Civil Air Patrol's Cadet Programs provides young men and
women, ages 12-20, with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and
explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Civil Air Patrol
cadets participate in a tiered program of progression. The program consists of
16 achievements including the Gen Billy Mitchell, Amelia Earhart, Gen Ira C.
Eaker, and Gen Carl A. Spaatz awards.
The Military Experience
CAP's Cadet Programs
have a strong impact on the youth of America, especially those with an interest
in the military and, in particular, the U.S. Air
Force. The Cadet Programs
the training necessary to excel
in the military and the opportunity to apply it to real-life situations.
The U.S. Air Force recognizes the high
standards CAP cadets must meet. For that reason, cadets who
earn the Gen Billy Mitchell Award in the Cadet Programs are eligible to enlist
in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve or the Air National Guard in the advanced
pay grade of E-3 (airman first class) instead of airman basic. Cadets reaching
this level are also entitled to training credit when applying for entry into the
Air force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Civil Air Patrol cadets who earn the Gen Carl A. Spaatz Award often receive
preference when applying for Air Force commissioning or entry into the Air Force
Academy. Each year, approximately 10 percent of the student population at the
U.S. Air Force Academy are former CAP cadets. These cadets experience a slightly
higher graduation rate overall than other academy cadets. Other CAP cadets
interested in a military career elect to attend the U.S. Military Academy at
West Point or the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.
Each year, almost 8,000 cadets attend wing and regional special activities and
almost 1,500 cadets attend activities at the national level. Additional
opportunities for cadets to learn to fly are continuously pursued by CAPís
National headquarters Cadet Programs staff.
Civil Air Patrol provides more than 20,000 orientation flights to cadets during
the year. Through a series of structured flight sessions, cadets are exposed to
flight and the general aviation environment. Cadets are offered the opportunity
to fly solo in gliders and powered aircraft.
The highlight of CAP's national activities is the International Air Cadet
Exchange (IACE). Each year, more than 100 CAP cadets visit one of 18
participating countries in Europe, Australia, and the Pacific Rim. At the same
time, foreign cadets and escorts visit CAP wings and squadrons throughout the
United States. The 2½-week visit provides many opportunities for participants to
learn and experience the host countryís customs. Through IACE, cadets develop an
understanding of other cultures and help promote international goodwill.
Academics and Scholarships
CAP affords cadet members many opportunities to explore exciting career
possibilities in the field of aviation through special programs and academic
scholarships. CAP provides scholarships to cadets to further their studies in
areas such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, and aerospace medicine,
among others. Scholarships leading to solo and private pilot flight training are