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Section 2 | External Unit Awards & Accomplishments

Unit Training Plan & Goals


2.1  Awards Overview

Two major award opportunities for cadet units include: 

  • Quality Cadet Unit Award (QCUA)

  • Aerospace Education Excellence (AEX) Award

These awards are considered ideal for the unit to demonstrate that it has a healthy, active learning culture for cadet development and retention. 

The QCUA award period is monitored from 01 September of each year through 31 August of the following year. 

The AEX award period is monitored from 01 October of each year through 30 September of the following year. 


2.2  Quality Cadet Unit Award

The QCUA is measured against a series of metrics which indicate meeting or exceeding performance criteria which are comprised of the following: 

  • Enrollment:  The unit has at least 20 cadets on its roster

  • Onboarding:  70% of all new cadets have earned Achievement 1 (Cadet Airman) within 8 weeks of joining Civil Air Patrol (measured from the date of their eServices account being created)

  • Cadet Achievement:  45% of cadets on the roster have attained the Wright Brothers Award (Cadet Staff Sergeant)

  • Orientation Flights 70% of cadets on the roster have participated in at least 1 cadet orientation flight (non-military)

  • Encampment 40% of cadets on the roster have completed an Encampment as a student (encampment staffing is not measured)

  • Emergency Services:  60% of cadets on the roster have a General Emergency Services certification 

  • Outside Activities:  The unit participated in CyberPatriot Team, Team America Rocketry Challenge, StellarXplorers, or hosted a Red Ribbon Leadership Academy

  • Aerospace:  The unit earned the AEX Award during the previous year; or, the unit sent an After-Action Review after ordering/completing a CAP STEM kit

  • Adult Leadership The unit has at least 3 graduates of any of the Training Leaders of Cadets courses on its roster

  • Specialty Track:  The unit has at least 2 senior members with a Cadet Programs Specialty Track rating (Technician or higher)

The QCUA is automatically tracked in eServices and is distributed annually once the deadline has been surpassed. 


2.3  Aerospace Education Excellence Award

The AEX Award is presented to units that participate in an activity-based, voluntary aerospace/STEM program. The AEX Program is also a component of the QCUA criteria package; however, the AEX Award can be earned for both cadet and senior member involvement in AEX curricula. 

To receive the AEX Award, units must ensure that cadets and/or senior members participate in: 

  • 6 aerospace/STEM activities

  • One 2-hour activity (e.g., rocket building and launching; aviation-related field trip)

Upon completion of the AEX Program, the unit must enter the activities completed into eServices to receive credit toward the AEX Award. 

NOTE: It is a unit goal to conduct a local/regional aviation-related field trip each year (e.g., Cleveland airport, NASA, etc.). 


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