Senior Member Information

Seniors by aircraft Seniors getting ready to fly Senior instructing cadet Seniors at SAR training

Are you interested in helping your community through developing the future leaders of America, providing assistance in a time of emergency, or fostering an appreciation of aerospace? Is so, then the Civil Air Patrol might be for you!

Civil Air Patrol Senior Members come from all walks of life, ranging from members of the Armed Forces and Military Retirees to Pilots, Medical Professionals, Business Professionals, Architects, Clergy, Lawyers, Teachers, Mechanics, and everything in between. CAP draws from a diverse group of enthusiastic service minded professional volunteers who contribute their own unique skills and talents in a variety of fields to create a successful cohesive team - the civilian Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. We always welcome new members to join our team, so if you're ready for the commitment, we're ready to assist you!

Civil Air Patrol Members are in no way obligated to serve in any branch of the military. CAP also does not discriminate based on disability, gender, race, or religion.

As a prospective senior member in CAP, there are many activities you can participate in.

The Lorain County Composite Squadron, as our name implies, works with cadets while also performing an air mission. Our main focus is on our cadet program and the leadership activities of the cadets who are between 12 and 21 years old. We participate in other Civil Air Patrol activities (along with the cadets) in activities such as emergency services and aerospace education. We conduct ground team member training for our cadets and in cases of emergencies or natural disasters, can field a team of cadets and senior members to help in the situation.

If you are a private pilot then you can provide support to our air operations. We have a Cessna 172P assigned to our squadron that we use to support air operations. We also have a need for other aircrew members such as observers and scanners who fly missions along with the pilot. These positions do not require a pilot's license.

Senior Members in CAP wear officer rank that is the same as the US Air Force, although we are not members of the military. For example, a new adult member will be promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant after six months of membership and completion of level one training.

For more information about CAP, including our flying mission, cadet programs, and aerospace education activities, visit

If you decide CAP membership is something you wish to pursue, here is how you can begin:

Are you eligible for Membership?

The following are the basic criteria that all potential CAP Senior Members must meet in order to join:

The list below could disqualify you from membership:

  • Conviction of a felony by any court of record whether federal, state or military.
  • A pattern of arrests and/or convictions including but not limited to sex offenses, child abuse, DUI's, dishonesty and violence.
  • Discharge from the armed services under other than honorable conditions.
  • Falsification of information on the membership application.
  • Previously terminated or non renewed for cause from membership in CAP.
  • Any other unfavorable information brought to the attention of CAP officials at any level.

Come learn about the Civil Air Patrol

  We invite you to come by any Tuesday evening to see what the cadets are doing and to see how you may be able to support the squadron. Our meetings begin at 7:00 PM and end at 9:30 PM on school nights and 10:00 PM in the summer. Our meetings are held at the Commemorative Air Force Hanger at Lorain County Airport. You can see our squadron in action and to help decide if this if for you. There is no obligation to join, and you will be sent further information by clicking on the email link below. Unlike the cadets, a parent or guardian will not be required to attend with you this first meeting. Other senior members are available to discuss the many opportunities and benefits that come with Civil Air Patrol membership, and outline items such as costs and training opportunities. We will also go over the different Senior Member categories you can join as, which are:

  1. Active - A member who regularly attends meetings, performs a specific duty assignment, meets training requirements, and participates in the activities of his or her unit. An active member may wear the CAP uniform and compete for grade advancement.
  2. Cadet Sponsor Member (CSM) - A membership category established to allow parents, grandparents and guardians of current CAP cadets to assist their unit’s cadet program by providing adult supervision, transportation, overnight chaperons, and any other CADET related tasks deemed necessary and proper by the unit commander. A cadet sponsor member is a financial supporter who maintains current membership through payment of annual dues, but only participates in a limited capacity.
  3. Aerospace Education (AE) Membership - A special category of membership for members of the educational community and any reputable individual or organization that has a desire to promote the objectives and purposes of CAP, but who do not desire to participate in the active membership program. There are two subcategories of Aerospace Education membership: Student Aerospace Education Members and Organization Aerospace Education members. These members have a modified list of membership requirements as well.
  4. Patron - A patron member is a financial supporter who maintains current membership through payment of annual membership dues and participates in a limited capacity. These members cannot be promoted or participate in many of CAP's missions.

What if I decide to join CAP?

Apply for Membership. Complete your membership application, including FBI fingerprint card, and get the package signed by the Squadron Commander. After the FBI completes their background check and your membership is processed, you will officially be a part of the Civil Air Patrol. Welcome to the team!

Your training can begin immediately but you will not be able to work directly with cadets until you complete Cadet Protection Policy Training after you join.

What training are you talking about?

All senior members must complete the Level I Foundations program online. The Level I Foundations program is an CAP orientation program and the first of CAP's Five professional development program levels. During this training you will be exposed to the history of our organization and familiarize yourself with the general policies and procedures. Should you have any questions about what you are leaning in level one please do not hesitate to talk to your mentor, unit Professional Development Officer, or unit Commander. This training is critical to your future success as a CAP Senior Member, and we have found that this mutual time investment produces the best results in the long run. After Level 1 is complete, you will then be able to fully participate as a Member.

Now what?

This is where your skills and expertise can be used by CAP or you can learn a new skill. You will meet with the Squadron Commander and, depending upon your interests, qualifications, and the squadron's needs, be enrolled in a specialty track. This is the course of Professional Development you will primarily participate in. Below is a list of specialty tracks available to Senior Member.

Aerospace Education

Cadet Programs



Emergency Services


Flight Operations

Health Services


Information Technology

Inspector General



Moral Leadership



Plans and Programs

Professional Development

Public Affairs

Recruiting and Retention



As with most things in life, there is no final step to your development. Senior Members are constantly training to improve themselves, the organization, and our community as a whole. Where you go from here is up to you, and in the Civil Air Patrol, the sky is definitely not the limit!

Here is some additional information for you to look at:

Welcome Letter for Adults

CAP Fact Sheet

Specialty Tracks

Officer Progression and Awards