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COS 2024

Congratulations on being slotted to attend Cadet Officer School! 

COS is a rigorous, academically challenging leadership course patterned after the USAF’s Squadron Officer School. This program provides an in-depth academic and practical study of leadership and critical thinking. COS draws on a range of executive guest speakers, including many of the same professionals that train Air Force Officers at Air University in Maxwell AFB. CAP’s strong partnership with the Air Force is also evident at COS by using an experienced dyad of Air Force Officers and CAP Senior Members to facilitate seminars and enable a positive leadership laboratory learning experience.


Cadets should arrive at Maxwell Air Force Base on July 15 (between 1000 and 2200 Eastern) and depart on July 26 (between 0500 and 1200 Eastern). You cannot arrive early, depart early, or depart later without the Activity Director's approval. The travel uniform is civilian clothes.

Our COS staging area is the Maxwell AFB Visitors Center, Bldg. 502, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112 (at the Maxwell Boulevard Gate).

Government ID Required

COS takes place on a military installation. To gain access, all participants must have a government-issued ID card. Acceptable examples include:

- Driver’s License
- Passport
- Dependent military ID
- Government ID card

Please note that school IDs, CAPIDs, and Social Security Cards do not qualify. If you lack a federal or state-issued ID, contact your state’s driver’s license department to secure a government-issued ID card. For any issues, reach out to us at


You will be staying on base at Maxwell AFB. Most of the rooms are single occupancy and have a private bath. Each room has linens, towels, a clock radio, a hair dryer, a microwave, and a refrigerator. The building has laundry facilities, and the COS staff will provide your laundry detergent. You will not be able to charge incidentals to the room.

Read the COS Student Handbook

The COS Student Handbook serves as the official guide for the program. This handbook contains essential course materials, readings, assignments, and guidelines to help you prepare effectively. It's crucial to read the handbook thoroughly and understand what is expected of you both before your arrival and throughout your time at the school. You can access the COS Student Handbook on Google Classroom.

Graduation requirements

To receive COS graduation credit, you must meet the spirit and intent of COS: be a team player, grasp the curriculum, apply the lessons learned, and exhibit professionalism as a CAP Cadet Officer. Failing to meet critical requirements of the COS curriculum or having other disciplinary issues may result in your dismissal from the program without credit and at your own expense. The Activity Director is the final authority on all matters relating to these graduation requirements: 

1) Participate actively in at least 80% of the course’s activities, including being attentive during lectures and contributing meaningfully and regularly to seminar discussions, as judged by the instructors  
2) Turn in / complete ALL assignments on time (including any pre-arrival assignments before COS)
3) Achieve passing grades on COS assignments: 
•    Satisfactory (70) or higher on speeches 
•    Satisfactory (checkmark) or higher on essays 
•    Proficient (80) or better on the CAPSTONE Essay 
•    Pass the final written exam with 70% or higher  
4) Demonstrate high professionalism and commitment to the core values throughout the course, as judged by the instructors.

At the discretion of the Activity Director, cadets who violate any school rules (such as personal integrity, lights out, off-limits areas, fraternization, safety, or academic non-participation) or exhibit a lack of professionalism will be sent home. The cadet or their parents will bear the expenses incurred in such cases.

Thank you for maintaining the highest standards of conduct during COS!

Supporting each other

The Cadet Officer School is an intensive 10-day course that demands mental and physical participation. While challenging, rest assured that we have the resources to assist you. COS is committed to ensuring that all cadets are set up for success:

- A CAP Chaplain and a Health Services Officer will be available on staff to support as needed.
- We respect and reasonably accommodate medical, academic, religious, and cultural considerations. However, to adequately address these needs, we require advanced knowledge. Contact us at if you have specific requests or considerations, such as:
     - Educational IEP on file with the school system.
     - English as a second language.
     - Religious or cultural observances during COS.
     - Dietary restrictions (e.g., vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose intolerance, allergies, diabetes, low-sodium, vegan, kosher, or halal).

Thank you for your proactive approach, and we look forward to supporting you during COS!

Important medical considerations

As you prepare for COS at Maxwell AFB, please be aware of the following:

Medical Conditions: If you have any existing or newly developed medical conditions that might impact your ability to complete the full activity, please notify us at Examples include:

- Physical limitations due to current treatment for broken bones or sprains.
- Frequent headaches.
 - Regular nosebleeds.
- Seizures.
- Severe allergies.
- Needing crutches or a wheelchair.

Disclosure and Integrity: Disclosing any relevant medical information is crucial before arriving at COS. Failure to do so puts staff at risk when caring for individuals with unreported medical needs. If a condition is discovered during COS and was not previously disclosed, you can be dismissed for lack of integrity.

Use of Medical Accommodations: If adequate medical accommodations are provided, cadets must utilize them. Choosing not to use provided accommodations that lead to an inability to participate fully may also be grounds for dismissal.

Note on Substances: Maxwell AFB is a federal military facility. It strictly prohibits federally illegal substances, including medical marijuana or other cannabis products, even if prescribed by a physician.

Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to maintaining the highest standards!

Contact us!

The COS Staff looks forward to sharing this challenging learning experience with you in person! You can contact us at 

COS 2024 Activity Directors


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