Cadet First Sergeant

A Cadet First Sergeant (C/1Sgt) is a cadet that is in charge of all NCO activities, performance, etc., as well as many other tasks. They are commonly referred to as First Sergeant or First Shirt (Skirt if female).


The cadet first sergeant is not listed in CAPR 20-1 as a staff position. This could be because the latest update to 20-1 was in May of 2000 (similar to the cadet squad leader confusion, or for several other reasons. Despite this exclusion the cadet first sergeant is widely used at both the squadron and encampment level. The cadet first sergeant is however listed in CAPP 52-15 and according to it the duties are as followed:

  • Leads Cadet in PT
  • Leads Cadet in Drill & Ceremonies
  • Safeguard CAP Facilities * Property
  • Participate in Inspections
  • Keep Cadets Safe
  • Counsel Cadets
  • Train Cadets in the Basics of Cadet Life
  • Provide Personal & Administrative Support
  • Pass-On Information
  • Support the Cadet Commander

For more information regarding the cadet first sergeant and his or her duties refer to CAPP 52-15, page 44 (PDF) or page 42 (Printed).

General Information

Cadet First Sergeants are similar to cadet element leaders in that they are very rarely used at the squadron level because they require a rather large cadet corps. The position of cadet first sergeant is generally assigned to cadets holding the grade of C/MSgt, C/SMSgt, and C/CMSgt.

Holding the most prestigious and challenging position available to a cadet NCO, the cadet first sergeant’s role is a varied one. The “shirt” is expected to be a master trainer, a great motivator, a fair referee, a just disciplinarian, and an aide-de-camp to the cadet commander.

Cadet First Sergeants are not generally used at the squadron level as they require a large amount of cadets, which require more flights, which in turn require more flight sergeants which is where the cadet first sergeant comes into play.

Position at different command levels

First Sergeants are generally most highly utilized at activities above the squadron level, typically encampments. Most squadrons do not have the volume of cadets necessary to utilize first sergeant to his or her fullest potential.


CAPR 20-1, Organization of Civil Air Patrol
CAPP 52-15, Cadet Staff Handbook

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