YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PILOT!
Being a CAP member is, for many, one of the most enriching parts of their lives outside of church, family, and work. Like most clubs and organizations, CAP will introduce you to new endeavors and you will make many new acquaintances--some of whom will become friends for life. However, unlike most organizations, CAP has a life saving mission, and fulfilling that mission provides our members with a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Senior Members (Age 18+)
As a CAP senior member you will be joining a highly motivated, all volunteer team. You will find that the other senior members of your unit are civic-minded, like yourself, and that professionalism, dedication and national patriotism are characteristics they have in common with you. A phrase often heard from CAP seniors, when asked why they joined is, "I wanted to give something back to my country..."
Senior Members in our squadron choose whether to work with cadets, focus on emergency services only, or do both. In either event, you will be required to be fingerprinted, pass a background check and must take Civil Air Patrol mandatory training.
After you join the squadron, you will be assigned to a squadron staff position, with duties and responsibilities based on your personal expertise, squadron staff needs, and your desire to serve. Corresponding to your staff position, you will also have a specialty track. Some specialty tracks are Operations, Logistics (supply), Administration, Chaplain, and Public Affairs. There are also specialty tracks for CAP's three missions: Cadet Programs, Emergency Services, and Aerospace Education.
There are many other specialty tracks (you can choose more than one!) and you will receive text material, ample practice, and in some cases, testing to refine your specialty skills.
Emergency Services, besides being one of our main missions, is an exciting part of your CAP experience. . . .and you don't have to be a pilot to help out! While ES training is an optional part of your overall CAP duties, it is encouraged to help with our unit's effectiveness. With few exceptions, all CAP senior members are qualified at the basic emergency service level.
Emergency services has numerous duty positions, much like the specialty tracks. They have precise skill sets that you can learn and practice at your own pace. You can learn the fine arts needed to locate downed aircraft, learn how to operate specialized equipment such as communication and direction finding gear, and many others. As your experience level increases, you will get the chance to plan search and rescue missions and even be the officer in charge.
CAP is an Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. However, all our members are civilians. As a member, you will not be required to purchase a uniform. However, to participate in United States Air Force sponsored activities you will be required to follow US Air Force grooming standards and wear the Air Force uniform (CAP version) or wear an authorized CAP corporate uniform (Air Force grooming standard optional).
Ready to join as a senior member? Click here!
Cadet Members (Age 12-18):
Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp and push themselves to new limits, including regularly scheduled meetings and monthly super activities. If your goal is a career in aviation, space, law enforcement, emergency services or the military, CAP's cadet program may be for you. Many successful members of the military and aviation professionals got their start as Civil Air Patrol cadets.
Civil Air Patrol Cadets wear CAP Distinctive Air Force-style uniforms (identical to Air Force uniforms with distinctive CAP insignia). Our program gives cadets hands-on leadership experience and education. The key here is "hands on"! We're much more than classroom study!
Our Cadets are provided real opportunities to sample military lifestyles presented to them in many formats ranging from participation in a color guard to going to week-long 'encampments' on military installations. Other activities include search and rescue exercises, our cadet aircraft orientation ride program, air shows and other opportunities to gain practical experience.
Gainesville cadets that work hard at their assigned duties will be given practice in aircraft handling and marshalling, search and rescue training, ground training and other interesting duties and responsibilities.
Ready to join or need some more information? Come to our meetings or click here.
Civil Air Patrol members are easily recognized in the community since they wear a variety of distinctive uniforms. Since CAP is the official US Air Force auxiliary, members are also authorized to wear the Air Force uniform with distinguishing CAP badges and insignia. Wearing Air Force blue is a tremendous way to publicly demonstrate support and affiliation with this branch of our Armed Forces.
Our cadets typically wear Air Force style BDUs with CAP insignia as well as CAP-specific USAF blue uniforms.
Depending upon mission and time of year, our aircrews typically wear CAP-approved USAF-style flight suit, a white aviator shirt uniform or USAF-style blue uniforms (often called "Class A", "Class B" and "Class C" uniforms) or an USAF-style blue uniform.
Details on adult member and cadet member uniforms can be found using the links on our main menu, left.
As a Federally chartered non-profit
organization, Civil Air Patrol is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3)
of the IRS Code. This entitles senior members to claim various
expenses as charitable contributions. These include:
- Membership dues
- Expenses for uniforms and training materials
- Out of pocket expenses while participating in CAP activities
- Mileage on personal vehicles
- Travel and living expenses while participating in CAP activities