Youth Programs

Welcome Teens Teen FAQs

RepellingWould you like to honor and serve America? Do you want to prepare for your future while making new friends? Then rise to the challenge of cadet membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol. Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

To become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.  Cadets meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer.





How much can you achieve? Find out by becoming a cadet. Honor Guard “I am pushing myself to be a better person.” Cadet Kristin Miller “I made my first solo flight at a CAP encampment.” Astronaut Eric Boe “I’ve learned discipline – something not stressed enough in today’s society.” Cadet Theresa Paredes. For more information about the CAP teens program, visit our Teens FAQ page.






Welcome Parents Parent FAQs

Cadets in Washington DCThank you for supporting your son’s or daughter’s interest in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program.   CAP is a volunteer, non-profit organization that also serves as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force.  Our three missions are to develop youth through a cadet program, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform live-saving humanitarian missions. The program accepts new cadets who are at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.   It is a year-round program with weekly meetings at a local CAP squadron and additional activities on weekends or during the summer.   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 aerospace 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.



Check Out the Cadet Life Video!

Parent Guide Todays Cadets Parents Guide Spanish
to the CAP Cadet Program
Strategic Overview of the
Cadet Program
en Espanol

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