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How to Join

For Parents

Welcome to Gastonia Composite Squadron!


The NC-024 unit is very active: in addition to our weekly meetings, we have a wide range of activities throughout the year. Whether your child is interested in Emergency Services, Honor Guard / Color Guard, learning leadership, or just wants to fly in an airplane, we have activities to help them grow and mature. 


What we ask in return is a commitment back to the squadron and Civil Air Patrol. As an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, we have the privilege of wearing Air Force-style uniforms. That honor carries with it certain expectations of decorum and adherence to our core values: Integrity, Excellence, Volunteer Service, and Respect. As the parent, you are an integral part in ensuring that these values are communicated, learned, and expressed in the cadet's everyday life.


We also have a lot of fun participating in some exciting activities that aren't available to everyday youth. You will become proficient as filling out permission forms, as your child participates in these unique events.


We look forward to seeing you and your child as a part of the nation's finest force of citizen volunteers serving America.


— 1st Lt Derk Beutler, Commander

How do we get started?

The first step is coming for a visit. All of our regular meetings are open to the public. 

More information is on our How to Join page on this website.

Just joined? Start here.

What's expected of my child?

This is best expressed in the Cadet Oath:

I pledge to serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and that I will attend meetings regularly, participate actively in unit activities, obey my officers, wear my uniform properly and advance my education and training rapidly to prepare myself to be of service to my community, state and nation.

Additional information is in our Getting Started as a Cadet guide.

What's expected of me?

Getting your child to meetings and activities on time.

Ensuring your child has a proper uniform, and meets the grooming requirements.

Help your child complete required paperwork, including permission forms.

What will I need to buy?

(Please check out the Cadet Uniform Guide)

  • One or more sets of ABU utility uniforms (through Vanguard or a local military surplus store)
  • One set of dress blues (available through Vanguard — your cadet will receive a $100 voucher after they receive their first promotion)
  • If your cadet wishes to participate in Emergency Services missions, they will need a 24-hour pack (and a 72-hour pack for longer missions)

A Great First Year

Here's what we'd like to see in your cadet's first year, to get them started strong:

  • Attend weekly squadron meetings regularly
  • Attend at least 1 Saturday activity per month
  • Make their first promotion, the Curry Achievement, within 8 weeks of joining
  • Attend a week-long summer encampment
  • Complete the Wright Brothers Award within the first year

Cadet Protection

The Civil Air Patrol has implemented, and mandates, cadet protection training for all its members. In addition, all adult leaders have been fingerprinted and subjected to a background check.

Learn more about how CAP works to keep cadets safe at

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