Frequently Asked Questions
Joining Civil Air Patrol is voluntary. There is no commitment.
Cadets earn Grade (rank), according to Air force grades, starting from
recruit through grades such as Cadet SGT, Cadet Master SGT, all the way
to cadet COL. Cadets assume command positions such as Flight Sgt, Flight
Commander all the way to Cadet Commander. Cadets learn leadership from
commanding themselves with Adult officers guidence.
There are many activities outside the weekly meetings. Activities that non-members would never have the opportunity to experience.Are Scholarships available for College?
If a cadet reaches a high rank (The higher the better) there are scholarships
available and Cadets have a much better chance to be accepted into a military
academy such as the Air Force Academy and Coast Guard Academy. Many have
received a four year scholarship at a number of institutions and a large
percentage of cadets in the Air Force Academy are former cadets in CAP.
Another benefit for a Cadet that reaches 2d Lt is he/she is eligible for
2 stripes (E3) after boot camp if he/she joins the Air Force, Army, or
Coast Guard. Talk to the Commander more about this because opportunities
change and the US Navy and Marines are different.
All members, cadets and adult officers learn from being a member. But let's talk about cadets. Leadership & followership, discipline, respect, volunteerism, teamwork ...
Plus the many jobs such as communications (radio operators), all the Search & Rescue positions, etc. One great benefit is providing a program that builds a young cadet into a fine adult. Being a cadet in CAP builds esprit de corps. We save lives and run actual missions tasked by the USAF and others such as FEMA.
What about adults that want to join?
Candidates, 18 and over can join after an interview, finger printed, their application sent to Maxwell AFB and their finger print checked by the FBI. After that, they have to take a short (but very important) Cadet Protection Class, and agree to OPSEC (Operational Security). OPSEC is required for cadets also. There's more, so just come by and talk to us. We are friendly.Can members have tattoos?
Exposed tattoos must not be excessive. Excessive is defined as any tattoo/brands that exceed 1/4 of the exposed body part and those above the collarbone and readily visible when wearing an open collar USAF style uniform. See CAPM 39-1 CHAPTER 2 – USAF-STYLE UNIFORMS Table 2-5
Note: Tattoos can be detrimental to future career options.
Short answer: No, with the exception of womens earrings, see limitations of these below. Hint: Otherwise must at least remove while in uniform.
Yes, with the exception of conservative earrings for women, members are prohibited from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part (includes visible through the uniform).
CAPM 39-1 CAP Uniform Manual:
Table 2-5. Clothing/Accessory Standards
Item 8 Body Piercing. Members are prohibited from attaching, affixing
or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through
the ear, nose, tongue, or any exposed body part (includes visible through
the uniform) when in uniform. EXCEPTION: Women are authorized to wear
one small spherical, conservative, diamond, gold, white pearl, or silver
pierced, or clip earring per ear lobe and the earring worn in each ear
lobe must match. Earring should fit tightly without extending below the
Also see Air Force guidance on body piercing in Attachment 3, Item 7
(below) of AFI 36-2903 DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL
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Copyright © 2008 Capt Bob Johnston