The first step in joining is to visit one of our regular Monday night (7 pm to 9 pm) meetings. You can just drop in to our headquarters on the northwest corner of Lancaster Municipal Airport (corner of Lititz Pike and East Millport Road in the Venture Jets building) or you can let us know you are planning to visit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership is open in a variety of programs to the majority of citizens over the age of 11:
- Cadet Members are 12 through 20 years old with parental permission.
- Senior Members are 18 and up with FBI and youth protection clearance.
- Cadet Sponsors are relatives of cadets who wish to provide limited support.
- Aerospace Education members are professional educators supporting the Aerospace mission.
- Patron Members support the missions without active participation.
- Retired Members have been members for 20 or more years and are no longer active.
- Legislative Members are national and state legislators who support the CAP missions.
Our regulations require that a prospective member attend at least three meetings before sending in a membership application. We want to make certain that you know who we are and what we do so that when you join you are ready to be an active participant.
Civil Air Patrol is the benevolent auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force. We are not a military organization although we wear uniforms similar to those of the U. S. Air Force. We train cadets in Leadership, Drill, Character and Physical Fitness. We offer training in Aerospace subjects including STEM programs that are available to public and private educators. We fly more than 90% of all search and rescue hours assigned by the U. S. Air Force and we field ground search and rescue teams trained to FEMA standards. In a typical year we are credited with saving upwards of 100 lives (158 in 2018).
REQUIREMENTS AND COSTS
Cadets must be between 12 and 20 years of age, active scholars and have their parents’ permission. Annual membership costs $37. Upon completion of the first achievement they are given a $100 voucher for uniforms which cost about $150. There are fees to participate in events and to upgrade the uniforms although some Air Force funding helps to keep those costs down. Cadets are promised up to 5 orientation flights in a CAP aircraft at no cost to them. Annual renewal is $37.
Senior Members are at least 18 years of age, must submit an FBI fingerprint card and three Pennsylvania youth protection clearances (Dept of Welfare, Penna. State Police and FBI). Annual membership is $58 and they must provide their own uniforms. Participation fees are also required as are check ride charges for pilots being certified in CAP aircraft. Not all senior members are pilots. Current or former members of the military will need to produce a training record or DD-214.
Cadet Sponsors pay $30 to join then $20 per year but they must be a close family member of an active cadet. Because they deal with our cadets they must submit a FBI fingerprint card and the three youth protection clearances. They provide transportation, assistance with activities and moral support to their cadet and they are covered by CAP insurance.
Aerospace Education members must be professional educators in a public or private school (Including homeschool instructors). They pay a one-time fee of $35 and are then eligible to receive free STEM kits and classroom grants as well as national training and seminar opportunities. As Aerospace Education members do not regularly participate at the squadron level, fingerprints and clearances are not required. There are NO RENEWAL FEES so long as the member is active.
Patrons hold membership as a way to support the missions of Civil Air Patrol without participating in activities or being a family member of a cadet. Fees vary.
Retired members are formerly active members of Civil Air Patrol who have served for a minimum of 20 years. They have limited participation activities, limited uniform options, can not be promoted and pay no fees.
Legislators at the state and national level can join CAP for no charge and be promoted to the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel for federal and major for state legislators. Senior staff members may join at an honorary rank below their legislator. They are assigned to either the U. S. Congressional Squadron or the Pennsylvania Legislative Squadron, as appropriate. Membership allows us to keep them updated on Civil Air Patrol activities and needs.