Cadet Programs

Program Information


 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.

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 meet 3 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. Click here for more information on CAP Cadet programs: Cadet Programs.

The cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good citizenship, using aerospace education, Air Force role models and emphasis on public service. As a Cadet you may participate in a variety of activities, gain rank and increased recognition in the program and receive benefits for participation in the program should you choose to enter military service. Most of all, it challenges each cadet to learn and grow in ways that there may not have been an opportunity for 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 environment.

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 a Cadet Meeting as our Guest. Meetings are held every Monday night between 18:00 to 21:00 at our facility located at 7355 Utilities Road - (941) 639-1711 - KPGD

3. Download and complete the following CAP Approved Forms and bring them to the Administration Officer at your next meeting:


       · Emergency Notification Data - CAP Form 60



Parent's Page

Welcome, Parents!

This page is here for you to get information about Civil Air Patrol and about what your child is doing every Monday evening, as well as  the Saturday's we refer to as "Cadets Connect". Please take a look at our calendar, ass you hover the cursor over date pertinent info will appear regarding that function. If you don't see something that you want to see or know about, please use the "Contact Us" page to send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

What Civil Air Patrol can do for your child

The cadet program provides young adults between the ages of 12 and 21 a well rounded program of leadership, aerospace education, physical fitness, and moral and ethical decision making. Many former cadets have gone into the military, government jobs, or private sector employment where they can and do make a difference, and really excel. There are many military general officers that were once CAP cadets. Senators and congressman, CEOs and corporate executives, and others credit their success to CAP. Many of the cadets from Naples Cadet Squadron have improved in their self discipline, leadership abilities, their knowledge of aerospace, and their physical fitness since they joined Civil Air Patrol.

Costs of being a member

Fortunately the costs of being a member of Civil Air Patrol are minimal compared to other programs with the same goals. The first cost you will run into is membership dues. This is a small fee paid when you sign your child up and this recurs every year. In Florida wing, membership dues are forty-five dollars. This includes the basics of the Air Force style blues uniform- a flight cap, shirt, pants or skirt, and a belt- obtained through CAP's online resource, eServices. Cadets are required to purchase uniform items such as insignia and shoes to complete this uniform. This brings up the second cost - uniforms. Upon joining, cadets may receive the blues uniform, but to get the most out of CAP cadets will need to purchase the camouflage BDU uniform. This can range anywhere between next to free all the way up to (and sometimes over) one hundred dollars. We understand that this is a high price, and we do have some uniform items to supply those unable to purchase their own uniform. Other costs may include activity fees, which can range from around one hundred and fifty dollars (wing-level encampments, for instance) to over three hundred dollars for special national activities.

  • NOTE: The activity fees usually include lodging and meals for the duration of the activity (usually a week or more). Also note that smaller, squadron and group level activities usually cost no more than twenty five to thirty five dollars, if anything at all.

What goes on each week

Some parents might be wondering what Civil Air Patrol will be doing with their child. This is a general idea of what goes on each week.

  • Arrival- Cadets arrive and sign in.
  • Safety Briefing- A cadet safety officer or member of the cadet executive staff will give a safety briefing on a multitude of topics.
  • Meeting Opens- Cadet executive staff open meeting with Pledge of Allegiance and Cadet Oath.
  • Formation/Inspection- Cadets fall outside for a squadron formation and usually a uniform inspection. During the inspection cadets are graded on their overall appearance according to the Civil Air Patrol uniform manual.
  • Main Activity- Each week we have a main activity that ranges from physical training to knowledge testing to promoting in grade.
  • Secondary Activity- Another activity follows the main activity, which could be anywhere from a class on aerospace to an informal class on CAP history.
  • Drill and Ceremonies- Every week we do drill and ceremonies. This includes marching and doing stationary drill movements.
  • Announcements- Cadet and senior members give announcements such as encampment dates or the uniform for the next meeting.
  • Meeting Closes- Cadet executive staff closes meeting and cadets are dismissed.

