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.