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Quality Unit Cadet Award 2022 Criteria

What does it take to earn this prestigious cadet unit award?



Any cadet unit that displays strong program fundamentals can earn the Quality Cadet Unit Award. This award motivates squadrons to pursue goals that will inevitably lead to their having a vibrant Cadet Program. The award is purely objective. Cadet and composite squadrons who meet the challenging criteria below automatically earn the award. The award can serve as a helpful management tool. Local leaders can use its award criteria to gauge the relative health of their Cadet Program. Wing leaders can use the program data to identify squadrons that are flourishing, and perhaps use leaders of those outstanding units to mentor leaders in nearby units that did not earn the award.


2021 - 2022 CRITERIA

Award winners are determined by their performance from 31 August 2021 through 31 August 2022. The award criteria are entirely objective. Units with a minimum of 10 cadets that meet at least 6 of the 10 criteria listed below on 31 August 2022 earn the award.

  • Enrollment: Unit has at least 20 cadets listed on its roster

  • Onboarding: 70% of all new cadets from 31 August 2021 earned Achievement 1 in 8 weeks

  • *Cadet Achievement: 45% of cadets on roster have attained the Wright Brothers Award

  • *Orientation Flights: 70% of cadets on roster have first flight credit

  • *Encampment: 40% of cadets on roster have graduated encampment

  • Emergency Services: 60% of cadets on roster have GES certification

  • Outside Activities: Unit hosted a Red Ribbon Leadership Academy or participated in a STEM competition listed below

  • Aerospace: Unit has submitted a Aerospace Excellence Award (AEX) Completion Report or sent in an AAR after ordering a STEM Kit during this award cycle

  • TLC Graduates: Unit has at least 3 current Training Leaders of Cadets graduates on its roster

  • *Specialty Track: Unit has at least 2 Senior Members with a Cadet Programs Specialty Track rating

* new or adjusted for 2022


All cadet and composite squadrons and flights with a minimum of 10 cadets are eligible

Outside Activities

The goal of the Outside Activities criterion is to encourage units to interact with organizations outside of CAP.  The following activities/competitions are approved for credit:

Red Ribbon Leadership Academy


Team America Rocketry Challenge



More coming in 2023!

To receive credit for an above STEM competition or RRLA please submit proof of participation here. CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers credit were automatically added to the reporting in March/April. If you're familiar with another STEM competition that you think should be considered to be included for future years, please submit to for consideration.  


Pull the Quality Cadet Unit Report from Member Reports to see how your unit is doing. Please note that this is a tracking report and numbers change throughout the year.

Find a detailed breakdown of your QCUA numbers in eServices > Cadet Programs > Cadet Promotions > QCUA Details


1.  Each September, NHQ will examine every cadet and composite squadron’s performance in the criteria above, as reflected in eServices. Every cadet and composite squadron is automatically considered for the award – there is no application procedure necessary.

2.  Initial data is sent to all commanders for questions and corrections, as necessary.

3.  NHQ will announce the winning squadrons on this webpage. Streamers will be mailed to the respective wing headquarters.  Certificates will be emailed for printing and presentation at a suitable venue.


Cadet and composite squadrons that qualify for the Quality Cadet Unit Award will receive the following:

1.  An award emblem for the unit’s website, letterhead, recruiting materials, and other publications (available for download on this page)

2.  A Quality Cadet Unit Award streamer and certificate that will be presented by wing headquarters at an appropriate venue

Streamer elements provided by NHQ starting in 2019.  Wings or units may choose to purchase streamers for previous years from Vanguard.

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