Cadet Milestone Awards

The Cadet Program itself is divided into five phases, dedicated towards learning and growth:

  • Motivation Phase
  • Phase I - Learning Phase
  • Phase II - Leadership Phase
  • Phase III - Command Phase
  • Phase IV - Executive Phase.

The Motivation Phase introduces the prospective cadet to the requirements, procedures and goals of CAP. After the Motivation Phase, the next four phases use aerospace education, leadership, physical fitness, and moral leadership to instill and develop qualities of leadership and responsibilities in the cadet members.

Phase I, the Learning Phase is just that: cadets learn to function in a military-type environment. They learn to march, wear their uniform properly, learn the principles of followership, and begin to learn about the aerospace environment. At the conclusion of this phase, cadets receive the Wright Brothers Award.

In Phase II, the Leadership Phase, cadets become more involved in the program. They may enter leadership roles in their squadron and attend a CAP encampment, which is designed to give cadets an introduction to the Air Force culture and hands on leadership and aerospace training in a team environment. It is at the conclusion of this phase that they receive the General Billy Mitchell Award.

In Phase III, the Command Phase, the cadet is expected to take on greater responsibility for activities and training within their squadron. They must assume a leadership position and mentor younger cadets in a variety of areas. In addition, they must also become knowledgeable in different staff areas, learning from their senior member counterparts in areas such as public affairs. This is in addition to continuing the activities they began in Phases I and II. At the conclusion of this phase, the cadet may receive the Amelia Earhart Award and go on to the final phase of cadet training.

The achievements in Phase IV, the Executive Phase, are designed to provide high-level leadership experiences to the individual cadet. When the cadet has completed the requirements for Phase IV, they will receive the General Ira C. Eaker Award and become eligible to test for the highest award for achievement in the Cadet Program, the General Carl A. Spaatz Award.

The Spaatz Award is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the cadet program phases. This exam is passed by less than one percent of the total cadet population. Once a cadet has passed the Spaatz examination, they are promoted to the highest grade in the program, cadet colonel. Most attend college and pursue aerospace careers; many have earned a pilot certificate; and all are advisors to those involved with conducting the cadet program. Spaatz cadets continue to improve themselves through applying what they have learned throughout the cadet program and assisting other cadets to excel.

Milestone Award Briefings
CAP has produced a series of briefings to help cadets prepare for their next phase. Click these links to download the briefings in PDF format:

Milestone Award Cadets & the U.S. Military
US Air Force Benefits. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may qualify to enter the Air Force at an advanced pay grade upon enlistment (see AFI 36-2002 , Attachment 4, paragraph 1.5.5.). Mitchell cadets who enroll in AFROTC may also receive credit for the CAP experience (see AFOTSI 36-2011 , paragraph 2.5.6).

US Army Benefits. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may qualify to enter the Army at an advanced pay grade. See AR 601-210 , paragraph 2-20J for details.



The Cadet Oath
"I pledge to serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and that I will attend meetings regularly, participate actively in unit activities, obey my officers, wear my uniform properly, and advance my education and training rapidly to prepare myself to be of service to my community, state, and nation."