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Help for New Cadets

First Tasks for New Cadets

1.  Create an account in eServices.

Follow the eServices login located at the top of this page. As you create your account, double-check that your contact information is correct.


2.  Look Around.      

Your New Cadet Kit will arrive within 10 days of your officially joining CAP. Watch your mailbox.

Look through the New Cadet Guide booklet. Make that your #1 resource for getting started in CAP. 

Give the Parents' Guide to your mom, dad, or guardian. To be a successful cadet, you'll need their support, and the Parents' Guide can help you explain to them why CAP is important to you.

You will be assigned to an Element. This is a group of about 3-5 individuals that fall into a Flight together and are typically led by a cadet non-commissioned officer (NCO). Go ahead and introduce yourself to your fellow members in the element. Many cadets make life-long friends through the program and succeed better when together! 

It is okay if you are unfamiliar with any military or CAP lingo as we will teach you what they mean. 


3.  Get Into Uniform.     

You need one uniform to get started. Eventually you’ll want to have both the camouflage utility uniform (ABUs or BDUs), and the service uniform, “blues.”    

Upon completing Achievement 1 and becoming a Cadet Airman, you’ll qualify for the Curry Blues Voucher, which covers some of the costs of the “blues” uniform. Therefore, we suggest you obtain BDUs or ABUs first, and then use the Curry Blues Voucher to obtain your “blues.”      

Uniform items may be purchased through a variety of sources. The official source for CAP insignia and uniforms is Vanguard. Shop with them at, (800)221-1264. If you’re near an Air Force base, you can buy uniform garments (but not CAP insignia) at the Exchange or base thrift store.   

Speak to your squadron leaders about local options, too. Sometimes the squadron has a “supply closet,” and military surplus stores could be another option.


4.  Read Your Leadership Text.  

Read Learn to Lead, chapter 1. You’ll need to pass a 25-question, open-book test on this material to complete Achievement 1 and qualify for promotion to Cadet Airman. Pay attention to the learning objectives and use them to quiz yourself. This is an open-book test, use Ctrl-F to search the online version faster.


5.  Pass the Learn to Lead Chapter 1 Test.     

Take your online test. You can do so at home, at your convenience. Record your passing score on the Personal Cadet Tracker.   


6.  Plan to Attend Encampment.   

Encampment is a full immersion into all the opportunities of cadet life. It’ll be the high point of your first year! Most encampments are 1-week in duration and held during the summer and/or winter. Check the encampment page to see if information is available and mark your calendar, or ask your squadron for details.

The Cadet Encampment Assistance Program (CEAP, say “seep”) can help you with tuition and uniform costs. 


Basic Expectations for 1st Year Cadets

★  Stay with CAP for at least 1 year. Give the cadet experience a chance to impact your life.

★  Attend your weekly squadron meetings.

★  Attend one "Saturday" event per month, if available.

★  Attend encampment. It's an awesome, week-long, overnight activity immersing you into all facets of cadet life.   

★  Earn the Wright Brothers' Award during your first year.

★  Keep school and family obligations your first priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How do I earn my first promotion?
Visit Stripes to Diamonds. It'll tell you exactly what you need to do to become a Cadet Airman. Keep track of your progress through the Cadet Program using the Personal Cadet Tracker. And if your New Cadet Kit hasn't arrived yet, you can download Chapter 1 of the leadership textbook above.

2.  Where's my membership card?
You should receive your CAP ID card in the mail within 30 days of joining. If yours hasn't arrived, please contact us.

3.  What is my CAPID?
Your CAPID is a 6-digit identification number. It's found on your membership card and in eServices.

4.  How do I get my textbooks?
About 10 days after joining, you should receive a New Cadet Kit in the mail. If you haven't received yours after 2 weeks, please contact us.

9.  Where do I go if I have more questions?
Talk with local leaders in your squadron, especially your Cadet Element Leader or Cadet Flight Sergeant. Their job is to help you succeed in CAP. Moms and dads should visit our Parents' Page.



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