Cadet command is the ultimate challenge for a cadet officer. It is an
enormous test of leadership skill, especially one’s ability to articulate a
vision and point all cadets toward meaningful goals. The position
stands at the epicenter of the squadron: The cadet commander is the
most visible cadet, a role model for the entire cadet corps, and the liaison
between the senior staff and the cadet staff. The nature of this
position depends on the number of cadet officers and NCOs in the
squadron. Therefore, the position description must be flexible. In small
squadrons, the cadet commander may need to assume flight commander
and even first sergeant duties. In large squadrons, the main
task is to direct and coordinate a team of cadet officers and NCOs.
Immediate Supervisor: Squadron Cmdr. or Deputy Cmdr. for Cadets
Typical Grades: C/Capt through C/Col
Set Goals for the Squadron. The vision for the cadet corps must stem
from the cadet commander. Use your insight and experience to point
the squadron toward exciting and meaningful goals. Survey cadets’
interests to learn what activities they desire. Confer with the squadron
commander or deputy and propose short range (weekly), mid-range
(quarterly), and long range (yearly) goals for the squadron to achieve.
Establish Plans, Policies & Procedures. Keep the squadron focused on
its goals by setting short term training objectives for each weekly
meeting and special activity. Ensure all cadet activities are well
planned and successful. Continually evaluate the effectiveness of the
cadet staff’s standard operating procedures.
Coordinate Cadet Staff Activities. Build a spirit of teamwork among
the cadet staff. Outline basic guidelines for how they will work together.
Hone and clarify the various cadet staff position descriptions. Convene
and chair cadet staff meetings on a regular basis. Serve as the primary
liaison between the senior member and cadet staffs.
Make Personnel Recommendations. Propose cadet duty assignments.
Mentor one or more cadets as your potential successor(s). Ensure
cadets receive meaningful feedback about their leadership performance
through the CAPF 60-90 process. Make promotion recommendations.
Direct the Cadet Corps. Cadet commander is the ultimate position in
the cadet corps’ hierarchy. Supervise and mentor all cadets, especially
cadet officers, while working through the chain of command. Resolve
conflicts and disputes. Motivate and discipline cadets, working through
the flight commanders. Keep the senior staff informed of any issues
that may develop into serious problems, and all issues affecting the
general safety and welfare of the cadets.
Promote Excellence. Lead by example and motivate all cadets to live
the Core Values and meet or exceed CAP standards concerning the
fundamentals of cadet life. Lead the inspection party during squadronlevel
uniform inspections. Ensure the cadet staff is aware of potential
safety hazards and takes steps to keep cadets safe, especially during
Lead Drill & Ceremonies. Command all squadron-level cadet formations.
Assist with cadet promotion and award ceremonies.
Plan for the Future: Senior Membership & Adulthood
- Keep a journal of your experiences as cadet commander. Use the
journal to reflect on your decision-making processes, leadership
challenges, and lessons learned.
- Learn what opportunities are available to adults in CAP. As a
longtime CAP member and a leader, CAP needs you to remain
active after you outgrow the Cadet Program. Investigate the
opportunities for service and continued leadership growth available
to senior members.
- Continue to pursue your personal goals in your education, career
aspirations, and life in general. Consider how you can apply what
you’ve learned as a cadet officer to the challenges you face as a