Getting Started - Cadets
Getting Started in CAP... for Cadets
This guide is intended to provide you with a "one stop shop" for all of your initial membership needs, from applying to training progression to uniforms and more. In order to begin this process, all prospective cadets are required to attend a minimum of three (3) meetings in an observe/participate capacity first. If you have not done so yet, please click here for details on our weekly cadet meetings. Should you have any questions throughout this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to your immediate flight staff (for prospective cadets) or the Deputy Commander for Cadets (for parents). Please download our New Cadet Guide here.
The Application Process
If you have decided to take the leap and join CAP, the first step will be to complete the online application for cadet membership using this link. (Two quick items of note for this application: our 'Wing' is 'NC' and our 'Unit' is '048') This will also include the initial annual membership dues payment of $40.00 (more on this below). Once this is form is completed, it typically take 2-3 business days to be approved, at which point, you will receive an automated e-mail from CAP National Headquarters. Once you receive this, you may go on to log into eServices as detailed below.
In addition to the annual national dues detailed above, we also collect annual local dues. For the first year, this will range anywhere from $121.00 to $99.00. A portion of this dues amount is pro-rated, so please speak with the Deputy Commander for Cadets before writing the check. Going forward, no local dues are collected during your second year. You will only pay national dues. On your second year, and all subsequent years, local dues are $24.00.
Finally, given our status as the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, we must verify United States Citizenship or permanent resident status prior to processing a membership application. This may be done via in-person verification of one of the following documents, which must be in its original form (no photocopies or digital photos):
- United States passport
- Original birth certificate with raised seal
- Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551)
Familiarization with CAP eServices
CAP's eServices portal - located at www.capnhq.gov - is our online membership services portal. You will use this portal for everything from recording/updating personal information to reviewing/completing training and qualification tasks. There are many functions within eServices, but we will cover the basics first.
Click on this link to take you to a PDF guide titled "Senior Member Welcome Booklet". This guide contains quite a bit of useful information - other portions of which will be referenced later on this page - but for now, proceed to page three for details on how to get set up in eServices. Complete all steps within the "Civil Air Patrol Websites" section and stop once you get to the "Civil Air Patrol Uniforms" section. The rest of the information contained in this document is intended for adult Senior Members and does not apply to cadets.
Customs and Courtesies
As a member of the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, you are expected to follow the traditions, standards, customs and courtesies agreed to and accepted by the Air Force and CAP. These apply to all of us and reflect our pride and professionalism as members of the Civil Air Patrol. Please review this document for additional information on this topic.
Get in Uniform
CAP has a wide variety of uniforms available that are appropriate for a multitude of different activities. Our standard uniforms mirror that of the United States Air Force with minor insignia differences. Wearing the Air Force-style uniforms require conformance with specific grooming requirements and height/weight standards. As a cadet, your three basic uniforms are the Blue Service Uniform ("blues"), the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU), and the Physical Training Uniform ("PT gear").
As part of your first annual local membership dues payment, the following items will be provided to you for your ABU: one (1) squadron t-shirt, one (1) squadron patch, one (1) set of blue name tapes, and one (1) set of blue 'CIVIL AIR PATROL' tapes. Please speak with your Cadet Logistics Officer/NCO or the Deputy Commander for Cadets to get the necessary forms filled out. Further, when you complete your first promotion, you will receive a $100.00 voucher from National Headquarters to use for your Blue Service Uniform. This voucher is provided by our uniform supplier: Vanguard Industries. This voucher typically covers all required uniform items except for the shoes, which typically run $40.00. All items and their SKU numbers from Vanguard Industries can be found in the New Cadet Guide document at the top of this page. (Please note that some SKU numbers may change, but the items themselves are still the same.)
Finally, the Physical Training Uniform, which is not mentioned in the New Cadet Guide, consists of a squadron T-shirt (or other plain black T-shirt), dark blue/black athletic shorts, and athletic shoes. During colder months, a conservative sweatshirt or jacket may be worn, as well as dark blue/black athletic pants. Please speak with your Cadet Logistics Officer/NCO or the Deputy Commander for Cadets to purchase a squadron T-shirt.
Your First Promotion... Earning the Rank of Cadet Airman
Taking the steps necessary to earn your first promotion marks a huge step in getting involved in CAP! Our squadron does everything that we can to simplify this process and ensure that you have easy access to the tools and knowledge required to get going. All cadets who join the Raleigh-Wake Composite Squadron (known to us simply as "Raleigh-Wake") will progress through a multi-week Cadet Basic Training Program. This cohort-centered program typically lasts 5-6 weeks and is centered on a structured, basic curriculum that is designed to get you up to speed in a quick, but efficient manner. This is a flexible program that we hold as often as we can, sometimes during the regular weekly meetings, sometimes consolidated into weekend event, and other times as a combination of the latter two. If this is not discussed when you arrive - please inquire with a senior member (adult) for more information.
Each promotion centers around an "achievement": a set of requirements that are necessary to prove a specific level of competency in a few different subjects. Each achievement consists of: one (1) online, open-book, multiple-choice leadership education test; one (1) online, open-book, multiple-choice aerospace education test (with the exception of the first achievement for Cadet Airman... there is no aerospace component); one (1) physical fitness test; and one (1) in-person character development seminar. (The seminar for Achievement 1 is specifically known as the "Wingman Course".) There are also cumulative exams that denote completion of a Cadet Program Phase, as well as additional requirements dotted throughout the program. Some of these requirements include speeches and leadership schools.
Obtain the General Emergency Services (GES) Qualification
The General Emergency Services (GES) specialty qualification is the baseline rating required of all members who intend to support our Emergency Services mission, from pilots and aircrew to ground search personnel and mission base staff. It is a simple, online and open-book exam with ~25 questions. The GES qualification is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of how CAP functions and also serves as an "agreement" to provide coverage under CAP's organizational liability policy.
To complete this exam, log into eServices using this link. This will take you directly to the exam starting page. On that page, you will be presented with two resources to be used during the exam. Download and review these resources before beginning the exam. They can also be open in other browser tabs while you answer the questions. When you finish this exam, it will automatically be recorded in your record; however, it is always good practice to download and save a copy of the completion certificate for your own records.
Complete Aircraft Ground Handling Training
All members are required to review and complete CAP's Aircraft Ground Handling Training course. This is a short online course that provides the safety fundamentals necessary when working on a flight line and/or around one of our aircraft. To view the training and complete this exam, log onto eServices using this link.
Begin Individual Communications User Training (ICUT)
The Individual Communications User Training (ICUT) certification ensures that members use the proper practices and procedures when operating a CAP radio system. Just like GES, this is required for almost any path you take, from air operations to ground and mission base support. This training is a bit lengthier than the other courses described above, but can be broken down into smaller sessions as needed. The first portion of this training includes a series of short online videos and quizzes. To begin these, log into eServices using this link. There are three separate sections with videos: OP1, T1, and OP2. All videos and quizzes in each section must be completed. Once complete, a green check mark will show up next to each header title. When you have reached this point, your final step is to arrange for a quick in-person practical session. This should take no more than 15 minutes. Inform your chain of command that you are finished with this and they will notify the necessary staff to schedule the practical session. Once that is complete, it will be recorded in your record.