New Member Guide
Welcome Senior Member!
A How-To Guide and Checklist for new Civil Air Patrol Members
Welcome to Civil Air Patrol. As a new senior member, information can sometimes be overwhelming and other times is very hard to find.
The purpose of this document is to assist the new Civil Air Patrol member in getting started in our organization. Although this document is written for the benefit of our new members, it is not a substitute for a mentor. Our squadron’s leadership will work with you to identify a mentor that can help you navigate our organization while you’re still learning. Until that happens, you should feel confident that the Squadron Commander, the Deputy Commanders and all of the rest of our squadron are here to answer your questions and guide you.
Civil Air Patrol has three core missions. These are Emergency Services, the Cadet Program and Aerospace Education. Although you will learn about all three of these missions, most people volunteer in Civil Air Patrol primarily for one of them. This guide has sections describing steps that you can take to participate in each of them. We encourage our members to participate in all of these missions but understand that it’s all a bit overwhelming. Therefore, you will find a separate checklist page for getting started in each of these programs.
You should start with only the ones that you are most excited about and then move on to the others only when you feel you are able to do so. As you are aware, Civil Air Patrol has many types of members.
The most common membership types, and the ones you will typically see at our meetings, are cadets and senior members (seniors). Cadet members join from ages 12-18 and may continue as cadets after joining until they are 21 years old. Senior members are our adult leaders and join our organization after their 18th birthday. This guide is intended for senior members although much of the information in this guide is useful for both types of members.