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Cadet Uniforms


The uniform is a key trait of cadet life:

CAP promotes teamwork and high standards of personal conduct by granting cadets the privilege of wearing an Air Force-style uniform.  The uniform and the related traditions of rendering military customs and courtesies distinguish cadets from ordinary youth.  These military aspects of cadet life are important motivators.  Every activity should allow cadets to wear their uniform and properly render military customs and courtesies.     -CAPR 52-16, 1-3 


There are two main uniforms in the cadet program. These are the dress "blues" uniform and the camouflage "BDUs." 


  • Uniform items may be purchased through a variety of sources. The official source for CAP insignia and uniforms is Vanguard.  Shop with them at, (800) 221-1264. 

  • If you're near an Air Force installation, you can buy uniform garments (but not CAP insignia) at the Exchange or base thrift store. 

  • Speak to your unit leaders about local options, too.  Sometime the squadron has a "supply closet," and military surplus stores may be another option. 

  • Cadets will also need appropriate athletic clothing for physical fitness. Check with your local leaders for information on their standard PT uniform.  


The Curry Blues Voucher provides Cadet Airmen with a voucher for $100 towards the purchase of the "blues" uniform.

In 2015, the overall cadet uniform program was modified to deliver faster service to cadets, ensure all needy cadets had access to funding, increase the variety of sizes available, and ensure CAP is a good steward of the taxpayer's dollar. Cadets earn their voucher by completing Achievement 1, the Curry Achievement. Still, to ensure CAP's limited uniform funds are available to all cadets, the Curry Blues Voucher requires cost-sharing with families. A full "blues" uniform costs about $150, so families are asked to contribute the difference above the first $100. After a thorough search for the best possible business partner, CAP selected Vanguard as the Curry Blues Voucher's vendor. Cadets and families tell us they receive "Amazon-class service" from Vanguard and their Curry Blues Voucher.



Cadets may use their vouchers to purchase items relating to the "blues" uniform, including:

  • Blues garments:  shirts, trousers, skirts
  • Flight cap
  • Belt and buckle
  • Shoes
  • Necktie or tab
  • Insignia:  airmen chevrons, flight cap device, blue 3-line nameplate, curry ribbon, ribbon holder












(1)  Cadet joins CAP.


(2)  Squadron tries to outfit the cadet with uniform items, using local supplies, if able. Cadets purchase the remaining BDU articles through Vanguard or their vendor of choice.


(3)  Cadet works toward Achievement 1, the “Curry.”


(4)  Cadet earns the “Curry,” per the normal procedures.


(5)  Vanguard automatically notifies cadets of their eligibility via email, upon earning their Curry. The email includes a web link and a voucher code.


(6)  Cadet has 45 days to use the voucher. Vanguard issues an email reminder 10 days prior to expiration.


(7)  Cadet visits Vanguard website and selects authorized uniform items (blues garments, shoes, belt, and blues insignia). 


(8)  Cadet /parent is responsible for the order’s balance after the first $100.


(9)  If cadet does not use the voucher within 45 days, or if the cadet uses only a portion of the $100 available, the remaining balance reverts to CAP.


(10)  Unit commanders (and designees) can monitor voucher eligibility and voucher usage through the Member Reports section in eServices.


(11)  Cadets who use the voucher receive 10% off their next Vanguard purchase.


(12)  If an exchange is necessary, Vanguard will swap items one-for-one, but the cadet is responsible for paying shipping.


ELIGIBILITY.  This program is open to all cadets who joined after 1 March 2015.

SIZING CHART.  Vanguard sizing charts.

EXCHANGES.  Contact Vanguard at 1-800-221-1264

RECYCLING UNIFORMS.  When a cadet outgrows a uniform, or if he or she leaves CAP, local leaders will request that the cadet return the uniform so it can be issued to another cadet.

Q:  Since CAP will not provide cadets a blues uniform immediately upon joining, will the requirement to be in uniform to be eligible for promotion be waived?  
A:  No.  CAPR 52-16 requires that cadets possess a CAP uniform and wear it properly to be eligible for advancement.  Since cadets will need to be in uniform to earn the Curry and qualify for the uniform voucher, the BDUs are recommended for new cadets working towards their first achievement.
Q: Does the voucher need to be used at Vanguard, or can I apply it elsewhere for uniform pieces?
A:  The voucher is only good at Vanguard, but all members are welcome to obtain their uniforms wherever they choose.
Q: Can the voucher be used towards BDU uniform pieces or other items from Vanguard?
A:  The voucher is only good for specific blues uniform items and may not be used towards other uniform combinations or Civil Air Patrol items.

Quick Reference from New Cadet Guide   best resource!

Other, more detailed resources:

New Cadets | Parents | Great Start | Uniform | Cadet Kit | Online Testing | Online Promotions

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Bldg. 714
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-5937
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