Any adult age 18 or over can become a Civil Air Patrol senior member. Applications are signed by the unit commander, and sent to national headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base along with a fingerprint card after you have attended a minimum of three meetings. For the protection of our cadets and other members, all incoming senior members must pass federal and state background checks. Although membership in the Civil Air Patrol is selective, discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or disability is prohibited by CAP policy as well as laws and directives governing federally-assisted organizations. Civil Air Patrol policy further prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and religion.

Senior members make up the unit command staff, ground team leaders, pilots, chaplains, administrative and finance officers, and many other key positions that keep the squadron running. Many senior members are former military members who want to continue to serve their country after completing active duty or reserve duty or while still in the military. Current and former military members are eligible for advanced rank based on their prior military service.

In addition to running our squadrons, groups, and wings, senior officers have many professional development opportunities. Those include, but are not limited to:

  • Squadron Leadership School
  • Unit Commanders Course
  • Corporate Learning Course
  • Region Staff College
  • National Staff College

The Civil Air Patrol Senior Officer Program is exciting and rewarding! Find out more by contacting your local unit commander, or by visiting this website.


Due to new legislation in Pennsylvania, all members 18+ must complete the PA State Child Clearances for participation in Civil Air Patrol. This is state-wide in Pennsylvania and affects Boy Scouts, Church groups, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, and any other youth group organizations. To complete the required clearance certificates, please go to: