After a downturn in cadet numbers during the late 1950s, renewed efforts were made to interest young people in the CAP. In 1962, the minimum age for cadets was reduced to 13 and many new courses were made available to cadets at a national level, including the Cadet Leadership School as well as courses in missiles and aircraft management.
In addition to the restructuring, standardization, and expansion of the Cadet Program, the 1960s brought new opportunities for cadets to fly. The first cadet Flying Encampment was held in 1965, and proved immediately successful. The following year, Flying Encampment also became one of the first cadet special activities open to both male and female cadets. Soon, programs were in place that both prepared new pilots to solo and helped advanced students to complete their pilot licenses.
Although the early 1960s were a period of growth for the Cadet Program, it remained difficult to retain members—particularly after they turned 21. The Falcon Award, eventually renamed in honor of astronaut and former CAP cadet Frank Borman, was instituted to encourage high-performing cadets to continue their service. Initially, only Spaatz cadets who turned senior member, attended the Air Force Academy, or participated in Air Force ROTC at the college level could become eligible to receive the award. Eventually, enrollment in other service academies or undergraduate ROTC programs would also allow a former cadet to quality.
With the redesigned Cadet Program of the 1960s came new ribbons sporting colorful and distinctive graphics. They could be worn with or without a plastic coating. Some cadets, disliking the “Everclean” ribbons, were known to scrape the plastic off.