Our Explorer program is designed to teach our youth to serve themselves and others. We do this by exposing them to challenging activities, many career areas, and giving them opportunities to lead. Army Explorers will also provide service to the community through projects and participation in other programs.

The Army Explorer Program is affiliated with Learning for Life, a career exploration subsidiary of Scouting BSA. We comply with all Learning for Life Exploring regulations as the foundation for this Operations Policy.

Policy Statement –  This document is in effect in its current form. Changes to this document will occur regularly as the youth and advisors change or update By Laws or other policies, or as changes are required by the Charter Organization or Learning for Life.



Purpose. 4

Benefits. 5

Goals. 5

Authority. 5

General Organization. 5

Terms and Definitions. 5

Chapter 2 – Organization. 6

Post/Club Roles and Responsibilities. 6

Ideal Rank Structure. 7

Chain of Command for Youth. 9

Meetings. 9

Attendance. 9

Leave of Absence. 10

Resignations and Terminations. 10

Post Finances. 10

Confidentiality. 10

Food and Beverages. 10

Amendments and Revisions to By Laws. 10

Youth Protection Program.. 11

Chapter 3 – Uniforms. 11

Army Explorer Class A Uniform.. 11

Army Explorer Class B Uniform.. 12

Army Explorer Class C Uniform.. 12

Army Explorer PT Uniform.. 12

Grooming. 13

Chapter 4 – Conduct and Behavior. 13

Behavior and Behavior Contract 13

Battle Buddy. 13

Grades. 13

Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking/Vaping. 13

False Statements. 14

Bullying and Violence. 14

Folding and Fixed Blade Cutting Tools. 14

Disciplinary Policy. 14

Rewards, Gifts, Favors, Endorsements, Public Appearance. 14

Chapter 5 – Training and Activities. 15

Recordkeeping. 15

Training Requirements and Promotion. 15

Physical Fitness (Personal Readiness) 15

Cadet Basic Training – CBT. 15

Army Explorer Leadership Camp (AELC) 16

Chapter 6 – Promotions and Advancement Criteria. 17

Probationary Explorer – C/E1. 17

Cadet Private – C/E2. 17

Cadet PFC – C/E3. 18

Cadet Corporal – C/E4. 18

Cadet Sergeant – C/E5. 19

C/E6 and Above. 20

Promotion Criteria. 20

Promotion procedures. 21

Testing. 21

Community Events and Public Relations. 21

Awards Scholarships and Grants. 22

Tabs and Required Criteria. 22




Exploring is part of the Learning for life career education program for young men and women that gives youths an opportunity to visit community organizations and explore the dynamics of various careers.

“The Explorer Motto” – Our best today for a better tomorrow.

Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between community organizations and the youth in that community. Local community organizations initiate a specific Explorer Post, and create activities that help the youth pursue their special interests and grow and develop. This up-to-date approach to middle school and high school-age young people helps them find their present and future roles as individuals in society and in the world of work.

Our Army Exploring program is chartered by VFW Post 5990 in Marana, and is designed to provide those same opportunities while leveraging the Army setting, discipline, structure, and to some extent, the training.


It is the purpose of the Learning for Life to provide young adults with an effective Exploring program designed to build character, teach responsibilities, and develop personal fitness.

Program activities center on six experience areas- career, leadership, service, social interaction, fitness, and the outdoors – to encourage the development of the whole person.

In order to meet the needs of young adults the following methods have been recommended by Learning for Life:

Voluntary association between youth and adult – these relationships provide care, a connection to new ways of thinking and acting, and a new identity as a responsible young adult.

Ethical decision making – Exploring provides numerous opportunities for decision-making and ethical choice.

Teamwork – Exploring activities are interdependent group experiences in which success is dependent on the cooperation of all.

Recognition of Achievement – through formal awards and/or through acknowledgment of the youth’s competence and ability by peers and adults.

Exploring is about curiosity, exploration, and adventure – through new experiences that provide opportunities for new skills and meaningful participation in action-oriented activities.


Army Exploring gives young people hands on experience in military sciences, as well as many other career areas. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, Aviation, Law, Medical, are just a few of the possibilities in the Army Explorers program.