Other opportunities within Civil Air Patrol

Cadet and senior members can participate in so many more activities than just weekly meetings. Cadets can attend activities throughout the year such as leadership encampments and high adventure activities. Here is a short list of some activities cadets can attend:

  • Encampments- CAP holds leadership encampments, which are kind of like basic training for CAP, every summer and winter. These events are held on a military base and consist of a week of intensive training in all things CAP. Cadets must attend an encampment to become a cadet officer.
  • National Blue Beret- This is one of CAP's National Cadet Special Activities. During this activity, cadets attend the nation's largest air show and conduct flight line marshalling, participate in flight line security, and conduct emergency services missions. It is two weeks long.
  • Pararescue Jumper Orientation Course- This activity lets your child spend a little over a week with Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, being trained in what they do and getting shown what day to day life for an Air Force Pararescue Jumper entails.
  • Honor Guard Academy- This is an activity entirely dedicated to drill and ceremonies. Cadets will learn all the ins and outs of a Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard, and upon graduation become a member of the Civil Air Patrol Honor Guard.


Question: I want to stay at the meetings with my child, can I do this?

Quick answer- Yes. Extended answer- There are a couple ways you can stay at the meetings with your child. You can stay as just a parent, and you will be allowed to watch what the cadets do at every meeting, or you can become a member of CAP. There are two types of adult members in CAP - sponsor member or full-fledged senior member. A sponsor member is an adult member of CAP that is not a full senior member, therefore cannot get all the benefits of being a senior member, but can still chaperon at cadet activities. To learn more about becoming a member of CAP, please visit or speak with a senior member in the cadet office at the next meeting.


  • NOTE: You as a parent should not stay in the Cadet Office or the Cadet Staff Office during meetings. That area needs to be kept clear so the senior and cadet staff can work and assist cadets when needed. On occasion there are conversations that take place in the office that contain information designated as FOUO by DoD standards, and it is imperative that parents do not stay in that room. If you have any questions about this please speak to Capt. Bill Hicks, 2nd Lt. Butch Senese, Deputy Commander or Lt. Gail Arnold, Asst. DC.

Cadets Connect!

The Cadets of FL-051 connect on Saturdays, and sometimes for a full weekend. Just about anytime we are together other than our Monday night meeting, we call it Cadets Connect. It is all about fun, and learning, and more fun. Our first Cadets Connectbegan with a tour of the Punta Gorda Airport Tower, then some classroom ground training, ending with lunch at the airport cafe,  

    A recent Cadets Connect was an Aerospace Day, we were building and launching "junk rockets."  Building an indoor airstrip and making a precision landing ~ indoors, more fun than a simulator! 

    A private tour of the Military History Museum was great, we had so many questions, and  there were many, many more answers.

Right now we are working continuously with the Wreaths Across America program. 
Contact our office to put a Wreath on the grave of a Veteran for the holiday season. Each wreath is $15.00
There will be more info on this page as the CADETS CONNECT, but in the meantime ~ just come and experience all of this yourself. Become a part of the Cadets of 051!! 


Flight and College Scholarships:
 Aviation is prohibitively expensive for most youth. In partnership with charitable organizations and colleges, CAP helps cadets pursue flight training and/or post-secondary education through scholarships. Nearly $300,000 is available annually.

Air Force Career Explorations: Air Force leaders introduce cadets to career opportunities during weeklong familiarization courses each summer. Cadets experience firsthand the exciting aspects of a career that interests them. For example:

• Instructor pilots show cadets what it takes to fly Air Force jets.

• Space systems operators explain how they launch satellites into orbit.

• Para rescue men train cadets in land navigation and wilderness skills.

• Meteorologists teach cadets how to analyze weather patterns and spot storms.

High-Technology Career Explorations:

In partnership with leading universities and businesses, cadets experience fast-growing, technology intensive aerospace fields. Career explorations take place at week-long academies each summer that often include significant time inside engineering and computer labs. For example:

  • Engineers show cadets how to design, build and test airfoils using space-age composite materials.
  • Computer scientists teach cadets how to take aerial photos and use software to track satellites.
  • Aerospace technicians explain how they manufacture, assemble and maintain aircraft.

