Cadet Programs


Information for Prospective Cadets

The area cadets meet in Naples as part of the Naples Cadet Squadron. 
Meetings are every Monday at 1830Hrs (6:30 pm) held at the Naples  Airport: 360 Aviation Drive Naples, FL  34104.
For more information, call:  239-784-3601 or 239-643-2226

For more information, contact the Commander 1st Lt. David Stevens 

CAP’s cadet programs are designed to inspire the country's youth to become leaders and good American citizens through their interest in aerospace. 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 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. Click here for more information on CAP Cadet programs: Cadet Programs.

The cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good citizenship in America’s youth, using aerospace education, Air Force role models and emphasis on public service. Cadets may participate in a variety of activities, gain rank and increased recognition in the program and receive benefits for participation in the program should they choose to enter military service. Most of all, it challenges them to learn and grow in ways they may not have had the opportunity to 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.

For more information, contact the Commander 1st Lt. David Stevens 


Rocketry Workshop

Aerospace Education and Rocketry Workshop at Camp Mackle

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... Launch, launch, launch! Could be heard at Camp Mackle...

Camp Director Heather Lopez had invited three Marco Island Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members to conduct an Aerospace Education and Rocketry workshop at Camp Mackle in the afternoon 28 July 2016. This summer camp takes place at the Frank E. Mackle Community Park Center on Marco Island, Fla. The kids are all between the ages of 6 to 12. There were many great counselors helping the sixty-plus children with the different tasks. 

The program, organized by Captain Jesse L. Baker, began with a presentation of the services that Civil Air Patrol provides to the community and the three main missions that guide us: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. The squadron constantly practices Search & Rescue exercises to be always "mission ready". Captain Baker explained our weekly air patrols of the Wilderness Water Way of the 10,000 Islands and parts of the Everglades. Baker said: "What we are looking for are boaters and campers who may be in distress. We report the incident location to the Coast Guard and the Sherriff who then guide the rescue operation, if needed. " He explained that we also perform our Homeland Security efforts as a part of the US Air Force Total Force working directly with the federal, state, and local agencies to prevent unwanted coastal incursions, drug trafficking and terrorism. Emphasis was put on the Cadet Programs. Baker added: "Our Cadets can learn how to fly airplanes and gliders, and earn various scholarships through the CAP. "

1st Lt David Dumas, a member of the flight crew and wearing his distinctive, fire-proof USAF flight suit, gave an overview of the kind of gear, planning and teamwork needed to fly a search and rescue mission. Finally, Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary explained the important role aerial photography can have after a disaster. At that point Capt. Baker presented the scaled models of the different types of rocket engines and discussed their differences and applications. 

After all the talking, we finally arrived to the fun part and the most important part of the workshop: building air-powered paper rockets. This exercise teaches the participants the principles of aerodynamics as well as teamwork and experimentation. The kids were provided with paper, tape and small rods used to form the rocket fuselage. The group went right into the production and assembly of their own rockets. Once the fuselage, fins and nose cone were assembled and taped together, everyone went out to the launch pads or basketball court.

Working in two-person crews each child had a turn pressurizing and launching their rockets. The "fuel" or air pressure was provided by two launching contraptions where a large bicycle pump was connected to a pipe assembly. Due to the "unique" nature of each individual final design the rockets flew like arrows the length of the court, gaining lofty altitudes, or corkscrewed in an erratic flight path. 

It was a fun event and of course we had a few clowns among the children; for instance, several creative girls used the extra rocket nose cones to tape a unicorn horn to their forehead. 

Baker concluded: "Everyone had a great time. Looking ahead, I'd say I can see here: future engineers, commercial pilots and scientists. The sky's the limit." 


Aerospace Education


CAP's aerospace education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public.  The programs ensure that all CAP members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues.  To advance within the organization, members are required to participate in the educational program.  Aerospace educators at CAP's National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., provide current materials that reflect the highest standards of educational excellence.  Aerospace education is divided into two parts: internal and external.         

The internal aerospace education program has two parts as well: cadet and senior. Cadets complete aerospace education as one of the requirements to progress through the  achievement levels of the cadet program. Senior members have a responsibility to become knowledgeable of aerospace issues and the AE program that CAP provides. They are further encouraged to share the information obtained with their local communities and school systems.                                

CAP's external aerospace programs are conducted through our nation's educational system.  Each year, CAP sponsors many workshops in states across the nation, reaching hundreds of educators and thereby thousands of young people.  These workshops highlight basic aerospace knowledge and focus on advances in aerospace technology.  CAP's aerospace education members receive more than 20 free aerospace education classroom materials. 

To learn more about CAP's aerospace education programs, products, and other resources available to our members, go to  For information about joining as an aerospace education member (AEM) and to join online, go to

Going to Mars!


Aviation 101

AVIATION 101 Free online Aviation 101 course from EMBRY-RIDDLE Aeronautical University

 Head over to to check out an introductory video about Aviation 101.  This free online course is an introduction to a variety of topics in aviation including:

  • Aircraft Systems
  • Aerodynamics
  • Flight Instruments
  • Airports
  • Airspace
  • Radio Communication & Air Traffic Control
  • Aeromedical Factors
  • Aviation Weather
  • Performance & Navigation
  • How to Become a Pilot
  • Careers in Aviation

This course is open to anyone with an interest in aviation.   The classes are video based with quizzes and three section tests.  The course is self-paced so you can complete it at your own speed.  Everyone who completes AVIATION 101 will receive a certificate to mark his or her accomplishment. Plus, for those members interested in attending Embry-Riddle University, course completion will provide new aeronautical science students one credit hour of advanced standing toward a degree.



75th Cadet Year

Even before the Civil Air Patrol completed its first year of service to the nation, CAP leaders recognized that to truly fulfill its mission, it needed to “extend the opportunities for service . . . to the young people of the United States.” And so on 1 October 1942, CAP created a Cadet Program. National Commander Earle Johnson urged every squadron and flight to “take prompt action in organizing a counterpart (cadet) unit for the young people of its community.”