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CAP In-Residence Course Summary

The following in-residence courses are designed to be self-guided or taught in a group setting. All of the courses include a group gathering to encourage dialoging with others. As a result, you will spend some time in guided discussions. Your life experiences and expertise are valuable to these discussions!

Complete details about CAP professional development program are available through CAPR 50-17, CAP Senior Member Professional Development Program.

The first step to take as a CAP senior member is to complete Level One.

Level One provides you with the foundations of Civil Air Patrol missions, policies and opportunities for service. 

Go to Level One to get started or to read the details.

Completing Level One earns you the membership ribbon and completes one of the eligibility requirements for promotion (see CAPR 35-5 for promotion criteria). Talk with your mentor or commander if you have any questions about Level One.

After you have completed Level One, you are ready to move to Level Two.

During this level, you will complete the Squadron Leadership School (SLS). This school is designed to enhance your effectiveness at the squadron level. SLS is typically organized by your wing and lasts 12 hours, usually over a two day period.

Since one of the objectives of this school is to increase your understanding of squadron operations, you will need to be enrolled in at least one of CAP's "Specialty Tracks." See your squadron Professional Development Officer (PDO) for details.

To complete this level and earn the Certificate of Proficiency, you will become technician rated in a specialty track (earning the leadership ribbon), and will also complete the "CAP Officer Basic Course" . See CAPR 50-17 for details on these requirements.

After completing Level Two, you are prepared for Level Three.

During this level, you will complete the Corporate Learning Course (CLC). This course is designed to broaden your understanding of CAP operations at the wing level. CLC is typically organized by your wing and lasts 12 hours, usually over a two day period.

To complete this level and earn the Grover Loening Award and the Loening ribbon, you will become senior rated in a specialty track, attend two major conferences and serve in a staff or command assignment for at least one year. See CAPR 50-17 for details on these requirements.

After completing Level Three, you are equipped for Level Four.

During this level, you will complete Region Staff College (RSC). This college is designed to give you more tools to use in your staff and command assignments in CAP. RSC is typially organized by your region and lasts 40 hours, usually on a military base or college campus during an entire week.

Because most members will have been in the program for a few years by the time they reach this level, there are some specialized schools that are available. Such schools as the National Legal Officers College, the CAP Inspector General College, or the Chaplain Service Region Staff College may be treated as equivalent to RSC (see CAPR 50-17 for details).

To complete this level and earn the Paul Garber Award and Garber ribbon, you will become master rated in a specialty track, serve as a staff member in a wing level course or conference, serve in a staff or command assignment for at least two years, among other requirements (see CAPR 50-17 for details).

After completing Level Four, you are set for Level Five, CAP's highest level of professional development.

During this level, you will complete National Staff College (NSC). This college is by invitation only from your wing commander and is limited in enrollment to CAP majors or higher grade. This college is organized by national headquarters and lasts eight days, held at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

To complete this level and earn the Gill Robb Wilson Award and Wilson ribbon, you will serve as a staff member in a region or national level course (or director of a wing level course), conduct a Level One Program in your squadron, and serve in a staff or command assignment for at least three years (see CAPR 50-17 for details). Fewer than 2,500 of all senior members have reached this demanding level of professional development. Are you up to the challenge?


CAP is committed to train commanders on matters of accountability and public trust. As a result, CAP offers specialized courses for both squadron commanders and wing or region commanders.

    The Unit Commanders Course (UCC) is designed to help equip squadron commanders with the tools needed to effectively manage a local squadron. UCC is typically organized by your wing and lasts 16 hours, usually over a two day period.

    The Wing Commanders College (WCC) is designed to provide tools for CAP's veteran members to transition from leadership at lower levels (tactical and operational levels) to senior leadership with command of a wing or region (operational and strategic levels). This course is by invitation only from your region commander with National Commander approval and is organized by national headquarters to last eight days, held at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, typically in the fall of each year.


CAP members may be eligible to take senior level Air Force Professional Military Education (PME) courses, like Squadron Officers School (SOS), Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), or Air War College (AWC). See CAPR 50-17 for details and prerequisites.

    These PME programs are administered by the United States Air Force.

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