Five key traits of cadet life inform commanders of the desired look and feel of cadet activities and how they should conduct the Cadet Program.
There are five key traits to the Air Force Cadets program designed to shape the cadet experience.
The Air Force Cadets promotes teamwork and high standards of personal conduct through the cadets being granted the privilege of wearing an Air Force uniform. The uniform and the related traditions of rendering military customs and courtesies distinguish cadets from ordinary youth organisations. These military aspects of cadet life are important motivators.
Air Force Cadets often hold in common a love of aerospace. Aerospace is the thread that runs through the AAFC mission, and AAFC’s affiliation with the Air Force underscores its identity as an aerospace-minded organisation. Whenever possible, every cadet activity should further cadets’ enthusiasm for aerospace, as “aerospace” is broadly understood.
Air Force Cadets developed leadership skills in cadets by giving them opportunities to lead. This includes planning events, making decisions, and teaching and mentoring junior-ranking cadets, commensurate with their developmental progress and rank. The cadets’ rank structure and military-style chain of command reinforces this leadership concept. Every activity should allow experienced cadets opportunities to lead, under adult supervision.
The Air Force Cadets challenges youth. It might be the physical challenge of conquering an obstacle course, an academic challenge to master aerospace and leadership concepts, a moral challenge to live the Core Values, or a personal challenge to know oneself better and gain self-confidence. Because of these challenges, the Air Force Cadets Program is intended for young adults, not children. Every activity should challenge cadets in one way or another.
The Air Force Cadets should be challenging, but fun. New friends and great opportunities are the hallmarks of cadet life. The cadets who work hard and stay engaged in the Air Force Cadets reap the most benefits, but the program aim is not to be another form of school, yes, there is some theory to learn, but we aim to make it fun, hands-on, rewarding, and exciting. Proper adult supervision, an emphasis on risk management, and teamwork built upon mutual respect create a safe and fun environment.