What to Expect

It is always recommended that a parent or guardian attend at least the first meeting as information specifically for them will be provided throughout the evening and it will give them an opportunity to ask questions.  Because we meet on an active military installation, we recommend you attend in business casual attire (ie. polo or button down shirt and khaki pants) until you receive uniforms. 

Columbus Composite Squadron participates in the Cadet Great Start Program.  Instead of having potential new members come at random, the program is designed so that a group of potential new members attends the first meeting together and then progresses through the Great Start Program as a team.  This allows potential members to get to know one another and begin to develop bonds.  It also allows the new members to work as a team toward common goals.

It is recommended that you arrive 10-15 minutes early.  Squadron meetings begin at 7 pm and we would not want you to miss any important information.  When you arrive to the armory, you will be greeted by at least one cadet member of the squadron.  You may be introduced to the Cadet Commander, the Squadron Commander, or some of the other cadet or senior (adult) members of the squadron. 

The typical schedule on the first night includes topics about some of the opportunities in Civil Air Patrol, cadet membership, and an overview of the Cadet Great Start Program.  There is also usually a group leadership problem if there are enough new members attending to make it work.  Group leadership problems test your ability to work together with your peers to reach some goal.  During this time, parents will be given an opportunity to speak with the senior leadership of the squadron and ask any additional questions they may have.

If you decide to stick with Civil Air Patrol, we will help you and a parent fill out the application to join during the third meeting.  Our course has been designed to last 7 weeks, during which time you will learn about leadership, uniform wear, customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, participate in physical fitness training, and take a written test for promotion.  At the conclusion of the program, if you complete the required testing and training, you will earn your first promotion to Cadet Airman.  Once you have completed the program, we will schedule a time for you to take an orientation flight in one of the Civil Air Patrol Cessna airplanes.