COP Week 2 Training


Personal accountability is a big part of being a cadet. This starts with signing into meetings and calling off when you cannot attend. Every Monday night, there will be a series of sign-in sheets attached to clip boards typically located toward the entry to the main room on a table. Just find your name and sign on the line next to it. Until you actually join, you will not show up on the list, so please neatly print your name on the blank lines on the last sheet. You must sign in every meeting you attend. This goes towards tracking attendance credit and in the case of an emergency like a tornado or fire, to allow your staff to account for all people present.

Conversely, you must also report off for meetings you cannot attend. This is easily accomplished on this website by clicking the "Squadron" tab on the top navigation bar, selecting "Meeting Call-Off", filling out the form, and clicking submit. You can find that link here.


The Civil Air Patrol is broken down geographically into eight regions: Great Lakes Region, Middle East Region, North Central Region, Northeast Region, Pacific Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region. Overseas units are attached to National Headquarters. Each region is then divided into wings. There are 52 wings in CAP; one for each state, the National Capitol, and Puerto Rico (the U.S. Virgin Islands are included in Puerto Rico Wing). The wing is further broken down into groups, each group broken down into squadrons (the operational unit of CAP), each squadron broken down into flights, and each flight is broken down into elements.

To summarize, the different levels of units in CAP, from the lowest echelon to the highest.

- Element – The smallest type of unit, composed of at least 3 people.

- Flight – Two or more elements combined.

- Squadron – The operational unit of Civil Air Patrol, they are located in individual communities and come in three types: Cadet Squadron, Composite Squadron, and Senior Squadron. We are the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron.

- Group – Six Groups in Ohio (Group 1, Group 3, Group 4, Group 6, Group 7, and Group 8), distributed by county boundaries. We are a part of Ohio Wing Group 3.

- Wing – 52 Wings, one for each state, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. (National Capital Wing). We are a part of Ohio Wing.

- Region – There are eight regions. We are a part of Great Lakes Region, which is composed of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

- National – All of CAP combined.

Flights in a formation.
Civil Air Patrol Regions

Chain of Command

- The formal line in which communications are made, either up or down the chain.

- You should only ask questions and report to your immediate supervisor. They will either answer you or forward it up the Chain of Command.

- The Chain of Command is different for every activity, so you must learn who your immediate supervisor is quickly.

- The Chain of Command can only be broken in case of emergency, such as a safety violation or abuse concerns.

Chain of Command


The Cadet Oath

"I pledge that I will serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, and that I will attend meetings regularly, participate actively in unit activities, obey my officers, wear my uniform properly, and advance my education and training rapidly to prepare myself to be of service to my community, state, and nation."

Let's break down the Cadet Oath and examine what each line really means.

“I pledge that I will serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program ...”

Being faithful means being true and doing what you say you will do. In this first line of the oath, you are saying that you under- stand what you are getting yourself into by joining CAP, and that you are freely choosing to become a cadet.

“... and that I will attend meetings regularly, ...”

While you may need to miss a few meetings once in a while due to other commitments, you pledge to attend squadron meetings on a regular basis.

“... participate actively in unit activities, ...”

You promise to be enthusiastic about what cadets do. You’re joining CAP because you are looking forward to great activities, and naturally you intend to take part in them.

“... obey my officers, ...”

Here you acknowledge you don’t have all the answers. You realize there are people who have more experience than you, and you’ll follow their guidance. You promise to listen to your leaders. But if an officer were to tell you to do something morally wrong, you would not have to obey them.

“... wear my uniform properly ...”

There is a right way and a wrong way to wear the uniform. Recognizing this, you promise to represent CAP and the US Air Force well by always looking sharp in uniform. Because the cadet uniform is similar to the Air Force uniform, you know you have a special obligation to live up to the ideals it represents.

“... and advance my education and training rapidly ...”

The word “cadet” can be defined as “a young person in training to become a leader.” Therefore, a cadet’s primary job is to learn how to lead. In the Cadet Oath you promise to take that duty seriously.

“... to prepare myself to be of service to my community, state, and nation.”

CAP is a volunteer organization whose main purpose is community service. Everything we do is altruistic, meaning that it is for the benefit of others, not ourselves personally. By participating in cadet activities, you gain from those experiences, but the overall goal is to build yourself into a responsible citizen, so America benefits too. America needs leaders who look out for the needs of the community, not their own selfish desires.

The CAP Motto

- “Semper Vigilans”

- It is a Latin phrase meaning “Always Vigilant.”

United States Air Force Core Values

- “Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all We Do.”

Civil Air Patrol Core Values

- “Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, and Respect.”


Types of Uniforms

Civil Air Patrol has three main types of Uniforms that cadets can wear: Service Uniforms, Work Uniforms, and Physical Fitness Uniforms.

