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Active "Adult" Member (Senior)

Active senior members of Civil Air Patrol's National Capital Wing.

An active senior member is an adult at least 18 years of age who regularly attends meetings, performs a specific duty assignment, meets training requirements, and participates in the activities of his or her unit. An Active Member may wear the CAP uniform and compete for grade advancement.

Since Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer-led organization, active members are required to hold a duty position in a unit. This is the backbone of the corporation. Members may branch out to lead activities, participate in real-world missions beyond their squadron, and pilot CAP aircraft.


Oath of Membership

Agreement with CAP’s Oath of Membership is part of the member application and is re-affirmed when you renew your membership. It means that you are committed to the mission, vision, and values of Civil Air Patrol.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that: I understand membership in the Civil Air Patrol is a privilege, not a right, and that membership is on a year-to-year basis subject to recurring renewal by CAP. I further understand failure to meet membership eligibility criteria will result in automatic termination at any time. I voluntarily subscribe to the objectives and purposes of the Civil Air Patrol and agree to be guided by CAP Core Values, Ethics Policies, Constitution & Bylaws, Regulations and all applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws. I understand only the Civil Air Patrol corporate officers are authorized to obligate funds, equipment, or services. I understand the Civil Air Patrol is not liable for loss or damage to my personal property when operated for or by the Civil Air Patrol. I further understand that safety is critical for the protection of all members and protection of CAP resources. I will at all times follow safe practices and take an active role in safety for myself and others. I agree to abide by the decisions of those in authority of the Civil Air Patrol. I understand I am obligated to notify the Civil Air Patrol if there are any changes pertaining to the eligibility information originally submitted on my membership application and further understand that failure to report such changes may be grounds for membership termination. I fully understand that this Oath of Membership is an integral part of senior membership in the Civil Air Patrol and that my confirmation upon renewal constitutes evidence of that understanding and agreement to comply with all contents of this Oath of Membership.

Active Membership Criteria

The following are requirements to join CAP as an Active Member:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or be a member of the Armed Forces on active duty at any age;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (a lawfully admitted non-citizen residing in the U.S. may have this waived by CAP’s National Headquarters); and
  • Be accepted by the CAP unit’s membership board that you are joining.

Note: The Unit Membership Board is applicable to cadet sponsors, active senior, and patron members assigned to local units. The board assists in determining the eligibility of new applicants and consists of 1-3 members. Individuals in other membership categories that wish to transfer into active units must also be accepted by the local board.

Membership may be rejected, unless waived by CAP’s National Headquarters, due to a conviction of a felony by any court of record whether federal, state, or military; a pattern of arrests and/or convictions including, but not limited to, sex offenses, child abuse, DUIs, dishonesty, and violence; discharge from the Armed Forces under other than honorable conditions; falsification of information on the membership application; been previously terminated or non-renewed for cause from membership in CAP; or any other unfavorable information brought to the attention of CAP officials at any level.

Membership is on a year-to-year basis. Members may have their membership terminated for failure to pay any debt to CAP within 60 days of proper notification, which includes payments made resulting in returned checks, assessments for damaged/lost property, denied reimbursable expenses, and failure to provide substantiation for advances paid; failure to respond within 45 days to requests by national headquarters for additional background information; or for cause when conduct, behavior, or effectiveness fail to meet standards, which may be justified by conduct involving moral turpitude, conduct unbecoming a member of CAP, financial irresponsibility, insanity, habitual drunkenness, sexual perversion, or illiteracy, habitual failure to perform duty, making a false statement to or concerning CAP, serious or willful violations of CAP regulations or directives, substandard performance of duty over an extended period of time, failure to obey rules, regulations, and orders of higher authority, insubordination, and any other conduct, action, or incident which violates policy, provided the reason for termination is clearly stated in the letter of notification.

Steps to Join CAP

► Find a Local Squadron

So that we can stay in touch while you consider joining us, please fill out this form. This will notify the squadron closest to you. You may join any squadron in our wing. After serving at the squadron level, members may take on additional duties at the wing level.

► Attend a Local Meeting

Attend a meeting to meet the squadron members and learn more about that specific unit. Make sure CAP is a good fit. It is okay to attend meetings of multiple squadrons. It’s best to email the squadron before you attend your first meeting.

► Apply for Membership

Once you are ready to join us, fill out a paper CAPF 12 senior application (PDF) to be mailed (with a check or credit card info) to our national headquarters along with the required membership dues and FBI fingerprint card. Your proof of identity will need to be confirmed by the squadron. You will need to know your squadron charter number to apply online, which will be “TX” for the Wing and the 3-digit squadron number.

