32 CFR 842.138 - Definitions.
(a) Civil Air Patrol (CAP). A federally chartered, non-profit corporation which was designated by Congress in 1948 as a volunteer civilian auxiliary of the Air Force.
(b) Air Force noncombat mission. Although not defined in any statute, an Air Force noncombat mission is any mission for which the Air Force is tasked, by statute, regulation, or higher authority, which does not involve actual combat, combat operations or combat training. The Air Force, in lieu of using Air Force resources, can use the services of the Civil Air Patrol to fulfill these type missions. When performing an Air Force noncombat mission, the Civil Air Patrol is deemed to be an instrumentality of the United States. In order for a mission to be a noncombat mission of the Air Force under this part, it must either:
(1) Have a special Air Force mission order assigned, and, the Air Force must exercise operational control over the mission.
(2) Involve a peacetime mission the Air Force is tasked to perform by higher authority which requires the expenditure of Air Force resources to accomplish, and the Air Force specifically approves the mission as a noncombat mission, and assigns the mission to the Civil Air Patrol to perform.
(c) CAP members. CAP members are private citizens who volunteer their time, services, and resources to accomplish CAP objectives and purposes. The two primary categories of members are:
(1) Cadets. Youths, 13 years (or having satisfactorily completed the sixth grade) through 17 years of age, who meet such prerequisites as the CAP corporation may establish from time to time. Cadet status may be retained until age 21.
(2) Seniors. Adults, 18 years of age or older (there is no maximum age), who meet such prerequisites as the CAP corporation may establish from time to time, and who have not retained cadet status.
(d) Liaison officers. Active duty Air Force officers assigned to liaison duty at the national, regional, and wing (state) levels of CAP.