Civil Air Patrol membership offers a lot of great benefits. Not the least is getting to meet some really fine people. And that's really the first step to joining CAP in California.
Step 1. Find a local CAP squadron
We recommend that you find a unit in your area, and drop in for a visit. Use the California Units link to find the group that serves your community, then look up a nearby squadron. You might want to visit more than one local unit, as individual squadrons tend to have their own personalities. For example, one cadet squadron might emphasize drill while another might focus on aerospace education. Each unit will tailor its program to meet the needs of the members as well as best utilize the resources available in terms of facilities and members.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are three types of squadrons in CAP:
- Cadet Squadrons
- Senior Squadrons
- Composite Squadrons
Cadet squadrons only have a youth program for cadets. There are senior members in this program, but their purpose is to manage the youth program. Adults can join if their primary interest is working with the cadets.
Senior squadrons only have an adult program for senior members 18 years of age and older. Cadets are not accepted into senior squadrons.
Composite squadrons have both a senior and a cadet program. Some squadrons are special school units. These units have a charter number that starts with an 8, like CA 801, and generally only students who attend the school can participate in that squadron.
Step 2. Contact the squadron
Call or email the contact person and confirm the meeting date, time and location. You can also take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about membership eligibility. Please keep in mind that the phone number or email posted is often the personal contact information for the CAP member. All of our members are volunteers and try to respond to membership inquiries as soon as possible, so please give them a few days to respond. If you encounter a wrong number or incorrect email address or otherwise have difficulty contacting the local unit, please email us through the Contact page for assistance.
Step 3. Visit a meeting
The best way to learn more about what you can do in CAP is to attend a meeting. You’ll have a chance to see how meetings are run and what types of activities are available. You should visit all the squadrons that are convenient to you. Each squadron has a different leadership, culture and volunteer opportunities. Find the squadron that best fits your needs.
Step 4. Membership Application Process
The local CAP squadron should provide you with a membership application, fingerprint card (for adults), inform you of the amount of annual dues, and if they require any squadron dues. You can also download the membership application for Senior Members here: SENIOR or for Cadets if you have already visited your chosen cadet squadron apply here: CADET
Annual membership dues vary by state. You can view the membership dues table here.
Make sure you check the dues before sending in your application. Incorrect dues amount will delay the processing of your membership.
NOTE: Applications without the squadrons commander's signature will not be processed.
Step 5. Send Your Application
Send your completed application, fingerprint card (for adult members) and annual dues (made out to Civil Air Patrol) to:
Civil Air Patrol Membership Services
105 S. Hansell St Bldg 714
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112