This is a concept worth explaining, and key to understanding the early cadet programs. Recommended reading: promotion.
The table of organization was (and is currently) used by military branches to set staffing limits for units. This is a way to clearly define command staff needs based on unit size and prevent "too many chiefs." In any unit both the number of cadets promoted and the maximum grade they could hold was restricted by the size of the unit. A small unit would only need a few NCOs and a lower grade officer as a commander.
Only cadets who held a position were promoted in grade. This runs counter to the current cadet program, where cadets can be promoted in grade almost at will, without limitations. Previous cadet programs did not require advancement to maintain satisfactory membership. CAP limited all promotions until 1964.
In the simplest terms: no position, no promotion. This applied to all cadets until 1964.
Training and promotion were not linked. Cadets were promoted based on leadership ability.
From 1942-45, the table of organization looked like this:
In 1949, it was simple: One 1st Lieutenant per flight, one 2nd Lieutenant as an assistant. One Captain per squadron, one 1st Lieutenant as an assistant. One Flight Sergeant per flight. One squad leader and assistant per squad. One First Sergeant per squadron. Cadets had to either hold a command, staff, or support (i.e.,supply sergeant) position to be promoted to a grade higher than PFC.
As before, training and promotion were not linked.
The table of organization was called the cadet manning table in 1957. As you can see, the maximum grade a cadet could hold was limited by the number of cadets in the unit.
Cadets were promoted to positions based on leadership ability. However, cadets now had to complete achievements in order to actually wear the grade associated with these positions.
Completed Achievements + Position Held = Grade Worn
The table of organization was discontinued for most cadets. Cadets could be promoted regardless of position to C/1st Lt, after they completed the achievements. Cadets had to hold a position that called for the increased grade for C/Capt and above. In 1967, only C/Maj and C/Lt Col were restricted by position. In 1975, cadets could be locally promoted to C/Lt Col regardless of position held.
TABLE OF ORGANIZATION