Slots available for Civil Air Patrol Cadet Enginee...

Slots available for Civil Air Patrol Cadet Engineering Technology Academy at MTSU

Spots remain available for this summer’s Civil Air Patrol National Cadet Engineering Technology Academy (E-Tech), set for June 26 through July 2 on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.

Lt. Col. Robert Gilbert, the activity director, said the academy has extended its application deadline to May 31 in hopes that additional cadets will take advantage of the unique educational experience.

A group of Civil Air Patrol cadets work with robots from MTSU’s mechatronics engineering program Tuesday, June 25, in Davis Science Building during the 2019 CAP national E-Tech Engineering Academy. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Gilbert said cadets will stay in MTSU residence halls and attend classes taught by university faculty members from Aerospace, Engineering Technology, Physics and Astronomy, Data Science and Mechatronics. The academy also features leadership activities from MTSU’s Army ROTC program, as well as a seminar led by retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, the university’s senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives.

This year is set to be the fourth time MTSU has hosted the academy. It was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. MTSU and CAP have been partners in aerospace education for cadets since 2014.

“This will be a unique, hands-on set of experiences across a broad range of science and technology fields — and we’re excited about resuming this activity,” Gilbert said. “We’ve worked well with our partners at MTSU to develop another great curriculum for this academy.”

Participants must be Civil Air Patrol cadets, at least 15 years old and have completed a week-long encampment activity before being eligible. The $395 cost for the week-long event includes housing and dining on campus, as well as other activities. Go to for the link to apply for the academy through CAP’s eServices Registration and Payment System.

Civil Air Patrol cadet David Farmer utillizes virtual reality goggles during a visit to the MTSU James E. Walker Library’s Makerspace area during the 2019 Civil Air Patrol National E-Tech Engineering Academy. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee credits Greg Van Patten, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, for encouraging his faculty to engage with the cadets of the U.S. Air Force volunteer civilian auxiliary.

“Having these CAP cadets on campus is a win-win relationship as they develop a clearer picture of their academic and career interests while getting a taste of the high quality programs offered by our university,” McPhee said.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president
Dr. Sidney A. McPhee
Dr. Greg Van Patten, professor, Chemistry; interim dean, CBAS
Dr. Greg Van Patten

MTSU’s close ties with CAP stretch back to July 1948, the year CAP’s Middle Tennessee State College Squadron was organized; MTSU’s Department of Aerospace was six years old at the time. Based at the old College Airport, the squadron comprised pilots trained on campus and was recognized for its search-and-rescue work. It operated on campus until 1953.

Keith M. Huber, top left, shares advice from his nearly 40-year military career during dinner in McCallie Dining Hall with part of 40 cadets attending the 2019 national E-Tech Engineering Academy at MTSU on Wednesday, June 26. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, retired as a U.S. Army lieutenant general. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)
Cadets engage in a hands-on robotics experience during the mechatronics presentation at the 2017 Civil Air Patrol National Cadet Engineering Technology Academy on the MTSU campus (MTSU file photo)