The Cadet Leadership and Educational Program (CL & EP) at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, was developed to develop soldiers first, officers second, by transforming cadets into leaders fit to lead in the Army and in life.
The program includes three areas of focus:
- First-year leadership development
- Professional development and promotion opportunities for
- Preparation to lead soldiers in combat
The goal of the Cadet Leadership and Educational Program (CL & EP) is to develop physically fit, mentally capable, and morally aware leaders that are ready to lead America’s Army during its most critical moments.
About Cadet Leadership and Educational Programs
The Air Force ROTC program makes life easier on students by providing a solid leadership foundation that encompasses a four-year college program.
We work with high school students who are interested in becoming officers so they can make a difference through their military career right when they get out of school. This is known as an Early Commissioning Program (ECP).
The cadets receive training while in college to prepare them for their upcoming careers as Air Force officers upon graduation. During their senior year, cadets can even apply to be commissioned into active duty right out of school.
Cadets also have opportunities to compete for scholarships and awards based on their performance during their junior and senior years.
Read also: NYS Excelsior Scholarship program
The Benefits of Cadet Leadership and Educational Programs for Teens
Many teens and young adults view military service as a way to earn money for college or explore an interest in engineering, medicine, or other technical fields.
This is an option for them under the New GI Bill; it allows military-connected students who are pursuing certain degrees to use their tuition benefits at any school of their choice. And, because they don’t have to use GI Bill benefits exclusively, these programs can be ideal for those who don’t yet know which schools they will attend.
Cadets also benefit from leadership training that helps develop important skills like perseverance, motivation, communication, adaptability, creativity, and teamwork—all of which are useful no matter what you pursue later in life.
Finally, cadets receive valuable job experience by serving in both active duty and reserve components.
In addition to learning how to lead others, cadets gain hands-on experience in areas such as aircraft maintenance, weapons systems operations, logistics management, public affairs, and information technology.
They also learn how to communicate with senior officers through briefings and presentations on topics ranging from basic soldiering skills to international relations. When they graduate from high school, cadets enter into advanced individual training (AIT) where they continue developing leadership skills while focusing on specific careers such as infantryman or intelligence analyst.
The Benefits of Cadet Leadership and Educational Programs for Parents
The Cadet Leadership and Educational Program gives you great peace of mind. When your child attends a local community college, there are so many variables out of your control—but not with our CEP program.
We provide transportation to school and back, tutoring if needed, a structured educational plan, military structure to keep your child on track and engaged, study tables for those who need help from time to time, physical training programs (PT), and leadership opportunities that help shape character at an early age (boot camp).
The list goes on! And we understand that it is important for every parent to see their children succeed in life.
The Benefits of Cadet Leadership and Educational Programs for Schools
Like most military programs, cadets’ leadership training involves an educational program. And because cadets usually begin their training in high school, a cadet educational program is good for students who are interested in attending college before enlisting.
This type of education provides students with coursework that is often similar to what they would be studying if they were in a regular high school (English, math, history) but also includes lessons on civics and citizenship.
Students who complete these courses can sometimes receive credit from colleges when they later apply to enlist; some schools even offer scholarships to those students. Although these benefits might not be as evident as others, like on-campus housing or graduation ceremonies at bases, they can provide future opportunities.
What Do I Need to Know Before Joining the Cadet Leadership and Educational Programs?
First, before you even start applying for the Cadet Leadership and Educational Program, you should know that if your application is accepted into The Citadel, you will receive a cadet commission in either The South Carolina Corps of Cadets or The Citadel Graduate College ROTC Battalion (ROTC for short).
You will become an officer candidate and graduate with a degree from one of our four colleges. Upon graduation from The Citadel, you will then report to an active duty Army base for Basic Officer Training.
From there, your branch of service (Infantry, Armor, or Aviation) will determine where you report for Advance Individual Training (AIT). For example, infantry officers go to Fort Benning in Georgia; armor officers go to Fort Knox in Kentucky; aviation officers go to Fort Rucker in Alabama.
How Do I Join the Cadet Leadership and Educational Program?
Joining a cadet program is very similar to joining any other group, with a few notable exceptions.
If you’re interested in joining an existing cadet program, find one that’s open to newcomers and contact its organizers directly. If you’ve never been involved in a cadet-like organization before but want to start your own, visit your local chapter of The Boy Scouts of America (for boys) or Girl Scouts of America (for girls). They’ll be able to help connect you with young people who share your interests and will know how to get you started!
Also remember that many schools have unofficial cadets organized by individual teachers or guidance counselors. See if there’s one at your school!
Who is in Charge of This?
It’s almost impossible to keep track of how many people are involved in guiding a cadet through his or her time. At any given moment, a cadet can speak with an advisor, supervisor, faculty member or senior leader from one of more than 20 departments that oversee aspects of cadets’ academic, military and personal lives.
While there is no single person who oversees everything about cadet life, there is a team of leaders who work together to ensure each cadet has access to quality training opportunities and resources.
These leaders include members of each department as well as division commanders, commandants, and other senior leaders across campus. In short, if you have a question about your education or experience, who you should talk to about it is probably in your chain of command.
But don’t worry! If someone isn’t sure who you should be talking to, they will be happy to point you in the right direction.
If you have any questions about applying for a program, you can call toll-free at 800-568-2143 or visit the West Point Admission Office, they will help get you started with your application.