The cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good
citizenship in America’s youth, using aerospace education, Air Force
role models and emphasis on public service. Cadets may participate in a
variety of activities, gain rank and increased recognition in the
program and receive benefits for participation in the program should
they choose to enter military service. Most of all, it challenges them
to learn and grow in ways they may not have had the opportunity to were
it not for the program.
Cadet Program Structure
The Cadet Program itself is divided into five phases – the
Motivation Phase, and four primary phases (the Learning Phase, the
Leadership Phase, the Command Phase, and the Executive Phase) –
dedicated phases for learning and growth. The Motivation Phase
introduces the prospective cadet to the requirements, procedures and
goals of CAP.
After the Motivation Phase, the next four phases use aerospace
education, leadership, physical fitness, and moral leadership to instill
and develop qualities of leadership and responsibilities in the cadet
members. The entire cadet program is oriented toward an activities
program held within the individual squadron setting. Activities selected
by a squadron for its program are designed to meet the individual
member's need. Throughout the cadet program, from the first achievement
through to the completion of the program; emphasis is placed on
individual and group study, instruction and attainment. Each of the four
phases emphasizes the four program areas mentioned above as well as
individual unit activities, such as drill team, color guard, model
rocketry, and emergency services training. As cadets progress, they earn
ribbons, awards, and increased grade, rewarding their commitment and
achievement in the program. Each phase becomes more challenging and
builds on what the cadet has already learned.
In Phase I, the Learning
Phase is just that cadets learn to function in a military-type
environment. They learn to march, wear their uniform properly, learn the
principles of followership, and begin to learn about the aerospace
In Phase II, the Leadership
Phase, cadets become more involved in the program. They may enter
leadership roles in their squadron and attend a CAP encampment, which is
designed to give cadets an introduction to the Air Force culture and
hands on leadership and aerospace training in a team environment. It is
at the conclusion of this phase that they receive the first major award
for achievement in the Cadet Program, the General Billy Mitchell Award.
In Phase III, the Command
Phase, the cadet is expected to take on greater responsibility for
activities and training within their squadron. They must assume a
leadership position and mentor younger cadets in a variety of areas. In
addition, they must also become knowledgeable in different staff areas,
learning from their senior member counterparts in areas such as public
affairs. This is in addition to continuing the activities they began in
Phases I and II. At the conclusion of this phase, the cadet may receive
the Amelia Earhart Award and go on to the final phase of cadet training.
In Phase IV, the Executive
Phase, are designed to provide high level leadership experiences to the
individual cadet. When the cadet has completed the requirements for
Phase IV, they will receive the General Ira C. Eaker Award and become
eligible to test for the highest award for achievement in the Cadet
Program, the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. The Spaatz Award is a
comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the cadet program phases.
This exam is passed by less than one percent of the total cadet
population. Once a cadet has passed the Spaatz examination, they are
promoted to the highest grade in the program, cadet colonel. Most attend
college and pursue aerospace
careers; many have earned a pilot certificate; and all are advisors
to those involved with conducting the cadet program. Spaatz cadets
continue to improve themselves through applying what they have learned
throughout the cadet program and assisting other cadets to excel.
Activities and Rewards
Cadets at all levels of CAP enjoy a wide variety of activities at
the squadron, wing and national level. Cadets may train and participate
in SAR missions, enjoy orientation flights, take field trips, go to the
encampments we have described (mandatory for
Phase II completion), etc. In addition, they may become eligible to
go on a variety of national activities designed to complement the cadet
curriculum. These activities cover a wide range of aerospace, emergency
services, career exploration, and leadership topics. Cadets may even
qualify to travel to a foreign country to represent Civil Air Patrol and
the United States.
Cadets may also qualify for college scholarships. Cadets wanting to
enlist in the Air Force and holding the Mitchell Award may enlist at a
higher pay grade over their contemporaries. This can mean thousands of
extra dollars over a career. The Cadet Program offers today's youth
unlimited opportunities to excel.
1. Must be between 12 and 18 years old.
2. Attend Cadet Meeting as our Guest for three meetings. See Welcome page for where and when we meet.
3. At the third meeting,you will be given instructions on how to make an on-line appliccation for membership.