The Blue Beret Creed
I am a Blue Beret. I am what my country and Civil Air Patrol expect me to be; the best of American youth, and an example of leadership for today and the future.
Never will I fail that trust.
Therefore I pledge to perform with the highest degree of professionalism.
My service to others, rendered with respect and humility
Will be the outward sign of this pledge.
I am a leader who exhibits the highest level of integrity and am committed to the well being of my comrades and community. I understand that to wear the Blue Beret is a great honor.
Therefore I forsake not:
I am a Blue Beret!
Civil Air Patrol Core Values
"The Mission Comes First"
National Blue Beret is a Civil Air Patrol National Cadet Special Activity (NCSA) held for two weeks in the July-August timeframe located at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in support of the EAA AirVenture fly-In. During the event, Wittman Field is temporarily the busiest civilian airport in the world with over 20,000 aircraft and 500,000 people attending annually.
In the winter of 1966-67, Iowa Wing Commander Col Allen Towne requested an intensive training program within the wing to train senior and cadet members in ground search and rescue techniques and wilderness survival. Under the command of Iowa Wing Deputy Commander Lt Col William B. Cass [later to be Iowa Wing Commander and then CAP's National Commander], the program started in the spring of 1967. Over three decades, this idea bloomed, took life and grew. The idea was the core of what was then called the Civil Air Patrol Special Service Corps.
Most people know this group by its popular name, the Blue Berets.
The program has seen many changes from its start of teaching search and rescue skills to providing support to a 20,000 aircraft flight line at the country's largest Airshow. It grew from a wing-level sponsored program and progressed to region and finally as a National Special Activity. Unfortunately, the program came to an end after the 1989 encampment.
The program carried on into the 1990s as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)-Oshkosh Activity but participation was lackluster. Sometime in 1996, the Blue Beret activity was reinstated to increase support to the EAA air show and the activity once again took off in popularity. Presently, the National Blue Beret and the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger School at Hawk Mountain are the only NCSAs specializing in ground team activities in Civil Air Patrol.
Prior to 1989, Cadets and Officers trained in a wide range of Emergency Service subjects including: flight line techniques, aircraft safety and familiarization, ELT-direction finding, ground team techniques, first aid, CPR, personal and team safety, basic fire fighting, crowd control, communications, command & control, personal and team survival, and scene security. Additional instruction included drill and ceremonies, physical training, teamwork building, and public relations.
Currently, Cadets and officers receive training for completion of the Emergency Services ratings for mission radio operator, flight line marshaller, ground team member level three, and urban direction finding. Team members receive extensive practice in finding emergency locator beacons, communicating using CAP radio nets and ground team skills throughout the two week activity and receive mission credit for their activities under a USAF authorized mission number.
Our thanks to Beret alumni and blueberet.org for the historical background.
National Blue Beret Civil Air Patrol
All senior members and cadets must go through In Processing with the Administration Staff.
Senior Members must:
Cadet mass arrivals on scheduled arrival day will be a two stage process:
Stage 1 Bunk Assignment/Contraband
Step 1—ARRIVAL—When you first arrive, you will be directed to the barracks for bunk assignments.
Step 2—CONTRABAND—Shakedown by Training Officer in barracks at your assigned bunk
Step 3—Prep for In-Processing—You will be directed to the Dining Facility (DFAC) wearing your ABU blouse and sand T-Shirt
Bring with you to DFAC:
Stage 2—In-Processing 9 Stations
Station 2—PAO Photographer
Station 3—Beret Bank
Station 6—Meet Cadet Executive Staff (if available), submit Smartbook Test
Station 7—Beret ID Card
Station 8—Cell Phone
For Cadet single arrivals (other than scheduled arrival day), In Processing will be handled by the Administrative Office. Information for the above In Processing items will be collected and/or distributed at that time.
NATIONAL BLUE BERET
CIVIL AIR PATROL
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AUXILIARY
P.O. BOX 3436
OSHKOSH, WI 54903
To: National Blue Beret (NBB) Applicant
From: Activity Director
Subject: Contraband Policy
Our goal is to have a safe event with no incidents. This policy is to provide a safe environment for all cadets and staff. Most accidents or incidents occur due to negligence and some items listed are contraband because they create distractions for yourself or others.
The following list is contraband:
During in-processing, all items brought with you will be searched and any item found will be confiscated and held till the end of the activity. All items are returned to you at the end of the activity. Anyone found in possession of these items after the initial in-processing is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the event.
I understand that my baggage and belongings will be searched for contraband by the Senior Staff of Blue Beret.
I understand that I am not permitted to carry a cell phone or smartwatch during the activity and my cell phone or smartwatch will be secured by the Senior Staff of Blue Beret.
Senior Staff in the Administration building.
Be familiar with this policy and prepared to sign a copy of this form at check in.
There is an EAA Press Corp of approximately 550 members and the event is visited by over 500,000 members of the public every year.
There is a good chance you may be approached by a member of the press corps or the public. If you are, please follow the standard guidelines:
Custom and Courtesies
CQ (HQ) Duty is a regular assignment. The CQ flight is responsible for gatekeeping at the guard shack, helping in the kitchen, managing the “ouija” board, and cleaning the Compound. The overnight CQ flight is also responsible for the overnight laundry cycles and placing clean bags in the bedding/storage room.
Post check list will be available in the guard shack
Entering / Exiting vehicles
Flight line marshals shall wear an orange/reflective vest at all times while on duty. You will wear your cover, even though the flight line is normally a “no hat” area. Never attempt to chase after items blown into flight operations areas.
Beware of jet or prop blast. Eye protection is required at all times for marshallers on the flight line. Ear protection/plugs may be used for extended operations and when appropriate.
Parking Areas Map
Hot or Cold aircraft surfaces
Wind chill and frostbite
Moving flight line vehicles
Glare and snow blindness
Aircraft engine noise
Ice, snow and rain
Jet air intakes
Fuel chemical hazards
Blind taxiways at corners
Slippery grease spots
Ruts and holes in terrain
Foreign objects and debris
Marshaling signal confusion
Windblown sand and dirt
Aircraft wing/tail strikes
Never stand directly in front of a close-by operating aircraft. Tricycle geared aircraft have less visibility than you might think while on the ground. Tail-dragging aircraft have no forward visibility at all. Always position yourself in view of the left seat pilot when marshaling a close-by airplane. Never allow persons or vehicles to pass between a marshaler and a running aircraft.
The person makes the beret...The beret does not make the person.
The beret is a piece of felt and the St. Alban's Cross a piece of metal. But they are what personify the esprit de corps and personal confidence a "beret" feels in their heart.
The crest worn on our berets is a symbol that embodies the Blue Beret spirit. The crest is the St. Alban's cross of gold across a dark blue background. 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.
Often you will see pictures of "old school" Berets with silver St. Alban's cross on their berets. When Beret candidates first reported in, they were issued their cross to be worn on the front of their fatigue caps [or, in earlier years of the program a French Beret that was issued to them. As the encampment progressed, at the end of each day, they would rub the crests on their foreheads. The acid and salt in their sweat would slowly dissolve the cheap gold electroplating on the crests uncovering the silver metal beneath. This ritual was used as a measure of how hard you were working to earn your beret. If you worked hard enough, by the end of the encampment, your beret crest would be blue and silver.
Contrary to popular belief, the beret is not the most important symbol to the Blue Berets. It's the crest, our "Cross".
The History of St. Alban:
Alban sheltered a Christian priest in his home, and was converted and baptized by him. When Roman soldiers went to Alban's house to look for the priest, Alban exchanged cloaks with the priest and was arrested in his stead at Chantry Island. Alban was taken before the magistrate, who was furious at the deception and ordered that Alban be given the punishment due to the priest if he had indeed become a Christian. Alban declared, "I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things." These words are still used in prayer at St Albans Abbey. St Alban was eventually sacrificed to the Roman gods and was condemned to death. He was taken out of the town across the River Ver to the top of the hill opposite. The reputed place of his beheading is where St Albans Cathedral now stands.
In this, we see a man who was willing to give everything, including his life, for his fellow man.
Information from the Wikipedia article on St. Alban: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Alban
All personnel who have successfully completed the National Blue Beret (NBB) activity are authorized to wear the standard AF blue beret while at the activity per CAPR 39-1 dated 9th of August 2021 section 6.2.3 and section 9.2.3. Wear of the beret outside of the activity is now prohibited per CAPR 39-1, dated March 2020. The beret may only be worn with the ABU and dark blue field uniform at the activity when not on active mission assignment (unless specified by staff).
Wear of the beret will conform to standard military policy. The beret will be worn with the leather sweatband parallel to the eyebrows and the drop of the headgear shall be worn over the wearer's right ear.
The only authorized crest is the St. Alban’s Cross and worn on the beret stiffener, centered over the left eye. The knot on the rear of the beret shall be trimmed or tucked inside the headgear to present a professional image.
