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Would you like to honor and serve America?  Do you want to prepare for your future while making new friends?

... Then rise to the challenge of cadet membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.


A Multi-Faceted Program for Youth


Cadet life is centered around four main program elements:

Leadership: CAP develops young people into leaders. Through classroom instruction, self-paced study, and a laboratory of hands-on learning, cadets develop leadership skills. New cadets first learn to follow, while advanced cadets learn to lead the team. Cadet officers take great pride in having a sense of ownership over their program as they mentor junior cadets. Air Force traditions such as the uniform, the salute, and drill and ceremonies challenge cadets to emulate the professionalism of Air Force officers.

Aerospace: CAP inspires in youth a love of aviation, space, and technology. Through classroom instruction, self-paced study, and hands-on projects, cadets learn about the science that makes flight possible. Best of all, through orientation flights in CAP aircraft, cadets experience firsthand the thrill of aviation. Cadets also have opportunities to explore aerospace careers through field trips, encampments, and national cadet special activities.

Fitness: CAP encourages cadets to develop a lifelong habit of regular exercise. The Cadet Program promotes fitness through calisthenics, hiking, rappelling, volleyball, and more. At a time when many youth are obese, cadets discover the connection between staying fit and having the energy needed to achieve their goals. Their commitment to fitness is measured through a performance test modeled on “The President’s Challenge.”


Character: CAP challenges cadets to live their Core Values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect. Through character development forums, cadets wrestle with ethical issues relevant to teens, with the overall goal being that they develop moral reasoning skills.Mentoring programs connect new cadets to experienced cadets, CAP senior members, and Air Force Reservists. Finally, through Drug Demand Reduction activities, CAP challenges cadets to be ambassadors of a drug-free lifestyle.

A fifth program element – Activities – unifies the four main elements. Through cadet activities such as flying, leadership academies,
bivouacs, field trips, and more, cadets apply what they have learned in the four main program elements and display their enthusiasm for
the cadet ethic.




The CAP Cadet Program is a year-round program where Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

To become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.  Cadets usually meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer. 



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