CAP Cadet History Project

CA Wing, McClellan AFB, 1991

The old CAP Bookstore, Maxwell AFB, 1989

Cadet chevrons, 1978-98

Pickle Greens in the 1980s:

Blues in the 1980s:

From the 1981 Annual Report to Congress:

Air Force MSgt Wayne Fisk was a guest at the CAP National Board Meeting in Louisville.  Wayne is a former cadet member of Alaska Wing and was the wing's outstanding cadet in 1961, 1962, and 1963.  Wayne earned an appointment the the Air Force Academy, but chose not to accept because of the serious illness of his mother.  He enlisted in the Air Force in 1966 and became a pararescueman.
Wayne earned the Silver Star as a member of the assault force on the Son Tay prison in North Vietnam in 1970 and another in the action againts the Khmer Rouge off the Cambodian Coast during the successful S.S. Mayaquez rescue mission.  In addition to his five tours of duty and 450 combat missions in Southeast Asia, Wayne also served as a primary member of the Apollo 8, 9, and 10 US Air Force Recovery Teams in Bermuda.

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Improvements to uniforms and insignia, 1978:

In 1978 several major uniform improvements were approved: the blues shirt with epaulets, the blue three line nameplate, metal pin-on chevrons, miniature officer insignia, and soft blue epaulets to replace the shoulderboards.  The blue epaulets were initially called "shoulder mark grade insignia."  Eventually, they were just called "epaulet sleeves" or epaulets.

The image below illustrates the transition between epaulet-less shirts with shoulderboards and the epaulet shirts with the new blue epaulets.  All cadets are wearing the blue three line nameplate that is still in use today.

See also topics grade insignia and right pocket insignia.

Florida, August 1993

CA Wing, Vandenberg AFB, 1983

NY Wing, 1983

COS, 1980

Cadet Deana Smith  of GA Wing is presented her Spaatz Award by Brig Gen Dale Baumier, USAF,1988

A strange departure from modern uniforms - the tropical combat uniform, or "jungle fatigues," 1990:

"Jungle fatigues"  were the field uniform for combat troops during the Vietnam War.  They also became a popular, but unauthorized, field uniform for CAP cadets and senior members post Vietnam, who excused wear of them with the "what happens in the field, stays in the field" philosophy.  They were authorized, in long and short-sleeves, before BDUs, around 1990 (seen in the 1991 CAP 39-1), and phased out along with the OG-107 pickle greens in 1996.  White was the authorized undershirt.

Miniature cadet officer insignia was released to place on the shoulder mark insignia, or "Peter pan collar" shirt when no epaulets were present.

Cadet David Eidsmoe, AL Wing encampment, April 1992

"Shoulder Mark Grade Insignia" if you're not into the whole brevity thing.

BDUs, Finally Approved for CAP, 1991:

BDUs were introduced to the Army and Air Force in October 1981.  They were not commonly worn until the mid-1980s.  The required wear date for the Air Force was 1 October 1991.  Pickle Greens and "jungle fatigues" were phased out by CAP over a few years.  Cadets were eager to switch to BDUs.

The approved hot weather cap

TX Wing, 1982

Cadet Blues Arrive at a Stable Design,1980s:

In 1984 cadets blues arrive at a stable design when the female pointed collar shirt was released, and with the return of the female flight cap, also in 1984.  Blues without the service coat from the late 1980s are indistinguishable from modern uniforms.