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CAP (Civil Air Patrol) Good idea for Son


Yeah, well. The Dude abides.
CAP is a great idea for your son!

I personally went through the Cadet Program (joined at 15) and am still currently an active member, only now on the Senior side since I turned 21.

There are many opportunities available to your son from leadership experience, moral leadership, drug demand reduction, orientation flights on military aircraft, and he can even learn to fly in CAP! (once old enough of course)

Academies look highly on activities such as CAP with the AF Academy having 10-15% of their students Billy Mitchell Award recipients (~2.5 yrs in CAP).

I like to think that the opportunities CAP offered and the experiences I had as a Cadet helped me to be where I am today. It is absolutely a worthwhile program but he has to remember that in CAP "you get out what you put in."


That link is a way to find the closest unit near you.

PM me if you need more/future information

Good Luck!


His blood smells like cologne.
question...what % of CAP members get jets?

OHHHHHH SNAP. Will the koolaid man face the infamous banhammer of MASTER? I think his post count reflects the fact that he is well aware of the forum's rules.



Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Or a ban.

But thanks for playing!

(hands virtual Rice-a-Roni)


His blood smells like cologne.
Or a ban.

But thanks for playing!

(hands virtual Rice-a-Roni)

Now I feel like an A-hole. Hopefully that was only the two week and not the permanent flavor.

*shamefully disappears into the shadows*


Registered User
The end result of CAP (whether it is worth while or not) is mostly dependent on cadet leadership. If your son gets matched up with a respectable bunch, it will be a great option. The things I learned in CAP put me way ahead when I got into JROTC in high school; unfortunately neither program is well understood by the general public. In order to be well rounded, your son will need sports, academics and leadership. CAP will at least count for the leadership part- but good luck explaining the program to anyone outside the USAFA/USNA.


Don't tase me bro.
Civil Air Patrol

Without all the judgement from all the other posters here's what I have to say about CAP.

Let me start by saying that I'm a naval officer, pilot, and got an appointment to Annapolis (which I subsequently turned down and went to Virginia Tech to participate in the Corps of Cadets and NROTC... that's another story.)

I was a cadet in civil air patrol from the age of 12 until about 17. I joined because of a buddy who was in the program and convinced me to come to a few meetings. It was a lot of fun, I learned a lot about the military, aviation, and got to fly in a cessna a few times. I participated in cadet encampment (kind of like a basic training), and followed that up as a staff member at encampment the following summer, and attended a program called Pararescue Orientation Course, which was run by Air Force PJ's. Before I finished my involvement with CAP I was the cadet commander of my squadron.

Now, the most important thing for your son to do in order to get into an Academy is good grades. After that it's important to show involvement in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. CAP is a good one, but it's important to be well rounded. Athletics are important, regardless of whether he is a varsity athlete. Being in the band, on student council, or an officer in a club activity are all good ideas.

I really enjoyed CAP. It was a great opportunity for me to learn some leadership and to participate in activities I wouldn't have otherwise gotten to do. I made a lot of friends and it was to me what the Boy Scouts were to my dad. It's a good start but not everything. The bottom line is encourage your child to be active in all manner of activities, a good student, and a well rounded person. That's what the academies and ROTC programs are looking for.


New Member
I'd think after 6 months, he's probably figured out if he's going to do it or not.

I thought I read this post before when I heard the CAP percentage joke...


New Member

My son was in CAP and rose to cadet lt. col which, i believe is the second highest rank. Interesting enough he was in the Gen, Jimmy stewart squadron and there was even an autographed picture from General Stewart to the squadron.

Academy - What must be understood (my son got accepted to the USAFA) is that all of the academies look for leadership within the endeavor. Thus if playing sports (son lettered in 3 sports) - be the captain of the team.

CAP become an officer - this is the leadership component.

work on school newspaper - be the editor

Eagle scout - very big also because it also demonstrates leadership.

Leadership is the key word - fluffing the application up with many involvements but no accomplishments doesn't mean much to the admission boards.

finally academics - National Honor society is a given. SATs huge