|National Blue Beret
Cadet Orientation Guide
NBB CADET GUIDE
WELCOME TO NATIONAL BLUE BERET
Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in one of the most exciting cadet special activities that Civil Air Patrol has to offer. The function of this Guide is to outline the structure and organization of NBB, define activities and provide you with practical information you will need to succeed.
You will, during a two week period, receive an orientation, be given training, and participate in the world’s largest general aviation air show. AirVenture is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
NBB is unlike any other CAP activity. It is comprised of many parts; arrival, check-in, orientation, training, mission execution, awards dinner, and departure. It is not an encampment, but rather a working, operational, USAF approved and funded mission. NBB is one of the largest national cadet activities. Thus, many staff positions, rules, and/or activities that pertain to an encampment or other cadet special activity may have been changed or deleted to suit our needs.
Over one hundred fifty cadets and seniors from across the United States will be part of the “team” which is Blue Beret. Every effort should be made to arrive on time; come with the proper equipment and supplies; and be prepared to help bring this activity to a successful completion. MORNING OR EARLY AFTERNOON ARRIVALS ARE ENCOURAGED.
Upon arrival at the Appleton Airport, Oshkosh Airport, or Oshkosh Bus Depot, NBB personnel will meet you. Be patient, gather your luggage, and be on the look out for a CAP vehicle or CAP personnel. Every effort will be made to pick you up as soon as possible. However, due to possible limitations of vehicles, drivers, and/or changed flight schedules, it may take longer. Should you be delayed, please call the CAP compound (number listed later in this booklet) and let us know. This will keep our personnel from waiting for you.
PROMPT RETURN OF THE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENT INFORMATION SHEETS WILL ALLOW TIMELY PICK UP UPON YOUR ARRIVAL, AND DROP OFF FOR YOUR DEPARTURE. The sooner you make your travel arrangements the better: better prices and better selection of arrival/departure times.
THOSE TRAVELING COMMERCIALLY SHOULD DO SO IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING. DO NOT WEAR A UNIFORM!
If you plan to arrive via privately owned vehicle or corporate vehicle, contact the PJO prior to arrival. The compound is located within the boundaries of the Oshkosh Airport and after dark, usually only one gate is left unlocked. The locked gate can change from night to night, so it is best if you arrive before dark. If you need help once you’ve reached Oshkosh, give the compound a call. (Numbers are provided on the contact sheet.)
Upon arrival, each cadet is expected to call home to let your family know that you have arrived in Oshkosh. Pay phones are located nearby; bring phone card or call collect.
Upon your arrival at the CAP compound, you will be directed to the “sign-in” location. You should have your CAP membership card, CAPF 101 card, CAPF 76 card, and a copy of your CAPF 31 ready for inspection.
Please bring only items listed on the packing list. (Do not bring candy or other food as it attracts little critters that are not wanted.)
During the Check-In procedure, your airplane/bus tickets or vehicle keys will be collected and stored in a safe location until it is time for your departure. It is suggested that individuals keep no more than $40 on their person at any one time. Excess amounts of money may be put in the Blue Beret Bank until such time it is needed. Withdrawals can be made as needed. Do not keep money in your duffel bag, suitcase, wall locker, shoes or other such unsecured places!
The first few days of this activity are spent getting familiar with the compound and Wittman Field, learning the EAA’s expectations during this activity, and fine-tuning one’s mission skills.
Please note the Blue Beret’s motto: “Semper Flexibilis” (always flexible). There may be times when the missions’ demands override individual’s free time. The NBB staff will try to give you some free time each day; however free time is not a guarantee. REMEMBER, NBB IS AN AIR FORCE OPERATIONAL MISSION.
The command staff is an experienced group with many having spent numerous years at this and similar activities. All are exceptionally qualified in their specialty and offer vast experience. Feel free to ask questions and seek directions; however use your chain of command. Feel free to visit with the staff and other members when appropriate, such as during free time, but refrain from interrupting others performing their duties.
