CAP Cadet History Project

It is a lot easier to discuss the early manuals since CAP only had a few in the beginning.  It is far more complicated now.
This piece does not cover all possible manuals.
Recommended reading: training.

The First Cadet Manual, 1944-49:

At first, cadets did not have their own training manual or program.  They took the same training classes as senior members including Army laws, first aid, and airfield security.  When CAP became the Army Air Force Auxiliary in April 1943, it looked to the cadet program to improve its graduation rates for aviation specialties.  Cadet-specific training was developed which included "preflight skills" including the mechanics of flight, physical fitness, map reading, how to bailout, and weather. 

The first cadet manual was published in August 1944, and was commonly called the "Blue Book." 

First consolidated Aerospace Education manual, released 1975.  Used until 1980.

The Aviation Education Courses were developed in 1956, and released in 1957.  Originally, six voumes were released: Aviation and You, Power for Aircraft, Aircraft in Flight, Airports Airways and Electronics, Navigation and Weather, Problems of Airpower.  Teaching aids were also released including filmstrips, workbooks, and instructor guides. 
When the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957, the world was shoved from the "aviation age" to the "aerospace age."  Consequently, CAP released a seventh volume in 1958: The Dawning Space Age.

The multi-volume AE manuals continued until 1975.

The log book contained military and CAP information, and acted as an unofficial record.  It was a single volume in 1957, and two volume in 1959.  The CAPF 66, Cadet Master Record, was used in conjuction with this manual.

Used 1992 - 2000

Moral leadership manual.  The Mitchell exam was based off this book until 1970.

Used 1985 - 1992

The seven volume aerospace education series was used until 1975.
This edition of Navigation and the Weather was revised in 1974.

In 1964 the manuals were: Introduction to Aerospace, Aircraft in Flight, Power for Aircraft, Airports Airways and Electronics, Navigation and Weather, The Problems of Aerospace Power, and The Dawning Space Age.
From 1968-74 the manuals were: Introduction to Aerospace, Challenge of Aerospace Power, Aircraft in Flight, Power for Aircraft, Navigation and the Weather,  Airports and Airways, and The Dawning Space Age.

Cadet Manuals, 1949-57:

When CAP introduced the new cadet program in 1949, it also introduced a three manual series, also known as the "Brown Books."  Book 1 was the Civil Air Patrol Manual, Book 2 was the Aviation Study Manual, and Book 3 was an instructor manual.

Book 1 covered the military education topics, history, organization, and activities of CAP.  Book II was the core content of the cadet program.  It contained some very detailed aviation and maintenance information.  The test for the Certificate of Proficiency was based off this manual.


Leadership laboratory manual released in 1965.  A two volume edition was released in 1975 and used into the 1990s.  The manual actually discussed few leadership topics.  It focused on drill and ceremonies as a way to develop leadership qualities in cadets using the drill field as a "leadership laboratory."  This style of leadership training was discontinued in 1993, when CAP released manuals that exclusively covered leadership, and developed a separate drill and ceremonies manual.

Released in 1958, after the launch of Sputnik.

A variety of manuals used after 1964:

Cadet Manuals, 1957-64:

The Brown Books were replaced in 1957 by the multiple volume Aviation Education Courses, Cadet Log Book, and a Cadet Guide.

1980 - 1985

One of the seven courses.
These were concise little booklets, full of solid information.  Volumes
1-6 were 40-60 pages long, about 8.5" x 5.5".
The inside cover says "sixty cents per copy."