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First Steps

This guide was written for new senior members. Between this guide and the resources linked inside of it, you should be off to an amazing start of your CAP membership experience.

Once your membership has been processed, you will receive a welcome email from our National Headquarters with the Subject “Congratulations and Welcome to the Civil Air Patrol”. In this email, you will be given instructions for accessing our national self-service portal called “eServices”. You will also receive an email from the California Wing email administrator with the Subject “Welcome to the CAWG Office 365 Email System”. This email gives instructions for accessing your official Civil Air Patrol email account, provided by California Wing.

With the information in these emails, you should be able to take the following actions

  • Download (or print) the Senior Member Great Start Guide and the New Member Welcome Booklet. The Senior Member Great Start Guide is displayed below. Although it is slightly out of date, it is still very useful.
  • Create your eServices account
  • Upload a photo for your membership card
  • Print your temporary membership card
  • Login to your new California Wing email account (this is the email address that CAP uses for all official communication).
  • Take the online orientation course (known as “Level 1”) – This is described briefly in the welcome email and the New Member Welcome Booklet, but our National Headquarters has more detailed instructions and a direct link on our national website:
  • Schedule a time with the Commander, Deputy Commander for Seniors or the Education and Training Officer to review the online orientation course materials.
  • Submit your Civil Air Patrol Driver License Application – This is an optional step, but it allows you to operate our Civil Air Patrol vans and trucks when participating in Civil Air Patrol business. Your California driving record can be obtained from the California DMV here:
  • Purchase a uniform. – Although members are authorized many different types of uniform combinations, the most versatile uniform is our CAP corporate working uniform (also known as the “Golf” or “Polo” shirt). Most of the uniform items can be obtained from any source, e.g. amazon, Walmart, Macy’s. Many of our members opt to purchase the polo shirt and pants at Vanguardmil (

A particularly popular option for the polo shirt is the “Tactical Golf Shirt With Seal”: You can add custom embroidery with this option for $9 (enter FIRST NAME and LAST NAME). If you intend to obtain a rating, you can select the rating (e.g. Pilot) now and then cover the rating with black electrical tape until you have earned the rating. Although any medium gray pants are acceptable, many CAWG members wear either the Vanguard GREY TROUSER (TACTICAL) HEMMED: or 5.11 Taclite Pro available on Amazon

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