Cadet Programs

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  1. The Cadet Program transforms youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders. CAP accomplishes its Congressionally-mandated Cadet Program (Title 36, U.S.C. § 40302) through a curriculum of leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. The program follows a military model and emphasizes Air Force traditions and values. Today's cadets are tomorrow's aerospace leaders.
  2. Manages and directs all functions related to implementation of the CAP cadet program in subordinate units. They shall:
  3. Coordinate member training accomplishments with other members of the staff.
  4. Monitor subordinate unit's progress toward the achievement of the cadet program and its goals as established by National Headquarters.
  5. Disseminate information on the cadet program to enhance the above statement.
  6. Recruit personnel to assist in establishing new cadet units.
  7. Provide special assistance to all new cadet units.
  8. Administer national cadet special activities as it applies to command level.
  9. Provide command-wide cadet special activities.
  10. Coordinate and ensure equitable allocation of funds, property, and recognition in the cadet program.
  11. Directors of cadet programs should be familiar with CAPP 216, CAPR 52-16 and other CAP directives in the 35, 39, 50, 67, 76, 280, 900 series. They should also be familiar with cadet program aerospace education texts and other cadet program materials that are described in the CAP Bookstore Catalog.
What is a Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron?
California Wing Cadet Squadrons are local youth units of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Auxiliary of the US Air Force. During World War II, CAP airplanes patrolled America’s coastline. Today, CAP is mostly known for its disaster-relief, search-&-rescue, & Homeland security operations, and Cadet Programs.
What is the Cadet Program?
The Cadet Program is one of the three missions of CAP. The program provides leadership training and leadership opportunity through aviation-related means. In addition, military discipline and military bearing are taught as part of being a cadet.
I am not interested in the military, so why should I join?
The Cadet Program is absolutely not intended to lead youth members toward joining the military. Cadets are taught universally-respected values such as honesty & integrity. In fact, many cadets go on to college & pursue civilian careers.
Will I learn how to fly?
Complete pilot training is not a normal part of the program. However, glider schools and other piloting schools are offered to advance cadets at the national-level. At the local-level, orientation flights are more common.
How can I join as a cadet?
First, you must be between 12 to 18 years-old (you can stay as a cadet until 21). Next, please contact a Cadet Squadron near you to coordinate your visit at a weekly meeting. Note: We require a prospective Cadet attends 3 meetings prior to final completion of the application process, this is to assure that the program is right for you.
How can I find a Squadron near me?
The best resource is the Squadron finder feature on the home page of: Go Civil Air Patrol Cadets (and Adults seeking to support Cadet Programs) should select a Cadet or Composite Squadron.
How much time would I need to give as a cadet?
Cadets attend once-a-week squadron meetings from (except on holidays). State & nation-wide activities are held throughout the year, and cadets apply as participants or staff if they want to go.
How much does it cost to join as a cadet?
Cadet applicants pay an initial cost of $59.00, and then a yearly membership fee of $59.00. Cadets should have a utility uniform (BDUs) and a more formal uniform (Blues). A complete set of brand-new uniforms can cost up to $250.00. Who sells CAP uniforms and other required accessories? Military base stores & local army-&-navy stores sell USAF-style uniforms. A few places sell complete CAP uniform items including CAP badges and patches, such as at: Vanguardmil
How can I join as an adult member?
Adult members of CAP are called “senior members.” The senior members of Cadet Squadrons are primarily there to support the cadets. To join as an adult, please visit during a meeting. If your primary interests lie in Emergency Services (Search & Rescue, Flying, etc..) or Aerospace Education, you may be better served seeking out a Senior or Composite Squadron.

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