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Specialty Track Information


  • CAPP 201Specialty Track Study Guide – Public Affairs Officer * is your guide for what you need to do in order to progress within the specialty track. The same as all other CAP specialty tracks, you first earn a “Technician” rating, then “Senior,” and finally “Master.” Please find this document at
  • How-To Guide for Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs – This document enlarges on CAPR 190-1 by explaining in detail how the work is done. It has all the information the PAO will need to know in order to pass the Technician and Senior specialty track tests, once they’re finalized and online. Please find this document at on the right-hand sidebar.
  • For promotion to Capt., you must have achieved a Technician rating in at least one specialty track.
  • For promotion to Maj., you need a Senior rating in any specialty track.
  • For promotion to Lt. Col., you need a Master rating in any specialty track.
  • Since CAP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with FEMA, PAOs also need to be trained as public information officers (PIOs) to earn the Senior and Master ratings.

  • Your best source of information for how to achieve your career goals is your unit’s professional development officer. Much information is online, so you need to be comfortable accessing the Internet. Many required tests are found online as well.
How To Do It

  • Do not be daunted or discouraged by the path placed before you. Take one thing at a time, learn what you need to know, and if you devote yourself to it, you’ll get there.
  • Remember that good writing skills are essential for a PAO, and this might require some work and flexibility on your par. The good side of it is that good writers normally get promoted quicker in their civilian jobs. And… IQ tests are heavily weighted towards how well and effectively you handle the language.
  • Above all, be a working PAO. Doing the work required of the position, under the mentorship of an experienced and better-trained PAO, will teach you what works and what doesn’t.

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Last Updated: 09/14/2015

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