HOW TO JOIN OUR SQUADRON
The Springfield Composite Squadron has programs for cadets (youth) and adult officers. We meet every Wednesday from 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM at the Illinois Air National Guard Base, 3101 J. David Jones Parkway, Springfield, Illinois. We meet at an active military base! Keep that in mind at all times! All visitors must read the section below about access to the base!
If you are age 12 to 18, you can join Civil Air Patrol as a cadet.
Prospective cadets are required to attend at least three squadron meetings before we process your membership application. This way, you and your family have the chance to determine for yourselves if Civil Air Patrol is a good fit for you before paying the membership dues. During these first three meetings, you and your family will meet the other cadets and the senior officers. You will also be introduced to the CAP program. At the third meeting, if you feel that you want to join CAP, please request a membership application.
As of October 1, 2010, cadet membership initial dues are $34.00, plus $50.00 to cover initial basic uniform items. This is unchanged from last year. These must be paid by two checks: the $34.00 dues payment check must be made out to, "Civil Air Patrol," and the $50.00 check for uniform items must be made out to, "Civil Air Patrol, Springfield Composite Squadron." Both checks must be submitted along with the completed membership application to the squadron commander or deputy commander.
All prospective new members must be screened by the squadron membership board. Once the membership board approves you as a new member, then your application is sent to national headquarters for final processing. You should expect to receive your membership card in the mail two to three weeks after we send your application to national headquarters. You can still participate in squadron meetings while waiting for your membership card.
If you are over age 18, you can join Civil Air Patrol as an adult officer.
You do not have to be a pilot! Many of the opportunities CAP has to offer do not require any knowledge of flying at all!
Prospective officers are required to attend at least three squadron meetings before we process your membership application. This way, you have the chance to determine for yourself if CAP is a good fit for you before you pay the membership dues. During these first three meetings, you will be introduced to the other senior officers and to the cadets.
Once you have decided to join, submit TWO COPIES of your membership application AND completed FBI fingerprint card, along with a check for $70.00 made out to, "Civil Air Patrol," to the squadron commander or deputy commander. The squadron commander or deputy commander will also require you to bring TWO forms of photo ID and your original birth certificate for inspection. The reason for all of this scrutiny is very simple: families have entrusted their cadets to us, and their safety is our greatest responsibility.
All prospective new members must be screened by the squadron membership board. Once the membership board approves you as a new member, then your application and FBI fingerprint card are sent to national headquarters for final processing, which includes an FBI background check. Assuming you pass the FBI background check, you should expect to receive your membership card in the mail two to three weeks after we send your application to national headquarters. You can still participate in squadron meetings while waiting for your membership card, but until your FBI background check comes back to us "clean," your interaction with cadets will be limited.
Once national headquarters sends you your membership card, you will complete Level One training, which includes the Cadet Protection Program training and Operations Security Awareness training. Click Here to learn more about Level One.
Every squadron has many jobs that need to be performed to make the squadron function. You will be expected to hold one of these jobs. For example, you might decide that you would like to train to be the Communications Officer, Cadet Programs Officer, Finance Officer, Personnel Officer, Administrative Officer, Recruiting and Retention Officer... the list of available positions is large (there are many more than are listed here). Don't worry if you don't have any experience with a job you might be interested in, we can train and mentor you to perform well in the job of your choosing. Visit this link, and scroll down to the publications P200 - P229 to see all of the available squadron jobs and what they entail: Forms and Publications.
Aside from your squadron job, you can also train and become qualified to perform emergency services missions as aircrew, ground team, or mission base staff. This is exciting, rewarding service, often performed directly on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. Ask us about it!
A note to pilots: pilots are required to perform at least one non-flying job within the squadron (see above). All new pilots will be expected to begin training up to mission pilot qualification as soon as possible. No pilot who wishes to serve as a pilot in CAP should expect to join who is not able and willing to become a mission pilot.
Important Information Regarding Access to the Illinois Air National Guard Base
We encourage you to visit our squadron meetings! Please come see what we're all about. Meet the people and learn about Civil Air Patrol and the Springfield Composite Squadron.
That having been said, here's the complicated part of coming to see us.... Please don't let this scare you off. Just follow the instructions (they're easy, really) and your visit will be a breeze!
We meet at an active military base! Keep that in mind at all times!
Before you become a card-carrying member of CAP, in order to gain entrance to the base, you must call or e-mail at least one day in advance either:
and let us know:
who is calling,
that you are either a prospective adult officer member or you are the parent or guardian of a prospective cadet,
the date of the meeting you plan to attend,
your (and your cadet's) full name including full middle name
Be absolutely sure that when you arrive at the security checkpoint, you have all of the following ready to present to the guard at the gate, all of which must be current and not expired:
your driver's license,
your vehicle registration,
your proof of automobile insurance for the automobile you are driving
If you fail to let us know you plan to attend a meeting on base, you run the risk of being turned away be security personnel when they cannot find your name on the entry list. Also be aware that the guards do perform random searches of vehicles and occupants, and that the searches can occur either on the way into the base or on the way out. If you have anything of even questionable legality in your automobile, remove it before coming onto the base!