Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron, NER-NY-153

Civil Air Patrol - The official auxiliary of the United States Air Force

Character Development/Moral Leadership

Civil Air Patrol encourages youth to live the timeless Core Values of Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, and Respect. CAP develops character in its cadets through formal values education and informal mentoring as ethical dilemmas arise in cadets' lives.



CAPP 265-2, "FLIGHT TIME: Values for Living" July 2006 edition

OVERVIEW. This pamphlet provides lesson plans and student handouts for use with the moral leadership element of the CAP Cadet Program, which is defined in CAPR 52-16, Cadet Program Management

NEW FEATURES.  Some of the features new to this edition include:

Discussion questions designed specifically for younger, middle, and older youth that achieve an appropriate level of learning for each age group;

Case studies that help dramatize ethical concepts and dilemmas;

Lesson plans that are more structured and comprehensive;

An annotated lesson plan that illustrates “how-to” conduct the lessons;

A formative lesson to introduce new cadets to the CAP Core Values and the moral leadership program in general;

An attractive, easy to follow layout that separates the instructor’s lesson plans from the students’ handouts.

RATIONALE.  CAP periodically revises CAPP 265-2, updating it with fresh lesson plans. In this edition, lesson plans are organized as case studies. The educational benefits of the case study method are discussed on page five of the text. 


CAPP 50-2, "CAP Core Values"

CAPP 52-6, "Mentoring"

"Making Core Values Make Sense" by Bobbie Tourville

Past Topics

Acting Responsibly

Civil Air Patrol members must act properly and respectfully regardless if it is during a CAP event or outside and away and unrelated.  You are always a CAP Cadet and have an image to maintain.  Don't act-out in or outside of CAP and expect it not to become  an issue for you in CAP. You have to be responsible for your own life. Be careful about Face Book and My Space.  Help the squadron become stronger.  "You're only as strong as your weakest link." Train to be adults. 


A joint presentation on Aug. 21 by Squadron Commander Darren Cioffi, and MLO Gregg Gunderson was given the cadets on the importance of integrity and personal responsibility when making character choices. It is inevitable that all of us will at some time in our lives, make poor decisions, wrong choices, and mistakes.
These are crossroad moments where we need to determine how we will respond to these errors in judgment. Will we try to cover up our mistakes, deflect blame to someone else or lie about it? Or, will we admit our mistakes, seek help and counsel, be honest, pay the price, bear the responsibility, and grow from the experience? One can either spiral downward with a loss of character and integrity, or spiral upwards depending upon how we choose to respond.

The CAP Honor Code was reinforced to the cadets as an unimpeachable standard for their lives. "I will not lie, cheat or deceive, nor tolerate anyone who does".

Various real-life experiences, positive and negative, were shared by both leaders and cadets which sparked good discussion. An example was given as to how wrong choices, lies, and character lapses are never individual issues, but will always spill over to involve or damage the lives of others, much like a boat moving through a harbor will send off a wake that will inevitably touch every other boat in that harbor.

Finally, the leaders urged the cadets to not feel as if they are going through life alone, but to reach out to parents, clergy, teachers, and other mentors in their lives for advice and counsel in the decisions they are faced with each day.


Moral Leadership seminar dealt with the topic of ‘Partiality”.  Cadet John Miranda lead a discussion which explored the importance of treating all people in a unit with equality.  The cadets drew upon personal experience to talk about the effects on team moral when one person is singled out for unmerited favorable treatment, such as a coach’s son or daughter who gets playing time in excess of his or her abilities.  The cadets agreed that a unit’s cohesiveness is undermined, that unit moral plummets, and that respect for the leader diminishes dramatically in the face of favoritism.

The cadets further explored the root causes of partiality or favoritism, with an eye towards avoiding such temptations when they themselves eventually rise to a position of leadership

Goals and Goal Setting

To start the new year, a seminar was presented to the cadets on ‘Goals and Goal Setting’.  Instruction on setting goals, as well as on what constitutes reasonable and reachable goals were presented, as was philosophical discussion on why it is so important for the human being to set them for ourselves in the first place.  Each cadet was asked to reflect on a goal they had reached in 2007, and then to think ahead for 2008.  Goals in 3 categories were identified, refined, and then verbalized by each cadet and included goals for school, for CAP, and for their personal lives.  It was quite encouraging to hear the individual goals of a squadron of highly motivated cadets many of whom have set very high standards for themselves and formulated a clear plan on how to achieve these aims.

Dating and Relationships

This months seminar focused on ‘Dating and Relationships’.  The discussion was quite lively with many cadets commenting on the issues of peer pressure to begin dating, time management and time priorities in dating, healthy Vs unhealthy dating relationships, and age appropriate boundaries in dating.  The concept of mutual respect emerged as a prime ingredient of healthy relationships, as did the importance of remaining your own person with UN-compromised self-discipline and standards.

The changing mores of our culture and its effect on relationships were also discussed, particularly the preoccupation with sex in the media, music, movie, and advertising industries.  A strong appeal to set high standards for themselves in the area of abstinence was given, and in fact underscored in examples given by cadets of acquaintances who fell short of these standards and paid high personal costs as a result.


Pride Goeth Before a Fall

The Moral Leadership discussion this month took its cue from the current news events of the humiliating fall from grace of New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.  The cadets discussed the concept of pride, in this context, an arrogance or conceitedness and its effects on character, leadership, and respect.  Personal examples as well as several from history were cited in the exploration of the cause and effect relationship of a prideful conceited nature and the inevitable ‘fall’ that would follow.   Cadets verbalized the importance of humility, of not looking down on others, and of treating all with respect and equality as factors which might prevent themselves from being prideful or arrogantly set up for a fall.