National Blue Beret

National Blue Beret (NBB) is a cadet NCSA that takes place in Oshkosh, WI. The activity runs parallel with the EAA Airshow. CAP involvement consists of assisting the airshow staff in various tasks, and runs for two weeks.

Requirements

Cadets must be at least 16 years old and possess a CAPF 101 card to attend NBB. NBB is one of the more selective activities due to the number of applications generally recieved, so most cadets are rated near the top of their wing to earn acceptance to the activity. NBB costs $300.

Activity Outline

National Blue Beret runs over the course of two weeks. The first week consists of training in preparation for the airshow. The second week consists of working the airshow itself. Cadets can be expected to serve in numerous different roles during the course of the week, including aircraft marshalling, communications, search and rescue, crowd control, and specialized jobs for other groups at the airshow.

Cadets are divided into flights, with a Flight Commander and a Flight Leader (second in command) in charge of the flight. In addition, each flight is assigned a senior member TAC Officer. Cadet who are selected to attend tend to be cadet officers and higher-ranking cadet NCO's, although sometimes cadet airmen are selected for the activity. Other staff positions held by cadets are Cadet Commander, Cadet Deputy Commander, and Cadet Executive Officer.

NBB is not run as rigidly as an encampment, and cadets are generally given free time at the end of the day to explore the airshow. Given that the EAA airshow is an operational CAP mission, however, cadets are expected to act professionally at all times. Light PT takes place on most mornings, and the work day can be very stressful and tiring. The activity takes place on "the compound", made up of several buildings and outlined by a sliding gate. The area within the compound is a no-saluting area, and C&C for cadet grade is generally abandoned in favor of last names and nicknames amongst the cadets.

The Blue Beret

NBB has a tradition of awarding its attendees with a blue beret at some point during the activity. Later, the St. Alban's cross is awarded. Both are given out at the staff's decision.

References

CAP Official NBB site
NBB Informational Page

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