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 Emergency Services program within Civil Air Patrol.

The staff cadet training program consists of a series of a combination of online modules and three training weekends weekends which run from March through June each year. Strict military courtesy and discipline is adhered to as the candidate progresses from a follower to a leader. The training is designed to challenge cadets in the areas of leadership, team work, and emergency services training.  Physical fitness, progression in the cadet program, dedication, self discipline, and proficiency in ground team and ranger skills is 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 give 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 commander) 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 13 years of age

  • Completion of a HMRS Summer School Course 

  • 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 CAPF31, 160 & 161 to include parental signatures, Squardon & and if from outside PAWG, your Wing Commanders approvals

  • Completion of an Encampment is 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

  • Ability to attend and participate at ALL staff training weekends, PA Wing and Ranger Events

Activity Dates


Check-In: 1900 / Dismissal: 1330

Check-In: 1900 / Dismissal: 1330

Check-In: 1900 / Dismissal: 1330

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


HMRS Training Facility

Kempton, PA

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Project Officer

Capt Ryan Hoffman

Related Documents

Packing List

Yellow Scarf Testing Sheet

Staff Uniform Poster

Staff Training Handbook

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