Cadet Programs

If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, then CAP’s Cadet Programs are for you.

Becoming a cadet:cadet programs

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.

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.

While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, the CAP Cadet Programs are unique in that they use aviation as a cornerstone.  Thousands of young people from 12 years through age 21 are introduced to aviation through the CAP Cadet Programs.

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, or astronomy, there’s a place for you in the CAP Cadet Programs.  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, 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).