Great Start Flight 8 begins Tuesday, 2 October. Registration is open. Learn More!





What is the program about?

  • Would you like to honor and serve America?
  • Do you want to prepare for your future while making new friends?

Then rise to the challenge of cadet membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.

The CAP Cadet Program is a year-round program where Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

To become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.  Cadets meet at least 2.5 hours once each week after school (and throughout summer) and one Saturday per month, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities throughout the year.

How much can you achieve? Find out by becoming a cadet.

“I am pushing myself to be a better person.”
Cadet Kristin Miller
“I made my first solo flight at a CAP encampment.”
Astronaut Eric Boe
“I’ve learned discipline – something not stressed enough.”
Cadet Theresa Paredes

Check out the other squadrons in California Group 6 – Central Valley:

Or CLICK HERE to locate the squadron nearest you.


How old do I have to be to join?

You can join CAP as a cadet if you are at least 12 years old and before your 19th birthday. Cadets can stay in the program until they turn 21 as long as they have not entered active duty and are enrolled in a school.

Am I expected to join the military?

No, you do not have to join the military, but many choose to do so. 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.

How much does it cost for membership?

Annual membership dues are $40. Cadets receive their first blue Air Force style uniform at no cost and will receive a new member kit with learning materials. Additional activities may have fees to cover lodging and meals.

How much time will I have to give each week?

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

I want to join. Now what?

Step 1

Register for the next Great Start flight

Step 2

Attend Orientation

Step 3

Process application at 3rd meeting

Great Start training flights begin once each quarter in January, April, July, and October. The training program lasts six consecutive weeks.

Check for the next start date and register by clicking below.

Great Start

Your first meeting will be your Welcome & Orientation night. Bring all of your questions with you.

You will meet your Great Start flight cadre and other cadet program leaders. You will also meet you fellow cadet flight members. Your training begins here.

On your 3rd meeting night, final membership applications will be signed and processed and you will take your Cadet Oath.

You will receive your CAP ID number and officially join the CAP cadet ranks as a Cadet Airman Basic!

for more information.