California Cadet Corps
The California Cadet Corps (CACC), originally called the California High School Cadets, is a paramilitary youth organization in California open for students in the college, high school, middle school and elementary school grades.
Role and purpose
The six objectives of the California Cadet Corps are to develop leadership, citizenship, patriotism, academic excellence, basic military knowledge, and health, wellness, and fitness. The Cadet Corps motto is "Essayons," a word of the French language meaning "Let us try."
The CACC's primary goal is not to send all their cadets to the military. More of the CACC's cadets have become astronauts, chemists, doctors and other professions than have joined the military.
The CACC's primary goal was originally to prepare young men to be officers in the United States Military, after Brigadier General Edwin A. Forbes saw that the Germans already had such programs before World War I. However the program has since shifted its goal, not only do they prepare young men and women for the service, but also the business world where communication and leadership skills are essential.
History of the California Cadet Corps
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The CACC was originally founded on 5 April 1911 by Brigadier General Edwin Alexander Forbes. At that time every California high school was required to have a California Cadet Corps unit if there were at least thirty-two students interested in the program.
The California Cadet Corps was created by an act of the Legislature on 5 April 1911. The California High School Cadets was designed to prepare young men for service in the California National Guard. In 1935, the Legislature changed the organization's name to the California Cadet Corps.
The program flourished all through both of the World Wars and beyond, until the start of the Vietnam War. At that time there was criticism of the military and CACC's funding was cut by the state of California. The program was basically "dead" all through that time period. The CACC regained its funding in 1999. Since 1999 The Cadet Corps has begun a slow rise back up and as of 2007 there were 8,000 cadets in the state.
The California Cadet Corps is referenced under sections 500 through 520.1 of the California Military and Veterans Code (CMVC). All colleges, community colleges and high schools are required by law to form companies of cadets on their campuses whenever at least 100 students voluntarily enroll in the program (CMVC 500-500.1). The California Adjutant General may organize those cadet companies into battalions and regiments at his or her discretion (CMVC 505). California boards of education, school principals and college presidents are required by law to cooperate with the Adjutant General to implement California Cadet Corps programs (CMVC 517). Those public college and school districts that are not in compliance are denied additional funding and supplies for failing to implement California Cadet Corps programs (CMVC 510, 511, 511.5, & 512).
The California Cadet Corps  is the flagship youth program of the California National Guard. Oversight of the Corps on the state level is provided by the Headquarters Staff, led by the Executive Officer of the California Cadet Corps, which is currently Colonel (CACC) Larry Morden. Officers of the California Cadet Corps are commissioned as officers in the inactive or active militia under the auspices of the Military Department, State of California.
The California Cadet Corps is explicitly opposed in Los Angeles Unified School District by the Coalition Against Militarism in Our Schools, which in their mission statement writes that they are "…working to eliminate the Junior Reserves Officer Training Corp in our High Schools and the California Cadets in our Middle Schools, along with the school community.