Skip to main content

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.

While there are many youth-oriented programs in America today, CAP’s program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people have been introduced to aviation through Civil Air Patrol.

Whatever your interests (survival training, flight training, photography, military life, etc…) there’s a place for you in our program. Each year, cadets have the opportunity to participate in special activities at the local, state, region and national level. Many cadets will have a chance 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.

What we do

Our core program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and character development. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, and 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). AFI 36-2002 explains in section A4.1.5.5.

Beyond these achievements, cadets get to participate in lots of fun activities such as:

  • Summer encampment
  • Orientation flights (Riding in the cockpit of CAP aircraft)
  • Airshows
  • Parades
  • Field trips to cool places
  • FTXs (Field Training Exercises)
  • SAREXs (Search And Rescue EXercises)
  • Color Guard performances
  • Competitions
  • …and more!



There are also National Cadet Special Activities conducted by various units and groups from CAP wings around the country. You can find a complete list available online by clicking here.


Becoming a cadet

To become a cadet, you must 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 career academies and other activities during the summer.

Cadet Programs Leadership

For questions about the cadet program at Stillwater Composite Squadron, contact: