TNWG Cadet Programs
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.
Expectations of Cadets.
Once accepted into the program cadets are expected to participate in CAP to the extent that they are interested and able, however active participation is a prerequisite for promotion.
If a cadet knows he or she will be absent, the cadet is expected to notify local leaders through the chain of command.
Attendance & Promotion Eligibility.
Active participation is a promotion requirement because direct, in-person involvement in the Cadet Program is the most effective way for cadets to demonstrate their learning. “Active participation” is not precisely defined because the reason for, frequency of, and duration of absences varies greatly. Commanders should consider cadets “active” if they participated in four meetings or activities during the previous eight weeks.
Attendance & Leadership Opportunities.
A cadet’s ability (or inability) to attend meetings on a regular basis may affect his or her opportunity to serve in a leadership position. Members of the cadet staff need to be dependable, regular participants. Unit commanders exercise their judgment on these matters on a case-by-case basis.
If the cadet will be absent for multiple weeks, the cadet is expected to file a leave of absence with the unit commander, in writing, indicating the expected date of return. During a leave of absence, participation in special activities beyond the weekly meeting is at the discretion of the unit commander.
Cadets who are college students living away from their home unit may, with permission of the unit commander, assist their squadron or another CAP unit with special projects via online activity. Cadets who make such contributions, even without attending weekly meetings during the academic year, satisfy the active participation promotion requirement.