12:13 PM

CAP's 'Very Best' Cadets Report to Maxwell AFB for College-Level Leadership Training

Top Senior Air Force Leaders to Address Nearly 100 Participants from 35 Wings

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – It’s one of the top professional development opportunities available to America’s youth, but you have to be a high-achieving Civil Air Patrol cadet to participate.

It’s Cadet Officer School, which begins today at Maxwell Air Force Base — 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 CAP’s top cadets.

“This is a premier leadership opportunity that is afforded to our very best cadets,” said Col. Joe Winter, activity director for Cadet Officer School, or COS. “Only the top 15 percent of CAP’s cadets are accepted to attend.”

This year, nearly 100 cadets from 35 wings are participating in the 10-day, college-level course.

Throughout the 10 days cadets will hear from senior Air Force leaders, including Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, principal deputy director, cost assessment and program evaluation at the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. Heithold returns to COS for the sixth year, where he will share his leadership journey and lessons learned having served in uniform for over 40 years.

Cadets will also hear from Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, commander, Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, and vice commander, Air University. Additionally, Brig. Gen. Steven Garland, the commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, and Brig. Gen. Timothy Kelly, mobilization assistant to the Commander and President, Air University, will address the participants.

“This will be a rare opportunity for our cadets,” said Winter. “It’s not every day they get to hear from our senior leaders that make up the total force of our Air Force.”

Learning to lead is the focus of Cadet Officer School, which is patterned after Air Force Squadron Officer School.

“This is a popular destination for our cadets because of the rigorous academic curriculum and the caliber of instruction offered by the instructor team,” said Winter. “The leadership skills our cadets acquire here will no doubt lead them to exciting careers.”

Through this week and into next week the cadets participate in a variety of lectures and supporting discussions to explore leadership topics. They practice what they learn through a series of comprehensive writing and speaking assignments, culminating with graduation on July 21.

CAP and its cadet program have built strong citizens throughout its 75 years of service, providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women ages 12 to 20.

Activities like Cadet Officer School 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 5,000 youth are participating in CAP-sponsored summer activities.


Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.