The flight sergeant is the direct, hands-on leader who helps the flight
commander motivate and train the cadets in a flight. On average, flight
sergeants will lead 8 to 15 cadets, including 2 to 4 element leaders.
Their main area of concern is the leadership laboratory. Flight sergeants
teach in-ranks cadets the basics of cadet life: drill, wear of the
uniform, customs and courtesies, and physical fitness. Although flight
sergeant is an entry-level leadership position, this cadet needs to be
responsible and resourceful enough to take complete charge of the
flight in the flight commander’s absence.
Immediate Supervisor: Flight Commander
Typical Grades: C/SSgt through C/CMSgt
Instruct Cadets in Basic Subjects. Not only do you need to know how
to drill, wear the uniform properly, render customs and courtesies, and
more, as flight sergeant you need to be able to teach junior cadets how
to perform those tasks as well. As an instructor, it’s essential that you
know what you’re talking about, so be sure to review your CAP manuals
so you can be certain that what you teach is correct.
Motivate & Discipline the Flight. Your attitude is always on display.
Cadets will be influenced by your actions much more than your words,
so lead by example. Encourage cadets. Ensure they know what they are
doing well, and congratulate them for their accomplishments. Likewise,
always be watching for cadets who need extra support in drill, preparing
their uniform, etc., and see to it that they receive help. Uphold CAP
standards by ensuring your cadets wear their uniform properly, render
customs and courtesies, etc. When enforcing standards, be positive
Serve the Team. A flight is a team. But groups of individuals do not
magically become a team; it takes a leader. Cheer on your people.
Teach them how to be good cadets. Encourage them to help one
another as you help them. Resist the urge to think too highly of yourself
because you are a flight sergeant. Rather, see yourself as the
flight’s servant, not their boss.
Lead the Flight in Drill & Ceremonies. As flight sergeant, you will be
the flight’s primary leader in drill and ceremonies. You are responsible
for forming the flight, checking their alignment, receiving the report
from the element leaders and passing on the report to the first sergeant,
and preparing the flight for inspection. Likewise, you will need to
develop a good command voice and know what foot to call commands
on. Flight sergeants also lead the flight in calling jodies or cadences.
Pass on Information. Keep your flight informed about your squadron’s
training schedule. Likewise, keep your flight commander informed
about the cadets’ progress in basic cadet subjects. You’ll need to learn
discretion – the art of knowing what matters should be brought to your
flight commander’s attention, and what matters are routine and can be
resolved on your own authority.
Take Responsibility for Your Cadets. Know where each of your cadets
is at any given time. Talk with your flight commander to obtain a
detailed schedule for each squadron meeting or cadet activity. Follow
this schedule. Ensure your cadets are at the right place at the right
time, with the right equipment in hand, ready to participate.
Also see the cadet element leader position description for other
Prepare for the Future: First Sergeant
- Move from basic proficiency in calling commands to mastery in
drill; ask an experienced cadet to critique your leadership in drill.
- Become a better instructor; work on organizing your teaching
points into a logical order, and ask a more experienced cadet to
critique your presentation style.
- Hone your mentoring skills. Practice your ability to listen actively.
Develop a habit of recognizing cadets for their accomplishments.