National Blue Beret
A CIVIL AIR PATROL National Cadet Special Activity
Q: WHO SHOULD ATTEND NATIONAL BLUE BERET?
A: Any cadet who is a current member of CAP and who has previously attended an encampment can apply to attend NBB. Cadets must know their Physical Fitness Category and their limitations and be prepared to discuss them with medical staff prior to the activity. They should be able to stand for long periods of time in all weather conditions, and walk/run distances up to a mile at a time. Being an aviation enthusiast helps, too.
Q: WHY SHOULD A CADET ATTEND NBB?
Q: WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR NBB?
A: Cadet Requirements:
REQUIRED for participation:
Q: HOW DO I PAY FOR THE ACTIVITY?
A: In eServices, in theRegistration and Payment System.
Q: PARENT: “MY SON/DAUGHTER HAS BEEN AWAY FROM HOME BEFORE. BUT THIS IS TWO WEEKS LONG. IS THIS EVER A PROBLEM?”
A: Normally, this is not a problem. Even though cadets attending are older and have been away from home before, they do get homesick; this is quite normal. The schedule at NBB is extremely busy. Most “down time” is used for fun, fitness, and team building. As with encampment, each flight has an assigned senior member (called a Training Officer) who will be watching for signs of homesickness.
Very Important for family members back home! Please do not set up any regular communication plan with your cadet! Cadets will not have cell phones with them (cell phones are on the prohibited items list), nor will they have access to a telephone. Additionally, parental contact can disrupt the schedule for the cadet and staff. For the same reason, please do not telephone your cadet at NBB for routine matters or to “see how they are doing”. If there are problems at NBB, staff will contact parents. If you need to contact your cadet due to an emergency, NBB staff will cooperate fully. The cadets will have access to their phones twice during the activity. Normally (and we overtly encourage this) they will call home. However, any cadet who has a need to contact parents may, under certain circumstances, do so by contacting their Training Officer.
Cadets: it is normal for your family to experience a longing for your presence while you are away from home at NBB. Please encourage them to persevere through your absence and know that you are having a great time. Show them the web site and add them to the Facebook Group so they can visit it often and look for photos and videos of the activity to see your shining face.
Extremely Important: While cadets are attending NBB, parents should not leave home for any extended period, such as a vacation, unless they designate a family member or friend who will coordinate with NBB staff to get a cadet home if they need to leave the activity early due illness or for any other reason. This alternate emergency contact information must be provided to activity staff.
Q: WHO SUPERVISES THE CADETS AT NBB?
A: Safety is of paramount importance throughout NBB! Approximately forty adult CAP staff members, both male and female, supervise cadets at all times. Same-gender senior members are housed near, or in an adjacent room, to each open-bay barracks room so that cadets are supervised twenty-four hours each day.
Q: ARE THERE ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACTIVITY?
A: Yes. In addition to CAP Regulations governing cadet activities, previous year’s facebook pages, as well as the Experimental Aircraft Association web site for AIRVenture are great resources to get a bigger picture of the activity. Cadets and seniors who have attended previous years are a great source of information as well. Your squadron commander may also be an excellent resource for information.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF HOUSING AND DINING FACILITIES ARE USED?
A: Cadets will be living in open-room military barracks during activity. Flights are pre-assigned. Male and female cadets are housed on separate barracks and have separate bath/toilet facilities. Dining facilities are located on the same compound next door to the barracks. Food is prepared by trained food service professionals in professional kitchens and is served cafeteria style. A balanced diet with appropriate calories to support the activity level of the participants is provided. Legitimate food allergies and medical dietary restrictions should be addressed during the application process and every effort will be made to accommodate these requirements. If you question the ability of the food services staff to be able to accommodate your needs, the burden is on you to contact the activity prior to sending your cadet. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to accommodate diets that are “lifestyle or life-choice” decisions. Special weight loss diets and similar diets fall into this category and will likely not be accommodated.
Q: HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR NBB?
A: NBB is not an encampment; however, the schedule is very full. The focus is on the mission. And being prepared is paramount. Follow the packing list precisely. It has been honed over many years of experience. There is limited space. So packing more than what’s on the list is as problematic as not bringing what’s on the list. There is no opportunity to just go get something forgotten. Pack early so you can make sure you have it all. Have someone else help you check the list.
Uniforms: Make sure that your uniforms conform precisely to CAPM 39-1. Period. Not your wing or group or squadron customs, instructional letters, policies, etc. This is a National Activity and we must all conform to CAPM 39-1.
Physical conditioning is important. Each day begins early, with opening formation and we immediately go to work.
Participants should arrive having been provided basic instructions on doing laundry. There is virtually no ironing. Laundry soap is provided.
Boots: must be broken-in before the activity! Have a good pair of boots. You will spend two weeks in them walking just about everywhere you go. Do not show up with brand new boots that are not broken in. Successful execution of the mission (let alone completing the activity for credit) depends heavily on foot health. Each year, blisters are the most common injury at NBB and most are preventable by proper break-in of boots.
