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Civil Air Patrol
Meetings held:
Thursdays 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Next Meeting:
TBD

Uniform of the Day (UoD):
ABUs/BDUs

Location:                                        Chester County Intermediate Unit
Downingtown, PA 19335

Joining as a Cadet

The process to become a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol and Squadron 1008 begins with filling out the Request More Information form on the How to join page.  You will be contacted by the Squadron Commander and given information about how you can attend our squadron meetings as a visitor.  You will need to visit three meetings before you can join.  You may be asked to wait until we have multiple prospective cadets, so we can bring several new cadets into the squadron at the same time.

Requirements for becoming a cadet

  • You must be at least 12 and no older than 18 to join as a cadet.  Once you have joined, you can remain a cadet until you turn 21.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States of America or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States of America.
  • You must attend at least three squadron meetings as a visitor.
  • You and your parent(s) must meet with the Squadron Commander or Deputy Commander for Cadets to discuss membership.

How much does it cost?

The annual dues for a cadet membership are currently $37. Dues may change in October, so please check https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/join/membership-dues to find the current dues for membership in Pennsylvania.

Are there any physical or academic requirements for membership?

There are no entrance examinations or tests to join Civil Air Patrol.

Academically, you must be enrolled in or graduated from a private, public, home school or college program with a satisfactory record of academic achievement.  A significant part of progressing through the cadet program involves reading texts and taking test covering leadership and aerospace topics.  Accommodations can be made for anyone with special learning needs.

Physical fitness is an important part of the CAP Cadet Program, but you will not be denied membership because of any physical limitation.  As part of the application, you will be asked questions about your ability to participate in physical activities.   If you will not be able to participate in any or all of the CAP physical fitness activities (either temporarily or permanently), waivers can be requested.

Are there any obligations to join the military?

No, you do not have to join the military, but many cadets choose to do so later. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter the Air Force at an advanced grade (E-3) if they choose to enlist. The service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience. Approximately 10% of the USAF Academy cadet corps got their start in CAP. But no matter what career you choose, the skills you learn in CAP will be invaluable.

What kind of background checks do the adult members go through?

All adult members of the squadron must obtain a Child Abuse Clearance from Pennsylvania, a clean background check from the Pennsylvania State Police, and, if a resident of PA for less than 10 years, a clean FBI background check. All Senior Members are fingerprinted prior to being able to join.

How do I prove I am a citizen or legal resident?

If you have a US Passport or Passport Card, that will suffice.  Next best is a copy of your birth certificate and a parent’s driver’s license.  Please refer to the list of Acceptable Proof of Residency Documents for additional options.  These must be presented for inspection to the Senior Member processing your membership application.

Do you need my Social Security number and what for?

You will need to enter your Social Security number on your online application.  It is used by National Headquarters for screening purposes, but it will not be accessible by any member of the squadron.

Do I have to wear a uniform?  Where do I get one?

Wearing of a cadet uniform is mandatory.  The squadron does have some donated uniform items we can issue, but you will be responsible for purchasing at least some of the uniform items.  Once you join, you will have access to a list of uniform items and where you can purchase them from.

Will I have to cut my hair?

For males, probably.  Cadets must conform to US Air Force grooming standards when wearing cadet uniforms.  For males, this means a relatively short haircut (buzz cut not required).  For females, this means either short hair, or long hair pulled up into a bun.

How do I apply for membership?

Once you have completed your three visits to the squadron and have decided to give CAP a try, go to the Online Cadet Application page.  Do not submit your application before attending for your three visits, it will be rejected. There are several fields in the application that you need to take care when filling out:

  • For dates, conform to the format specified on those fields.  Always use the full four-digit year.
  • On the Personal Information tab, the Wing is “PA” and the Unit is “080”:
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