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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Today's Cadets . . . Tomorrow's Aerospace Leaders

For youth ages 12 to 21, the Cadet Program offers leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education. Ohio averages about 500 cadets. Through the CAP Cadet Program, young people develop leadership skills, investigate the fundamentals of aerospace education, solidify their character and participate in exciting hands-on activities that prepare them to be responsible citizens.

While cadets are not obligated to join the military upon graduation, each branch of the service offers advanced promotion opportunities based on the amount of training completed.


  • CAP Cadet Program - At a Glance*

  • Mission: Transform youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders

  • Established:  1942

  • Age to Join:  12 through 18

  • Content Areas:   Leadership, Aerospace, Fitness, Character

  • Total Cadets:   25,000

  • Locations:  1,000 hometown squadrons

  • Time Commitment: Ideally, cadets participate in a 2-hour squadron meeting each week, plus one "Saturday" event monthly and one week-long encampment in summer, but of course, school and family obligations take priority**

  • Costs:  Annual dues of $25 - $60, depending upon location; some assistance is available with uniform costs and overnight activity fees; a fully-active cadet could incur $300 to $600 in costs during the first year, less any financial assistance

  • Military Obligation:   None, but 8% of USAF Academy cadets are former CAP cadets

  • Annual Flying Hours:  25,000 hrs in single-engine aircraft; 12,000 glider sorties

  • * All figures are approximations that will vary year-to-year
    ** School-based squadrons may have different expectations for participation

For more Frequently Asked Questions see our FAQ pages for Cadets and Parents.

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