Cadets - Insignia & Ribbons

Insignia, Grades and Achievement Ribbons

Cadets begin their CAP membership as a Cadet Airman Basic when they first join. As they progress through the Cadet Program achievement levels, they can eventually reach the Grade of Cadet Colonel--the highest Cadet Grade in CAP. Cadets must also know the Senior Member Grades as they will interact with each other.

Below is a chart of Cadet Grades, the insignia for each Grade, the abbreviation for each Grade, the achievement level and the associated ribbon for each Grade. Additional information is also provided, along with a chart of Senior Member Grade levels and their associated insignias.

Use this handy Ribbon Rack Builder to see the order in which your ribbons should be assembled when worn.


Cadet Title Grade Insignia Abbreviation Terms of Address Achievement Level Ribbon
Cadet Grades (ages 12-20) 
Cadet Airman    C/Amn  Cadet  1 - John Curry   
Cadet Airman First Class    C/A1C  Cadet  2 - Hap Arnold   
Cadet Senior Airman    C/SrA  Cadet  3 - Mary Feik   
Cadet Staff Sergeant    C/SSgt  Sergeant  Wright Brothers Award   
Cadet Technical Sergeant    C/TSgt Sergeant 4 - Eddie Rickenbacker  
Cadet Master Sergeant    C/MSgt Sergeant 5 - Charles Lindbergh   
Cadet Senior Master Sergeant    C/SMSgt Sergeant 6 - Jimmy Doolittle  
 Cadet Chief Master Sergeant   C/CMSgt  Chief 7 - Robert Goddard  
 No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade")    C/CMSgt  Chief  8 - Neil Armstrong  
 Cadet Second Lieutenant    C/2d Lt  Sir / Ma'am Lieutenant Billy Mitchell Award  
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/2d Lt Sir / Ma'am Lieutenant 9 - Flight Commander No Ribbon
Cadet First Lieutenant C/1st Lt Sir / Ma'am Lieutenant 10 - Admin Officer No Ribbon
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/1st Lt Sir / Ma'am Lieutenant 11 - Public Affairs Officer No Ribbon
Cadet Captain C/Capt Sir / Ma'am Captain Amelia Earhart Award
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/Capt Sir / Ma'am Captain 12 - Leadership Officer No Ribbon
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/Capt Sir / Ma'am Captain 13 - Aerospace Officer No Ribbon
Cadet Major C/Maj Sir / Ma'am Major 14 - Operations Officer No Ribbon
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/Maj Sir / Ma'am Major 15 - Logistics Officer No Ribbon
No Associated Promotion (a "dead grade") C/Maj Sir / Ma'am Major 16 - Cadet Commander No Ribbon
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel C/Lt Col Sir / Ma'am Colonel Ira Eaker Award
Cadet Colonel C/Col Sir / Ma'am Colonel Carl Spaatz Award

 

Grade Title Grade Insignia Abbreviation Terms of Address
Flight Officer Grades (ages 18-20)
Senior Member (without grade) SM Sir / Ma'am
Flight Officer FO Sir / Ma'am
Technical Flight Officer TFO Sir / Ma'am
Senior Flight Officer SFO Sir / Ma'am
Senior Member Grades (ages 21+)
Senior Member (without grade) SM Sir / Ma'am
Second Lieutenant 2d Lt Sir / Ma'am / Lieutenant
First Lieutenant 1st Lt Sir / Ma'am / Lieutenant
Captain Capt Sir / Ma'am / Captain
Major Maj Sir / Ma'am / Major
Lieutenant Colonel Lt Col Sir / Ma'am / Colonel
Colonel Col Sir / Ma'am / Colonel
Brigadier General Brig Gen Sir / Ma'am / General
Major General Maj Gen Sir / Ma'am / General