Each attendee should leave this activity with most MRO, UDF, GTM3, and FLM tasks signed off. We will continually train throughout the activity in Ground Team Member, Urban Direction Finding, Mission Radio Operator and Flight Line Marshaller. We will offer an opportunity to demonstrate the majority, if not all, the required skills for certification. Some of the skills, such as checking the 72 hr gear, cannot be done, as your equipment is not here. A few skills will need to be completed at your home unit. Many of you are already qualified in these areas. We expect you to mentor others in your flight as well as complete your requirements for renewal. This is extremely beneficial for everyone, including the senior members. You must have a current 101 card with at least GES and the 117 tests already taken!
Much time will be spent fine-tuning aircraft marshaling skills. This is the most frequent job to be assigned to CAP by the EAA. As a team we will work about 2000 man-hours on the flight line. That is a full man-year. You are the first thing that most pilots see once their aircraft lands on the runway! As the airshow begins, thousands upon thousands of aircraft of every size, shape, and description will be landing at Oshkosh. It is the only place in the United States, or perhaps the world, that the air traffic controllers will have three aircraft landing on the same runway at the same time. Yes, that’s correct, 3 aircraft touching down on the same runway at the same time! When it’s time to depart, they will launch two aircraft at a time! Until you see it, you won’t believe it!
Your “Direction Finding” (DF) skills will be fine-tuned. When thousands of aircraft are parked on the airfield and an ELT goes off, it’s the old “needle in a haystack” routine. With practice, finding the ELT will become much easier. Additionally, CAP is tasked with locating overdue aircraft on Wittman Field. Pilots are so excited about being at Oshkosh that they sometimes forget to close their flight plans, or do not allow for the long delay encountered while taxiing. All you have to do is locate that one little aircraft among the 12,000 or so parked on the field. This is the only time that the FAA allows flight plans to be closed by someone other than the pilot themselves!
Once we go operational, things really get going for NBB and CAP in Wisconsin.
In addition to looking for ELT’s, overdues, and marshaling aircraft, you will spend time at the “Tower” (really the roof of the EAA’s Flightline Operations Building) writing down the tail numbers of landing aircraft, working as a radio operator, providing security in the Warbird area, tethering balloons, helping with crowd control, working in the CAP compound on HQ/KP, assisting at the National Recruiting Booth and many other jobs that may arise. The various jobs are assigned to flights on a rotating basis. Additionally, all flights will have time to tour the EAA museum and exhibits.
You will see and learn a lot! All too soon the Show will be over and the mission will wind down.
Berets and St. Alban’s Pins
The much-cherished Blue Beret will be handed out as soon as the staff believes that it has been earned. Once given out, it should be worn with honor and respect. Wearing the beret means that you have chosen to hold yourself to a higher standard and is a privilege and a responsibility. Later, the St. Alban’s pin is given to attendees who may then wear it on their berets. There is much history linked to both the blue beret and the St. Alban’s pin. You’ll learn about this while at the activity. You are held to a higher standard once you earn your beret.
Thank You Activity
As a “Thank You” to you for the fine work that we do at AirVenture, the folks from the EAA provide our group with a farewell dinner. After dinner many awards will be handed out. Awards include Honor Flight, Top Cadet, and Top Senior.
While the show is going on and you are working hard, staff members will be formulating a plan to get you to the airport or bus station on time for your trip home.
NOTE: Only a “cold” breakfast is furnished on departure day. THOSE TRAVELING COMMERCIALLY WILL TRAVEL IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING.
Conduct & Hazing
Participants will not use their grade or position to take undue advantage of, or inflict cruelty on subordinates. This includes hazing, indignity, oppression, or deprivation of any right or privilege to which they are entitled. These provisions apply to all members. Hazing is defined as “any conduct whereby someone causes another to suffer or to be exposed to any activity that is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful.” If at any moment you feel uncomfortable or have complaints or suggestions, contact your Flight Commander, Flight Leader or TAC OFFICER. Any violation of the hazing and harassment policy will result in immediate disciplinary action.
