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Senior Member Cadet Programs Resources

This page is meant as a starting place for Senior Members and Cadet Cadre working with Cadet Programs. Below are several areas that encompass the Cadet Programs Curriculum. *Don't forget the additional resources that cadets use located under the "Cadet Resources" link on this site.

Cadet Programs Officers Are Youth Development Professionals:
Like adult staff in other after school and youth-serving organizations, the Cadet Programs Officer is CAP's version of a youth development professional. They are not mere chaperones but are educators and role models, trusted adults who enable cadets to grow and succeed through CAP's carefully-designed Cadet Program. Survey after survey, cadets say that the #1 factor affecting cadet life is their having access to well-trained, highly-committed adult leaders.

In relation to cadets, CP Officers are authority figures. They are entrusted with the responsibility of acting in loco parentis, in the place of the parent. Accordingly, they do not permit their relationships with cadets to deteriorate into peer-to-peer relationships.


Best Practices: Know what you are responsible for as a Cadet Programs Officer. SUI Worksheets are a valuable tool to gauge the effectiveness of the implementation of Cadet Programs. It also keeps you informed of your bi-annual inspection criteria.

If you are assuming any new role within CAP, take a moment to review the SUI Worksheet for your area of responsibility to learn the expectations and deliverables required.


1. Leadership

Learn To Lead:

CAP develops young people into leaders. Through classroom instruction, self-paced study, and a laboratory of hands-on learning, cadets develop leadership skills. New cadets first learn to follow, while advanced cadets learn to lead the team. Cadet officers take great pride in having a sense of ownership over their program as they mentor junior cadets.  Air Force traditions such as the uniform, the salute, and drill and ceremonies challenge cadets to emulate the professionalism of Air Force officers.

Drill and Ceremonies:

Drill and ceremonies as a tool for leadership development. Drill is a skill that teaches all the elements of followership – immediate response to orders, attention to detail, complying with specific direction, and the importance of teamwork.

2. Aerospace Education:

CAP inspires in youth a love of aviation, space, and technology. Through classroom instruction, self-paced study, and hands-on projects, cadets learn about the science that makes flight possible. Best of all, through orientation flights in CAP aircraft, cadets experience first hand the thrill of aviation. Cadets also have opportunities to explore aerospace careers through field trips, encampments, and national cadet special activities.

3. Fitness:

CAP encourages cadets to develop a life long habit of regular exercise. The Cadet Program promotes fitness through calisthenics, hiking, rappelling, volleyball, and more. At a time when many youth are obese, cadets discover the connection between staying fit and having the energy needed to achieve their goals. This link also includes a two-part at-home fitness plan that will allow leaders to monitor and encourage more fitness participation by cadets between Squadron meetings.

4. Character Development Forums:

CAP challenges cadets to live their Core Values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect. Through character development forums, cadets wrestle with ethical issues relevant to teens, with the overall goal being that they develop moral reasoning skills. Finally, through Drug Demand Reduction activities, CAP challenges cadets  to be ambassadors of a drug-free lifestyle.

5. Cadet Activities:

A fifth program element – Activities – unifies the four main elements. Through cadet activities such as flying, leadership academies, bivouacs, field trips, and more, cadets apply what they have learned in the four main program elements and display their enthusiasm for the cadet ethic.






Reference the unit organizational charts available in CAPR 30-1, Organization of Civil Air Patrol, that correlates to your unit type (i.e. Composite Squadron, Cadet Only Squadron) to determine the Chain of Command structure.

CAPP 60-11, Cadet Program Officers' Handbook & Specialty Track Guide, Part 5, outlines the major positions within Cadet Programs and their Sample Position Descriptions.

Wing Directorate for Cadet Programs

Command Positions

Cadet Programs Support Officers




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Squadron Recruiting and Retention Officers

Squadron Emergency Services Training Officers


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