For the past half-century, CAP’s Cadet Programs has provided young people between 12 and 21 the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through their interest in aviation. For many, it has also offered them the opportunity to learn to fly. A knowledge of aerospace-related information is one of the pillars of the program. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership.
As cadets make progress, they have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities including encampments on military bases, orientation flights, and a variety of national and international activities.
Through its National Scholarship Program, CAP provides scholarships to cadets to further their studies in such areas as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics and aerospace medicine. Scholarships leading to solo flight training are also provided.
The US Air Force recognizes the high standards the cadets must meet. When CAP cadets enlist in the Air Force, they now enter as an E-3 (Airman First Class) instead of as an airman basic.
CAP cadets are also well represented at the US Air Force Academy. Usually 8-10 percent of the academy class is composed of former CAP cadets.