New Member Guide

This guide focuses primarily on the operational specialty qualifications to participate in Emergency Services missions, and complements the material in the Great Start material referenced below concerning CAP Professional Development.  The things you need to accomplish are listed more or less in the order in which it is recommend you complete them, but you can do most of them in whatever order you please.

Familiarization with CAP eServices
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  • Sign-on to the National HQ eServices web site, request a password and ID (click on the New First-Time User link).
  • If you are having trouble, first refer to the eServices and Operations Qualifications manual (CAPF271), and then contact the squadron's personnel officer for assistance.
  • Update your personal and contact information in Review/Edit My Member Info.
  • Upload your picture (review the submission guidelines first) for your ID card and CAPF 101 Operational Specialty Qualification card, and eMail the commander to let him know to validate it.
Level-1 Orientation, Cadet Protection, and OpSec

You will need to complete the mini-courses of Level I Orientation, Cadet Protection Training (CPPT), Equal Opportunity (EO), Intro to CAP Safety, and Operational Security (OpSec).  Go to CAP University to view all available courses. Or go directly to LEVEL ONE to complete these courses online.  When completed, contact the Professional Development team to review your Level I quiz answers. You will also need to complete the new Equal Opportunity briefing, which takes about 15 minutes, as part of your Level I training. You cannot do much more than participate in squadron meetings until you complete Level I. You should also look at the Great Start material and review it with your assigned mentor.  If you don't have a mentor assigned, ask the Personnel Officer to assign you one.  

By completing Level I you earn the Membership Ribbon.

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Customs and Courtesies

Your decision to join Civil Air Patrol (CAP) reflects a dedication and commitment to support this charitable, benevolent, nonprofit corporation. As a member of an Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, you are expected to follow the traditions, standards, customs and courtesies agreed to and accepted by the Air Force and the Civil Air Patrol. These apply to all of us and reflect our pride and professionalism as members of the Civil Air Patrol.  You will be required to attend a short class to provide you with the minimums on uniform types, uniform wear, wearing of awards, saluting, and reporting to a senior officer. 

Pick a job to do

Please review the job descriptions in the Great Start guide as well as the Speciality Track guides. Send the Professional Development team a list of three duty assignments you would be interested in.  It's mandatory for active Squadron 129 members to be assigned to a duty assignment. We normally start you out assisting someone already performing that function, if possible, to mentor you.  Don't worry, you won't be stuck doing that assignment for your entire CAP career -- we like to move people around periodically. 

Get Connected

Sign-up for California Wing email list. This way, you will be informed of upcoming training classes, and missions etc. Also, see the links page for other ways to find out more about squadrons in your area, and across the country.

Get in Uniform

Get an appropriate CAP Uniform. The simplest Senior Member duty uniform for attending unit meetings at Squadron 129 is the blue CAP golf/polo shirt and gray trousers.  The Vanguard Civil Air Patrol Store is the source for the golf /polo shirt.  To start, get the less expensive blue golf shirt with screened CAP seal as you don't have an aeronautical rating yet to have embroidered on the Shirt.

  • Blue Golf Shirt/Polo Shirt (Vanguard) w/Screened CAP Seal -or- CAP Blue Polo Shirt with embroidered CAP Seal (enter full name and aero rating in order comments)
  • Medium Gray Trousers (not denim)
  • Black shoes/black socks
  • Black Belt.

For other uniforms see:  What do I need, where do I get it, and where does it go?

And for details about all CAP uniforms, download:  CAPM-39.1  (4.4 MB)

Apply fo a CAP Driver Permit

In order to operate a CAP corporate vehicle you need to have a CAPF 75 CAP Driver Permit issued to you. This allows you to drive one of the CAP owned vans or 4WD vehicles to transport cadets or on missions. Fill out the information in eServices under OpsQuals for "Driver's License" (the link near the bottom-left of the page), and upload a scanned copy of your Driver's License and your Driving Record when you receive it from the DMV. 

Complete and mail-in California Driver Record Request (form INF 1125)
Obtain General Emergency Services Rating

The pre-requisites for obtaining the General Emergency Services Rating (GES) are that you complete CAP Test 116, the FEMA IS-100.b online course and have completed Level I training.

