How Civil Air Patrol Cadet History Project began:
This site was initially created July 2012 as a vehicle for a comprehensive history of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, which was available as a Powerpoint presentation. Over time, the contents of the Powerpoint have been integrated into this website.
With the help of CAP members and historians nationwide, this website has grown beyond the presentation. Through a variety of other projects, many people have worked countless volunteer hours to ensure CAP's history is protected and preserved. They have graciously shared some of their archives and resources with me - and you.
This is a tribute to the cadet program we love and revere.
This is a perpetual work in progress:
I hope this website will be a useful resource for all historians, and a source of nostalgia for former cadets.
The information presented here is the result of thousands of hours of research using original manuals, pamphlets, reports, newsletters, documents, and letters - most of which are on this website.
This website was created by a former member of CAP and is not endorsed by Civil Air Patrol, the USAF, or anyone really. It is for education and reminiscing only. While I have received help from CAP members, the thoughts and opinions presented here do not represent official CAP policies or opinions.
I am not an official CAP historian, just a cadet history enthusiast.
What is Civil Air Patrol?
Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the United State Air Force, comprised of two groups: senior members and cadets. It has three missions: emergency services, aerospace education, and the cadet program. CAP was established December 1st, 1941, and the cadet program was added October 1st, 1942 for teenagers in the last two years of high school. The mission in 1942 was to prepare America's youth for war. Today, cadets are aged 12-21 years old, and the program's aim is to "develop dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders." Historically, and currently, cadets are drawn to CAP for of a multitude of reasons - usually an interest in aviation and the military.
Where should you start?
A good start might be with the photo galleries or quick history, then move on from that point. The quick history gives you an overview of each generation of the cadet program, including uniforms, training, and promotion. The timeline covers cadet program history in the context of US and World history. If you want to research with the same sources I used, many manuals and documents are in the library, with more to come. The Encyclopedia Minutiae gets into the nitty-gritty, the smallest details of each cadet program. I particularly enjoyed the conversations that lead to the writing of the "Cadet Stories."