The CAP Senior Member Program

Adults, known as “Senior Members” in CAP, have limitless opportunities to actively get involved with the missions of the Civil Air Patrol, at LynchburgCAP. Senior Members act as mentors for cadets, participate in emergency services missions, perform administrative roles with the squadron and more.

Squadrons, like LynchburgCAP, welcome men and women as Senior Members who are at least 18 years of at to visit and join. Some members proudly wear the CAP uniform while others choose to quietly serve and do not wear a uniform.

Lynchburg CAP is a Composite Squadron, it is comprised of a membership of both Cadet Members and Senior Members.


Frequently Asked Questions.

How old do I have to be to join?

To join as a Senior Member, you must be at least 18 years old. There is no maximum age limit.

Am I expected to join the military?

No, you do not have to join the military.

Is prior military experience counted?

Regular and Reserve officers of the Armed Forces of the United States, active, retired, or honorably discharged, may be advanced to a CAP grade equivalent to their grade in the Armed Forces (but not to exceed lieutenant colonel), in recognition of their military knowledge and experience. Regular, Reserve, and National Guard Senior Non-commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces or Coast Guard of the United States, active, or retired, in the grade of E-7 through E-9 may receive an advanced CAP grade in recognition of their military knowledge and experience. Such promotions are neither automatic nor mandatory, but are at the discretion of the promoting authority.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Senior members may be required to wear a uniform during some activities – such as when flying in CAP aircraft. Senior members may wear the USAF style blue uniform or one of the distinctive CAP uniforms. However, some members choose to serve quietly without wearing a uniform. You can purchase uniform items from Vanguard.

Do CAP members have access to military bases and get to shop at the BX (Base Exchange)?

You will only have access to the base when participating in CAP events. You will be allowed to shop at the BX only when on official orders and lodged on the base. Authorized uniform items can be purchased at the Military Clothing sales store.

Are non U.S. citizens allowed to join?

Aliens admitted for permanent residence are eligible. Other non-citizens must request a waiver of the citizenship requirement through the wing and region commander.


How much time will I have to give each week?

Most squadrons meet weekly for about 2 1/2 hours, and offer special activities on the weekends and during the summer.

How do senior members advance in the program and earn promotions?

All promotions are at the discretion of your squadron commander, but the standard way to earn rank is determined by your time in CAP, time in your current rank, and the training you complete for your CAP position. There are other circumstances that warrant a promotion – for specifics, talk to your squadron commander. In order to receive any promotion, you must be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

What kind of aircraft does CAP have?

CAP has approximately 550 aircraft, mostly Cessna 182s and 172s. CAP has the largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft in the world and through CAP’s volunteer members, CAP logs about 120,000 flying hours per year.

Why do I have to submit fingerprints with my application?

In order to ensure the best possible protection of CAP cadets, all senior members are fingerprinted and checked by the FBI to ensure no one with any violent or sexual-assault felony convictions has contact with the cadets.

How long does it take to process my application?

Once National Headquarters receives the completed application, fingerprint card, and correct dues the process generally takes 3-5 business days.

However, if you’re membership is not yet active, please ask your commander if he has sent your application to NHQ. If he has, you can email NHQ for an update on the status of your membership at

Do I get paid to be a member?

No, you are a volunteer member of Civil Air Patrol. All activities you do are donations of your time and expertise to help your country and community.

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 can not 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. Some businesses do recognize your CAP ID as valid military ID.

I’ve been arrested/charged before; can I still be a member?

Having an arrest/conviction (or other similar charges) does not automatically preclude you from membership. We can not make a determination until after you apply for membership in CAP. Just make sure that you note the charges on the application and supply any required information. Once the application comes to National Headquarters the Confidential Screening Coordinator will review your case.

I want to join! Now what?

Please visit our “How to Join” page for a step-by-step guide to joining CAP. You’ll also find a link to our online unit locator to find a CAP unit near you.
Want to support CAP, but don’t have the time?Many citizens want to support the great work of CAP, but simply don’t have the time. You can still help by becoming a member of the National Patron Squadron. Visit our donation page for more details.

How much does it cost?Annual membership dues are comprised of three different dues: National dues, Region dues and Wing dues.

National dues are $35.00 for senior (adult) members, but the Wing and Region dues vary by location. You can check to find out the total amount of dues for your area. Additionally, some local squadrons charge unit dues. Your local squadron can provide more information about any unit dues and those would be payable directly to the unit.

Can I join if I have a medical condition or disability?Civil Air Patrol does not preclude membership due to medical conditions or disabilities. However, participation in certain activities may be limited depending on the condition, illness or disability.