Cadet Programs

The cadet program provides motivated teenagers, leadership, aerospace, physical and moral training with a unique opportunity to acquire the skills they will need in their adult life. The cadet program is largely run by the cadets and includes a wide variety of opportunities in aerospace, communications, emergency services and other fields, leadership encampments, career and flight academies, and other national activities during the summer as well as the opportunity to compete for college and aviation scholarships. In New Jersey, the cadet program includes opportunities to work at airshows, orientation flights with certified pilots and many community service events, as well as squadron meetings and the annual basic encampment.

Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re a teen dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, or trying to get into the college of your choice, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.  It’s all about leadership!

CAP is not a military or boarding school, but a youth development program that incorporates aviation and military customs and courtesies.  Through their experiences as CAP cadets, young people develop into responsible citizens and become tomorrow's leaders. The leadership skills, self-confidence, and discipline cadets gain through CAP prepares them to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves in life.

To fulfill its goal of developing young people into responsible citizens and aerospace leaders, the Cadet Program is developed around five program elements:  Leadership, Character Development, Aerospace Education, Physical Fitness, and Activities.  As cadets participate in these five elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way. 

Many former cadets have gone into the military, government jobs, or private sector employment where they can and do make a difference, and really excel. There are many military general officers that were once CAP cadets.  Senators and congressman, CEOs and corporate executives, NASA engineers, astronauts, pilots and others credit their success to CAP and the adult members who mentored them.