Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Learning to fly airplanes is one of the most ambitious career goals you can have today. Individuals who are 12-18 years old have an opportunity to make themselves, family, and, most importantly, the country proud.

After all, who doesn’t like the idea of saving lives and help usher a more era of peace and prosperity? Whether you are about to complete your high school or simply want to challenge yourself to strive for perfection, there is a multitude of reasons for ROTC scholarship applicants to join the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).

Besides, it is a chance to serve your community and acquire the leadership qualities that would inspire others. Here is an overview and essential five reasons to become a part of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for ROTC scholarship applicants:

What is the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program?

It is a scholarship program that revolves around the Air Force and aerospace industry’s collaborative efforts to find the best pilots of the country. Contemporarily, there is a need for talented and skilled individuals who can understand the modern technological advancement and sophisticated aircraft navigations.

CAP is inherently a volunteer-based auxiliary program of the U.S. Air Force. The three key missions of the program are to educate cadets about the significance of space and aviation, humanitarian missions, and execute life-saving missions.

The 8-week long summer aviation program involves the participation of renowned universities across the U.S. Once you finish the CAP program, you receive Private Pilot’s Certification. The idea is to spark a sense of encouragement and inspiration among high school individuals to pursue aviation careers.

The aircraft rules are still the same, but you’d be surprised at the continuous evolution of civil aviation. Of course, the underlying goal is to help develop aspiring young individuals into responsible U.S. citizens and aerospace leaders through the Cadet Program.

What Can Applicants Expect in the Program?

That said, there are numerous organized elements cadets will have to face throughout the program. Primarily, the cadets can expect four essential elements throughout the training program. Step-by-step, cadets will be able to complete achievements and earn honors.

CEAP: Cadet Encampment Assistance Program

For cadets who are in their first or later year. It facilitates disadvantaged cadets who attend one week of encampment through coverage of uniform and tuition costs.

CTOP: Cadet Take-Off Program

For cadets who are in their second year or later. The aim is to encourage cadets to attend one week of Civil Air Patrol flight academy to have solo experience in a single-engine airplane or glider.

Cadet Wings

For cadets who are in their second or later years. Comparatively, it is more competitive because a merit-based scholarship program takes care of almost all expenses to help cadets become licensed pilots.

Cadet Lift

Also for cadets who are in their second or later years. It assists disadvantaged cadets with their travel and tuition costs through academy’s one-week career exploration initiative.

From Character to Fitness: What Applicants Will Learn

After cadets get the hang of the basic routine, they usually make Civil Air Patrol their main priority. Although friends and family back home matter, the programs evoke the long-term interests of the cadets. It means it asks applicants to give their best shot for the entirety of the program.

Ultimately, the goal is to help applicants learn what it means to have a code of honor, use leadership skills, being open to diversity, show enthusiasm, possess extensive knowledge, and form a regular exercise routine.

Character Development

Civil Air Patrol program challenges cadets to reform their core character values. And through those transformative character changes, cadets begin to understand the ethical issues and dynamics relevant to the new generation. For instance, CAP encourages CAP cadets to avoid drugs and influence others (i.e., communities and schools) to do the same.

Improve Resilience

CAP could not be more ideal where applicants can improve their self-esteem and show resilience. In fact, it is one of the fundamental aspects of a cadet’s natural life. The program supports cadets to dive into new experiences and emerge victorious.

Cadets don’t necessarily “have to” succeed at every task. Instead, it is the relentless approach that influences cadets’ impulses. It is okay to make mistakes so long as cadets learn valuable lessons.

Status and Commitment

When young adults find a purpose and commit wholeheartedly, it improves their communication skills and status. Whether its commitment to prepare uniforms or follow a command chain obediently, everything matters.

Change Priorities

Cadets need to maintain above average or satisfactory progress throughout their high school. The participation of cadet tasks results in rewards through good grades and responsible behavior.

Physical Fitness

Civil Air Patrol encourages cadets to make regular exercise their lifelong habit. However, CAP understands it is not a habit that cadets can form in a single night. In fact, it takes a certain degree of fitness preparation through hiking, volleyball, calisthenics, and other physical competitive activities.

Five Reasons to Join the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program

1.    Enhance Military Propensity to Obtain an ROTC Scholarship or Service Academy Appointment

One of the reasons applicants join CAP is to improve their military propensity to avail ROTC scholarship or SAP. The notion of getting into a Military Service Academy can be overwhelming for anyone. In addition, cadets who rank higher in CAP program can have a better pay grade after enlistment in the Air Force.