Over 1,200 cadets participate in over 30 national cadet special activities each summer. National CAP provides about $420,000


Aerospace Ed.

Civil Air Patrol cadets 
experience flight firsthand through the efforts of CAP adult volunteers, aviation enthusiasts eager to share their love of flying. Often, it is through CAP that a young person receives the first flight of his/her life. Aviation education is delivered in both the classroom and the cockpit. Cadets gain an understanding of the complex forces that cause an aircraft to achieve lift and other fundamental topics such as navigation, engines and aerospace history.

Orientation FlightsThrough orientation flights in powered and glider aircraft, cadets develop a love of aviation at no cost to them. Paired with an experienced CAP volunteer pilot, cadets help preflight the aircraft, observe takeoff procedures and while aloft actually manipulate the controls and perform basic flight maneuvers. The program also enables cadets to learn about meteorology, navigation and aircraft instrumentation and technology. Cadets fly approximately 16,000 hours in powered aircraft and 7,000 sorties in gliders each year.

Flight Academies: Having experienced the wonder of flight, advanced cadets pursue formal flight training. During powered and glider flight academies, CAP provides cadets with reasonably priced flight instruction in an age-appropriate learning environment. As evidenced by their camaraderie and teamwork, cadets help one another master the complexities and sobering responsibilities of flight during an unforgettable week of intense training. Each summer, approximately 200 cadets learn to fly at CAP flight academies. 



Through Civil Air Patrol's Cadet Program, young people leadership skills, investigate the fundamentals of aerospace science,habit of exercising regularly, solidify their character, and participate in exciting hands-on activities that prepare them to become responsible citizens.

Youth the ages of 12 to 18 may join the CAP Cadet Program and remain in cadet status until they turn 21. Middle school students may join before turning 12, if their school participates in the CAP School Program. 

Encampments: During weeklong encampments, which are usually conducted on Air Force bases,

CAP exposes cadets to Air Force values and traditions. First-year cadets develop teamwork and self-confidence in what is for many their first experience away from home. Advanced cadets apply their leadership skills while serving in positions of responsibility; the cadet cadre imparts on junior cadets what is expected of them in the Air Force Auxiliary. Nearly 6,000 cadets participate annually at about 48 different locations. Trained adults supervise and mentor the cadets.

Cadet Officer School: Leadership education culminates at the academically rigorous Cadet Officer School, conducted at the Air Force's Air University. Noted scholars in the fields of leadership theory, ethics, national security and communications provide intensive instruction. Cadets learn through lectures, seminars and hands-on exercises. Approximately 100 cadets participate each summer, with scores more completing similar programs regionally or through distance learning. 


Cadet News

[Click Here to see the Harbor Style CAP Cadets article]

Sarasota Police K9 Patrol Visits SRQ Cadets
October 31, 2019 | By: 1St Lt. Ronald Rowe
Local law enforcement officers provide cadets with an impressive police dog demonstration for drug demand reduction class.
The Sky Is Not The Limit For This Cadet
August 15, 2019 | By: 2nd Lt. Donna Jablonski
Charlotte County Cadet continue her successful CAP career by earning her Private Pilot Certificate and CAP Pilot rating.
National Commander visits Tennessee university
April 15, 2019 | By: Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
Civil Air Patrol’s national commander, Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith, visited Middle Tennessee State University recently to celebrate the fifth year of the partnership between MTSU’s Department of Aerospace and the Tennessee Wing of the U.S. Air Force auxi ...
Civil Air Patrol Cadets Ride in C-17 Globemaster
February 25, 2019 | By: Capt. Sybrian Castleman
Florida Wing cadets and senior members participate in C-17 Globemaster orientation flight out of Tallahassee.

Articles provided as a syndicated service from the Southeast Region Online News program. (ID 15)