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Cadet Membership

Growing Cadets Into The Leaders of Tomorrow

The cadets of the Herndon Composite Squadron meet every Thursday evening from 7-9 pm at the Rachel Carson Middle School cafeteria. During these meetings cadets aged 12-20 get hands-on training in leadership, aerospace education, emergency services, physical training, and Air Force drill. On the first Thursday of the month, cadets learn about the basics of aviation and aerospace history with illustrations and models of aircraft. Every second Thursday cadets participate in a leadership class where they learn about character development through fun activities and engaging discussion. Also on this night, cadets who have completed requirements for the next level in the program will get promoted to the next rank. The third Thursday is used to teach cadets the essentials of emergency services, including how to use basic survival equipment such as compasses, maps, radios, etc., and help them earn the qualifications to go on real-life search and rescue missions. During the fourth Thursday cadets will engage in physical training (PT) as a requirement for promotion and to encourage and uphold CAP’s standards of physical fitness. The PT test includes the mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, and sit-and-reach. In the case of a fifth Thursday, the evening will often be spent in team-building exercises and fun activities. 

Experience the Thrill of Flight

Cadets also receive five free orientation flights (O-rides) when they join. O-rides take place in a CAP-owned, single-engine plane flown by a licensed CAP pilot. During these flights, cadets learn the mechanics of the plane, how it operates, and are even given a chance to fly once take-off has been established. O-rides are a chance for cadets to experience flight hands-on and gain a better understanding of aviation. This is a fun experience that helps cadets learn the parts of an airplane, get the chance to fly, and often has a lasting impact on their love of aerospace. 

Encampment - Teamwork and Friendship

During the summer cadets get the chance to go to an encampment, which can also be described as CAP’s equivalent to “boot camp”. At encampment cadets experience a rigorous, week-long mental and physical challenge. Encampment pushes cadets to excel and gives them a lasting impression of teamwork and commitment. The only requirement for a cadet to go to encampment is his Curry award, which is his first promotion. Encampment is a fun experience for cadets to learn to work as a team and make new friends during their time there. Graduating from an encampment also allows the cadet to become eligible to apply for National Cadet Special Activities (NCSA’s) which are yet another way for cadets to expand their growth and education as individuals and future leaders. 

Additional Information:

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