CAP Cadet History Project

The cadet chevrons were worn this way until 1960, when they were oriented point down to reflect the Air Force's gull wing chevrons.  Grade titles moved away from those associated with the Army.  See the grade insignia topic in the Encyclopedia.


In 1957 the cadet age range was expanded to 14-21 years old.


There was a shift in focus between the second and third generation.  The number of cadets who attained the COP became a priority, and a yardstick of success for the cadet program.  The COP was integrated into the cadet training program, and was required for promotion to the officer grades.  CAP created new special activities as advancement incentives, and made the COP a requirement to participate in these premium activities, including IACE.

Cadets continued to participate in ES missions, and were allowed to complete the earliest "ranger" programs.


Male cadets continued to wear the summer khaki and winter blue uniforms.  Female cadets wore a pale blue summer uniform and a dark blue winter uniform.  As in the second generation, if male cadets could obtain green fatigues they could wear them, but they were not required.  The authorized fatigue uniform for males and females was jeans and a white shirt (t-shirt for males, button-up for females), worn with either a blue baseball hat, flight cap, or fatigue cap.  The females also had the blue WAF fatigues option available, which became the standard in 1959.


New manuals and educational materials were introduced in 1957.  The Cadet Log Book contained military instruction and acted as an informal achievement record.  The  Aviation Education Courses were also introduced.  This was a 7 manual series which covered topics from Aviation and You to The Dawning Space Age


CAP introduced nationally standardized promotions for the first time.  Cadets had to complete achievements based on aviation education, military education, attend a required number of meetings, and satisfy other specific requirements to be eligible for promotion.  Cadets were also required to participate in 15 minute "lectures by chaplain on character, citizenship, and social graces." 

In this generation the COP was integrated into the training and was earned by completing achievement 6 and attending an encampment.

Completion of achievements did not guarantee promotion.

 The number of cadets promoted was still restricted by unit size.  Even if a cadet was eligble for promotion to C/MSgt, he could not wear the chevrons until he held a position that called for C/MSgt.  Conversely, a cadet could be appointed to First Sergeant, but could not wear the chevrons until he completed the achievements.

8 enlisted grades were authorized: "Cadet" through First Sergeant.  4 permanent officer grades were authorized: C/2nd Lt to C/Maj.  C/Lt Col and C/Col were temporary grades for large events such as encampments.

Historical Highlights:

Cadet chevrons were repositioned to "point down" in 1960.

In 1962 the cadet age range was expanded to 13-21 years old.

PA Wing, 1961