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Great Start Management

V. Management

Once you’ve completed the Open House to bring in prospective members, the orientation and training portion of the Cadet Great Start program really begins. 

New Arrivals

The Great Start schedule suggests that units encourage prospective cadets at the Open House to bring a friend who would want to join CAP to the next meeting.  This would necessitate repeating some of the Week 1’s “Welcome to CAP” activities during week 2 for those new attendees.   The idea here is to allow as many youth as possible to start the training phase of Great Start at the same time.  Of course, this places an extra burden on the unit, so it may not be the right approach for all squadrons. But on the other hand, such an approach helps the unit avoid the “trickle-in” system discussed in the preface.  It is not suggested that new prospective members be allowed to join the Great Start class after Week 3, as in such a short course, they’ve missed a significant amount of training at that point.  They may visit the squadron, but should be directed to the next Great Start cycle to being their membership.

Student Uniforms

With both prospective and new cadets participating in the course, the unit will need to be flexible in its policy about uniforms. If cadets possess a uniform, they should wear it. Prospective cadets and new cadets without a uniform might wear an interim uniform – jeans and a distinctive t-shirt, perhaps. Ideally, all students will complete their Curry Achievement and receive the Curry Uniform Voucher with credit toward their cadet uniforms immediately after graduating from the course. Cadets must possess and properly wear the Blues or ABU uniform within 60 days following their completing Achievement 1.  Additionally, participation in the Orientation Flight requires cadets to wear a uniform.  If the unit maintains a “uniform closet” the items may be loaned or distributed for this purpose. For more about the Cadet Uniform Program, see

Course Supplies & Student Materials

For a list of the general supplies and student materials needed during this course, see Resources. As discussed during Activity 1.5, “Great Start Overview,” the unit needs to decide what it wants to do regarding interim textbooks for cadets. Great Start students will need access to the New Cadet Guide.  The unit could purchase a set of guides from Vanguard to keep at the squadron.  The guides could be distributed to cadets and then returned when Cadets receive their own copies in the New Cadet Kit around Week 6.   The unit may print or photocopy these materials and provide them to the cadets, or direct cadets to and have the cadets download and print the materials themselves for use until their copies arrive.

Membership Status and Participation

Prospective cadets are permitted to participate in low-impact cadet activities, provided the young person reports to have no physical limitations or injuries.  Prospective cadets are prohibited from participating in overnight activities, flying, riding in CAP vehicles, and participating in physically rigorous field activities and high adventure activities.  Cadets must be full members to sign into eServices and complete online training.

Promotion Requirements

To complete the Curry Achievement, a cadet needs to complete a leadership assessment, pass a drill test, and take the fitness test, Wingman and Welcome course.   It’s recommended that the cadet completes the Welcome course and Leadership Chapter 1 Cadet Interactive at home via the AXIS Learning Management System in eServices, while the drill, fitness and wingman items are offered in-person at the squadron. 

Squadrons may adapt these recommendations to their local needs.  Cadets may choose to take the Leadership test instead of the Cadet Interactive module and the online portions may be offered at the squadron for families without internet. 

Additionally, cadets need to satisfy the cadet oath, active participation, and leadership expectations to earn their first promotion. 


The intent of this course is to enable new cadets to succeed quickly. Therefore, the course concludes with a promotion ceremony.  Cadets who complete required items may have a promotion date in eServices before week 8 but will participate in the ceremony at that time. 


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