Note: Active Members may transfer to inactive Patron Member status at any time. After reaching age 18, cadets desiring to transfer to active member status may also do so at no additional charge.


In order to assist with cadet activities, fly, or hold a duty position, you must complete Level 1. This is a series of learning modules that can be complete in-person at the squadron or online through CAP’s eServices portal.

Active Members are expected to participate actively at the squadron and be assigned to a duty position either as an assistant or primary staff officer. Completion of Level II starts the learning process to perform a duty assignment.

Wear of a CAP uniform is required when working with cadets or flying in CAP aircraft.

Mission Qualifications

A Civil Air Patrol Cessna is intercepted by an F-16 from tje D.C. Air National Guard.

Civil Air Patrol conducts a variety of operational missions under its emergency services program, which include search and rescue, disaster relief, counterdrug, homeland security, air intercept, radar evaluation target, low-level route and range survey, exercise support, ground and aerial digital imaging and reconnaissance, air and ground communications support, remote aircraft escort and training, counter-drone, and event support missions. Most of this is done in CAP's role as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary as Defense Support to Civil Authorities under United States Code Title 10, but CAP also provides assistance to state and local authorities under Title 36 before there is a defined federal interest. As Air Force total force partners, CAP fulfills non-combat programs, missions, and activities alongside or in place of military resources.

Our wing routinely flies as tracks of interest during air intercept training over the nation’s capital. This involves Air Force fighter aircraft, Coast Guard helicopters, Army support, and the FAA’s visual warning system.

In order to participate in any mission, members must become qualified to provide operations support, which includes some FEMA courses. Qualifications are broken down into aircrew, ground, and incident command staff positions. These mission qualifications are different from and separate from squadron duty positions. The entire wing comes together to conduct missions using qualified cadets and active members from the squadrons under its command and the wing headquarters staff.

Pilot Onboarding

Pilots from Civil Air Patrol's National Capital Wing fly a Cessna.

Initial requirements to earn CAP pilot wings as a powered, fixed-wing VFR pilot include current active membership, at least 17 years of age, hold single-engine land privileges with a valid FAA private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificate, currently operating under BasicMed rules or hold a valid Class III or higher medical certificate, have a current flight review under 14 CFR part 61.56, and have 100 hours pilot-in-command (PIC) time prior to completing a CAP Form 5 checkride. Proficiency training and mentoring are available to help pilots become CAP-qualified and gain more experience.

The ultimate goal is that all CAP pilots be qualified as mission pilots. That qualification requires 200 hours PIC, qualification as a backseat mission scanner, and completion of a mission pilot checkride. This training from joining to mission pilot could take a year to complete. On the way to mission pilot qualification, the choice to become a mission transport pilot and/or a cadet orientation flight pilot are options. The transport mission qualification requires 100 hours PIC and 50 hours cross country time. The cadet orientation qualification requires 200 fixed-wing hours PIC for CAP to fly CAP cadets and 300 fixed-wing hours PIC to fly AFROTC and AFJROTC cadets.

You are not alone in your pilot training, and CAP flight instructors and aircraft are available at a reduced cost to help get you up to speed. All prospective pilots should contact us to start your journey to the most rewarding flights you will know.

Remote Pilots with an FAA Part 107 certificate are also needed in the wing.

Military Experience

A Civil Air Patrol and Air Force chief master sergeant stand next to each other.

Regular and Reserve officers of the Armed Forces of the United States, active, retired, or honorably discharged, may be advanced to a CAP grade equivalent to their grade in the Armed Forces (but not to exceed lieutenant colonel), in recognition of their military knowledge and experience.

Regular, Reserve, and National Guard Senior Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) of the Armed Forces or Coast Guard of the United States, active, or retired, in the grade of E-7 through E-9 may receive an advanced CAP officer grade in recognition of their military knowledge and experience. NCOs in the grade of E-4 through E-9 also have the option to retain their NCO grade and wear the CAP distinctive chevrons to serve as part of CAP's NCO Corps to serve as a command NCO or any other duty position except commander.

Such promotions are neither automatic nor mandatory but are at the discretion of the promoting authority. Completion of Level I and Part 1 of Level II are required to be completed before military promotions are considered. The wing also requires 3 months’ time in CAP and assignment to a squadron duty position and specialty track before considering a promotion that requires wing-level promotion approval (captain though lieutenant colonel).

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