Today's cadets are tomorrow's aerospace leaders. CAP introduces youth to Air Force perspectives on leadership through self-paced study, classroom instruction and hands-on opportunities to apply leadership principles to real-world challenges. As cadets advance through the program in-residence leadership schools give them a space to explore increasingly complex concepts and skills associated with leading others. Attendance at a leadership academy is required to earn the Eaker Award and cadets should plan their cadet careers accordingly. Cadets have opportunities to study advanced leadership concepts in two settings:
Region Cadet Leadership Schools
A region cadet leadership school (RCLS) is a course in officership, indirect leadership, and other themes consistent with CAP’s leadership expectations for Phase III cadets. These academies make use of local resources to broaden leadership skills in cadet officers and NCOs. To participate, cadets must have completed an encampment and hold the grade of C/MSgt or above. Upcoming RCLSs. Scholarships and travel assistance may be available for qualifying cadets and families. Please talk with school leaders to learn more. Guidance for adult leaders.
Cadet Officer School
The premiere leadership experience for CAP cadets is conducted annually at Maxwell AFB, home of the USAF's Air University. Cadet Officer School is patterned after the USAF Squadron Officer School and is an academically challenging course for cadets 16 and older. COS is an in-depth study of the skills of leadership. The course is divided between lecture, seminar, and hands-on training. Instructors guide cadets through the Air Force approach to the psychology of leadership, problem solving techniques, effective writing, speaking, and group dynamics. In addition to classes and seminars, a wide variety of top military and industry leaders come as guest speakers to discuss their experiences with the cadets. Topics include human relations, critical thinking, leadership and national security issues. There are only about 100 slots available for COS each year and high interests makes the activity highly competitive. Visit the COS home page for more information.