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CAP is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force.   The Cadet Program is one of CAP's three missions.   As a CAP cadet, you will participate in a year-round program where you fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape and push yourself to new limits.   

The program transforms youth into dynamic citizens and aerospace leaders through a curriculum that focuses on four elements: leadership, aerospace, fitness and character.  

As you participate in these four elements, you advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way.   Many of the nation's astronauts, pilots, engineers and scientists first explored their careers through CAP.   The leadership skills, self-confidence and discipline you gain will prepare you to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself in life.  

If you’re between 12 and 18 years of age and dreaming about a career in aviation, space or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

Click here to view the National Website New Cadet FAQs.


How to Join as a Youth Member

Step 1

Find a local CAP Cadet or Composite Squadron 

Step 2

Contact the squadron and arrange to visit a meeting with your parents. 

Step 3

Attend at least three weekly meetings.

Step 4

Complete the Membership Application  

To submit an application for cadet membership, visit the Online Cadet Membership Application page. Youth will need a parent or guardian at their side as they complete the online form and make payment via credit card. The squadron commander (or designee) may approve your application after you participate in your third squadron meeting.

Annual membership dues vary by state.

Click here for the membership dues table.


**Former members have to submit a paper application. Please contact for any inquiries.

Step 5

Look for a Welcome Email

Check your email for a note confirming your membership. If your squadron denies your membership application for some reason, you'll receive word via email and your credit card will be refunded.


For the Parents

Welcome, parents and families. Through their experiences as CAP cadets, young people develop into responsible citizens and become tomorrow's aerospace leaders. CAP is the volunteer, nonprofit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its three missions are to develop its cadets, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform life-saving, humanitarian missions.


Outcomes Youth Achieve as Cadets

Leadership Training:   a thoughtful approach to problem solving & practical skills for leading in a diverse world 

Aerospace Education:  familiarity with aerospace sciences and cyber, plus awareness of career options

Fitness Education:  lifelong habit of regular exercise and a commitment to a drug-free lifestyle

Character Education:  a personal code of honor and the moral reasoning skills to make tough decisions








Highlights of CAP’s Annual Cadet Survey 2020 

Source:  CAP Annual Cadet Survey, December 2020, 1,972 cadet respondents and 1,632 parent respondents 

97%  “CAP has been a turning point in my life.” 
96%  “I’ve started to think more about my future because of CAP.” 
87%  “I do things at CAP I can’t do anywhere else.” 
82%  “I earn As & Bs at school”   

Cadets Career Interest

81%  “I am interested in a military career.” 
76%  “I am interested in an aviation career.” 
65%  “I am interested in a STEM career.”   


95%  “My cadet has become better at taking feedback.” 
92%  “As a parent, I’ve seen improvements in my cadet’s overall attitude.” 
78%  “As a parent, my cadet’s performance at school has improved.” 

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