Over 17,000 young people are enrolled in Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program, learning how to become our new generation of American leaders through their interest in aviation. Cadets develop strong leadership skills, and learn how to focus on success, discipline themselves to achieve worthwhile goals, resist adverse peer pressure, and serve as a role model to others.
The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program has its foundation in the military tradition that comes from being the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP Cadets learn aerospace, leadership, moral and ethical skills, and many other useful life skills in a military environment. Cadets have the opportunity to learn leadership through hands-on leadership opportunities such as being a Flight Sergeant, support staff positions, or one of many other positions. By actually leading fellow cadets toward a common goal, CAP cadets learn teamwork, planning, time management, and leadership skills.
The program is based off of four phases whereby cadets learn more and advance through demonstrating their mastery of the knowledge. Cadets start at the “bottom of the totem pole” but can advance to a position where they are leading others. CAP believes strongly that one must learn to follow before learning how to lead. Three of the four phases are ended by a Milestone Award. These awards require a special dedication to the program and to performance. Attaining certain awards allows cadets to be given more responsibilities, attend more activities, and be eligible for more aspects of the cadet program.
One of the greatest parts of the CAP Cadet Program are the Special Activities. Cadets can attend many different activities throughout their CAP career. Cadets can travel to foreign countries, learn to rescue injured persons, spend time at the Air Force’s Space Command Headquarters, and many many other opportunities.
For more information on Cadet Programs, please visit the Minnesota Wing and National Headquarters Cadet Programs information pages. If you would like information on how to join the Civil Air Patrol, please click here.