We are excited that your son or daughter has decided, or is considering, a membership in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. CAP has been offering its unique leadership program to America’s youth since Congress founded the organization in 1941. We understand that during the first few weeks you and your cadet will likely have many questions.
This program is unique in structure compared to other programs for youth. Our focus is on developing communication skills, their ability to advocate professionally for themselves, and to grow them into dynamic leaders! Of course, that sounds great, but the path to get there can be challenging especially for parents. Within the first couple of meetings your cadet will meet with their Flight Sergeant & Flight Commander, that is their direct Chain of Command. You will hear the words “Chain of Command” often. The military Chain of Command is used for a couple of reasons:
- We follow the U.S. Air Force regulations.
- This helps our upper-level cadets learn leadership skills as well
If your cadet has questions we ask you to encourage them to contact their Chain of Command. This helps our cadet leaders to continue learning proper leadership techniques as well as helps your cadet to learn for future leadership positions! You can find the Chain of Command information under the Resources tab: Cadet Chain of Command
Resources to Help Parents Navigate CAP
Commonly asked questions specific to our squadron:
What is expected of my cadet in this program?
Your cadet will have responsibilities, such as properly assembling and pressing their uniforms, studying their textbooks between meetings, and working on their physical fitness. The cadets meet once a week for just a few hours. However, they cannot improve their leadership, aerospace knowledge, and fitness levels in just 2 hours per week. While we hope you will encourage and remind your cadet to study their textbooks, care for their uniform, and exercise — we also want to teach them a degree of self-discipline. So we ask that you do not do things like iron their uniform for them. CAP motivates cadets to set high standards for themselves and to live their core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect.
Does my cadet need to attend every meeting?
We encourage your cadet to attend as many meetings as his/her schedule will allow. Our weekly meetings offer various aspects of training, some of those classes or training opportunities are required for their promotions. We do ask if a cadet has to miss a meeting that they contact their Chain of Command. This helps hold everyone accountable and teaches personal responsibility. Their Chain of Command can also make sure they know what they missed that week!
I don’t have a Chain of Command, who do I contact with questions?
We encourage parents with questions or concerns to contact the Deputy Commander for Cadets or the Squadron Commander. However, if the question is something your cadet should be asking their Chain of Command (i.e., what time do I have to be at training? What is the uniform of the day? What am I missing for a promotion?) we encourage you to have your cadet take responsibility for that. Part of our program is teaching cadets to organize and be responsible for their activities.
How do we know what uniform my cadet should wear?
Prior to our Tuesday meeting an email will be sent to the entire Squadron from the Cadet Staff with information regarding Uniform of the Day and what training will be covered at the meeting. If you are not receiving these emails please visit our Resources page and scroll to the bottom to request to be added. Please note that a similar email is sent for our Officers (adult members), while the training is different the uniform of the day is generally the same.
What if my cadet does not have an entire uniform?
Our Squadron does have a uniform supply and we try our best to supply cadets at least one complete uniform. We cannot guarantee that we will have each size available. Our uniform manual (CAPM39-1) requires each uniform be worn correctly. If your cadet does not have at least one complete uniform they may wear black pants/belt and a white button up or polo shirt with black socks/shoes. If they do have a complete uniform they may wear that uniform even if the orders of the day call for the opposite uniform.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Civil Air Patrol is always looking for adult members (as well as cadet members) to join our team! There are a couple of different ways you can help!
Civil Air Patrol Parent Guide: