Cadet Membership Applications Accepted Online Beginning April 14
Posted on March 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Joanna Lee
Beginning 14 April 2014, young people can apply for cadet membership online. Alternatively, hard copy CAPF 15 applications will continue to be accepted, too. Online applications improve the membership process in several ways, including:
1. Cadets can join more quickly and attend special activities as soon as the commander or designee approves the application – there’s no time lost waiting for the US Mail.
2. Cadet applications will not need to be returned due to incomplete information – the online application will automatically check for errors as applicants enter their data.
3. Cadet textbooks and uniforms will ship more quickly.
4. CAP ensures all parents / guardians receive a basic introduction to the Cadet Program by way of the online application.
5. CAP will be more likely to collect parent email addresses in addition to the applicant’s email address, thereby increasing our ability to partner with parents.
How to Use Online Cadet Member Applications
1. Prospective cadets will first visit the squadron. The online system is purposefully designed not to allow random young people who have never attended a CAP meeting to join. Prospective cadets will need the unit charter number and web address https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.MembershipSystem.Web/CadetOnlineApp.aspx to complete the online application, which they will receive only through an in-person discussion with a senior member.
2. Most squadrons have long required prospective cadets to attend three meetings before the commander approves their membership application, and further required a parent or guardian to make a brief, in-person visit to the squadron. Those practices will now be standard procedure across the nation. (CAPM 39-2 will be updated accordingly)
3. Applications can be made from any location that has web access – home or the squadron. The on-screen instructions tell prospective cadets that they will need a parent’s or guardian’s help in completing it. Membership dues are payable with Visa, Mastercard, or Discover online. Applicants who prefer to pay via check or money order can do so via a paper copy CAPF 15 and the US Mail.
4. When the prospective cadet and parent or guardian completes the online application, it will appear in the Commander’s Corner in eServices for approval. Deputy commanders, personnel officers, and administrative officers are automatically authorized to approve applications on behalf of the unit commander via the Commander’s Corner in eServices. Any number of senior members may be assigned as assistant personnel or administrative officers, so units have a lot of flexibility.
5. Upon the commander or designee approving the application, eServices will send the prospective cadet an email announcing the good news and providing helpful advice on how to get started in CAP. If the unit denies the application, eServices prompts the commander or designee to provide a short explanation, which eServices forwards to the family via email. NHQ will refund the credit card if the unit denies the membership application.
6. Cadets who are rejoining CAP after a break in service and applicants who are not US citizens can apply for membership only via the CAPF 15 paper copy process.
Legal Matters – Are online applications legal? What about parental signatures and our liability?
Yes, it is legal for parents or guardians to endorse a cadet application online. One safeguard in the process is the requirement that the commander or designee meet the parent or guardian in-person before approving the application.
Key Challenge – Avoiding the eServices Black Hole
Perhaps the key challenge for online applications will be to ensure the commander or designee approves or denies the application via eServices within 10 days.
Paper Copy CAPF 15 Revision
A revision is being made to the CAPF 15, also effective 1 April 14, so that the paper copy matches the new online application as closely as possible. However, previous editions of the CAPF 15 will be accepted.
Seniors – Will senior member applications eventually go online?
The senior applications may go online, but the fingerprint card requirement makes this application more challenging to convert to an online process.
Inputting recruiter information for online cadet applications is not available. The commander who approves the CAPF 2A for the recruiting ribbon is the one who verifies the information and there is no requirement for it to be kept in eServices records. We recommend each member keep track of recruits in their personnel file at the unit.
Members in the field have tested the online application system, but we know members will generate more feedback in the coming months. Your suggestions are welcome. Please send them via email to CadetApps@capnhq.gov.