This page is here for you to get information about Civil Air Patrol and about what your child is doing every Saturday morning. If you don't see something that you want to see or know about, please use the "Contact Us" page to send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!
What Civil Air Patrol Can Do For Your Child
The cadet program provides young adults between the ages of 12 and 21 a well-rounded program of leadership, aerospace education, physical fitness, and moral and ethical decision making. Many former cadets have gone into the military, government jobs, or private sector employment where they can and do make a difference, and really excel. There are many military general officers that were once CAP cadets. Senators and congressman, CEOs and corporate executives, and others credit their success to CAP. Many of the cadets from Marianna Composite Squadron have improved in their self-discipline, leadership abilities, their knowledge of aerospace, and their physical fitness since they joined Civil Air Patrol.
Cadets who desire to continue in Civil Air Patrol can also transition to senior membership after they age out of the cadet program. Dues for senior members are sixty-nine dollars.
Costs Of Being A Member
Fortunately, the costs of being a member of Civil Air Patrol are minimal compared to other programs with the same goals. The first cost you will run into is membership dues. This is a small fee paid when you sign your child up and this recurs every year. In Florida wing, membership dues are forty-five dollars. This includes the basics of the Air Force style blues uniform- a flight cap, shirt, pants or skirt, and a belt- obtained through CAP's online resource, eServices. Cadets are required to purchase uniform items such as insignia and shoes to complete this uniform. This brings up the second cost - uniforms. Upon joining, cadets may receive the blues uniform, but to get the most out of CAP cadets will need to purchase the digital tiger-stripe ABU uniform. This can range anywhere between next to free all the way up to (and sometimes over) one hundred dollars. We understand that this is a high price, and we do have some uniform items to supply those unable to purchase their own uniform. Other costs may include activity fees, which can range from around one hundred and fifty dollars (wing-level encampments, for instance) to over three hundred dollars for special national activities.
NOTE: The activity fees usually include lodging and meals for the duration of the activity (usually a week or more). Also note that smaller, squadron and group level activities usually cost no more than twenty-five to thirty dollars, if anything at all.
What Goes On Each Week
Some parents might be wondering what Civil Air Patrol will be doing with their child. This is a general idea of what goes on each week.
Arrival- Cadets arrive and sign in.
Safety Briefing- A cadet safety officer or member of the cadet executive staff will give a safety briefing on a multitude of topics.
Meeting Opens- Cadet executive staff open meeting with Pledge of Allegiance and Cadet Oath.
Formation/Inspection- Cadets fall outside for a squadron formation and usually a uniform inspection. During the inspection cadets are graded on their overall appearance according to the Civil Air Patrol uniform manual.
Main Activity- Each week we have a main activity that ranges from physical training to knowledge testing to promoting in grade.
Secondary Activity- Another activity follows the main activity, which could be anywhere from a class on aerospace to an informal class on CAP history.
Drill and Ceremonies- Every week we do drill and ceremonies. This includes marching and doing stationary drill movements.
Announcements- Cadet and senior members give announcements such as encampment dates or the uniform for the next meeting.
Meeting Closes- Cadet executive staff closes meeting and cadets are dismissed.
Other Opportunities Within Civil Air Patrol
Cadet and senior members can participate in so many more activities than just weekly meetings. Cadets can attend activities throughout the year such as leadership encampments and high adventure activities. Here is a short list of some activities cadets can attend:
Encampments- CAP holds leadership encampments, which are kind of like basic training for CAP, every summer and winter. These events are held on a military base and consist of a week of intensive training in all things CAP. Cadets must attend an encampment to become a cadet officer.
National Blue Beret- This is one of CAP's National Cadet Special Activities. During this activity, cadets attend the nation's largest air show and conduct flight line marshalling, participate in flight line security, and conduct emergency services missions. It is two weeks long.
Pararescue Jumper Orientation Course- This activity lets your child spend a little over a week with Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, being trained in what they do and getting shown what day to day life for an Air Force Pararescue Jumper entails.
Honor Guard Academy- This is an activity entirely dedicated to drill and ceremonies. Cadets will learn all the ins and outs of a Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard, and upon graduation become a member of the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard.
Cyber Academy- Cadets will learn about technology, and not just computers. Cyber Academies are hosted by Florida Wing and National. Some Regions also host their own cyber academies.
Question: How do I track the planned activities my child will participate in?
CAP requires squadrons with a Cadet program to maintain a public facing calendar in accordance with CAPR 60-1. The calendar is updated regularly. Events that are planned well in advance will be posted on the calendar.
Only events that are [Unclassified // For Official Use Only] (otherwise known as "Need-To-Know") or have another heightened security concern will not be posted on the calendar. That being said, most planned missions of this nature, normally Emergency Services operations, will not involve cadets unless they have reached the age of majority (18 years of age) and are pursuing or possess a qualification(s) relevant for that operation. As of present: Marianna Composite Squadron does NOT participate in those missions. We should also note that not every Emergency Services operation qualifies as [Unclassified // For Official Use Only], in which case they will be posted (these are almost always Training Exercises).
Question: I Want To Stay At The Meetings With My Child, Can I Do This?
Quick answer: Yes.
Extended answer: There are a couple ways you can stay at the meetings with your child:
You can stay as just a parent, and you will be allowed to watch what the cadets do at every meeting, or
You can become a member of CAP. There are two types of adult members in CAP - sponsor member or full-fledged senior member. A sponsor member is an adult member of CAP that is not a full senior member, therefore cannot get all the benefits of being a senior member, but can still chaperon at cadet activities. To learn more about becoming a member of CAP, please visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or speak with a senior member in the cadet office at the next meeting.