Cadet Programs

Cadet Program Overview

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 at Eglin Composite Squadron meet on Mondays from 1830 to 2100 and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is one of the most unique and rewarding organizations in the United States. The opportunities and challenges available through the cadet program are unmatched in any other program for young people.

Cadets training includes not only followership, leadership, and team working, but also includes operations qualification training to be of service to the country through CAP's emergency services missions. Operations training encompasses all CAP mission related qualifications. Examples of these qualifications are mission pilot, mission observer, mission scanner, ground team leader, ground team member, urban direction finding, mission radio operator, etc. These qualifications can be obtained by any member satisfying the requisite training for that specialty - a very unique challenge for cadets unmatched by any other youth program.

The cadet program consists of four phases. Each phase builds upon the fundamentals of leadership learned in the previous and adds a new dimension of responsibility for cadet leaders. Cadets begin the program at the grade of Cadet Airman Basic (C/AB) and through a combination of leadership and aerospace written tests, cadet physical fitness testing, character development, and active unit participation, advance through the enlisted grades and then through the officer grades. The Mitchell Award earns the cadet second lieutenant (C/2d Lt) and is comparative in benefits to those associated with Eagle Scouts. Cadets continue through the officer grades earning up to Cadet Colonel (C/Col) and the Spaatz Award. Cadets earning the Mitchell Award are eligible to enlist in the USAF at the advanced grade of E-3. Additionally, cadets become eligible for CAP scholarships and additional national cadet special activities (NCSA).