So long as you have the interest to attend one of the service academies after completing high school, the CAP cadet program is perfect to become more competitive for admission into an academy of your preference.

It is imperative to understand that at least 10% of new cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are former CAP cadets. And if you are not even searching for a service academy, other reputable colleges with ROTC programs take applicants who have prior experience in the CAP seriously.

2.    Interact with the Military and Learn its Customs and Courtesies

Yes, CAP cadet programs allow applicants to meet mayors, senators, congressmen, managers, and generals of different countries. You can even become an escort to spend some time with these influential people.

Furthermore, you can talk about their military experiences and values for more enlightened. The truth is, joining CAP comes with a lot of exciting perks for cadets. It is an excellent opportunity for new Gen Z that previous generations never had.

3.    Learn Field Craft and Navigation by Participating in CAP Rescue, Search Training, and Missions

Ordinarily, CAP deploys more than 95% of the Search & Rescue missions in the U.S. And with enough quality training, you can work alongside military personnel and law enforcement agencies to save lives of people who are in dire need.

There is a good chance you haven’t had the chance as a teenager to engage in such activities. Fortunately, you do have a distinct opportunity to learn how a mission base takes care of operational activities. For instance, you can walk into forests and look for clues of lost individuals.

You will be using modern search techniques and tools. Once you learn the uses and benefits of professional military-grade tools, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. It is your service quality and collective knowledge of these skills that can save more lives than you can imagine.

In addition, volunteer pilots also love to share their passion for flying with new cadets. It is a great way to have first-hand flight experience. Remember, Civil Air Patrol’s pilots have a license from the FAA that involves specific syllabus regulations for every flight. The idea is to make sure the safety of the flight. Cadets, on the other hand, might also receive free orientation flights in a military-grade aircraft.

4.    Practice Military Leadership While in High School

CAP allows cadets to learn military-level leadership skills in a classroom setting. Experienced mentors can demonstrate hands-on leadership learning qualities. Once cadets naturally follow orders and progress in their goals, it opens up new opportunities to lead a small team, think independently, or manage projects on your own to develop better leadership abilities as you mature into adult life.

For instance, one-week of the Encampment period allows cadets to immerse into a new regiment atmosphere where they could heighten their leadership skills. It all comes down to challenging yourself to solve obstacles.

5.    Become More Physically Fit in Preparation for ROTC and Academy Physical Fitness Tests

One of the first things you learn from CAP’s cadet program is self-discipline. It is more than just a habit, but a representation of core values that shape your performance. With a better-disciplined personality, you can serve the communities better.

In fact, even without an aerospace career, you will benefit from good physical fitness habits for the rest of your life. And the same instilled discipline helps you flourish physically and achieve personal growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the CAP cadet program?

Cadets may join between the ages of 12-18 years of age.  Cadets may serve until their 21st birthday.

Cadets must be enrolled in or graduated from a private, public, home school, or college program with a satisfactory record of academic achievement

Cadets must not be a member of the active duty Armed Forces

Cadets must be a citizen of the United States of America or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States of America.

How participation of universities works?

Civil Air Patrol is not a school or university-based program.  Local units are chartered in communities all across the nation.

Are there any special measures in place to supervise and protect minors?

Yes, all adult members are FBI screened, receive special training for working with youth, and all cadet activities are attended and supervised by multiple certified adult members.

Is there an adult or senior membership in the CAP program?

Civil Air Patrol is always in need of talented and skilled volunteers who want to help new cadets. Whether you want you to drive, chaperone, or perform other minimal tasks, the door is always open. However, if you want to join CAP in a full capacity, you should consider a senior membership.

Conclusion: A Chance to Be in the Spotlight!

CAP candidates gain more optimism to have an exacting future. The Civil Air Patrol’s flight and a college scholarship is an experience of a lifetime. CAP cadets mainly develop an ability to become responsible citizens at an early age.

Today’s young aspirational CAP cadets are tomorrow’s aerospace champions. What is interesting is that CAP sparks the love of aviation cadets possess. It is a unique opportunity for cadets to understand and experience first-hand flight in an aircraft.

You can make new friends from all over the U.S. In addition, meeting policy makers and leaders will help you find a new perspective. Once you understand the intricate details of a CAP aircraft through rigorous training, you can realize your full potential. After joining the CAP as a cadet, you can explore various STEM careers.

If you want to find out more information, listen to the podcast for an insightful experience of Lt. Col John Lierenz, Head of Cadet Programs for Delaware Wing.

Want to maximize your potential of earning an ROTC Scholarship?

Take Our Course