Over 24,000 young people are enrolled in Civil Air Patrol's cadet
program, learning how to become our new generation of American leaders
through their interest in aviation.
Cadets develop strong leadership skills, and learn how to focus on
success, discipline themselves to achieve worthwhile goals, resist
adverse peer pressure, and serve as a role model to others.
Due to CAP's association with the United States Air Force, Civil
Air Patrol cadets have opportunities to participate in activities which
many other young people only dream about.
Ready for a Cadet Orientation Flight
- Eligibility to fly in CAP and military
aircraft as part of prescribed activities
- Attendance at emergency services, leadership,
and flight encampments
- Receipt of promotions in grade and stature as
they learn about aerospace education, moral and command leadership;
organizational duties in a wide variety of specialties, and other
important character-building traits
Young men and women who are American citizens or aliens "lawfully
admitted for permanent residency" in the United States and meeting
certain other qualifications may become Civil Air Patrol cadets upon
reaching 12 years of age.
The maximum age to become a cadet member is 18. Persons who are 18
years of age and older may become senior (adult) members.
Programs and activities
Cadets take part in a number of programs and special activities
which help develop their knowledge, skills and positive attitudes about
air and space operations. They learn:
- Coordination, discipline and teamwork through
leadership study and activities and by taking part in military drill
- Many aspects of aviation and aerospace
education through study of formal text, classroom training during
meetings and special activities, and cadet orientation flights
- This program provides a strong background on
many aspects of flight, from its history, through aircraft
operations, to careers in aviation and aerospace
- To become or remain physically fit through a
physical training program and various activities
- To examine the facets and pressures of
everyday life through regular moral leadership discussions and
- Emergency services response activities,
including mission base, search and rescue, and disaster relief
Cadets are assigned to squadrons staffed by senior members who
guide and assist them through the program.
Young people work through a series of 16 achievements. As they
progress, they earn increased grade, ribbons, and other recognition.
They also become eligible for nationally sponsored special activities
and may compete for academic scholarships.
Popular activities include the cadet orientation flight program,
which may include flights aboard military airplanes in addition to Civil
Air Patrol aircraft.
Scholarships, which cover flight training through the solo
qualification stage, are available to advanced cadets.
Additional activities include cadet summer encampments at nearly
75 U.S. military bases and a Cadet Officer School. There also are
familiarization courses at Air Education and Training Command bases,
pararescue and survival training, and cadet competitions.
The much sought-after activity for advanced cadets is the
International Air Cadet Exchange Program.
Morning PT at Encampment
Each summer, some 120 cadets and 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 United States
Air Force. South Dakota wing has sent cadets to Australia, England and
Such trips promote good will and understanding among world youth
who share a common interest in aviation.
South Dakota Wing Headquarters
4275 Airport Road, Suite A Rapid City, SD 57703> Phone 605-394-5206