East Bay Cadet Squadron 18
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Senior Member Rank Structure

DISCLAIMER:  The information pertaining to grades/ranks on this page are applied in respect to Civil Air Patrol members assigned to the squadron level. Experiences and standards may vary at higher echelons (i.e., Group, Wing, Region, National levels). 

 

Officer Grades

All senior members above the age of 21 years are eligible to hold an officer grade in Civil Air Patrol. 

CAP's officer rank structure mirrors that of the U.S. Air Force as follows:

Grade Abbreviated As Insignia Addressed As (Spoken) Skill Level Required Time-in-Grade Promoting Authority
Second Lieutenant 2d Lt "Lieutenant" Level 1 &
Level 2, Part 1
6 months as a CAP member Squadron Commander
First Lieutenant 1st Lt "Lieutenant" Level 2 18 months as a 2d Lt or TFO Squadron Commander
Captain Capt "Captain" Level 3 30 months as a 1st Lt or SFO Group Commander
Major Maj "Major" Level 4 4 years as a Captain Wing Commander
Lieutenant Colonel Lt Col "Colonel" Level 5 5 years as a Major Region Commander
Colonel Col "Colonel" --- --- Senior Advisory Group
Brigadier General Brig Gen "General" --- --- Board of Governors
Major General Maj Gen "General" --- --- Board of Governors

 

NOTE:  General grades are reserved for the National Commander (Major General) and National Vice Commander (Brigadier General). Colonel grades are reserved for Region and Wing Commanders.

NOTE:  Advancement to Lieutenant Colonel requires service on Wing-level staff (or higher echelon), which may be conduct concurrently while also serving at the squadron level. 

 

Flight Officer Grades

Adult members (at least 18 years of age) but not yet 21 may serve in Civil Air Patrol within the Flight Officer grades. 

Flight Officers include:

  • Adults who join CAP under 21 years of age

  • Cadet members who elect to transition to become a senior member before the age of 21

NOTE:  Cadets who elect to remain within the CAP Cadet Program after turning 18 may continue to serve as a cadet until age 21. 

Grade Abbreviated As Insignia Addressed As (Spoken) Skill Level Required Time-in-Grade Promoting Authority
Flight Officer FO "Flight Officer" Level 1 &
Level 2, Part 1
6 months as a CAP member Squadron Commander
Technical Flight Officer TFO "Flight Officer" Level 2 18 months as an FO Squadron Commander
Senior Flight Officer SFO "Flight Officer" Level 3 30 months as a TFO Squadron Commander

 

NOTE:  Time served as a Flight Officer will count toward Time-in-Grade (TIG) requirements for standard officer grades. 

 

Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Grades

Current or prior military service members who held a pay grade of E-4 or higher (enlisted only on Active Duty or service in the Reserves or National Guard) are eligible to serve as NCOs in Civil Air Patrol.

Enlisted service members may also choose to hold officer grades at their discretion if electing not to pursue the NCO promotion pathway. 

Grade Abbreviated As Insignia Addressed As (Spoken) Skill Level Required Time-in-Grade Promoting Authority
Staff Sergeant SSgt "Sergeant" Level 1 &
Level 2, Part 1
None Squadron Commander
Technical Sergeant TSgt "Sergeant" Level 2 1 year as a SSgt Squadron Commander
Master Sergeant MSgt "Master Sergeant" Level 3 2 years as a TSgt Region Commander
Senior Master Sergeant SMSgt "Master Sergeant" Level 4 3 years as a MSgt Region Commander
Chief Master Sergeant CMSgt "Chief" Level 5 4 years as a SMSgt Region Commander

 

NOTE:  Only one (1) Master Sergeant is allowed to serve in a squadron as the Squadron NCO (duty position). Multiple NCO grades may continue to serve in the squadron in a non-command capacity (i.e., technical specialist/support role). 

 

 

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