The Honor Code
"WE WILL NOT LIE, STEAL, OR CHEAT, NOR TOLERATE AMONG US ANYONE WHO DOES."
Absence from duty
Only the Activity Director, Executive Officer, Medical Officer or your Tactical Officer may excuse you from duty or formations. You will notify your Flight Commander and report to your Tactical Officer all situations that require you to be away from your flight. At all formations, the Flight Commander will report all absences, as directed. Each participant is expected to be present at his/her duty station 100% of the time. Ensure you follow the instructions given to you.
These items are prohibited: weapons, flame producing devices, drugs (aspirin), tobacco, alcohol, pornography, sound systems (CD players with headphones are allowed when off duty), portable TV, gaming systems and food.
Dismissal or Withdrawal
Each cadet in attendance is responsible for conducting themselves in a manner reflecting credit upon themselves and CAP. Misconduct may subject you to dismissal from the activity without credit. You will be permitted to withdraw from the activity without prejudice for reasons of sickness or hardship.
Private Vehicles (POV)
Be aware that if you bring a POV to the activity it cannot be used during the activity. It will be parked, locked, and all keys turned into Admin.
Cell phones are to be used only during free time. While on duty- which includes HQ duty and Flight time- they are unavailable to cadets. Flight Commanders are responsible for the proper use of cell phones in their flight. Any cadet found using their cell phone during the duty day will be sent home. Cell phones will not be used after lights out. Cadets who fail to follow the cell phone policy may be sent home or have their phone confiscated for the duration of the activity. Phone cards are suggested in case your cell phone does not work. DO NOT BRING your lap top computer, palm, etc.
Uniform Items/ Uniform Wear
Berets are worn flat on the wearers’ head with the pin centered above the left eyebrow. The excess of the beret will be pulled down against the wearers head on the right side (may cover the ear). The front tip is two fingers' width from the bridge of the nose. Berets and beret ornaments will ONLY be worn by authorized personnel and at such times as established by Activity Director.
Sunglasses will not be worn on the drill pad or in formation unless otherwise authorized. (Note: Does not apply to prescription photogrey glasses.) They may be worn at other times as long as they are conservative, subdued in color, do not have any logos, are not mirrored, and do not detract from a proper military image.
A wristwatch may be worn if it is conservative and does not detract from a proper military image.
Orange Vests will be worn while on duty outside the compound.
Hair should be regulation style. Make sure you get a haircut before attending Beret, as it will have two weeks to grow too long. Only authorized barbers (ie, no cadet will cut another cadet’s hair) will be used, and they can be expensive.
Jewelry, make-up, and nail polish should be conservative and not detract from a proper military image. Whatever is worn should fall within regulations. MALES: No make-up or nail polish allowed.
Webgear Equipment – See activity equipment list. Water must be in your possession at all times when leaving the compound.
PT uniform – The physical training uniform consists of an approved T-shirt (no offensive logos) and shorts. Tuck in shirt and lace shoes at all times. Athletic shoes will be worn with plain white socks. If weather dictates sweat pants and sweat shirt may be worn.
Grade – Grade insignias will be worn, but remember, an individual might serve under some one with a lower grade. Cadet officers WILL NOT wear metal grade on covers or BDUs. Proper respect to the position of authority will be rendered as well as proper respect to grade.
Cover – While the beret might look cool it does not protect from the sun, for this reason berets will only be worn in the compound or while on free time in uniform. Wearing the appropriate BDU cover while on duty is mandatory unless on flight line or otherwise directed by the flight TAC Officer.
Boots – Polished. Not necessary to be spit-shinned, as they will get dirty quickly, however you will find a daily polishing will be required.
Pants – Should be bloused, but not into the boot. This should be done with boot blousers.
Buttons – Pockets and flaps should be buttoned at all time (blouse and pants). The only buttoned left unbuttoned is the top button of the blouse.
Hot weather uniform – Blue shorts (see packing list), activity shirt, hat, tennis shoes and canteen. Bring clothes that are appropriate to the activity and that are comfortable to work in.
Customs and Courtesies
You are expected to comply with military customs and courtesies at all times. Professionalism is expected at all times. The compound is a non-saluting zone, as well as when on flight line. On beret base simply offer the appropriate verbal acknowledgement when passing by a senior officer. We will have the National Commander as well as Region and Wing Commanders visiting and staying on the compound. Outside of the compound a salute and acknowledgement is required to all senior officers as well as military officers.
Public Conduct – At all times, cadets are expected to present themselves in a professional manner. Inappropriate behavior includes horseplay, profanity, or any other behavior that would be unbecoming of a CAP member. Report any violation of this to your Flight Commander.
Display of Affection – Any display of affection at any time is forbidden. Holding hands or walking arm-in-arm is not proper while in uniform; both seniors and cadets are expected to maintain traditional military standards.
What are the basic courtesies?
You will stand at attention when addressing or being addressed by a staff member unless the staff member directs otherwise.
When accompanying a senior officer or cadet, a junior officer or cadet walks to his/her left.
In crowded situations, always give way to a senior officer.
The following are all considered offenses while in attendance at National Blue Beret.
Willful damage or theft of Government, CAP, or private property
Improper sexual contact or other gross immorality
Being AWOL from any scheduled activity
Public displays of affection
Absent from bed during bed check
Willingly performing an unsafe act endangering CAP members or civilians
Use of obscenity or profanity
Use of cell phones while on duty
Conduct unbecoming, or other conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline
General Health and Safety
The first responsibility of all activity members (cadet and senior) is the health and safety of all CAP members at the activity.
The buddy system will be used whenever a cadet leaves the compound- no one is to go anywhere alone.
If you are taking any medication that requires that you stay out of the sun, Beret is not an activity for you.
Everybody has a bed assigned to them. Do not sleep outside your bed.
Dehydration and sunburn do not only happen when you are on duty!
Living together in close proximity requires good personal hygiene. Participants will shower daily.
No horseplay will be allowed.
Inspect your feet after the evening shower. First aid and preventative action against blisters will be made at this time. Serious injuries will be reported to the activity medical officer as soon as possible.
Work consumes bodily fluids, which must be replaced. Make sure you consume enough water. Review the activity safety rules. Health and safety does not stop with the items listed above. All members will be constantly alert for any safety or health problems at all times. Remember, a sick or uncomfortable cadet needs immediate attention.
Building Evacuation Procedure
For building evacuation during duty hours, cadets will proceed quickly in appropriate uniform to nearest exit and then to the pre-designated assembly point. For building evacuation during sleeping hours, cadets will put on athletic shoes and tie them, cover themselves with their blanket, secure flashlight in their hand, make sure bunkmate is awake, proceed quickly (without running) to nearest exit and then to assembly point. For some emergencies it may be necessary to remain outdoors for an extended period.
The Blue Beret Motto
Blue Beret History
During the winter of 1966-67, Col. Allen Towne, Iowa Wing Commander, requested that an intensive training program be set up in Iowa Wing to train senior members and cadets to become effective and knowledgeable in ground search and rescue operations. Under the command of Lt Col. William B. Cass, Iowa Wing deputy Commander, a program was established for the spring of 1967. The purpose in mind was to create among the members of Iowa Wing the ability to function effectively in almost any capacity when called upon. The first training session was held in April 1967 and consisted of four training weekends. The curriculum consisted of standard first aid and personal survival. The basic uniform was the OD green fatigues, combat or jump boots, blue ascot, web belt and canteen. Planning was initiated to invite other wings within North Central region to attend the next Iowa Wing Blue Beret encampment.
