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The Ranger Staff Cadet Program has been in existence since 1960. As the Hawk Mountain Ranger School expanded and developed it became evident that there was a need for quality, consistent training of cadet leaders for the program. Since the first staff cadets began serving at Hawk Mountain, they have played an important part in the development and success in all areas of the Emergency Services program within Civil Air Patrol.

The staff cadet training program consists of a series of a combination of online modules and in-person training weekends which run from March through June each year. Strict military courtesy and discipline are adhered to as the candidate progresses from a follower to a leader. The training is designed to challenge cadets in the areas of leadership, teamwork, and emergency services training.  Physical fitness, progression in the cadet program, dedication, self-discipline, and proficiency in ground team and ranger skills are required.

Throughout the training, staff candidates are trained in the areas of navigation, woodsmanship, search theory and techniques, health and sanitation, rock climbing, rappelling, low angle rescue, search procedures, crash site security, communications, survival skills, teaching techniques, intense leadership classes, conflict resolution, leadership traits, problem-solving, public speaking, time management, team leadership, job role responsibilities, and much more. Subjects are further supplemented with constant leadership development which gives on-the-job training and experience for the role the staff candidate will later fulfill; that of a professional leader and instructor for the ranger program.

Successful completion of the training cycle and qualification requirements will earn the first-year basic candidate the "Yellow Scarf."  These first-year cadets typically fill the positions of Team Commanders (similar to flight commanders) for the school.

Cadets then return for the second year of staff training, where they further develop their leadership and command skills and learn management and staff development skills as well. In addition, they further their training in search and rescue and the ranger program. With successful completion of the requirements the "Orange Scarf" is awarded, making them a full-fledged Ranger Staff member.

These cadets often return for further training in their third year, and also support and train the upcoming staff candidates. Thus each year, the staff cadet learns more and more about search and rescue, leadership, and management.

  • At least 14 years of age

  • Minimum grade of C/SrA (C/SSgt by graduation) (Cadets)

  • Level 1 and Cadet Protection Policy Training (Seniors)

  • Physical Fitness Category 1 (no limitations; this program is extremely physically demanding)

  • Completed CAPF 60-81, 160, 161 & 163 to include parental and squadron commander's signatures.

  • Completion of an Encampment is REQUIRED.

  • Completion of a HMRS Summer School is recommended but not required.

  • Future attendance at a Cadet Leadership School is recommended to be awarded the Orange Scarf.

  • Cadets and Seniors must be at least GTM3.

  • Completion of FEMA Independent Study Program IS Courses 100, 200, 700 and 800.

2024 Activity Dates

March 2-3

March 16-17

April 6-7

April 20-21 (Tour Hike)

May 4-5

May 18-19

May 31 / Jun 1-2  (Survival Hike/Graduation)

Students outside the geographic area unable to attend staff training weekends will complete the program during Summer School.


HMRS Training Facility

Kempton, PA

Project Officer

Maj Aaron Lamantia

Related Documents
2024 HMRS Staff Training Flyer.png

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