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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Parent FAQ

The following topics answer the most common questions about the cadet program.

This should help you help your child better succeed in the Civil Air Patrol.

What meetings are required?

  • The regulations state a cadet is to be “active” to be considered for promotions and leadership. Active participation is considered, 75% of Monday night meetings, and 50% squadron of activities (these average one Saturday each month). The cadet needs to contact his/her chain of command when they will miss a meeting. These are minimum requirements.

What is done at the meetings?

  • Uniform inspection, Drill, Testing (aerospace, leadership, physical fitness), classes on Leadership & Aerospace Education, Science & Technology, Character Development as it relates to leadership, Safety Briefings, Emergency Services (Search & Rescue and Disaster Relief) training and Physical Fitness training. One or more of these are conducted at each meeting.

Where do I find information about Civil Air Patrol activities and meetings?

  • We send out a weekly agenda for the upcoming meeting and upcoming activities to all our members
  • The squadron Facebook page is the most up-to-date place to find info about current and past activities
  • The squadron maintains a calendar of events on our website. This also contains activities from around Illinois.
  • Other information can be found at and

What happens at the monthly meetings? Is there a schedule?

  • There is a planned schedule. This schedule may vary if there are outside speakers, holidays or other events that come up.

    • 1st Monday of the month – Character Development & Cadet Classes and the Promotions and Awards Ceremony
    • 2nd Monday of the month – Drill, Leadership Classes and Testing. There are a few tests that need to be administered and are not open book (most can be done at home online).
    • 3rd Monday of the month – Emergency Services training
    • 4th Monday of the month –  Aerospace Education Class, Physical Fitness Testing, Cadet Programs Class
  • Dates are subject to change but will be noted in the weekly agenda sent out to all members and parents.

What are Cadets tested on?

  • Physical Fitness Testing (see below)
  • Aerospace – Basic theory and history of flight and space exploration
  • Leadership – Military history and theory of leadership – how to lead.
  • FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency – This is a
    federal agency charged with overseeing large scale disasters. We take their courses and tests so that we can operate with agencies of all types and disasters of all sizes. These are open book introductions to how these emergency situations are handled and how the leadership is organized. These are online courses.

Which tests can be taken online at home?

  • Aerospace – most of these can be taken online as open book tests. These are timed so you need to be prepared in advance.
  • Leadership – most of these can be taken online as open book tests. These are timed so you need to be prepared in advance.
  • Emergency Services tests:
    • From CAP – the 116 and 117 exams.
    • FEMA, IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 courses and exams.

What if my home computer is broken or we do not have Internet?

  • We have a computer lab at the squadron. Contact the leadership to arrange to be able to take the tests at the squadron or an alternative location.

How do cadets get Promotions?

The entire cadet program is made up of 16 achievements & 4 milestone awards , not every achievement has a promotion attached.

Some or all of the following are done to be promoted:

  • Physical Fitness Test – (Sit-ups, Push-ups, Reach & Running) are required for each achievement
  • Leadership Test – based on study manuals are required for most achievement
  • Drill Test – can be marching following orders or leading drill depending on how advanced the promotion.
  • Aerospace Test – 6 aerospace modules in the first half of the program and chapters in hardcover Aerospace text second half for more advanced cadets
  • Attend a character development class
  • On testing night a list is started, each cadet puts down their name and which test they wish to take (leadership or aerospace and which chapter or module number they will be tested on).
  • Regular attendance and active participation
  • Growth in Leadership – as cadets advance in rank, the squadron leadership gives them greater responsibility. As the cadet carries out their duties and demonstrates increasing ability to lead and delegate they continue to be eligible for continued promotion and greater responsibility.
  • Once all requirements have been completed, the cadet turns in a promotion form that lists the dates the cadet complete the requirements or passed the test. The completed form is handed in to their cadet staff person in charge of promotions on or before the third Monday night Cadet Programs Meeting.

How are Cadet Leaders chosen?

  • The CAP cadet program is a leadership learning laboratory. We have a list of criteria that we use to determine who get’s leadership positions. These include:

    • Followership – Can they follow and carry out instructions (orders).
    • Participation
      – are they involved in the function and work of the squadron on a regular basis.
    • Humility – being willing to ask for instruction and knowing that someone else may have more ability, understanding or experience than they do
    • Initiative – going out and getting training and resources – not waiting for it to come to them
    • Willingness – looking for opportunities to serve
    • Hard Work – doing the things to make the squadron as a whole successful
    • Creativity – Applying various means to accomplish the objectives given to them.
    • Respect – Treating each person with value regardless of their position a or rank.
    • Leadership – Gradually developing the ability to give subordinates the instructions and resources to accomplish a task assigned by my superiors
    • In addition to the leadership opportunities within the squadron we strongly encourage cadets to participate in learning activities on a state and national level. Participation in these events increases their ability to take on greater leadership within the squadron.

    What counts as an Activity?

    • Things that cadets do outside of regular CPM meetings (Tuesday Night’s). These are events like: Orientation Flights, Field Trips, Training with other units, Parades, ES Training away from the home unit, encampments, Community Days, Fund Raising Events, Special Summer activities and squadron community service.

    Which Aerospace Education Test do you take to get promoted?

    • For their first promotion the cadet does not need an Aerospace Education test. After that, in first half of the cadet training program, the six modules can be taken in any order, one per promotion (Modules are found in their blue binder). The CAP regulations CAPR 50-16 has charts to show chapter progression for test book, CAP form CAPF 66 also notes this information. (This is also posted on the wall of the squadron meeting room).

    Which Leadership test needs to be taken to get promoted?

    • The material for test comes from the booklet that came in their membership binder – Leadership Manual Volume I
    • The cadet takes one chapter at a time, in order for their next promotion – see chart from CAPR 52-16 (included in the parents packet or found online).

    What is PT Testing?

    • Physical Fitness Testing

    • Generally the first Monday of the month
    • Requirements to pass the testing gradually get a little more as the cadet gets older.

    What are the different uniforms my cadet is required to have?

    • Utility uniform, also called ABU’s (for Battle Dress Uniform). This is the camouflage green uniform worn with black military boots.
    • Service uniform, this is the uniform with light blue shirt and dark blue slacks and black shoes. It can be worn in a variety of ways outlined in the regulations. When it is worn with a dark blue suit style coat it is referred to as the “Class A” uniform.

    What uniform should they wear to meetings or activities?

    • The weekly agenda is emailed to cadets (and parents) so they know what is coming up and how it prepare for the meetings. It lists the uniform of the day. Usually, PT testing nights we wear utility uniform. Testing and promotion nights the service uniform is worn. Always check the weekly agenda to be sure.

    How do they know how to wear the uniforms?

    • The CAP manual CAPM 39-1 lists uniform requirements, but cadet staff members can more easily explain requirements. The cadet staff gives periodic uniform classes and regular inspections to help the cadets get their uniforms correct.
    • Cadet staff can give information on where to get uniform items not available in our supply. One blue uniform can be requested using the instructions attached to the membership application Cadet training material has the regulations regarding uniform wear. Regulations (CAPR 39-1) can also be downloaded from the CAP website.

    Where do Cadets go for answers?

    • It is strongly encouraged that the cadets learn to look in the regulations to find answers.
    • Cadets should request help from cadet staff person immediately above them in the chain-of-command to answer questions/explain details that need clarification. Their chain-of-command is listed on the Cadet Programs bulletin Board in the main meeting room of the squadron building.

    Where should parents go for answers?

    • Parent questions on all cadet activities should be directed to the Commander or the adult squadron staff.
    • Other information can be found at
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