Recommendations for shaping of the beret:
From I-41 and WI-91
Once you pass the cemetery, you will arrive at the airport security gate. Please call 920-235-9245. Someone will be sent to escort you in. (Image 1)
Please enter the compound through the West gate and exit through the east. (Image 2)
If your vehicle is staying throughout the activity, you will be issued a parking pass to display in your window.
Piper Aircraft Con’t
Rutan Long EZ
Chain of Command for NBB
Asst. Activity Director
Chief Training Officer
Cadet Deputy Commander
Cadet Executive Officer
1st Element Leader
2nd Element Leader
3rd Element Leader
Remaining Flight Members:
National Blue Beret utilizes a cadet staff structure in order to promote continuity and excellence for the activity. The following sections are descriptions of the various staff positions that you will see implemented at National Blue Beret so that you can better discern how to utilize your chain of command while at the activity.
The Cadet Executive Staff at National Blue Beret consists of a Cadet Commander, Cadet Deputy Commander, and Cadet Executive Officer. These three cadets are charged with the responsibility of managing the cadet organizational structure at National Blue Beret to ensure they have an environment where they can effectively execute their responsibilities. The Cadet Executive Officer is tasked with the responsibility of supervising all Compound maintenance operations. This cadet keeps track of the logistical needs around the Compound throughout the day and will assign groups of cadets on the compound to perform any tasks that require extra hands. The Cadet Deputy Commander is tasked with the responsibility of personnel management in relation to the staff. This cadet keeps track of the operational health of our staff and works to assist in the resolution of any personnel conflicts that may arise in order to keep the staff functioning properly. The Cadet Commander works in tandem with and supervises the Deputy Commander and Executive Officer in the execution of their responsibilities. The Cadet Commander also serves as the intermediary between the senior staff and cadet staff in order to ensure the cadet staff is receiving senior member support where necessary.
At National Blue Beret, there is a small flight of cadets that consists of Returning Berets only. This flight has been assigned the Alpha Flight name and serves a unique function at the activity. These cadets are subject matter experts, are considered full members of staff alongside your flight staff, and operate as a self-guided team with a TAC Officer, but no assigned commander. This flight stands ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to serve any mission need, including filling any cadet staff position, should the need arise. This places the flight in a station where they must maintain a level of mission readiness much higher than that of a flight of first-year cadets. This unique responsibility challenges Alpha Flight to embody the beret principles under circumstances not everyone will experience. There is a great deal to be learned about Beret principles and unique leadership scenarios just by observing this flight. These cadets also serve as an additional resource to their fellow staff members and to the first year cadets. While they do not have explicit authority over the flights at National Blue Beret, they hold a general authority over the operations of the activity similar to that of a first sergeant. This flight works with the cadet executive staff on a regular basis and are considered additional sets of eyes and ears to the executive staff. If they see something that needs to be done on the compound they have the authority to assign tasks to the flights as they see fit. Keep in mind that you should defer to your flight staff (flight leader, flight commander, or flight TAC) for any issues that may arise, if your flight staff is not available an Alpha cadet is a suitable resource to reach out to should you have any issues.
The position of Flight Commander at National Blue Beret is filled by Returning Berets due to their existing knowledge of how the activity is run, what is required of cadets to succeed, and their status as subject matter experts. They lead the flight in concert with the Flight TAC and Flight Leader and cast the vision for the flight in order to guide them to succeed and promote excellence within the team. The flight commander has final authority alongside the TAC officer over matters concerning the operation of the flight in the varying circumstances the flight will encounter throughout the activity.
The position of Flight Leader at National Blue Beret will act as the intermediary between the flight and the Flight Commander, assisting the Flight Commander in execution of his or her duties, will serve as Flight Commander in the Flight Commander’s absence, and works to support and execute the vision of the Flight Commander. When practical, this position is filled by a returning Beret, however, “first time” attendees may serve in this capacity under varying circumstances. As it is a common occurrence that individuals in the flight may be a higher grade than the Flight Leader, it is important to ensure this does not create issues within the flight. Flight Leaders are chosen based on their level of experience within the cadet program by the flight commanders. The cadets who receive this assignment are entrusted by the flight commander and cadet executive staff with the responsibility of assisting with leading the flight.
The TAC officers at National Blue Beret execute their responsibilities in a slightly different manner than what cadets may be familiar with at other civil air patrol activities. The TAC officer serves as a mentor to the Flight Commander and Flight Leader to guide the decision making processes that will impact the flight. These senior members serve not only as a resource to the flight staff but also to the in-flight cadets. When the flight is off compound the TAC officer may act as a Ground Team Leader on mission assignments. Additionally, they offer life experience that can be useful during flight discussions.