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Cadet Members (Youth)

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

Civil Air Patrol's cadet program is designed to inspire you to become leaders and good American citizens.  While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP's cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people are introduced to aviation through CAP's cadet program. The program allows you to progress at your 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.

Whatever your interests-survival training, flight training, photography, astronomy-there's a place for you in CAP's cadet program. 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.  

One of the most popular activities of cadets, is the flying program. Cadets are eligible for orientation 
flights in military and CAP aircraft. Other activities include search and rescue, first aid, CPR, radio communications, summer encampments, cadet officer school, survival training, model rocketry, and more. Advanced cadets may participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange where about 120 cadets and their adult escorts travel to one of some 20 foreign countries. In return, cadets from foreign lands visit the United States as guests of Civil Air Patrol and the US Air Force. These trips promote goodwill and understanding among the world's youth who share a common interest in aviation 

Although membership in Civil Air Patrol does not obligate anyone to join the military, when cadets complete their initial training phase, they earn the General Billy Mitchell Award, which entitles them to enter the Air Force at a pay grade of E-3, should they choose to enlist.