Am I obligated to join the military?
While Civil Air Patrol is a military-style program based on the Air Force grade structure, we are all volunteers, cannot be deployed, and are not required to join the military. The CAP Cadet Program is a good introduction to military discipline, customs, and courtesies, but the leadership skills learned through our program will serve members well regardless of their chosen career path, in either a military or civilian direction.
There are some advantages to CAP membership for cadets who are interested in the military. For instance, the military academies look very favorably on CAP experience. Also, if a cadet progresses in the program to the grade of 2nd Lieutenant, he or she can join the Air Force at an E-3 pay grade.