Explorers learn to think – solve problems, lead others, follow their leaders well, and obtain mechanical aptitude and better awareness of their community and our world.

Association with the Army Explorers Program provides a positive role in the community, an opportunity to attain personal growth and achievements even for those not seeking a future in the military. Explorers are confident young people who perform well in job interviews, attain academic excellence, and perform in the workplace with dedication and consistent excellence.


The goals for young people in the Army Explorer Program are:

  • Gain practical experience in the soldier profession or special interests of the Explorer
  • Experience positive leadership from other youth and adult leaders and be given opportunities to take on leadership roles
  • Have opportunities to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, team oriented, and fun environment
  • Learn discipline, honesty, trust, and teamwork.



The By Laws within this Program Operations Manual serve as operational guidelines to provide direction to all members of the Army Explorer Program. These By Laws shall remain as property of the charter organization. Situations not covered within this POM shall be resolved by the Explorer Post/Club Commander and the Charter Organization Advisor.

General Organization

The Explorer Program’s existence within the framework of the Learning for Life division of the Boys Scouts of America serves as Program Authority and Control.

The Charter Organization is responsible for:

  • Initiating and committing to the Explorer Post and Club
  • Providing program resources
  • Securing meeting facilities

Terms and Definitions

ADVISOR – key members of the Post who coordinate and help guide for the Explorers and this program.

EXECUTIVE ADVISOR – The senior advisor.

POST – a basic unit of the Explorer Program for youth ages 14-20

CLUB – a basic unit of the Explorer Program for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade youth 10 -13

MEMBER – Any person registered with Learning for Life and assigned to the Army Exploring Program.

EXPLORER – the registered youth members of the Army Explorer Program, who live in the Tucson area and are at least in the 5th grade and no older than 20 years old.

CADET – Synonymous with Explorer.

PROBATION– 1) the period before a youth has qualified and/or has been initiated into the Post as an Active Explorer. 2) Disciplinary corrective action lasting a minimum of 4 weeks including the Explorer’s forfeit of issue gear and ride-along privileges.

MAY – when used in the context of these By Laws means permissive.

SHALL – when used in the context of these By Laws means mandatory, WILL is a substitute for SHALL.

ACTIVE EXPLORER – An Explorer who maintains the minimum participation requirements of the Post and who is in good standing with the Post.

INACTIVE EXPLORER – An explorer who is not currently functioning at minimum capacity within the Post due to: leave of absence, substandard participation (attendance), disciplinary probation (corrective action), academic probation, or other activity precluding him or her from fulfilling the duties of an active Explorer. Inactive Explorers must forfeit all issued gear, equipment, and materials, as stated in chapter 3 section 10 of these By Laws. An Explorer may return to active status within one year from date of inactivity without loss of last status. After one year of inactivity, the Explorer is officially terminated from the Post. Should the said youth return to the Post, he or she would need to start the Program over from beginning.

ON-LEAVE EXPLORER – an explorer who is taking a planned leave of absence for other than stated above.

QUORUM – Majority (more than ½) of the current or active Explorer membership.

Chapter 2 – Organization

Post/Club Roles and Responsibilities

Post Advisor – an adult leader responsible for post chartering and all leadership duties and responsibilities of an individual post. The Post Advisor may only be affiliated with one Post and one Club and each Post or Club must have only one Post Advisor. The Post Advisor may also serve as the Explorer Program Coordinator.

Adult (Associate) Advisor – must be civilians past the age of 20 and reside in the Denver metro area. The Post leadership must approve Adult Advisors. Each Post should have a minimum of two Adult Advisors. Among other duties, Adult Advisors assist with welcoming new members, youth orientation, and all non-training (community events) post activities.

Technical Advisor – must be a military member, veteran, civilians familiar with the military or other federal service, or former Explorers past the age of 20. The Exploring Program Advisors must approve Technical Advisors. Technical Advisors will primarily be lead instructors during training activities.

Unit Parent Coordinator – an adult volunteer who helps parents of new cadets navigate needs for the cadets, gives advise and brings parent questions and concerns to advisors. Helps with fundraising coordination and recruiting events when possible. Is liaison between parents and unit.

