FAQs PDF Print E-mail
  1. What is CAP all about? What are some of the things it offers members and the community?
  2. Where does the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron meet?
  3. What is a composite squadron?
  4. What is the minimum age to join?
  5. Are there different membership categories?
  6. What are the basic membership requirements?
  7. Is it possible to be denied membership?
  8. How are members protected and kept safe?
  9. What are CAP's core values?
  10. How do I obtain uniform items for Civil Air Patrol?
  11. Do I have to be in the military to join the Civil Air Patrol, or will I be in the military if I sign up for CAP?

 

 


 

Q1.) What is CAP all about? What are some of the things it offers members and the community?

A.) CAP has 3 primary missions:

  1. Emergency Services - Search and Rescue (missing person searches, locate missing aircraft), Disaster Relief (assist local authorities and communities after natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes), Homeland Security (Chesapeake Bay Patrol, joint training with Air National Guard), and other tasks as requested by local, state, and national entities (USAF, Coast Guard, FEMA, MEMA, Red Cross).
  2. Cadet Programs - Leadership laboratory, character development, promotion of health and fitness, field trips, special activities, scholarships, opportunities with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs (specifically Cyber Patriot computer defense competition and a growing robotics program).
  3. Aerospace Education - Current events and news, instruction in the theory and principles of flight, Cadet Orientation Flights, Model Rocketry program, exposure to aerospace careers, opportunity to.

 

Q2.) Where does the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron meet?

A.) We have regular weekly meetings every Wednesday (except major holidays) from 7-9 pm at the American Legion Post 109. The street address is 1610 Old Sulphur Spring Road Halethorpe, MD 21227. Visitors, guests, and prospective members are always welcome.

 

Q3.) What is a composite squadron?

A.) A composite squadron is one that has both a cadet squadron (youth) and a senior squadron (adults).

 

Q4.) What is the minimum age to join?

A.) The minimum age for children to join as a Cadet Member is 12 years old. Anyone who is older than 18 years old joins as a Senior Member.

 

Q5.) Are there different membership categories?

A.) Yes, the most common are:

  • Cadet member
  • Cadet Sponsor member (usually parents or legal guardians)
  • Senior member (actively participates in meetings, training, and activities)
  • Patron member (reserve status, financial supporter, may participate in limited activities)

 

Q6.) What are the basic membership requirements?

A.) To join as a cadet or senior member, you must meet the minimum age requirement, be a U.S. Citizens or permanent resident (or a lawfully admitted non-citizen approved by the National Commander's designee), and of good moral character. Cadets must also be enrolled in school and maintain a record of satisfactory achievement.

 

Q7.) Is it possible to be denied membership?

A.) CAP is an Equal Opportunity organization. It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no member shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any CAP program or activity on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, color, national origin or disability (formerly handicap). It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no applicant meeting CAP's minimum age requirement will be denied membership in CAP.

Senior Members will be denied membership, or have their membership terminated for conviction of certain crimes (felonies, sex crimes, child abuse, DUI, dishonesty, violence), discharge from military under other-than-honorable conditions, falsification of information, or other misconduct that discredits CAP.

 

Q8.) How are members protected and kept safe?

A.) All senior members are required to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check by the FBI before becoming members. CAP has an industry-leading Cadet Protection Policy with procedures in place to protect cadets from hazing and abuse.

In addition, we have monthly safety education requirements, safety briefings at all activities, safety officers at all levels of the organization, a hazard and safety improvement reporting system, Operational Risk Management training for all members, a national online Safety Management System, a squadron online safety bulletin board, a mishap investigation and review process, forms with pertinent health & medical information for participation in certain activities, emergency notification procedures, and coverage by FTCA and FECA when participating in Air Force Assigned Missions.

 

Q9.) What are CAP's core values?

A.) Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, Respect.

 

Q10.) How do I obtain uniform items for Civil Air Patrol?

A.) Our squadron Supply Officer maintains certain items locally, there is a free Wing Supply closet that is open monthly, or you can purchase items from Vanguard Industries at www.vanguardmil.com. Make sure you check with your chain of command and/or consult the uniform manual (CAPM 60-1) to determine which items are necessary, optional, or not required.

LINKS OR REFERENCES TO INDIVIDUALS OR COMPANIES DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT OF ANY INFORMATION, PRODUCT, OR SERVICE YOU MAY RECEIVE FROM SUCH SOURCES.

 

Q11.) Do I have to be in the military to join the Civil Air Patrol, or will I be in the military if I sign up for CAP?

A.) No, there is no military service obligation or requirement to join the Civil Air Patrol. CAP is a non-profit 501(c)(3), Congressionally charted, benevolent, volunteer organization. While performing missions we act as the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, and we also receive funding and other resources from the Air Force, which is why we are authorized to wear Air Force style uniforms. There are also certain scholarships and benefits available for anyone who chooses to join the military, but recruiting for the military is not a focus of the program. CAP members can never be called up by the President or Governor (or anyone else) and be compelled to serve. However, members that choose to participate in Emergency Services have the comfort of knowing that their job is legally protected by Maryland Law (Civil Air Patrol Leave Act of 2010), similar to benefits and protections enjoyed by reservists, national guard members, and other volunteer first responders.

 

 
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