Cadet Programs

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The Mission of Civil Air Patrol Cadet Programs is to Transform youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders [1]. Cadet Programs activities occur on the squadron, group, region, and national level, and explore all areas of the 3 Missions of the Civil Air Patrol.

Cadet Achievements

"Cadet Achievement" is a broad term that encompasses cadet promotions, awards, and recognitions.

Stripes to Diamonds

"Stripes to Diamonds" is a term that refers to the progression from "stripes" or Phase 1 promotions, to "diamonds", referring to the diamond insignia of Cadet Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel. Cadet promotions are typically recognition of completing a set of aerospace, leadership, physical fitness, character development, and drill and ceremonies tests and activities.

Cadets are eligible for promotion every 56 days, with special expedited promotions being given to cadets based on their level of participation in their High Schools Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs or JROTC.[2]

See Cadet achievements for more details about each achievement.

Cadet Interactive and Honor Credit

Special Cadet Programs Awards

Independent Study

If an overseas unit is not available at the cadet’s location, National Headquarters may allow the cadet to progress through independent study.[3]


  • Achievement 1


Topic Aerospace Physical Fitness Character Leadership
Testing Cadets complete all aerospace tests as usual. Cadets must complete all CPFT requirements N/A Cadets complete all leadership tests as usual.

They are exempt from drill tests.

Other Activities Cadets must participate in a “hands-on” mini-project of their choosing. The activity should be roughly 45 minutes in


N/A Cadets may complete the usual monthly character activities with the help of an adult, or if that is not practical, cadets may propose an alternative method for discussing ethics and character issues. Staff Duty Analysis is done in a modified form. The service obligation is waived, and for technical writing cadets may write about topics relating to their school or extracurricular club activities. Cadets deliver their oral presentation to a stateside senior member in their home unit via video conference.

Cadet Staff Roles

Cadets have the opportunity to serve in many staff roles within their unit. Below you will find some general information on the different roles that you can serve in.

Cadet Personnel Airman -


Type A Encampment

Type B Encampment

National Cadet Special Activities

NCSAs are special programs hosted by National Headquarters that enable cadets to explore civilian and military aerospace careers, develop leadership skills, or enhance their emergency services skills.[4]

See National Cadet Special Activities for details of each activity.

Cadet Invest

Cadet Invest is a family of cadet financial assistance programs. Some programs are intended for economically disadvantaged cadets, others are available by merit. Program details are available at Offerings may vary due to funding availability but typically include:

  • Curry Blues Voucher. Assists cadets in obtaining a uniform.
  • Cadet Encampment Assistance Program. Provides tuition and/or uniform assistance to cadets attending an encampment.
  • Cadet Lift. Provides tuition and/or travel assistance to cadets attending NCSAs.
  • Take-Off Program. Provides tuition and/or travel assistance to cadets attending a National Flight Academy. Recipients are known as TOP cadets.
  • Cadet Wings. Fully supports cadet flight training leading to a private pilot license.
  • College Scholarships. Provides cash awards to students attending a post-secondary school.
  • Endowed Flight Scholarships. Supports flight training, per donor instructions.

Cadet Aerospace Education

See also AE for Cadets.



  2. CAPR 60-1, Cadet Program Management, 26 October 2021, 27.
  4. CAPR 60-1, Cadet Program Management, 26 October 2021, 38.