Cadet Officer School Expanded to Include Canadian, UK Participants
When Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Officer School returns to Maxwell Air Force, Alabama, on Wednesday, for the first time ever the 108 invited cadets — among the top 15% in the organization — will be joined by 12 counterparts from Canada and the United Kingdom.
COS will be June 25-July 7 at Maxwell, site of CAP National Headquarters and home of Air University and professional military education for the U.S. Air Force. That makes it the ideal venue to develop the leadership skills of not only CAP’s high-achieving cadets but those of a select group of Canadian and U.K. cadets as well — six from each country.
“We’re proud to host our Canadian and British friends this year,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander/CEO, who says he hopes this becomes an annual invitation. He plans on visiting COS while it’s in session over the next 10 days and on personally welcoming Royal Canadian Air Force Brig. Gen. David Cochrane, commander of the National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group, along with Formation Chief Warrant Officer William Crawford when they come to Maxwell to speak to the cadets July 3.
Col. Joe Winter, COS director, said, “We’re pleased to have the Canadian and British cadets join us. This is one of the top professional development opportunities available to our cadets, and now it is also available to cadets from other nations, which will only enhance the intellectual curiosity of our cadets.”
Learning to lead is the primary focus of COS, a college-level leadership course patterned after Air Force Squadron Officer School, which also features an international aspect. The academic curriculum is rigorous and the caliber of instruction unique. Cadets will hear from senior Air Force leaders as well as Smith and other top CAP officials.
“This whole experience is a rare opportunity for our cadets,” Winter said. “It’s not every day they get to meet and engage with senior leaders who make up the Total Force of our Air Force.”
Through this week and into next week the cadets will participate in a variety of lectures and supporting discussions to explore leadership topics. They will practice what they learn through a series of comprehensive writing and speaking assignments.
“The skills these cadets will acquire here will lead them to exciting careers,” Smith said. “Our goal is to prepare them to be effective leaders in whatever path they take.”
CAP and its cadet program have built strong citizens throughout the organization’s history, providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women ages 12-20.
Activities like COS give CAP cadets the opportunity to improve their skills in a variety of areas, including search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies, and to explore aerospace technology and aviation careers.
This summer, more than 7,500 youth are participating in CAP-sponsored summer cadet activities, including wing encampments nationwide.