Service Uniforms

Service Uniforms are the most formal. You will often hear them referred to as Blues. There are two classifications of these: the Service Dress Uniform (Class A) and the Blue Service Uniform (Class B). The Class A Uniform features the Service Coat, blue trousers, light blue shirt with tie, flight cap, highly polished low quarter military oxfords shoes, and the necessary insignia and awards. The Class B Uniform features the blue trousers, short sleeve or long sleeve light blue shirt with tie, flight cap, highly polished low quarter military oxfords shoes, and the necessary insignia and awards. If you wear the short sleeve, the tie is optional at the discretion of the commander. A tie must be worn with long sleeves. In our squadron, females wear the tuck in shirt and trousers only. We only allow the skirt if a cadet's religion requires it.

Work Uniforms

Work Uniforms are what you wear the majority of the time and are suitable for most CAP work that does not necessitate a formal appearance. This uniform currently has two options authorized: the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) with the current digitized tiger stripe pattern that the Air Force wears or the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) in the green, black, and brown woodland camouflage pattern. Either uniform can be worn due to availability, but the ABU is preferred to facilitate the transition out of the BDU. Both uniforms are worn with black boots and CAP distinctive dark blue insignia.

Airman Battle Uniform as a Cadet NCO

Physical Fitness Uniform

The Physical Fitness uniform, or PT uniform, is worn to conduct physical training activities. There are no regulatory requirements for this, so follow these guidelines: make sure it is appropriate for the weather, it allows comfortable physical activity, and it presents a conservative appearance. Get clothing that fits loose and does not expose the midriff or shoulders. Typically the shirt is tucked into the pants. In our squadron, we typically go for black shorts or pants and the squadron t-shirt or plain black shirt.


Courtesy is simple politeness, civility, respect, and personal recognition of the rights of others. So if you are courteous to your friends at home and at school, it will come naturally to you in CAP. Individuals in CAP need to work together because cooperation is essential to accomplish mission objectives. Courtesy is vitally important in promoting coordination and in developing esprit de corps. Since you will be wearing an Air Force style uniform, you are expected to learn and practice the customs and courtesies that go with it. Military courtesy is simply the extension to the military sphere of the ordinary courtesies that enrich and enhance everyday lives. Customs are those things which should be done; taboos are those things which should not be done. Customs that evolve, live and endure represent reasonable, consistent and universally accepted practices that make life more pleasant and facilitate order and excellence.

Civil Air Patrol Policy of Nondiscrimination

"It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no member shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any CAP program or activity on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, or disability (formerly handicap). It is Civil Air Patrol policy that no applicant meeting CAP’s minimum age requirement will be denied membership in CAP on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, or disability (formerly handicap)."

There will be no making fun of or spreading rumors about your fellow CAP members. We are a team here, and these behaviors only serve to lessen our operational effectiveness.

Goal of Individual Cadet Development

In the Civil Air Patrol, we continually strive to better ourselves and our unit. As such, it is not uncommon for superiors within the unit to correct behaviors and/or uniform issues when they are noticed. These corrections are not made in spite of the cadet in question, but are, rather, made so that the cadet may learn, and may have an opportunity to grow as an individual. Remember, we want our cadets to achieve at the highest level that they can!

Exchange of Salutes

The salute is a courteous exchange of greetings, with the junior member always saluting first. When returning or rendering an individual salute, the head and eyes are turned toward the Colors or person saluted. When in ranks, the position of attention is maintained unless otherwise directed. Members of the Armed Forces in uniform exchange salutes under the following conditions:

  • Outdoors - Salutes are exchanged upon recognition between officers and warrant officers and between officers or warrant officers and cadets or enlisted members of the Armed Forces. Saluting outdoors means salutes are exchanged when the persons involved are outside of a building. For example, if a person is on a porch, a covered sidewalk, a bus stop, a covered or open entryway, or a reviewing stand, the salute will be exchanged with a person on the sidewalk outside of the structure or with a person approaching or in the same structure. This applies both on and off military installations. The junior member should initiate the salute in time to allow the senior officer to return it. To prescribe an exact distance for all circumstances is not practical, but good judgment indicates when salutes should be exchanged. A superior carrying articles in both hands need not return the salute, but he or she should nod in return or verbally acknowledge the salute. If the junior member is carrying articles in both hands, verbal greetings should be exchanged. Also, use these procedures when greeting an officer of a friendly foreign nation.
  • In formation, members do not salute or return a salute unless given the command to do so. Normally the person in charge salutes and acknowledges salutes for the whole formation.
  • In groups, but not in formation, when a senior officer approaches, the first individual noticing the officer calls the group to attention. All members face the officer and salute. If the officer addresses an individual or the group, all remain at attention (unless otherwise ordered) until the end of the conversation, at which time they salute the officer.
  • In public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical, salutes between individuals need not be rendered.
  • Exchange of salutes between military pedestrians (including gate sentries) and officers in moving military vehicles is not mandatory. However, when officer passengers are readily identifiable (for example, officers in appropriately marked vehicles), the salute must be rendered.
  • Civilians may be saluted by persons in uniform. The President of the United States, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, is always accorded the honor of a salute. Also, if the exchange of salutes is otherwise appropriate, it is customary for military members in civilian clothes to exchange salutes upon recognition.
  • In a work detail, individual workers do not salute. The person in charge salutes for the entire detail.
  • Salute all Medal of Honor recipients and retired officers.
  • Any airman, NCO, or officer recognizing a need to salute or a need to return one may do so anywhere at any time
  • Indoors - Except for formal reporting, salutes are not rendered.