  • Download and review CAPR 60-3 "CAP Emergency Services Training and Operational Missions", and CAPR 173-3 Reinbursments. 
  • Take the CAP Test 116 General ES Questionnaire Part 1 (25 Questions) in eServices:  Learning Management System, Emergency Services section, and select:  CAPT 116 - General ES.
  • Take FEMA IS-100.b Introduction to Incident Command System.
  • Enter your completion of this online course using eServices->My Operations Qualifications->Single Person by clicking the check box to the left of IS100 - IS-100, entering the date of the exam and clicking submit at the bottom of the page.
  • Upload the scanned copy of the IS-100 using eServices->My Operations Qualifications->101 Card->View/Upload Documents->Emergency Services Tab and select IS100, and email the SQ129 Emergency Services Officer (or provide a hardcopy) for validation.
  • Complete State of California Disaster Service Worker Registration form (OES2000), sign, and give to the Personnel Officer for your file.
Print your Emergency Services Card

To print your CAPF 101 Operational Specialty Qualification Card, login to eServices...
    > Utilities
    > My Operations Qualifications
    > Emergency Services
    > 101 Card
    > Print 101 Card
Bring this with you to all training exercises and missions.

Obtain Mission Scanner, Mission Observer, and Mission Pilot ratings

Prerequisite: General Emergency Services (GES) Rating.

  • Oakland's CAP Squadron-188 has done a very nice presentation of what it takes to earn these ratings on their website.  Click on the NESA and SQ-188 links below to see what's involved to earn these ratings...  
Flight Suit (aircrew only)

Obtain a Nomex flight suit and whatever gear is recommended in the Aircrew Life Support Handbook (for example) for your survival kit. You don't have to get everything all at once, start with the basics. If you meet the CAP Weight and Grooming Standards (CAPM 39-1 Attachments 1 & 2), then you may wear the USAF sage green Nomex flight suit (CAPM 39-1 figure 2-19, p.34) available from the Vanguard Civil Air Patrol Store and many other sources.  If you are outside the standards, wear the CAP Blue Flight Suit (CAPM 39-1 figure 4-4, p.77).  Both are available from the Vanguard Civil Air Patrol Store.  Sometimes you can find a good deal at military surplus stores, and on eBay, but beware on used suits:  washing a NOMEX suit improperly will draw away its flame retardant capabilities.

Basically, you should have...

  • Sage Green NOMEX Flight Suit or Blue CAP NOMEX Flight Suit.
  • American Flag patch (not reversed) for the left shoulder
  • California Wing patch for the right shoulder
  • CAP Command Patch for the right breast
  • Leather Name Tag for the left breast. If no CAP aeronautical rating has been awarded, then use the text "Mission Scanner" along with your name and grade (if any). Cloth name tags like USAF uses are not authorized.
  • If an Officer, order the plastic encased grade insignia (cloth insignia is not authorized for the AF sage green flight suit)
  • Flight Cap (with officer braid) and small CAP hat device
  • Black Combat Boots
  • Black boot socks
  • Black T-shirt with no writing or logo visible
  • NOMEX gloves (optional)
  • Sage Green Flight Jacket (MA-1 flight jacket or CWU-45/P or CWU-36/P NOMEX flight jackets.
  • Black Leather jacket may be worn with the CAP Blue Flight suit, Brown Leather jacket is NOT authorized.

For details on all CAP uniforms, download:  CAPM-39.1 (4.4MB)

Complete the Charles E. Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award

Everyone in the squadron should do this one.  It's simple, interesting, and even a little fun.  Download the 25 chapters of the book:  Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, 2nd edition (yes, you have to download the chapters individually).  CAP members can find the book in digital form on eServices.  Login and on the "CAP Utilities" menu, select... 
    >AE Downloads and Resources
...and download the chapters for reading off-line.  The book is an easy read and if you posess an Aerospace gene in your DNA, you probably already know many of the answers to the test questions. That said, you will definately gain a better understanding of complex subjects like how a satellite is placed into a specific orbit, as well as reinforce your memory on the history of aviation.  Read the material, answer the 100-question on-line test, and print a copy of the achievement award for your Love-Me wall.  Ta-da--that's it,  Now go order your Yeager Ribbon from Vanguard.  Click HERE for the test and more information on earning your Yeager Award.  

Click HERE to read-up on CAP regulation 35-5 and check with our sqadron's PDO (Professional Development Officer)...

Ribbon Rack Builder
Complete your Level II training

Click HERE to learn about the Technician rating and how to earn your Leadership Ribbon...

Tell others about the Civil Air Patrol

People are going to be asking you about what's it like to be in the Civil Air Patrol.  Encourage them to join.  If they sound interested, offer to take them along to a meeting.  An easy way to help them get a quick overview of who we are and what we do is by directing them to the official website.  

This is an official CAP Internet Operation conducted in accordance with CAPR 110-1. (c)2014, Civil Air Patrol.  All rights reserved.  Images and text are authorized for reproduction by news media and all Civil Air Patrol units.