Cadet Activities

Because the Civil Air Patrol is a national organization, there are a number of local, regional and national opportunities for cadets of all ages. Requirements for activities vary. Learn more here.

Cadet Advisory Councils

Cadet Advisory Councils have three main purposes:

1. To provide an organization where cadets gain leadership experience at higher organizational levels

2. Aid the commanders in monitoring and implementing the Cadet Program

3. Make recommendations for improving and running the Cadet Program

Cadet Officer School

Patterned after the USAF Squadron Officer School, this academically challenging course is an in-depth study of the skills of leadership. COS graduates earn an award ribbon (silver star on the Mitchell ribbon) and NCSA ribbon.

Minimum age: 16

Minimum grade: Mitchell Award


Encampments are one of the most popular and worthwhile activities available to cadets. They challenge cadets to develop self-discipline and teamwork while broadening their understanding of aerospace. Most encampments are conducted on a military installation.

International Air Cadet Exchange Program (IACE)

The International Cadet Exchange (IACE) provides selected youth and adults an opportunity to serve as "ambassadors" to participating countries and promote international goodwill, friendship and understanding.

National Cadet Competition

The National Cadet Competition (NCC) is an annual event that provides opportunities for cadets to model traits of the highest standards of leadership and personal responsibility through drill, aerospace knowledge and physical fitness.

National Cadet Special Activities

Civil Air Patrol offers cadets many opportunities to learn. Special activities include the National Flight Academy (Powered & Glider), EAA Air Academy, Space Camp, AF Space Commandy Familiarization Course, AF Pararescue Orientation, Hawk Mountain Search & Rescue School, Honor Guard Academy and many more!

Routine Activities

Each meeting will include some drill, and classroom particpation in aerospace education or leadership discussions. Cadets are encouraged to promote and will be tested on their knowledge. Cadets can participate in Emergency Services and learn about search and rescue and first air programs. Older cadets can participate in search missions as aircrew.