Civil Air Patrol focuses on mentoring cadets in several key areas:
Cadets are taught how to be a successful leader, no matter what they do in life. The program is a hands-on leadership laboratory, and cadets are given lots of opportunities to lead fellow cadets, teach formal classes and give informal lessons to others, build self-discipline and motivation, and more.
Leadership training is also academic: cadets progress through their leadership textbooks in order to promote and advance within the program.
Cadets learn about aviation and aerospace from the fundamentals through to career exploration. Cadets have the opportunity to fly in Civil Air Patrol aircraft and receive introductory lessons at the controls (“Orientation Flights”), build model rockets from scratch and launch them, receive occasional familiarization rides aboard military aircraft or simulators, and go on group tours of airports, museums, military bases, and airshows with knowledgeable guides. Just like with our Leadership component, Cadets also work through Aerospace Education textbooks as part of advancing in the program.
We promote life-long healthy habits in Civil Air Patrol Cadets through physical fitness activities, regular physical fitness testing, and health and fitness education. Cadets participate in physical fitness activities at the unit and in order to advance in CAP and promote, must meet certain standards in the CAP Cadet Physical Fitness Test (CPFT — which comprises of a mile run, a shuttle run, pushups, sit-ups, and a sit-and-reach flexibility test). As cadets get older and advance in the program, the fitness standards are gradually increased to keep challenging them. Cadets also research topics related to health and fitness and present their findings to fellow cadets.
Cadets also participate in character development and ethical leadership discussions, where they may be presented with difficult theoretical scenarios or case studies designed to challenge the cadets to find ways of solving problems and exploring their own values.
Civil Air Patrol’s core values are integrity, respect, volunteer service, and excellence.