Civil Air Patrol is a private, nonprofit corporation chartered under a special act of Congress; it is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force when it performs Air Force assigned missions. CAP performs three main missions: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services.
For youth: The CAP Cadet Program is for youth aged 12 to 20. Through their CAP experience, cadets develop into responsible citizens and leaders. The Cadet Program challenges cadets to develop the self-discipline, strong character, and team spirit they will need to become tomorrow's aerospace leaders. Five elements comprise the overall Cadet Program: leadership, aerospace education, physical fitness, character development, and activities.