Uniforms:Compliance with uniform regulations is extremely important. Regulations require exact placement of all insignia, patches, and accessories. If there are questions about this, contact your home squadron personnel. If cadets arrive at NBB with patches improperly sewn, they are responsible for correcting the error. This is not NBB staff’s job. Please ensure that uniforms are correct prior to arrival or be certain that you know how to sew. YOU will have to fix any problems.
Q: WHAT DO PARTICIPANTS NEED TO BRING TO NBB?
A: As stated above, follow the packing list precisely. It has been honed over many years of experience. There is limited space. So packing more than what’s on the list is as problematic as not bringing what’s on the list.
The Packing List also contains items that are considered contraband/prohibited. Items on the list are required unless specifically indicated as optional. Check, double check and triple check all items before departing for NBB. Each year, some cadets arrive without required items. No spare uniform items are available. Cadets should copy or download the Packing List from the web site. Home squadron commanders or squadron supply officers can make recommendations and may be able to assist in obtaining uniform items. Some uniform items may require ordering so allow adequate time. No uniform items or accessories are available at NBB! Seriously.
Important! Complete an inventory of all required items immediately prior to departing for NBB.
Medication: it is very important that participants bring necessary prescription medication be able to RELIABLY self-medicate. All prescription medication brought to NBB must be in its original container. Over-the-counter medications will generally be kept by the participant. However, some cadet medications will be kept by the medical staff, at the discretion of the Medical Officer In Charge. If a medication is kept by medical staff, administration times will be managed by the medical staff, but the cadet will self-medicate. Since you are not in your normal routine at home, we find this helps to make sure you are keeping up with your meds.
Q: WHAT IF I AM TRAVELING ON A COMMERCIAL FLIGHT TO NBB?
A: Read the welcome letter and follow the instructions very carefully. Arrival times AND departure times are extremely important as we coordinate ground transportation to/from the airport. We are NOT responsible for your ground transportation if you do not follow the instructions. Make sure you know what you are doing BEFORE making commercial flight arrangements for NBB! Read the welcome letter for these details.
Shuttle service will be available between NBB and the following airports:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE)
That’s right. It’s a list of one. It’s the only airport we provide transportation to and from for NBB.
Travel in uniform is PROHIBITED for this activity. Travel in APPROPRIATE civilian clothes. When you arrive at the airport, you will look for for a senior member in a CAP uniform (may be a corporate uniform).
Ground transportation will be (most likely) a white passenger van towing a trailer, and a large motorcoach (like a greyhound bus).
If you are scheduled to arrive within the allotted times for Ground Transportation, but your originally booked flight is delayed, please call the NBB as soon as you know (920)306-4NBB(4622) . Please do not wait until you arrive in Milwaukee to inform us. It can be up to 2.5 hours before we can pick you up. If you choose not to use NBB ground transportation and arrange for other transportation, it will be at your own expense.
If you miss your flight or are delayed for reasons other than weather/airline, ground transportation will be at your expense.
Once you have booked your flight, complete the online form with details of your flight information online, as the welcome letter instructs.
Q: WHAT’S INVOLVED IN THE NBB CHECK IN PROCESS.
A: The staff is conducting in-processing for about 200 people in one day. It must move quickly and efficiently. We do not have time to correct paperwork. This activity is completely booked.
Encampment senior staff members inspect each cadet’s luggage and clothing as part of in-processing. Encampment staff will confiscate prohibited items. Parents, please do not “surprise” your cadet by tucking away a package of chocolate chip cookies in their luggage. They will get the blame – but not the cookies!
Haircuts and hairstyles will be inspected prior to check-in. Haircuts and hairstyles must meet CAP grooming standards throughout the duration of the activity. Staff will not allow cadets to in-process if hair does not meet CAP grooming standards. Do not arrive at NBB with haircuts/hairstyles that do not meet standards, or will not meet the standards by the end of the activity. If in doubt, cut it shorter!
All participants report to barracks to begin in-processing.
Q: MAY FAMILY COME TO NBB AND VISIT DURING THE ACTIVITY?
A: Yes. However, the schedule is extremely time sensitive. Any visits will disrupt the schedule. No one may visit the activity without the specific permission of the Activity Director.
Q: HOW DO I CONTACT A PARTICIPANT IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?
A: For legitimate emergencies, you can contact the Activity Director using the contact information on the web site.
Q: IS THERE A GRADUATION CEREMONY?
A: No. There is not. We have a group dinner near the end of the activity. Earlier during the activity, the Blue Beret will be given to those that have earned it. It is an unpredictable event. But photos are taken.
Copyright 2016. National Blue Beret. All rights reserved.
National Blue Beret is a Civil Air Patrol National Cadet Special Activities (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.