CAP Cadet Wings Program Soaring

December 21, 2023

In 2019, the U.S. Air Force began funding and supporting CAP’s Cadet Wings program. The goal of the program is to increase the nation’s pilot population. More recently, a donation by the James C. Ray Foundation provided an additional funding source to open training slots for 60 additional Cadet Wings pilots per year. These training slots include a dedicated CAP mentor for each aspiring pilot. CAP cadets may qualify for up to $10,000 with a U.S. Air Force or James C. Ray Flight Training Scholarship to work toward their Federal Aviation Administration private pilot certificate. 

To date, 285 teen CAP cadets have achieved what many only dream of doing—becoming a private pilot. These “cadets with wings” are making great strides in preparing for their futures—be it college, the military, or technical training to pursue a variety of aviation-related careers. Through the program, they learn to plan well, take care of their physiological needs, pay attention to detail, and work hard toward their goals. Some continue to fly as CAP orientation pilots, working as flight instructors, or prepare to become a professional airline pilot. Ultimately, CAP is helping to build the future pilot workforce.

AFA’s long-standing partnership with Civil Air Patrol and its members is an important part of our mission to educate and support the Total Force, especially CAP cadets and educators.

Read the CAP.NEWS article, “On Cadet Wings: New Pilots Praise Program,” to hear from these cadets on what they’ve learned and experienced through the CAP Youth Aviation Initiative’s Cadet Wings program