Highly skilled Civil Air Patrol cadets from communities across America gather near Dayton, Ohio, this weekend for the 2018 National Cadet Competition, renewing a prestigious CAP inspection and drill event that has spanned eight decades.
From CAP NHQ Public Affairs
Launched in 1947, the National Cadet Competition has inspired generations of cadets to strive for excellence. Scheduled for June 30-July 2 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 hard-working cadets will be in the national spotlight this week, and rightly so,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander. “They work year-round to get here.”
The 96 cadets participating in the competition earned the right to attend by winning local, state and regional competitions. Seven of CAP’s eight regions are represented by competitors from 14 wings — California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, National Capital, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
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 to be presented at the competition, as well as robotics, a panel quiz-style game and a test of color guard drill.
Judges will include members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard and 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 exam score and fastest mile run.
“As its name implies, this is the premier CAP cadet competition of the summer,” said activity director Lt. Col. Robert Shaw. “These teams train and compete throughout the year in order to compete against the best in the nation.”
Shaw said CAP members look forward to the competition at Wright State University. “Whether on staff, judging, or as a participant, these officers and cadets are prepared for three full days of intense competition, carrying on the tradition of excellence in all we do,” he said.
NCC is one of nearly 50 National Cadet Special Activities, or NCSAs, sponsored by CAP this summer. Each NCSA allows young men and women ages 12-20 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.
The following cadets from the Wentzville Composite Squadron will be representing Missouri Wing: