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New Senior Member Help



Confused about how to get started, all the acronyms, initial training, uniforms, regulations?

Start here: 

Review this Basic New Member Roadmap.

The Seattle Composite Squadron has designed an excellent more detailed CAP New Member Intro/Roadmap.  This document is geared to new senior members interested in emergency services operations training, primarily aircrew.  It contains information and links on:

  • Overview of CAP missions
  • Senior member grades
  • Uniform quick reference
  • Applying for membership
  • Initial required training
  • How to become a CAP pilot
  • ES training
  • ES positions available and required training paths - aircrew, ground team, mission base
  • Incident Command System quick reference

Quick Guide to CAP Manuals and Regulations

CAP has a lot of manuals and regulations.  Some are relevant primarily to officers with certain duty assignments.  Others contain general information about which all members should be knowledgeable.

Here are the initial ones to become familiar with.

CAPR 20-1(I)
Organization of Civil Air Patrol
This regulation provides an overview of CAP's structure, from National to individual units.  It also lists most of the duty positions at each echelon of command.  This is good background information.
CAPR 35-5
CAP Officer and Noncommissioned Officer Appointments and Promotions
This regulation lists the various qualifications required for promotion through CAP's grade structure.  CAP cadets promote through grades matching the U.S. Air Force enlisted ranks.  CAP senior members promote through grades matching the U.S. Air Force officer ranks.  Again, good background information.
CAPM 39-1
CAP Uniform Manual
This manual lists the approved uniforms for senior and cadet members for all purposes, from dress to utility.  Read carefully to configure your uniform properly!  Ask a more experienced member for tips.
CAPR 50-17 
CAP Senior Member Professional Development Program
This regulation describes the training and advancement path for senior members.  Professional Development is one of CAP's core programs for senior members.  Each level of advancement requires additional training on increasingly broad aspects of CAP membership and management and allows further promotion and awards.


These are also important if you participate in certain aspects of Civil Air Patrol missions.

CAPR 70-1
CAP Flight Management
This regulation describes the requirements and restrictions for operating CAP aircraft.  This is important knowledge if you are or plan to become a CAP pilot.
CAPR 60-3
CAP Emergency Services Training and Operational Missions
This regulation describes the requirements and restrictions for particpating in emergency services operations.  This is important knowledge if you are or plan to become involved in CAP's ES mission.
CAPR 100-1
This regulation describes the requirements, limitations and procedures for using radio equipment.  This is important knowledge if you are or plan to participate in radio operations.
CAPR 100-3
Radiotelephone Operations
This regulation describes the detailed procedures for using radio equipment.  This is important knowledge if you are or plan to participate in radio operations.

*Information courtesy of the Seattle Composite Squadron @


Detailed TO/DO Guide for New Members

This guide should help you complete necessary tasks as you become a Senior Member.

 1.  With your membership, you should have received a copy of the CAP Member Fast Start
     Handbook. If not, print it 
here. It will be used later.

 2.  As soon as you get a CAP membership number (CAPID), go here and register for use of
     e-Services.  Once this completed you can complete the required 
OPSEC training.

 3.  When you have created your e-Services account and completed OPSEC training, go here and
      complete the Level I course which is based on CAPP 50-4.


 4.  When that training has been completed, you will have completed Level I. You MAY be promoted 
      from Senior Member to 2nd Lieutenant upon completion of Level I and six months as a
     Senior Member. Here is what is covered in Level I:

  • Intro to CAP Safety for New Members
  • Cadet Protection (CPPT)
  • Equal Opportunity (EO) Training
  • Foundations Module

  5.  Complete General Emergency Services (GES) training (CAPT 116 & 117) and exams here .  (This usually takes several 
hours to complete.)

Level I and Higher

 6.    After Level I completion has been posted in e-Services, choose a Specialty Track.

  • The importance of choosing a specialty track early cannot be overemphasized.
  •  Refer to the Fast Start Handbook for a description of specialty tracks.
  • Ask your unit commander or Professional Development officer to enter your specialty track into e-Services as soon as you have chosen one.
  • Obtain the Specialty Track Guide for your specialty track and begin completing the requirements for the first level, Technician.  A link to each Specialty Track Guide is available here.
  • You may have many specialty tracks, but you must have AT LEAST ONE in which you plan to advance from Technician to Senior to Master.