Exploring Leadership- includes all advisors and youth leadership.

Ideal Rank Structure





S-1 Personnel Officer


2LT– 1LT

S-3 Operations and Training Officer


2LT– 1LT

Assistant S3



S-4 Logistics Officer


2LT– 1LT

S-5 Public Affairs Officer


2LT– 1LT

Company Commander



Platoon Sergeant

2 per Company


Squad Leader

4 per Platoon


Supply Sergeant

1 per Company



  1. Company Commander.
    1. Responsible for the effective training, discipline, morale, appearance and performance of the company.
    2. Be familiar with all members of the company to make recommendations for promotions, reductions, and awards.
    3. Coordinate with the other staff to accomplish company missions.
    4. Maintain accountability of all Cadets in the company.


  1. Platoon Sergeant.
    1. Responsible for the effective training, discipline, morale, appearance and performance of the Platoon.
    2. Be familiar with all members of the platoon to make recommendations for promotion, reductions, and awards.
    3. Maintain accountability of all Cadets in the platoon.


  1. Squad Leader.
    1. Responsible for the effective training, discipline, morale, appearance and performance of the squad.
    2. Be familiar with all members of the squad to make recommendations for promotion, reductions, and awards.
    3. Maintain accountability of all Cadets in the squad.


  1. Company Supply Sergeant


  1. Assist the Company Commander with all supply-related issues.
    1. Coordinate with the S-4 as needed.


  1. S-1. Personnel Administration Officer.
    1. Responsible for all matters relating to Personnel and Administration.
    2. Prepare administrative orders and announcements as directed by the Commander and in coordination with the Advisors.
    3. Maintain the Cadet Record database on issues relating to personnel records.
    4. Coordinate with Company Commander and PSG to facilitate timely personnel updates.
    5. Maintain accountability of all ranks, badges, and tabs. Maintain an adequate supply to ensure they are presented to cadets in a timely manner.


  1. S-3. Operations and Training Officer.
    1. Responsible for matters pertaining to training and operations.
    2. Prepare and publish weekly training schedules.
    3. Prepare and publish Operation Orders for all operations.
    4. Plan and coordinate all training activities with Advisors
    5. Ensure the classroom and field training areas are properly prepared prior to training.
    6. In the absence of the Commander, the S-3 will assume command of the company.
    7. Responsible for the Explorers Safety Program and Briefings.


  1. Assistant S3.

    1. Immediately responsible to the S3.
    2. Maintains training and operational records database in coordination with PSG and S3.


  1. S-4. Security / Logistics Officer.
    1. Responsible for all matters relating to logistics, including headcounts for activities and food planning.
    2. Responsible for the storage and maintenance of accurate supply records, to include clothing records, hand receipts, up to date inventories of company equipment.
    3. Responsible for the physical security and accountability of unit equipment.
    4. Responsible for the storage, maintenance, issue and turn-in of all supplies.
    5. Maintain accurate supply records in JUMS.
    6. Coordinate with Company Commander, PSG and Company Supply Sergeant to facilitate timely supply updates.


  1. S-5. Public Affairs Officer.
    1. Responsible for all matters relating to Public Affairs and Information.
    2. Create a favorable image of the Explorers to schools, Cadet’s parents, and the community.
    3. Update social media accounts at or after activities
    4. Coordinate with administration offices to create explorer opportunities for future students.


Chain of Command for Youth

Youth are expected to manage their own communications as much as possible. Due to the ages of cadets, we realize parents must often assist with this. The cadet chain of command and communication for anything of a non-personal nature is as follows:

  1. Squad Leader
  2. Platoon Sergeant
  3. S-1
  4. Commanding Officer

Adult leaders should be contacted for issues of a personal nature, or issues generally not appropriate for a cadet to be involved with.

Please encourage your cadet to communicate their questions and needs to their cadet leadership.

Chain of command can (and should) be broken for harassment, Security threat to persons, place, or property, or personal / sensitive issues. Those issues should be addressed with adult leaders as soon as possible.


Explorer Meetings will instill and follow a general paramilitary style structure. Strictly structured and disciplined meetings will ensure efficiency, accountability, and respect for other Explorers who are committed to learning the basics of military science. Furthermore, this approach proves to create the best character-building and learning environment while giving homage to the traditions of the US Army.