The following commands are typically covered in Week Two. These may differ depending upon the speed in which the class learns the information. All of the images are from AFMAN 36-2203 Air Force Drill and Ceremonies.

Fall In

A flight forms in at least two, but not more than four, elements in line formation. The command is FALL IN.

On this command, the guide takes a position facing the flight sergeant and to the flight sergeants left so the first element will fall in centered on and three paces from the flight sergeant. Once halted at the position of attention, the guide performs an automatic dress right dress. When the guide feels the presence of the first element leader on his or her fingertips, the guide executes an automatic ready front. Once positioned, the guide does not move.

The first element leader falls in directly to the left of the guide and, once halted, executes an automatic dress right dress. The second, third, and fourth element leaders fall in behind the first element leader, execute an automatic dress right dress, visually establish a 40-inch distance, and align themselves directly behind the individual in front of them. The remaining airmen fall into any open position to the

left of the element leaders and execute an automatic dress right dress to establish dress and cover.

To establish interval, the leading individual in each file obtains exact shoulder-to-fingertip contact with the individual to his or her immediate right. As soon as dress, cover, interval, and distance are established, each airman executes an automatic ready front on an individual basis and remains at the position of attention.

Once it is formed, the flight will be squared off prior to sizing. The left flank of the formation will be squared off with extra airmen filling in from the fourth to the first element. For example, if there is one extra airman, he or she will be positioned in the fourth element; if there are two extra airmen, one will be positioned in the third element and one will be positioned in the fourth element; and so forth. The flight sergeant will occupy the last position in the fourth element.

To size the flight, the flight commander faces the flight to the right (from line to column formation) and has taller personnel (except the guide, element leaders, and flight sergeant) move to the front of the flight according to height. The flight commander then faces the flight to the right (from column to inverted line formation) and again has taller personnel (except the flight sergeant) move to the front of the flight according to height. The flight commander faces the flight back to the left (column formation) and continues this procedure until all members are properly sized.

Each member of the flight has a number except the guide. Numbering of individual members of a flight is from right to left (when in line formation) and from front to rear (when in column formation). The element leader is always number one.

Line Formation

Fall Out

The command is FALL OUT. On the command FALL OUT, individuals may relax in a standing position or break ranks. They must remain in the immediate area, and no specific method of dispersal is required. Moderate speech is permitted.


The flight is usually formed and dismissed by the drill instructor or flight sergeant. On the command DISMISSED, airmen break ranks and leave the area.

Drill Symbols
A diagram of a flight (Left). The key above explains all the symbols that are used in the drill manual to reference flight/squadron staff.

Right (Left) Face

The commands are Right (Left), FACE. On the command FACE, raise the right (left) toe and left (right) heel slightly and pivot 90 degrees to the right (left) on the ball of the left (right) foot and the heel of the right (left) foot, assisted by slight pressure on the ball of the left (right) foot. Keep legs straight, but not stiff. The upper portion of the body remains at attention. This completes count one of the movement. Next, bring the left (right) foot smartly forward, ensuring heels are together and on line. Feet should now be forming a 45-degree angle, which means the position of attention has been resumed. This completes count two of the movement.

Right Face

About Face

The command is About, FACE. On the command FACE, lift the right foot from the hip just enough to clear the ground. Without bending the knees, place the ball of the right foot approximately half a shoe length behind and slightly to the left of the heel (trace a backwards “C” shape with your right toe as you move your right foot into position behind your left heel.) Distribute the weight of the body on the ball of the right foot and the heel of the left foot. Keep both legs straight, but not stiff. The position of the foot has not changed. This completes count one of the movement. Keeping the upper portion of the body at the position of attention, pivot 180 degrees to the right on the ball of the right foot and heel of the left foot, with a twisting motion from the hips. Suspend arm swing during the movement, and remain as though at attention. On completion of the pivot, heels should be together and on line and feet should form a 45-degree angle. The entire body is now at the position of attention. This completes count two of the movement.

About Face


Begin reading Chapter 1 of the Learn to Lead Textbook. If you would prefer, you can also find an audio version here. Between your sixth and seventh week of training, you will need to take your online Leadership Test in your eServices account. Your training staff will show you how to do this.