                    Reference Information Civil Air Patrol Regulation (CAPR) 50-17 is the reference for most of 
 questions about  Professional Development. Open CAPR 50-17.             

 7.     Get a CAP driver's license (here).  [Optional, unless you plan to drive a Corporate Vehicle]

  •  Login to e-Services
  •  Click on  "My Operational Qualifications" on the left side
  •  Scroll down the left side to Drivers License

 8.     Complete the Ground Handling Video on e-Services here (about fifteen minutes).

  • Login to e-Services
  • Select Safety Management System (SMS) on the left side
  • Click on Aircraft Ground Handling

 9.     Complete Skills Evaluator Training (SET) and exam here (about half an hour). [Optional]

10.     Complete Aerospace Education Training for Senior Members (AEPSM) and exam here 
            (several hours).

11.     As time permits, complete the remaining two Safety courses and all three Risk Management courses here
(about an hour or less each).

12.    Complete FEMA IS100, IS200, IS700, and IS800 here (one hour or more per

13.    Complete Mission Scanner (MS) classroom training (two days -- offered at various
            times, and locations during the year.  Check with your chain of command for further information).

Level II

Go here and select and complete each step described below. You should complete this training within a year of completing Level I, so start right away and complete it as you have time.

You MAY be promoted to First Lieutenant upon completion of Level II and eighteen months as a 2nd Lieutenant. Here is what is covered in Level II:

  • Choose a Specialty Track (if not completed in step 4 above).
  • Complete the CAP Officer Basic Course.
  • Complete the Squadron Leadership School (SLS).

At this point you are well on your way.  There is also specialized training available for specific CAP activities such as cadet programs, aerial photography, aerospace education, and chaplains, to name a few.

 Level III, IV, and V

             Return to the CAP University link here to continue your progress in the CAP for Levels III, IV, and V.

Processes and Paperwork

1.   Most online test scores are automatically captured by e-Services. However, the Summary
      Conversation for Level I and most classroom courses are recorded using CAP Form (CAPF) 11.

      NOTE:   CAPR 50-17 paragraph 3-9a requires that the Summary
                      Conversation is accomplished and reported by the Unit PDO.

2.   Progression through the CAP PD Levels II-V is recorded using CAPF 24.
      (PDF format only) Please read and comply with instructions on the back of this form
avoid unnecessary delays.)

3.   Promotions are recorded using CAPF 2.

4.   Electronic forms are mandatory, aside from a few financial, and other forms specified in the
      CAP Index 0-9.  Except for signatures on financial forms, e-signatures are acceptable.

       Almost any format that identifies the signer is acceptable. Here is an example:

                                          //e-signed// John W. Doe, Major.

        Note: In order to verify the signature, the e-Signer must be the person sending the form.
5.   Duty positions and specialty track assignments are entered into e-Services by the unit
       commander, or the PD officer, and then approved by the unit commander.

    Final Words

It helps to take training as soon as it is available, whether it is required immediately for your next promotion or CAP activity, or another promotion down the line. The sooner you complete it, the farther along your career track you will be, and the less you will have to complete on short notice before your next promotion or to participate in selected CAP activities. Also, some requirements, such as specialty track achievements, cannot be completed back-to-back.

After the completion of Level I, the CAP has provisions for appointments and promotions other than for duty performance described above. These include special appointments; e.g., for prior military service, mission-related skills such as Commercial Pilots, and professional appointments, such as Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, and educators. These are described in CAPR 35-5.

If you qualify for promotion through one of these channels, you should still participate in CAP Professional Development training at least through Level II in order to be well-rounded and well-grounded in the CAP.  Also, subsequent promotions still require the PD level achievements described in Appendix 1 of CAPR 50-17.

 One warning:  Don't hesitate to say "NO" when you need to.  Every member in the CAP faces and understands the same demands and respects the need for limitations on your time.  Don't get burned out from spreading yourself too thin; that doesn't do you or the CAP any good.

 And lastly:

  • YOU must manage your Professional Development in the CAP.  Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do next.
  • Be sure your CAP personnel file contains documentation of your training and achievements.
    Not everything will be recorded in e-Services.


Credit for this information is from Site:  

Thanks to,  James L. Freemn and  Katrina Thompson of 

South Carolina Wing, Civil Air Patrol



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