Thousands of young people from 12 years through age 21 are
introduced to aviation through CAP's cadet program. The program allows young people to progress
at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership
training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to
further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft
mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, as well as many others. Those
cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman
first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).
Whatever your interests-survival training, flight training,
photography, astronomy-there's a place for you in CAP's cadet program. Each year, cadets have the opportunity to participate in special activities at the
local, state, regional or national level.
Many cadets will have the opportunity to solo fly an airplane for the
first time through a flight encampment or academy. Others will enjoy traveling abroad through
the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. Still others assist at major air
shows throughout the nation.
Cadet Program Element
To fulfill its mission, the Cadet Program is organized
around four main program elements: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and
character. A fifth element – activities – offers cadets a venue for putting the
four main elements into practice. Generally speaking, to advance in their
program and earn awards, cadets must complete one task for each program element
Leadership - The goal of the Cadet Program’s leadership
element is to develop in cadets the ability to think independently and lead
others in an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual respect.
Aerospace - The goals of the Cadet Program’s aerospace
education element are to inspire in youth a love of aviation, space, and
technology; provide them with a foundation in aerospace’s scientific
principles; and introduce them to aerospace career opportunities.
Fitness - The goal of the Cadet Program’s fitness element
is to develop in cadets a habit of regular exercise.
Character - The goal of the Cadet Program’s character
element is to develop in cadets an ability to think critically about moral and
ethical issues, and the commitment to live CAP’s Core Values. CAP challenges all cadets to become
ambassadors of the drug-free ethic.
Activities - The goals of the Cadet Program’s activities
element are for cadets to apply their leadership skills, explore aerospace
careers and display their overall enthusiasm for the cadet ethic.