12:17 PM

Top CAP Cadets in Spotlight at National Cadet Competition

16 Teams Competing for Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Award Trophy

Highly skilled Civil Air Patrol cadets from across America gather near Dayton, Ohio, this weekend for the 2017 National Cadet Competition, renewing a prestigious CAP inspection and drill event that originated 70 years ago.

Started in 1947, the National Cadet Competition has inspired generations of cadets to strive for excellence. Scheduled for July 1-3 at Wright State University, this year’s competition will be held in front of special guests that include senior U.S. Air Force and CAP personnel.

“These are some of Civil Air Patrol’s finest cadets. They’ll be in the national spotlight this weekend,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, adding, “These cadets work all year to get here.”

The 96 cadets who made the 2017 competition earned the right to attend by winning local, state and regional competitions. Each of CAP’s eight regions are represented, as well as the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and South Dakota.

The cadets will be competing on six-member teams, demonstrating skills in events that involve precision and teamwork. These skills include indoor and outdoor color guard challenges, a written test of leadership and aerospace knowledge, a physical fitness test, team leadership problems (group problem solving challenges) and a uniform inspection.

Each year, National Headquarters also chooses electives for the competition that represent all aspects of cadet life. This year, teams will participate in a pre-competition service project and produce a pre-recorded summary for judging, geocaching, robotics, public speaking, Jeopardy!-style game and a test of color guard drill.

Judges will include members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard, as well as CAP officers and cadets.

The winning cadet team takes home the Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Award Trophy. Second- and third-place team trophies will also be presented, along with individual awards for cadets competing in several categories, including top written score and fastest mile-run time.

“This is a one of CAP’s major annual cadet events,” said activity director Lt. Col. Robert Shaw. “Teams train and compete throughout the year in order to compete against the best. The teams making it to this level are the best each region has to offer. Officers and cadets look forward to participating, whether on staff, judging or as a competitor, to carry on the tradition of excellence in all we do.”

The National Cadet Competition is a unique national-level activity, similar to the 50 National Cadet Special Activities, or NCSAs, sponsored by CAP in 2017.

Each NCSA allows young men and women ages 12 to 20 to hone their skills in specific areas like search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies, and gives them the opportunity to explore aerospace technology, STEM and aviation careers.

Last year, more than 1,500 youth participated in CAP-sponsored NCSAs.

Teams participating in the 2017 National Cadet Competition:

Northeast Region
Connecticut Wing
103rd Composite Squadron (Bradley ANGB)

Massachusetts Wing
Hanscom Composite Squadron (Hanscom AFB)

Middle East Region
Maryland Wing
Frederick Composite Squadron

North Carolina Wing
111th Search and Rescue Cadet Squadron (Charlotte)

Southeast Region
Florida Wing
Pembroke Pines Composite Squadron (Miramar)

Puerto Rico Wing
Muniz ANG Base Composite Squadron

Great Lakes Region
Michigan Wing
Grand Rapids Metro Cadet Squadron

Michigan Wing
Maj. Kevin A. Adams Memorial Composite Squadron (Ann Arbor)

North Central Region
Missouri Wing
Wentzville Composite Squadron (Lake St. Louis)

South Dakota Wing
Big Sioux Composite Squadron (Brookings)

Rocky Mountain Region
Colorado Wing
Vance Brand Cadet Squadron (Longmont)

Colorado Wing
Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron

Southwest Region
Oklahoma Wing
Edmond Composite Squadron

Oklahoma Wing
Starbase Composite Squadron (Tulsa)

Pacific Coast Region
California Wing
Diablo Composite Squadron 44 (Concord)

California Wing
Skyhawk Composite Squadron 47 (Fallbrook)


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 STEM/aerospace 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.