Vanguard Composite Squadron


Supporting America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power.

What is the Civil Air Patrol?

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.

What is the Civil Air Patrol youth program?

Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer, non-profit organization that also serves as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force. Our three missions are to develop youth through a cadet program, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform live-saving humanitarian missions.

In order to join, a youth must be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. It is a year-round program with weekly meetings at our squadron (at the Durham Elementary School) and additional activities on weekends and during the summer.

Civil Air Patrol is a youth development program that incorporates aviation and military customs and courtesies. Through their experiences as CAP cadets, young people develop into responsible citizens and become tomorrow's leaders. The leadership skills, self-confidence, and discipline cadets gain through CAP prepares them to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves in life.

​To fulfill its goal of developing young people into responsible citizens and aerospace leaders, the Cadet Program is developed around five program elements: Leadership, Character Development, Aerospace Education, Physical Fitness, and Activities. As cadets participate in these five elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way.

About Us

The Vanguard Composite Squadron meets every week except for holidays, pre-announced cancellations, and inclement weather cancellations. Visitors and prospective members are encouraged to visit us at any of our regularly scheduled meetings.

The squadron meets at 7:00 PM each Thursday located at the Ressurection Lutheran Church in Cairo, NY. The squadron rotates through a standard schedule of topics and uniforms each month.

Membership Application Process

We require all prospective members to attend a minimum of three meetings before we will endorse and submit their application. Please visit a squadron meeting and we will be happy to provide you with a membership application and fingerprint card (for senior officers). Prospective cadets may fill out their application electronically using the link below. Squadron commander approval is required for CAP National HQ to process applications, please do not mail applications for processing on your own, they will be returned.

Cadet Members

All applicants for a Cadet membership in the Civil Air Patrol must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Be at least 12 years old and under 18 years old.

  • United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.

  • Attend at least three meetings

  • Enrolled in or graduated from a private, public, home school or college program with a satisfactory record of academic achievement

  • Not a member of the active duty Armed Forces.

Application for Cadet Membership

Senior Officers

All applicants for Senior officers must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Possess the desire, willingness, and capability to promote the objectives of the Civil Air Patrol.

  • Must be at least 18 years old. Active duty members of the Armed Forces can join CAP as a Senior member at any age

  • United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.

  • No felony conviction by any court of record whether federal, state, or military.

  • No pattern of arrests and/or convictions including but not limited to sex offenses, child abuse, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI), dishonesty, and violence.

  • If you were previously in the active duty military, you must have been discharged under honorable conditions.

If you were previously in the active duty military, you must have been discharged under honorable conditions.

Application for Senior Officer Membership