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Youth Program

Reach for the Sky
CadetUnlike any other youth program anywhere, Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program puts youth’s 12 to 20 years of age in the drivers seat of aviation and aerospace technology. Steeped in tradition, the Cadet Program started during World War II as a way to provide training for future pilots.  Today, it inspires a love of aviation in our youth through orientation rides that allow cadets to handle the airplane controls during the noncritical stages of the flight and opportunities to solo fly an aircraft at a flight encampment or academy. By inspiring a love of aviation in our youth, Civil Air Patrol develops tomorrow's pilots, engineers, mechanics and aerospace enthusiasts.

Preparing for Bright Futures

Cadetes in ClassroomIn addition to aviation, cadets progress through a comprehensive sixteen step program covering aerospace concepts, leadership principles, physical fitness, and moral character development. To progress, cadets must actively participate and demonstrate they are ready to accept increased responsibilities. Cadets who earn the Mitchell Award may compete for academic scholarships. Cadets who earn the Earhart Award may apply for the International Air Cadet Exchange. While not obligated to join the military, cadets who enlist in a branch of the Armed Forces may enter at a level higher than other recruits if they earned the Mitchell Award as a cadet. The service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience. About eight percent of Air Force Academy cadets are former CAP cadets. The Air Force Academy's Preparatory School sets aside at least one slot for CAP cadets annually.