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Prospective Cadets

Become a CAP Cadet

"I made my first solo flight at CAP Encampment."
Col. Eric Boe 
NASA Astronaut

Looking for an amazing opportunity? Want to have fun, learn valuable skills and get a head start on your future? Civil Air Patrol is the place young leaders are born and the biggest dreams are realized.

Seattle Composite Squadron like other units across the country gives young Americans ages 12-20 access to programs and training that let you reach into the sky, or even the stars. CAP's Cadet Program is a challenging journey, that will develop skills you didn't know you had. As a CAP Cadet you'll be in the pilot seat of a real airplane before you're old enough to drive. You'll have opportunities to build robots, crack the next cyber security challenge, launch rockets and test your skills with more than 24,000 other cadets across the U.S.

While CAP is the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, and cadets proudly wear the the Air Force uniform, there is no obligation to join any military service. While CAP does provide a route to the U.S. Military Academies, CAP can also help you get into College or ROTC, get a scholarship or start a career in Aviation. Cadets learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills centered around aerospace. In addition you'll learn self discipline, respect and the power of a great attitude.

"My experiences as a CAP cadet were fundamental to my success."
Maj. Nicole Malachowski
USAF Thunderbirds

Today's cadet program is centered around 4 core program elements; Leadership, Aerospace, Fitness and Character. You will build these skills over time, in a self paced study of the art of leadership. Through classroom training and a real world mix of challenges, you will first follow, then lead a small group before graduating to command and executive leadership. You will learn to think critically, work as a team, manage conflicts, make decisions and communicate effectively. As you progress through the cadet program, in a process we call "Stripes to Diamonds" you'll find yourself empowered with the ability to manage, the strength to persevere and courage meet any challenge. Valuable skills you will carry with you throughout your entire adult life.

If that sounds like hard work, you're absolutely right. But Seattle Squadron and the Washington Wing make up for it with unique opportunities. In addition to taking the controls of CAP Aircraft, the cadet program offers opportunities to fly in gliders and earn your solo wings at Flight Encampment. The Emergency Services Training Academy will teach you survival skills, first aid, navigation and basic Search and Rescue. Learn to communicate over hundreds of miles on CAP's radio network. Train for humanitarian missions and disaster response. Challenge yourself and your peers in Cyber Patriot or the Color Guard competition. There are also a host of "just for fun" activities such as camping trips, tours of military facilities, airshows and fly-ins.

Cadet Programs in Washington

Cascade Falcon will shape you.

After a brief introduction to the cadet program at Seattle Squadron, and advancement thru the first of the cadet achievements, you'll be called Airmen. This is the first of many important milestones you'll achieve. Exciting opportunities will become available at a host of Washington Wing activities, your first taste of what being a CAP Cadet is all about. Your first challenge will be attending the Washington basic encampment "Cascade Falcon". This intense 1 week summer camp, will fully develop your skills as a follower.

Encampment will build your self-discipline and teamwork while expanding your leadership skills, military bearing and understanding of aerospace. You'll do everything as a team; obstacle courses, drill and ceremonies, exercise, meals and study time as a unit. You'll learn to depend on your teammates just as they depend on you. Without a doubt, Cascade Falcon is one of the most intense weeks of your life, but it's also a blast.

You'll experience overviews of equipment and tours of military aircraft, get a look at the life of today's military personnel and be exposed to time honored traditions. Completing Cascade Falcon opens up progression to the Billy Mitchell Award and access to National Cadet Special Activities. You may also return to encampment as cadre over the next years. See the Cascade Falcon Website for more information.

NCOS will sharpen you.

When you complete Cascade Falcon most cadets will be ready the title of cadet Sergeant, although it is possible to attend encampment at any almost any cadet grade. The next step in cadet evolution is called Non-Commissioned Officer School or NCOS for short. While it does not carry a flashy name, you will learn all the skills necessary to lead a small unit in a exceptional manor. NCOS develops the tools to function as an effective Flight Sergeant and Flight Commander, as well as other cadet NCO roles such as First Sergeant.

During this course, you will master advanced drill and ceremonies, and powerful tools of instruction to teach in your unit. You'll bring applied meaning to your leadership texts, and learn to recruit, train and retain. Begin to practice setting goals for your unit and your personal career and develop a crisp appearance and the sharpness of a senior NCO.

In Washington, cadet NCOS is usually conducted as part of the Washington All Mission Academy, during this weekend activity, an Airman Basic school is also conducted, where new cadets complete nearly all of the requirements for promotion to Cadet Airman Basic (Curry Achievement). See the WAMA page for details.

Desert Eagle will elevate you.

Want to learn to be a Pilot? The Washington Wing Flight encampment, also called "Desert Eagle", happens once a year in Ephrata, Washington, and is one of the most exciting cadet activities available. At flight encampment you will have the opportunity to develop your pilot skills well beyond introductory lessons, you'll even get a student pilots license. Cadets have a choice of basic glider or advanced glider and powered student options.

Ground instruction is very intense, flight instruction will cover all of the FAA standard maneuvers including take-off and landing skills. Powered students receive around 9 hours of instructed flight time. Basic glider students get roughly 25 ground tow and 5 aero tow flights. Advanced glider students will fly about 15 aero tow flights. Cadets who prove their knowledge and air worthiness even have the opportunity to earn their Solo wings, flying the entire flight alone.

This program has distinguished itself among Pacific Region activities and entrance to the program is highly competitive. Seattle Squadron offers scholarships and assistance from Certified Flight Instructors to qualified cadets. Check out the Desert Eagle website for details.

Washington Wing offers a great set of challenging special activities and training including Arlington Squadron's Field Emergency Services Training (FEST).

National Cadet Programs

Civil Air Patrol has a unique cadet activities program, with career educational opportunities, the chance to be part of the largest air show in the world, personal challenge at the Hawk Mountain Ranger School, or to be an ambassador of aviation to another country through International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE). The National Cadet Special Activities page lists the upcoming schedule.

More Information

See the overview information on CAP National HQ's Join - Youth pages. We have additional details on our Prospective Cadets - Parent Guide page. Details on specific parts of the Cadet Program for active cadets are under National's Cadet Programs pages.

We invite you to come and see Seattle Civil Air Patrol in action any time we are meeting (check the calendar). If you have additional questions about any CAP program, use our contact form for a quick reply.

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