Frequently Asked Questions
What is the age limit to join?
Those wishing to join as a cadet can join at age 12 and before there 18th birthday. Cadets may remain in the cadet program until there 21st birthday.
Adult membership begins at 18, with no upper age limit.
My child just became 12 and wants to join. What should we do?
Stop by any of our normal meetings. Someone will explain the program and answer your questions. It’s best to contact us first so we can confirm the time and location of the meeting and know you’re coming.
We require all prospective members to attend at least 2 meetings before completing the application for membership.
What process do adults have to go through to join?
Prospective members should attend a full squadron meeting and talk with the Squadron Commander or Deputy Commander. They will answer your questions and explain the application process. All adult applicants are required to submit a fingerprint card and a background check is conducted by the FBI.
In the event any adult applying for membership fails the background check for any reason, they would be unable to join.
Do I have to join the military later on if I join as a cadet?
No. Joining the military is not required as a result of membership in CAP, but many choose to do so. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter the Air Force at an advanced grade 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 is the cost to join?
Membership dues vary by Wing (State). As of 2019, North Dakota dues are $31 for Cadet membership and $60 for adult membership, both are renewed yearly. Currently the Bismarck Squadron does not charge additional dues above the Wing dues. Additional costs will include certain uniform items and special activities.
I want to be a cadet, but I am busy with sports when school starts. What should I do?
We highly encourage an active lifestyle for all of our members. If cadets will be required to miss meetings due to sports, they can let the squadron know they will be away. To get the most out of the cadet program you should participate regularly. Like any other activity, you’ll get out of CAP only what you put into it.
Can I earn my pilot's license in CAP?
Cadets do have the opportunity to use our aircraft fleet for primary instruction, once they meet certain requirements. However, we have a very limited number of flight instructors locally. Complete pilot training is not a normal part of the program. However, glider schools and other piloting schools are offered to advanced cadets at the national level. At the local level, orientation flights are common where cadets will control a CAP aircraft in flight.
Unfortunately, primary flight instruction is not available for adult members. However, adult members who already are private pilots that meet certain criteria do have the option of obtaining an advanced rating depending on flight instructor availability.
How do I get a uniform?
Required uniform items must be purchased from CAP’s uniform supplier, Vanguard. Our squadron has a limited supply of basic uniform items that are available free of charge.
Cadets have the opportunity to earn a $100 voucher towards their dress uniform once they complete the first achievement. The Bismarck Squadron also has a program in place to help cadets pay for uniform items.
Am I considered a member of the military?
No, you are a civilian and do not have any obligation to any branch of the military. You cannot be deployed, called to active duty, or forced to serve in any branch of the US Armed Services in any way. CAP members are not eligible to receive any Veterans Administration Benefits for their volunteer service to Civil Air Patrol.
I want to support CAP, but don’t have the time to be an active member?
Many citizens want to support the great work of CAP, but simply don’t have the time. You can still help by becoming a Patron Member. Discuss your interest with the squadron commander. If your child is a cadet, consider becoming a Cadet Sponsor Member.
What if I need information on something you didn't mention above?
Please use the Contact Us link and send us a message.