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Welcome First Time Attendees!



We are excited to have you join the over 700 CAP members who attend the National Conference each year. You have a unique opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced members, meet members of the National Staff, and learn from fellow members from around the country.
A first time at any event can be daunting, so we hope this information will be helpful. If at any time you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at (prior to the event) or just ask any of the staff members while at the conference.
Thank you for all you do for Civil Air Patrol and we look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Conference Programs

for your convenience, please download these pocket schedule and/or the full conference program.

2018 National Conference Pocket Schedule

2018 National Conference Program of Events


Getting There and Getting Around

  • CAP provides a limited free shuttle from the John Wayne Airport to the hotel.  See below for times.   If you arrive during non-shuttle times, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements to the hotel.  

  • When making plans to attend the conference, don't be late in making your hotel reservations as rooms are limited and they book up fast!

  • Arrive in enough time to explore the hotel, conference meeting spaces and the surrounding area.

What To Bring

  • Bring business cards for networking or download a networking app like Bump.

  • A comfortable bag/tote to carry all your items.  Don't forget to pack a notebook and pens.

  • Review the “What to Wear” section for uniform guidelines.  Bring your blazer/jacket or sweater as the conference rooms can get chilly.

What to Wear

  • Opening Reception

Casual civilian attire.

  • Command Council Meeting

Command Council Members:  Air Force light blue shirt, no tie; White aviator shirt (with gray slacks/skirt)

Audience: Air Force light blue shirt, no tie; White aviator shirt (with gray slacks/skirt); blue CAP golf shirt (with gray slacks/skirt)

  •  General Assembly, Meetings, & Learning Labs

Command Council members, individuals receiving awards and personnel seated at the head table or making presentations:  Service dress coat, blue blazer combination or appropriate civilian attire

Audience: Air Force light blue shirt or blouse with or without tie/tab; White aviator shirt with or without tie (with gray slacks/skirt); blue CAP golf shirt (with gray slacks/skirt)

  • Awards Ceremony

Award recipients: Service dress coat or blue blazer combination.

Audience:  Air Force light blue shirt or blouse with or without tie/tab; White aviator shirt with or without tie (with gray slacks/skirt); blue CAP golf shirt (with gray slacks/skirt)

  • Banquet

Mess dress or CAP blazer combination with plain white shirt and black bow tie for senior members, semi-formal uniform for cadets or appropriate civilian attire.  Service Dress is also permitted for those who do not have one of these preferred uniforms.  

  • Sightseeing & Leisure

Appropriate civilian attire


Refreshments and Food

  • There will be six refreshment breaks at the conference offering hot and/or cold beverages.

  • Anaheim Marriott and the surrounding area have a diverse selection of restaurants and lounges offering unrivaled cuisine to please every palate.

  • The Opening Reception (ticket required) will have heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.


Health and Safety

  • The conference hotel is low in humidity, so be sure to drink plenty of water to keep energized and avoid dehydration.  You may want to bring your own water bottle for an inexpensive way to stay hydrated.

  • Average temps in August are mid to low 90's.  Hydrate and avoid being outside for extended periods during the hottest part of the day.    

  • Remember to travel with a companion whenever you leave the hotel property, in case of an emergency.



  • Make your first stop Conference Registration.  Pick up your name badge, a conference program, and any purchased tickets or vouchers for the Thursday opening reception, Friday call to prayer and the Saturday night banquet.  Be sure to tell the registration staff this is your first time at the conference and they’ll ensure your name badge is annotated with “First Time Attendee”.

  • Keep an eye out for other first time attendees – like you, they’ll be looking for other first time attendees to meet.

  • When you receive your conference program, take a minute and select the learning labs you would like to attend.  Try to pick at least two for each time slot, in case one isn’t what you expected or the room is full.  

  • Make sure you arrive in enough time to attend the Opening Reception on Thursday evening (ticket required).  First Time Attendees are invited early – at 6:30 pm - to have a chance to meet CAP leaders.

  • Make the most of your conference and sit up front at the learning labs!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions or engage in group conversations.

  • Make plans to visit Vanguard early in the conference.  Their on-site stock is limited and they close on Saturday afternoon. (Be sure to purchase a conference coin as a memento!)



Please note that a conference registration does not include a banquet ticket.  While the banquet is presently sold out, there might be a ticket or two opening up during the conference, so don't forget to ask. 
Keynote Speaker – Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force 

  • Wing and Region commanders host  their tables and will determine who will be seated at their table.  

Banquet Attire

  • The attire for the banquet is mess dress, CAP blazer combination with plain white shirt and black bow tie for senior members, Semi-formal uniform for cadets or appropriate civilian attire.   


Banquet Menu  

Bakery Basket with Assorted Rolls and Butter

Organic Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Dried Cranberries, Fried Goat Cheese and Avocado-Champagne Vinaigrette


Pan-Seared Breast of Chicken with Potato Hash, Mushrooms, Rainbow Carrots and Shallot Pan Jus


White Chocolate Mousse with Berries and Chocolate Drizzle Served in a Chocolate Waffle Cup

Water, Coffee and Hot Tea Service

Cash Bar Available 
Special dietary meals available if requested prior to 20 August 2018. Please notify


Airport Transportation Options

 Arrivals     John Wayne Airport

CAP will run complimentary shuttle vans from the John Wayne Airport (SNA) to the Anaheim Marriott.   Shuttle services will not be provided for any other airport. Note: family members are authorized to ride in CAP vehicles between the airport and the conference hotel during the National Conference.

10:00 am - 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 21
10:00 am - 8:00 pm on Wednesday, August 22
10:00 am - 5:00 pm on Thursday, August 23
10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Friday, August 24

Pick up point at the airport will be in the baggage claim area.  Please look for CAP personnel to direct you to the CAP vans.
Note:  If you are planning on arriving before or after the listed times, the shuttle will not be available.  Please arrange for alternate transportation.
See the John Wayne Airport website for more transportation options:


CAP will run a complimentary shuttle bus from the Anaheim Marriott to the John Wayne Airport (SNA) for departures on Sunday, 26 August.  The bus will depart from the Marriott at the following times:
Sunday, August 26
6:00 am
8:00 am
9:30 am
11:00 am
12:00 pm

Parking Options



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