1. What is the purpose of the California Cadet Corps?
The CACC Mission is “to provide California schools and students with a quality educational and leadership development program that prepares students for success in college and the work force.”
The Goals of the CACC are outlined in the tenets of the Cadet Code (spelling out the mnemonic device LEADERSHIP) which encourage:
a. Loyalty - To self, others, and civic and government institutions.
b. Education - The success of all cadets in academic endeavors, including staying in school and pursuing higher education.
c. Ambition – Striving for excellence and lofty goals.
d. Duty - Lifelong habits of responsible behavior, excellent attendance, and punctuality.
e. Enthusiasm – A zest for life’s challenges.
f. Respect - cooperation with school and public policies, regulations, and laws and respect for the dignity of all persons as well as an appreciation for the rich heritage of America and California.
g. Service – To others, our state, our nation, and world.
h. Health – Fitness and wellness, including avoidance of gangs, illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
i. Integrity - Positive choices by cadets with regards to private and public behavior.
j. Personal courage – Say no to that which is wrong and stand up for what is right.
The six CACC Objectives are to:
a. Develop LEADERSHIP.
b. Engender CITIZENSHIP.
c. Encourage PATRIOTISM.
d. Foster ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE.
e. Teach BASIC MILITARY KNOWLEDGE.
f. Promote HEALTH, FITNESS, AND WELLNESS.
2. What does it take for a school to establish a Cadet Corps Program?
Any accredited school in California is welcome to establish a program. A regulation outlining the process includes a one-page application that is submitted to the California Military Department. That regulation includes information about the financial and other obligations the school incurs as well as the support provided by the California Military Department. In general, the Military Department pays for all uniforms and equipment and the school pays the teacher and for any costs associated with cadet activities (camping trips, leadership schools, summer camp, etc).
3. What are the requirements to become a cadet?
You must be enrolled in an officially-sanctioned Cadet Corps unit. Individual schools establish criteria for membership, but the CACC does not discriminate in membership in the basis of any legally protected class.
4. How much does it cost a student to become a cadet?
There is no cost to be a cadet. Uniforms are provided free of charge. Cadets may choose to purchase dress uniform shoes in order to enhance their uniform appearance, but such purchases are not required.
5. How many hours a week does the cadet corps meet?
Each school sets its own policies, but generally Cadet Corps classes meet for one class period per school day just like an English or math or science class.
6. Do students receive academic credit for Cadet Corps programs?
Schools can give credit for taking the CACC class. Most schools give Physical Education and/or elective and/or Career/Technical/Vocational Education credit for the course.
7. Who establishes the curriculum of instruction for Cadet Corps programs?
The California Military Department has published an extensive curriculum that includes such topics as:
- Leadership theory, management, and practical application of leadership theory
- Basic Military Drill
- First Aid/CPR
- Map and Compass Reading and Orienteering
- Patriotic activities
- Study skills, test-taking skills, and note-taking skills
- Conflict mediation and anger management
- Physical fitness and wellness
- Individual, dual, and team sports
- Health education
- Academic vocabulary
- Reading and writing strategies
- and much more
8. How does a student benefit from being a cadet?
Perhaps former Cadet Colonel Michael Smith, who is now the Fire Chief of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians says it best. "The California Cadet Corps made me into the person and leader I am today. I learned how to think critically, lead people, carry myself, participate in my community, learn from my failures, overcome obstacles, have self-confidence, manage resources, set and accomplish goals, and interact with others in an effective manner. Simply put, without the California Cadet Corps, I would never have achieved the successes I have achieved in both my personal and professional lives."
9. What is the benefit to the school to sponsor a cadet corps program?
Schools who have Cadet Corps programs credit those programs with turning many childrens' lives around. Sandy Robbins, former principal of San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino was interviewed in 2006 about the impact of the program on her campus. "Students in the program say they now have a reason to come to school. They weren't necessarily engaged in school previously. Now they are here every day. They want to do well academically because the cadet programs expects that of them. They take great pride in their uniforms and medals and ribbons. They are better citizens who take patriotism seriously. The program teaches them that they need to work as a team and respect others. I wish we could offer this program to hundred more kids at the school. I have seen it completely turn some of them around."
10. Are there any after-school or summer programs for the student cadets?
There are a variety of after school, weekend, and summer programs that cab e sponsored by Cadet Corps units. Individual schools belong to regional units called Brigades that often sponsor a variety of camping trips, trips to military bases, and outdoor education programs. In addition, the state sponsors an annual ten-day summer encampment at Camp San Luis Obispo that is open to all cadets from throughout the state.
11. Does a student need a parent release or authorization form to join the Cadet Corps?
Individual schools establish parent authorization policies and forms.
12. What are the requirements to become an adult cadre member of the Cadet Corps?
Cadet Regulation 1-4 outlines the requirements for adults to join the program.
13. Does the California Military Department provide any training for adult cadre members?
The corps offers FREE annual Commandant Training Academies for all new adult members.
14. Can students from one school that does not have a cadet corps program enroll and attend at a nearby school that does have an establish program?
Generally, no, unless the "receiving school" is willing to allow such participation.
15. Do adult cadre members get paid by the California Military Department to include travel?
When participating in state-sponsored events like summer camp and state competitions, adult cadre members get reimbursed for travel and sometimes get paid with state funds as funds are available.
16. Do all adult cadre members require background checks?
All adults working as official adult members of the California Cadet Corps undergo both a state and federal criminal background check as part of their application for adult membership.