Civil Air Patrol has three main missions; Aerospace
Education, the Cadet Program, and Emergency Services. Each cadet must participate in all three missions to progress through
the ranks. These missions are explained in detail below.
The CAP has internal
programs to ensure that all members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. A rigorous
educational program is tied to promotions at every level in the
The Cadet Program provides young people (ages12 through age 18) the opportunity
to develop their leadership skills through their interest in aviation. For many, it has also offered them the opportunity
to learn to fly. A knowledge of aerospace information is one
of the pillars of the program. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 15-step program including aerospace education,
leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. CAP cadets enjoy a variety of exciting and challenging life experiences.
For example: attendance at full-dress banquets, flying a glider or Cessna, operation of a radio network, ride in an Air Force
C-130 Cargo Plane, rappel off of the side of a mountain, compete against other cadets in a color guard competition, spend
a week in training at Fort Indiantown Gap, learn and provide first aid, help search for missing aircraft, and more.
This is also known as Search and Rescue (SAR). The CAP now flies more than 85 percent of all inland missions
directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often overlooked is the role CAP plays in disaster relief operations,
providing air and ground transportation and communications network. In fact, CAP has formal agreements with agencies such
as the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard. Closely related
to disaster relief is CAP support of humanitarian missions, such as transporting time-sensitive medical materials including
blood and human tissue.