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Getting Started

General Information

Cadet Eligibility

  • Must be between 12 and 18 years old.
  • Good Character
  • Maintain Good Grades in School.

New cadets at AACS will attend a tailored orientation program, the Basic Training Flight (BTF). The purpose of BTF is to foster a strong foundation and teamwork and increase the success of cadets in the CAP Cadet Program. The BTF will cover all CAP Cadet orientation information, leadership, character development, aerospace, drill, and physical fitness curriculum to take a new cadet from novice through their Hap Arnold Achievement which is Cadet Airman First Class, earning them their second stripe.

 This BTF program will meet each Monday evening for 16 weeks, Prospective cadets must have application submitted before the start date as determined by the BTF and Squadron Leadership

Visitors are encouraged to attend the AACS visitor's night, typically held the second Monday of each month, to get the most up-to-date information on the cadet program.  Arrive NLT 1745 at South Gate parking lot for van escort.  Check the calendar or email to confirm Visitor's Night information.

The First Few Meetings

The first step is to attend a few meetings to see things in action.  While participation may be limited, potential members will see firsthand how our squadron is organized and operates.  Potential cadets will usually jump right in with the BTF (Basic Training Flight) to begin to learn CAP fundamentals.  Senior members and cadets will be available to help in answering questions and guiding you through the process.

Meetings run each Monday from 1830-2100 hours and are centered around one of four areas:

  • Physical Training
  • Leadership
  • Character Development
  • Aerospace

The uniform of the day (UOD) and other meeting related topics are published to the squadron website and via email.   See “Where We meet” for transportation related information.

  • Dress for potential members should be conservative (business casual). 

New Joiners- Cadets

  • First sign up and pay the National Dues.   After verification, new members will receive their CAP ID.  This is analogous to your SSN and is your primary source of identification for Civil Air Patrol. 
  • When your CAP ID is issued you may then access the eServices Portal.  This is where your CAP related training and information is stored.  Make sure to upload your picture so you can get your official CAP ID card.
  • Pay the squadron dues as soon as possible.  This small investment helps defer the cost of many activities, uniform insignia/name tapes, etc.   
  • Get your uniforms. 
    • Subject to availability some uniform items may be available in squadron supply.  An opportunity to be fitted for supply uniforms will be provided periodically.  
      • Some items such as boots, covers, socks, undershirts, etc are NOT available from supply and need to be purchased separately.
    • You may also purchase new uniform and related items from Vanguard or USAFA clothing store. 
      • If you plan to purchase via other online / surplus sources it is recommended to check with leadership first as some items sold may NOT meet uniform standards. 
    • Initial Nametapes and patches will be provided after dues has been paid.  They can also be purchased from Vanguard.  
      • There is also a tailor next door to USAFA clothing sales that can sew name tapes and patches at a very reasonable price.  

Please ensure you have fully read, understand, and abide by Base access policy and limitations!

Tips for a successful Journey

  • Participate!  You will get what you put into the program.  Members should strive to regularly attend weekly meetings but are heavily encouraged to attend the weekend/week long activities such are SARX (Search and Rescue Exercises), O-Flights, Encampment, CAP schools, etc.
  • Learn!  CAP provides a myriad of learning opportunities for its members at little or no cost.   Taking advantage of them will serve young and old alike.
  • Ask Questions!  Most of what  you need to know is available through online and other resources but if questions remain reach out to your next in the chain of command.  
  • Have Fun!  CAP is an organization where members make lasting friendships and serve the community in an exciting and engaging environment. 
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