Parent FAQ

The following topics answer the most common questions about the cadet program and Albany Composite Squadron. They should help you help your child better succeed in the Civil Air Patrol.

What meetings are required?

The regulations state a cadet is to be “active” to be considered for promotions and leadership. The cadet needs to contact his/her chain of command when they will miss a meeting. These are minimum requirements.

What is the time commitment for being a CAP cadet?

We realize that our cadets often have many things competing for their time. Between school, sports, clubs, hobbies, and other extracurricular activities, teenagers are very busy indeed! However, we expect that our cadets make a substantial effort to attend weekly meetings whenever possible and to participate actively. Outside of meetings, cadets often spend several hours per week maintaining their uniforms and studying for their next promotions.

What is done at the meetings?

Uniform inspection, drill, classes on Leadership & Aerospace Education, Character Development, Safety Briefings, Emergency Services (Search & Rescue and Disaster Relief) Training, and Physical Fitness training. One or more of these are conducted at each meeting.

Where do I find information about Civil Air Patrol activities and meetings?

The squadron maintains a calendar of events on our website. This also contains activities from around the metropolitan area that the squadron will be involved in.

General information on Civil Air Patrol can be found at and

What are Cadets tested on?

  • Physical Fitness Testing (see below)
  • Aerospace – Basic theory and history of flight and space exploration
  • Leadership – Military history and theory of leadership
  • Emergency Services Tasks – Basic navigation, search techniques, and radio communications.

Which tests can be taken online at home?

  • Aerospace – most of these can be taken online as open book tests. These are timed so you need to be prepared in advance.
  • Leadership – most of these can be taken online as open book tests. These are timed so you need to be prepared in advance.
  • Emergency Services tests:
  • CAP: the 116 and 117 exams, available in E-Services Learning Management System
  • FEMA, IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 courses and exams, available at

How do cadets get Promotions?

The entire cadet program is made up of 16 achievements and 4 milestone awards, not every achievement has a promotion attached. Each achievement and award has slightly different requirements, but they all will end with a Review Board conducted by squadron leadership. The Cadet Super Chart provides a detailed review of all the requirements.

Some or all of the following are done to be promoted:

  • Physical Fitness Test – (Sit-ups, Push-ups, Reach & Running) are required for each achievement
  • Leadership Test – based on study manuals are required for most achievement
  • Drill Test – can be marching following orders or leading drill depending on achievement
  • Aerospace test 6 modules in the first half of the program and chapters in hardcover AE text second half
  • Attend a character development class
  • Regular attendance and active participation

Growth in Leadership – as cadets advance in rank, the squadron leadership gives them greater responsibility. As the cadet carries out their duties and demonstrates increasing ability to lead and delegate they continue to be eligible for continued promotion and greater responsibility.

How are Cadet Leaders chosen?

The CAP cadet program is a leadership learning laboratory. We have a list of criteria that we use to determine who get’s leadership positions. These include:

  • Followership – Can they follow and carry out instructions (orders).
  • Participation – are they involved in the function and work of the squadron on a regular basis.
  • Humility – being willing to ask for instruction and knowing that someone else may have more ability, understanding or experience than they do
  • Initiative – going out and getting training and resources – not waiting for it to come to them
  • Willingness – looking for opportunities to serve
  • Hard Work – doing the things to make the squadron as a whole successful
  • Creativity – Applying various means to accomplish the objectives given to them.
  • Respect – Treating each person with value regardless of their position a or rank.
  • Leadership – Gradually developing the ability to give subordinates the instructions and resources to accomplish a task assigned by my superiors

In addition to the leadership opportunities within the squadron we strongly encourage cadets to participate in learning activities on a state and national level. Participation in these events increases their ability to take on greater leadership within the squadron.

Which Aerospace Education Test do you take to get promoted?

For their first promotion the cadet does not need an Aerospace Education test. After that, in first half of the cadet training program, the six modules can be taken in any order, one per promotion.

Which Leadership test needs to be taken to get promoted?

The material for test comes from the booklet that came in their membership binder – Leadership Manual Volume I, II, III, or IV.

The cadet takes one chapter at a time, in order for their next promotion.

What is PT Testing?

  • Physical Fitness Testing
  • Generally the second week of the month
  • Requirements to pass the testing gradually get a little more as the cadet gets older.

What are the different uniforms my cadet is required to have?

  • Battle Dress Uniform: This is the camouflage green uniform worn with black military boots.
  • Blues (Service Uniform): this is the uniform with light blue shirt and dark blue slacks and black shoes. It can be worn in a variety of ways outlined in the regulations. With a service jacket it is referred to as a “Class A Uniform,” without a jacket it is referred to as “Class B uniform”

What uniform should they wear to meetings or activities?

The weekly agenda is posted so cadets know what is coming up and how it prepare for the meetings. It lists the uniform of the day. Always check the weekly agenda to be sure.

How do they know how to wear the uniforms?

The CAP Manual (CAPM) 39-1 lists uniform requirements, but cadet staff members can more easily explain requirements. The cadet staff gives periodic uniform classes and regular inspections to help the cadets get their uniforms correct.

Where do Cadets go for answers?

It is strongly encouraged that the cadets learn to look in the regulations to find answers.

Cadets should request help from cadet staff person immediately above them in the chain-of-command to answer questions/explain details that need clarification.

Where should parents go for answers?

Parent questions on all cadet activities should be directed to the Commander or the adult squadron staff.