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What is Cadet Advanced Individual Training?

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The Cadet Advanced Individual Training (CAIT) program includes training at Army Schools and special courses for Air Assault, Basic Airborne, Mountain Warfare, Northern Warfare, Cadet Field Training at USMA, Sandhurst Competition, SF Combat Diver Qualification Course, Cadet Leadership Development (Infantry) WHINSEC and University Officer Training Center in the United Kingdom.

Generally, in a typical year, the total number of CAIT allocations equals approximately ten percent of the Cadet population at large. Battalion commanders will prepare, select and send to CPDT only those with the highest potential for completing the Cadet Professional Development Training (CPDT) training and for being commissioned. Cadet Command pays for travel. Billeting and mess are provided by the installation in most cases. All Cadets must meet the eligibility criteria to be selected.

Air Assault School (AASLT)

U.S. Army Air Assault School is a 10-day course designed to prepare Soldiers for insertion, evacuation, and pathfinder missions that call for the use of multipurpose transportation and assault helicopters. Air Assault training focuses on the mastery of rappelling techniques and sling load procedures, skills that involve intense concentration and a commitment to safety and preparation.

Most Air Assault Cadets will attend Sabalauski Air Assault School, located at Fort Campbell, Ky. Training is broken into three phases, each lasting three days: Combat Assault Phase, Sling Load Phase, and Rappel Phase. On graduation day, Cadets will undergo a 12-mile rucksack march. When they complete the march, they will earn their wings as official Air Assault Soldiers.

Air Assault School is necessarily physically and mentally demanding, as Soldiers will be required to handle heavy equipment and perform dangerous tasks under extremely stressful conditions. Successful candidates must possess a keen eye for detail and a dedication to meticulous preparation.


Training Day Zero
Candidates must successfully complete an obstacle course and a two-mile run before they are officially considered "Air Assault Students".

Day One
Candidates will undergo a six-mile march, followed by a strict inspection.

Combat Assault Phase
During this three-day phase, candidates will learn aircraft safety and orientation, along with the principles of aero-medical evacuation, pathfinder operations, and combat assault operations among several other topics. Soldiers will be given a written and "hands-on" test following this phase.

Slingload Operations
During the second three-day phase of Air Assault, candidates will learn how to rig equipment onto rotary aircraft with a sling, an operation that generally requires the loading Soldier to hook a tether to the underbelly of a helicopter hovering just a few feet above the ground. Typical loads can range anywhere from 1,000 to 8,000 pounds.

This operation is extremely precise, and requires intense preparation and concentration from all Air Assault team members. Trainees must pass a written and hands-on test before moving to the next phase.

Rappelling Phase
In the third and final three-day phase of Air Assault training, Soldiers receive basic instruction on ground and aircraft repelling procedures. By the end of the phase, trainees must complete two repels from a 34-foot tower and two repels from a UH-60 Blackhawk, hovering at 70-90 feet.

Graduation Day
Soldiers must complete a 12-mile foot march in full gear plus a rucksack in less than three hours. Graduates are awarded the Air Assault Badge and the 2B ASI (Additional Skill Identifier).

Entrance Information
Contact your unit commander for information on how to attend this specialized school.

  • Applicants must meet height and weight standards outlined in IAW AR 600-9.
  • Applicants must have one year service remaining on active duty upon completion of the course.
  • All applicants must complete a 12-mile foot march within 90 days of the class start date and a an obstacle course within 60 days of the start date.
  • An equipment inspection must be completed by the home unit 30 days prior to the class start date.

Airborne School (ABN)

Becoming a paratrooper at Airborne School is a unique experience requiring special dedication and a desire to be challenged mentally and physically. This three-week course, also known as Basic Airborne Course, teaches Soldiers the techniques involved in parachuting from airplanes and landing safely. The final test includes a non-assisted jump.

The purpose of the BAC is to qualify the volunteer in the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment and to develop leadership, self-confidence, and an aggressive spirit through mental and physical conditioning.

