Great Start Program

The next Great Start Training Flight will begin on 
Tuesday, 14 August from 1830 to 2100 
Southside Composite Squadron 
7401 Airfield Drive, Richmond, VA 23237

Great Start Program Director: 2d Lt Dupie   madeline.dupie@vawg.cap.gov   
Great Start Program Director: 2d Lt Disselkamp   david.disselkamp@vawg.cap.gov  

Prospective Cadets should wear dark colored jeans, a tucked in plain gray t-shirt, and sneakers. Hair must be neat and tidy (males - not touching neck or ears, females - in tight bun).  No earrings for males and females may have one small post earring in each ear.

Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP’s Cadet Program is a year-round, positive enrichment activity for youth interested in aviation, space, cyberspace, and the military. Our cadets also develop self-discipline and leadership skills under the guidance of responsible adults. Cadet Great Start transforms ordinary youth into Cadet Airmen in 8 short weeks.

The goal of Cadet Great Start is to provide new cadets with an exciting, comprehensive, and educationally sound introduction to the CAP Cadet Program, enabling them to succeed quickly.

Cadets and Parents should be sure to review the Grooming and Appearance Standards and Physical Fitness Standards. Please contact the squadron with any questions. Please REGISTER by clicking below. 
No fees will be collected at this time.

Ready to Register?


What are the requirements?

  • Age 12 through 18 (initial membership), cadets may continue through age 20.
  • Enrolled in, or graduated from, a private, public, home school or college program with a satisfactory record of academic achievement.
  • Not a member of the active duty Armed Forces. Does not include Guard or Reserve personnel.
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
  • Good moral character.
If former cadet, must not have been terminated for misconduct.

Cadets must also meet Grooming and Appearance Standards and Physical Fitness Standards.


How much does it cost?

Membership for cadets of the Virginia Wing is only $33.00 per year. Here at Southside Composite Squadron, MER-VA-060, we have decided to take an advanced approach to ensure our cadets receive the best initial training and orientation to the cadet program, by implementing this Great Start training. For our new cadets, the initial cost upon beginning the Cadet Great Start training program is $183.00. This is a one-time cost, and the amount includes:

  • First year CAP annual membership dues ($33.00)

  • One-time Great Start program fees ($40.00)

  • Airman Battle Uniform* or ABU ($110.00)

The annual cadet membership dues will continue at $33.00, paid directly to National Headquarters via the member’s online service site, eServices. Cadets will receive a reminder about 90 days before their membership expires each year.


*The Airman Battle Uniform (or ABU) is the first required uniform for all cadets. Your purchase includes: ABU Coat, ABU Trouser, ABU T-shirt, ABU Cap, ABU Belt, Boot Bands (2 pair), “Civil Air Patrol” Uniform Tape, Name Tape, plus Cadet Airman Grade Insignia upon promotion. It does not include Black Combat Boots that must be purchased separately