For: Out-of-School Time, Parents, Students

Resource Type(s): Out-of-School Time Programs, Program, Year Long Programs

Grade Band: High School, Middle School

Subject(s): Engineering, Science, Technology

Youth aged 12-18 with a passion for aerospace science, aviation, and other STEM fields are invited to become cadet members of the Civil Air Patrol (U.S. Air Force Auxiliary). Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets study the fundamentals of aerospace science, and
experience flight first-hand in CAP aircraft. Summer activities allow cadets to explore aerospace career opportunities. Cadets also challenge themselves to reach new heights in leadership, character development, and physical fitness.

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 from 12 years through age 21 are introduced to aviation through CAP’s cadet program.  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, 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.  Others will enjoy traveling abroad through the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. Still others assist at major air shows throughout the nation.

To find CAP bases in your area visit:

To learn more about CAP click here, and to learn more about the cadet  program click here.

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