Airborne Soldiers have a long and distinguished tradition of being an elite body of fighting men and women–people who have always set the example for determination and courage. When you volunteer for this training, you accept the challenge of continuing this tradition.


Ground Week
During Ground Week, Soldiers must pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). The Ground Week Airborne instruction begins with an intensive program of instruction to build individual Airborne skills. These skills prepare the Soldier to make a parachute jump and land safely. Students train on the mock door, the 34-foot tower and the lateral drift apparatus.

Tower Week
Tower Week completes the Soldier's individual skill training and further builds team effort skills. To go forward to Jump Week, Soldiers must qualify on the Swing Lander Trainer (SLT), master the mass exit procedures from the 34-foot tower, gain canopy confidence and learn how to manipulate the parachute from the 250-foot tower, and pass all physical training requirements.

Jump Week
Successful completion of the previous weeks of training prepares Soldiers for Jump Week. During Jump Week, Soldiers must successfully complete five jumps at 1,250 feet from a C-130 or C-17 aircraft. Paratroopers who successfully meet course requirements are granted an additional skill identifier and are authorized to wear the coveted "Silver Wing" on their uniform.

Entrance Information
The purpose of the Basic Airborne Course (BAC) is to qualify individuals in the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment and to develop leadership, self-confidence, and an aggressive spirit through mental and physical conditioning.

Airborne Soldiers have a long and distinguished tradition of being an elite body of fighting men and women — people who have always set the example for determination and courage. When you volunteer for this training, you accept the challenge of continuing this tradition.

  • Commissioned Officer, Warrant Officer, Noncommissioned Officer, Enlisted personnel and qualified Cadet.
  • Volunteer for the course.
  • Be less than 36 years of age on ATRRS report date.
  • Physically qualify for parachute duty IAW AR 40-501, Hearing Conservation Program Be prepared to pass the APFT with a score of 180 points (60 points per event) using the 17 to 21 year age-group scale as the standard, administered on day one of training.
  • USMA Cadets must complete Cadet Basic Training.
  • ROTC Cadets must be under scholarship or contracted.
  • Enlisted personnel must have completed Basic Combat Training, OSUT, or other service equivalent training.

Army Mountain Warfare School (AMWS)

Mountain Warfare School is a 14 day course at Fort Ethan Allen, VT, designed to instruct students in Army operations in mountainous terrain. Graduates of the course get the E skill identifier as a Military Mountaineer. Mountain Warfare School is extremely rigorous.

Northern Warfare School (NWS)

Northern Warfare school is a two week program of instruction at Fort Richardson, Alaska. The course provides students basic instruction on cold weather survival techniques, mountain and glacier climbing, navigation and river operations. Northern Warfare school is extremely rigorous.

Sandhurst Competition

In 1967, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) presented West Point with a British officer's sword. The intent was for the sword to be the prize for a competition, the aim of which was to promote military excellence among the Corps of Cadets. The original purpose statement read as follows - "To provide the Corps of Cadets with a challenging and rewarding regimental skills competition, which will enhance professional development and military excellence in selected soldier skills".

Examples of events can include the following:
  • Obstacle Course Navigation
  • Combat Swim (with full gear)
  • Rifle Marksmanship
  • Land Navigation
  • Leadership Evaluation
  • Trauma Care
  • Weapon handling skills
  • Problem solving skills
Each USMA Cadet company and visiting team selects a 9-member squad (at least one member must be female) with two alternates. Each squad is required to perform a series of military tasks along a designated route. Scores are determined by combining the points they earn by performing each military task along the route, with the points earned for completing the course within the specified time frame.

The Sandhurst Competition is structured differently each year and is developed to test a team's ability to perform specified tasks that are both mentally and physically challenging. Each event offers the opportunity for each team to showcase their military skills and illustrate leadership.

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Date Updated: 5 Apr 2021
For any website issues or updates please contact:
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Date Updated: 5 Apr 2021