Cadet Programs

The Cadet Program covers many different studies ranging from aerospace education, to leadership, to ground search and rescue. 
As a cadet you will learn discipline, motivation and the CAP Core Values: Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, Respect.

Cadet Life   


Today’s cadets are tomorrow’s aerospace leaders. Through its Cadet Program, Civil Air Patrol has been transforming youth into responsible citizens since 1942. To achieve its overall goals, the Cadet Program is organized around four main program elements:
  - Leadership

  - Aerospace

  - Fitness

  - Character

Eligibility: Cadets are aged 12 through 20, though some younger students participate, if their school sponsors a squadron.

Adult Leaders: The adults who mentor the cadets are unpaid volunteers who have been fingerprinted and screened by the FBI.

Curriculum: Cadets complete tasks in each program area to earn promotions and awards. A self-paced program, cadets must study,
pass written tests, exercise regularly, and demonstrate their commitment to the Core Values.

Military Commitment: Although the Air Force provides most of CAP’s funding, cadets are not obligated to join the military. However, 10% of the cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy got their start in CAP.

Civil Air Patrol develops youth through self-paced study of the art of leadership. Cadets learn how to lead through formal classroom 
instruction and a laboratory of hands-on experience where they apply leadership principles to real-world challenges within the cadet corps.

Through a graduated curriculum, cadets first learn to follow, then to lead small groups, and ultimately experience command and executive-level leadership, earning cadet grade and honors along the way. Topics include how to think critically, communicate effectively, make decisions, motivate and manage conflict. Self-discipline and teamwork are emphasized.

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