Civil Air Patrol
Orange County North Carolina Composite Squadron

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Orange County Composite Squadron?

Orange County Composite Squadron is a local unit of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).  CAP is the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force; all CAP members are volunteers.  Established right before the start of World War II, CAP airplanes patrolled America's coastline for enemy submarines and other threats. Today, CAP continues to serve the nation through emergency services, cadet program, and aerospace education missions.

What is the Cadet Program?

The Cadet Program is one of the three mission of the Civil Air Patrol.  The program provides leadership training to youths through an emphasis on aviation, community service, and military discipline.  Click here to view the Parents Guide which describes the program in detail.

I am not interested in the military, so why should I join?

The Cadet Program is NOT A MILITARY RECRUITING PROGRAM.  In fact, the majority of our squadron's alumni cadets do not pursue military service, but excel in colleges and careers as a result of the leadership training they receive in CAP.  

Will I learn how to fly?

Formal private pilot training is not part of the cadet curriculum.  However, flight academies and scholarships are available at the national level for advanced cadets.  At the local level, cadets often have the chance, and are encouraged, to take part in orientation flights with certified CAP pilots.  Sometimes, cadets may also have the opportunity to fly on military aircraft during summer activities.

How can I join as a cadet?

First, you must be between 12 to 18 years-old (you can remain a cadet until 21 years). Next, please contact our squadron by email ( to coordinate your visit at a weekly Thursday night meeting from 6:45pm to 9:15pm.  Parents are highly encouraged to visit the squadron with their prospective cadets.  Note: We require a prospective cadet attend at least 3 meetings prior to final completion of the application process; this is to ensure that the program is right for you.

Where is Orange County Composite Squadron located?

Orange County Composite Squadron is located in Hillsborough, North Carolina.  For directions, please see the Driving Directions.

How much time would I need to give as a cadet?

Cadets are required to attend once-a-week Thursday night squadron meetings from 6:45pm to 9:15pm.  Occasionally, we have weekend training activities throughout the year.  During the summer, cadets often attend a week long encampment held at the state level. 

How much does it cost to join as a cadet?

Cadets pay $40 annually to CAP national headquarters and that fee covers all the training curriculum materials.  Uniform costs vary, depending on if you buy them new or used.  Additional activities may also incur activity costs.  

How can I join as an adult member?

Adult members of CAP are called "senior members". The senior members of Orange County Composite Squadron are primarily there to support and instruct the cadets. To join as a senior member, please visit during a Thursday night meeting.  Contact us at for details.

I have more questions about CAP.

Please email us at  If you would like to learn more about CAP in general, please visit