In June of 1969, eighty-six members from five wings within North Central Region convened near Dubuque, IA. for the first region-wide Blue Beret encampment. This was a one-week, non-interrupted training session. Chaplain Aydt presented a design for a patch. The design depicted an eight ball with a blue beret perched on top. The design represented the seven wings and Region headquarters within North Central Region. The activity officially became known as the North Central Region Special Service Corps, with the nickname remaining the Blue Berets. Upon this news, the letters "NCRSSC" were added to the beret on the 8-ball.
In the 1980’s, the encampment was held at Fort McCoy, near Sparta, WI. Blue Beret became a national special activity. From that point on, it became the Civil Air Patrol Special Service Corps. The encampment saw its largest attendance of over 300 cadets in 1986.
Blue Beret took possession of its new buildings on their permanent and present compound in Oshkosh in 1988. SEACAP operations were terminated and turned over to the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
In the early 90’s the activity became the "Civil Air Patrol EAA Oshkosh" (CEO) Activity. Cadets wore the blue jumpsuit and baseball cap. In 1996, the program was reinstated as a national special activity and given its new and current name, National Blue Beret. The Air Force ran the program until the end of the 1998 activity.
St. Alban's cross
The crest worn on our berets is a symbol that embodies the Blue Beret spirit. The design is the St. Alban's cross. It is a gold cross on a dark blue background. The cross was picked for what St. Alban stood for. St. Alban was a monk, who was a martyr in medieval times. He was put to death for giving a condemned man his cloak. A man who was willing to give everything, including his life, for his fellow man. This is the same feeling and dedication felt by all Blue Berets.
The crest is designed in accordance with the Air Force standard for beret crests (using enamel and chrome/brass) and the Civil Air Patrol standard for simplicity in design. The crest is in the shape of a shield, representing our mission as "protectors" of human life, our strength in adverse times, and our military heritage. The crest is worn on the beret, centered over the left eye.
Communications: Remember people are listening! Stay off the radio except for Official Business. You may be given a NBB call sign for use during the activity. Usually only staff members are assigned a call sign. Beret 911 indicates an emergency. Stay off the air until the emergency is resolved!
Remember that you receive your orders from CAP personnel only. Do not leave your assigned area with the permission and knowledge of your CAP supervisor.
Generously apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and reapply every two-hour, even on cloudy days.
Wear your cover.
Stay in the shade whenever possible. (A hint: high wing aircraft makes outstanding shady areas)
Avoid reflective surfaces, which can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun's damaging rays.
Things to Consider
1. Schedules are extremely hard to make and to maintain due to requests from the EAA. Remember the unofficial motto of “Semper Flexibilis”. You need to be flexible and adapt to the situation. This manual cannot possibly cover all the situations and circumstances that can arise. If it not safe, don’t do it. If you would get in trouble at home for doing it, don’t do it here.
2. Money and valuables- You may deposit money at the “First NBB National Bank” (also know as the safe). We recommend that you keep no more than $40 on you. Your airplane/bus tickets will be collected for safekeeping. Other valuables you might have can be turned-in for safekeeping.
3. Jodies: Do not sing jodies about killing people, war, sex, or alcohol. If it MIGHT offend someone, don’t sing it or say it.
4. Upon arrival at the NBB Compound you will be issued a Beret Pass to enter and exit the compound. With this authorization you are not required to sign in and out, however your Flight Commander is responsible for your whereabouts at all times. Each flight will devise a method to track every individual. Accountability and SAFETY are a must.
These pages have been written to give you an overview of what to expect at NBB. Please arrive at Oshkosh with a desire to learn, to work, and to conduct yourself in a manner that will bring honor to CAP and yourself. This is a challenging and intense activity. You will be working with 12,000-15,000 aircraft and amongst over a million visitors. There will be long hours and many new situations. When the stress really hits you, always keep in mind how much you are learning. And remember…it is all about TEAM CAP!
Email (questions, concerns, etc.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax number (before 18 July 2008) 785-654-2382
Mailing address (before 14 July 2008) Lt Col Regena Aye
211 Holliday Street
Osage City, KS 66523
Event Contact Information will be distributed later.