are also encouraged to come to any or all local functions of CAP to see how CAP works, meet people, and become involved.


The goal of Level One training is to orient you to the CAP organization and program. The course is about four hours long and consists of alternately watching video tapes and live discussion. The tapes discuss the history and functions of Civil Air Patrol, and are then followed-up with a 50-question test. This test will then be graded and any discrepancies will be corrected in an informal discussion with the testing officer. It really is that simple. CAP only requires that this test be corrected to 100% with the aid of a qualified testing officer. Level One should be completed ASAP since it is a pre-requisite for almost everything that follows.


Being an organization that works directly with young individuals, their safety is a foremost concern. CAP has developed a short program designed to raise the awareness of issues associated with the safety and protection of the Cadets. The program consists of a video tape and informal discussion. All senior members in CAP must complete this short program as part of the Level One training.


The Emergency Services manuals (CAPR 60-3 and CAPR 60-4 Vol I and II) describe how CAP operates during Search and Rescue Missions, and most of the guidelines for this phase of CAP. The Emergency Services training involves reading these manuals then taking a two 50-question open book tests. After completion of these tests, you become qualified for General Emergency Services duties and will begin training in one of several specialties.


Even if you have a pilots license you must first become a mission scanner on the road to becoming a mission pilot. Initially you will start your training as a scanner by completing a simple correspondence course. As a scanner trainee you are qualified to act as a Scanner on any CAP activity while under the supervision and training of a qualified mission scanner or mission pilot. To complete your training and become a mission scanner, a few short courses will be required in navigation and map reading, as well as training in the basic operations of the aircraft equipment to aid the mission pilot when requested. The airborne training will take place during your participation in your first two sorties (mission or training flights). After you have completed this training, the squadron commander will issue you an Emergency Services card (CAPF 101) that indicates you are qualified as a mission scanner.

After becoming a mission scanner, you may continue towards an advanced rating as a mission observer or as a mission pilot.


After you have received your Membership Card, completed Level One Training, and have obtained your Emergency Services Card, the last remaining item is the acquisition of a CAP uniform. A CAP uniform must be worn by every person in any CAP vehicle (including aircraft), and should be worn while involved in any CAP activities. For most Senior Members you will need at least two different uniforms:

BLUES: which consist of the Air Force blue trousers, the light blue shirt, tie, chrome belt and the blue service coat.
BDU's: Which consists of the Woodland's Camouflage trousers, shirt, boots, and cap.
However if you are going to be flying the most comfortable and functional uniform is the green Nomex Flightsuit.

Grade Insignia cannot be put on the Flightsuit until you have achieved the rank, but it is easier to get them with your first order instead of having to place another order in the future.

In the packet of information you will receive along with your membership card will be a CAP Uniform Manual (CAPM 39-1) that describes the placement of each item on all the different uniform combinations and the Flightsuit. This manual also describes the other uniform items necessary with the Flightsuit as well as many of the other optional uniforms available to you as a CAP member.


Many other essential jobs exist in the mission effort. The search requires numerous trained and experienced personnel working on the ground to support the air search units. These include the mission coordinators, communications, operations and flight release officers, flight line personnel, etc. We must have a pool of trained members.

Typically, aircraft crash in our state when weather conditions prohibit airplanes from being used in the search. We have to conduct the search via ground vehicles with trained ground team members skilled in navigation and map reading, interrogation of locals and witnesses, locating ELT signals, rugged terrain travel and technical evacuation. This activity can be the most fun, and an amazing number of "finds" and "saves" are by these ground teams. The members of the CAP ground teams are always interested in new persons and are eager to train anyone who has the interest and dedication to become involved.

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