Civil Air Patrol seeking youth with lofty goals

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The phrase "the sky is the limit" creates a whole new meaning for the 12- to 18-year-old cadets participating in the Frankfort Civil Air Patrol, who truly aim for the sky.

The year-round program is currently in its second year, Martin Mattingly, acting squadron commander for the Frankfort Civil Air Patrol, said. He works at recruiting cadets and keeping them involved with the program.

The Civil Air Patrol's (CAP) cadet program has been in existence for almost 60 years across the U.S. To be eligible for the cadet program one must be 12 years old (or attending the sixth grade), and individuals can join up to 18 years old. A cadet can stay in the program until the age of 21 and the cadet may not be married. The cadets pay national dues of $20 a year and an additional $16 their first year in the program for books and course materials.

The CAP is an educational and humanitarian nonprofit organization, which focuses on emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs, according to a brochure. Mattingly said the CAP is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

He said the cadet program is open to anyone who is interested in the CAP and learning about aviation and aeronautics.

"We have many cadets whose goal is to be in the Air Force or have a military-related career, but that isn't solely the case with all of the cadets," he said.

He said cadets will learn such things as the history and purpose of the CAP, and aircraft mechanics.

"(The cadets) will help with search and rescues by helping search for missing airplanes," Mattingly said. "They will learn how to use radios, so they can rely messages from field teams to headquarters or vice versa."

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