Civil Air Patrol National History Program

The 1980s - Present

Male Cadet Olive Drab Long-Sleeve Utility Uniform - 1980s

Male Cadet Long-Sleeved Utility Uniform (1980s)

Olive drab fatigues—sometimes called “Pickle" Greens—were worn from the late 1960s into the 1980s, but were not authorized by the Air Force for female wear until 1975. Even after authorization, green fatigues for female members were not available for many months (apparently the fatigues were not considered unisex like today's BDUs). By the 1980s, a significant number of cadet activity patches were authorized for wear on fatigues. 

DDR/Cadet Programs Pen

DDR/Cadet Programs Pen (late 1990s-early 2000s)

In 1994, Civil Air Patrol initiated its Drug Demand Reduction program. Although the program was principally intended to reduce illegal drug use in communities where Air Force members and their families lived, it became heavily intertwined with the CAP Cadet Program. The Cadet Program was touted as a community-centered activity with the potential to discourage drug use among young people, and cadets themselves were increasingly presented with substance abuse awareness training.

Honor Guard Academy Windbreaker

Honor Guard Academy Windbreaker (c. 2001)

Throughout the decades, many cadet activities have established unique activity-specific uniform combinations and accessories, including honor guards and drill teams. IACE uniforms were introduced in the 1960s (formerly, CAP cadets wore their regular uniforms). Today, cadets are often permitted to wear specially designed CAP t-shirts at encampment or other designated activities.

The 1980s - Present