Civil Air Patrol - USAF Civilian Auxiliary

Our Commander


What is Civil Air Patrol?

Civil Air Patrol is Americaís premier public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide.

Serving America for over 75 years

On July 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 79-476, incorporating the organization. Following the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of the armed services, Truman signed Public Law 80-557, establishing CAP as the Air Forceís civilian auxiliary on May 26, 1948.

Nonprofit Humanitarian Organization

Its 60,000+ members selflessly devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace education and helping shape future leaders through CAPís cadet program. Also, decent grub is usually on hand at most meetings...

USAF Civilian Reconnaissance Auxiliary Partner

As the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAPís vigilant citizen volunteers are there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe.

Civil Air Patrol is on Wikipedia!

Civil Air Patrol has been recognized by Wikipedia as the official, federally supported non-profit corporation that serves as a Civilian Reconnaissance Auxiliary Partner for the United States Air Force (USAF).

What Does Civil Air Patrol Actually Do?

CAP Has Three Core Missions:

Emergency Services

Always prepared, both in the air and on the ground, members of the Civil Air Patrol perform emergency services for state and local agencies as well as the federal government as the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and for states/local communities as a nonprofit organization.

Aerospace Education

Civil Air Patrolís awarding-winning aerospace education program promotes aerospace, aviation and STEM-related careers with engaging, standards-based, hands-on curriculum and activities. It shapes the experiences and aspirations of youth both in and outside of CAPís cadet program.

Cadet Programs

Civil Air Patrolís cadet program transforms youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders through a curriculum that focuses on leadership, aerospace, fitness and character. As cadets participate in these four elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way.

Best known for their work in search and rescue and disaster relief missions, CAP is expanding its role in the 21st century to include an increasing number of homeland security operations and exercises. CAP also performs counterdrug reconnaissance missions and counter terrorism missions at the request of law enforcement agencies and can do radiological monitoring and damage assessment. CAP members undergo rigorous training to perform these missions safely and cost-effectively.

CAP - A Cost Effective Solution

A volunteer organization since 1941, CAP has evolved into a premier public service organization that still carries out emergency service missions when needed ó in the air and on the ground.

Force Multiplier

Because our organization is driven by over 60,000 volunteers, it's proven to be a cost effective solution to answer the needs of a growing American population.


With over 500 planes in service across the United States, CAP platforms are light are proven to be cheaper to fly than typical military aircrafts.



Watch the videos below to find out more about Civil Air Patrol and their commitment to serve this great nation.

Story On CAP by CNN's Anderson Cooper
Civil Air Patrol Documentary
Take Flight Hernando Composite Squadron
CAP 75th Tribute Video
Take Flight Hernando Composite Squadron
CAP 75th Tribute Video

Ready To Join The Most Successful Civilian Air Squadron In History?

CAP Is Looking For Junior Cadets & Senior Members, And Joining Civil Air Patrol Involves Four Easy Steps:

Step 1: Find The CAP Squadron Near You!

Map out the CAP squadron nearest you and come to their next meeting! Of course, because of Covid, make sure to visit their website to find out if you must wear a mask or not.
(Find CAP Near Me!)

Step 2: Attend

Attend (3) Meetings as a Civil Air Patrol cadet candidate or (1) meeting as a candidate senior member to qualify for membership. Only individuals who meet this criteria will be considered for CAP membership.

Step 3: Apply

Fill out your application online or mail-in your application to join Civil Air Patrol, including your paid dues ($50 juniors & $70 seniors). All applications must be approved by your squadron commander and all adult applicants must undergo an FBI background check.

Step 4: Serve

Get your Civil Air Patrol uniform and you'll be placed on the active roster and begin serving our great nation as a member of Civil Air Patrol. As a member, you are expexted to attend meetings and participate in CAP activities.

Got Questions?

Do you have questions about Civil Air Patrol that can only be answered by a parent of a cadet, or a senior member outside CAP? If so, we invite you to use the contact form below to get in touch with us.