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Professional Development

Senior Members, just like Cadets, rise through the organization based on their merits and education. In the service, this is called Professional Development (PD). In CAP, this is looked at in two different lines. The first is the professional education that is focused on your rank from Senior Member, NCO, Warrant Officer, 2nd Lieutenant through Lieutenant Colonel. They are listed in levels, one through four.  Each level has a series of tasks and classes to accomplish and time in CAP to be accumulated. All of these can be found in CAP Regulation 40-1.

Tom Ficarra, LtCol, CAP

Professional Development Officer

The intent of Level I is to provide new members with the information they need to begin their service in CAP successfully, as well as help them to assimilate into theirunit.

The member learns more about how the unit supports all three of CAP’s missions, as well as how to lead and manage

Provide opportunities to learn new skills. These skills help CAP as well as aid individual growth.

SM select a specialty track to help perform a duty assignment that meets their individual goals, and unit needs.

Focuses on expanding leadership skills, program development, and building a more holistic view of CAP. Level IV prepares the member for service as a group or wing level leader who aspires to serve on staff or as a commander.

Senior Member Ranks

As a newly minted CAP Senior Member, you can choose to either follow the officer path, Flight Officer path or the NCO path. If you come into the program with previous military experience (doesn't matter the service), your grade will be reviewed by the promoting authority for that rank for you to obtain with the proper documentation. If you are currently serving, retired or a resigned officer, you can come in at your current/former rank, or chose to go to the NCO ranks. Same with the current/former NCOs. CAP Regulation 35-5 goes into greater detail and fidelity on what military rank obtained can transfer over. 

Progression Chart*


CAPR 35-5, CAP Officer and NCO Appointments and Promotions (Includes ICL 19-08 2 Dec 19 and ICL 20-04 4 Aug 20)

CAPR 50-17, Civil Air Patrol Senior Member Education & Training Program, 4 August 2020


*Does not include NCO, Flight Officer, or Professional Appointments

1 “…or approved Professional Military Education (PME) equivalent” listed in CAPR 50-17, Attachment 2

2 Approved Courses & Activities are listed in CAPR 50-17, Attachment 3

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