Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol
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Cadet Programs


Maj Valerie Espinili

Asst Director of Cadet Programs

Lt Col John Higgins Jr

Asst Director of Cadet Programs

Maj Nina Rossini

Asst Director of Cadet Program - Encampments

Capt Gabriel McDowell

Cadet Programs Development Officer

Lt Col John Wenzel

Cadet Activities Officer

Capt Gabriel McDowell

IL Wing Cadet Advisory Council (CAC) Chair

C/Capt Jonathan Pattara

Summer Encampment Commander

Capt Gabriel McDowell


Civil Air Partrol's Cadet Program is a year-round program where Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you dream about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

To become a cadet, you must be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old.  Cadets meet 2.5 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer. 

Cadet activities are akin to electives at school, and CAP schedules them mostly as "Saturday" and "school vacation" programs. Some of the most popular career fields among cadets are shown here, with links to suggested electives for 1st and 2nd-year cadets. Cadets remain free to mix and match to their liking. National Cadet Special Activities

Illinois Cadet Programs is, like in other wings, a dynamic program. There are many local activities throughout the year and several larger wing activities. Spring Encampment, Summer Encampment, and Johnson Flight Academy

Information for Teens

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Last reviewed: 30 Oct 23

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