Meetings are held per the training calendar at a pre-designated. Meeting times will be generally consistent based on the activity scheduled and season.

The first 30 minutes is dedicated to Post / Club business. The highest-ranking post officer will call formation and inspection. After inspection, upcoming activities will be discussed, and planning actions will be decided.

After the first 30 minutes, attention is again called, and training will commence. Training is almost always practical in nature.


Any Explorer not able to attend a meeting shall notify their SQUAD LEADER or if unable to reach their squad leader, a Post Officer at least one hour prior to the beginning of the meeting. While meetings are not mandatory, explorers who are below 80% attendance in any 6-month period can be placed on probation. Missing 4 consecutive meetings places the Explorer on inactive status. Absence due to the following reasons do not count against the Explorer when properly communicated:

  • Illness
  • Family Emergency
  • Religious Activity
  • Special School Activity
  • Sports
  • Job
  • Anything else excused by the Advisor/Post Commander

When cadets miss training, it becomes more challenging to ensure they learn and are assessed on the skills they need to achieve rank. Remedial training opportunities should be coordinated between the cadet and their squad leader or platoon sergeant.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence may be granted to an Explorer requesting leave from the Post for more than one month. The request must be submitted in writing with an explanation of the reason for and duration of the leave of absence at least 1 week prior to the leave. Depending on the duration of the leave, any issued equipment may need to be turned in.

Resignations and Terminations

An Explorer may resign from the program at any time, or may be given the opportunity to resign for various reasons. Termination from the program is also a possibility. Termination reasons must be documented and vetted by the post advisor. Eligibility to rejoin is based on Good Standing at time of resignation or termination.

Post Finances

The S1 and the Post Advisor are responsible for the post finances (ultimately the post advisor is responsible as the adult). The S1 will report at leadership meetings as to the status of the post finances.


Explorer files must be kept confidential and available only to post advisors and specifically entrusted cadets on a need to know basis.

Food and Beverages

Bring water and any sustenance required to ensure the cadet is able to conduct the training. Not eating or hydrating before training – and not staying hydrated during training – makes the cadets susceptible to heat related and other injuries.

Amendments and Revisions to By Laws

From time to time updates and revisions may be made to the Aurora Fire Department Explorer by Laws. Amendments initiated at the Explorer level must receive a majority vote from a quorum of the Explorer Leadership at the time of the vote.

A By Law amended by the Explorer Leadership must receive approval from the Post Advisor and Program Coordinator to assure that the amended By Law still conforms to any superseding applicable Learning for Life policy and procedure dealing with Explorers or the Explorer Program.

Youth Protection Program

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has adopted a number of policies aimed at eliminating opportunities for abuse within the Scouting program. Please refer to the appendix and the “Guide to Safe Scouting” for further information regarding Youth Protection & Adult Leadership. Information on youth protection & scouting may also be obtained by visiting the Learning for Life web site at

In addition to the YPP Program, Army Exploring takes the following further steps. Each youth participant will be assigned a designator/call sign. Whenever possible, the designator will be used in documents that are likely to be seen by the public. The youth’s name will not be published in recognition lists for things like rank advancement lists that might be available to the general public.  Individual, named recognition may occur in news articles and similar publications.

Chapter 3 – Uniforms

See Appendix 1 for information about uniform items.

Each Explorer is responsible for purchase, maintenance, and cleanliness of his or her uniform. This is not a parental responsibility. If a uniform is in an unsatisfactory condition, “My Mom/Dad didn’t get it washed,” is not an acceptable answer.

Our uniform regulations differ from those of AR 670-1 in that we do not wish to burden families with the extra expense of a dress uniform wardrobe and accouterments. This would make the program cost prohibitive for many young people who could otherwise benefit from the program.

We wear the Army Combat Uniform (ACU/UCP) in three configurations. They are inexpensive and will help differentiate Explorers from Active Duty as the Army moves to the new OCP uniform.

Be careful that you are purchasing the Army ACU pattern – older camo patterns and patterns of other services are not permitted.

Army Explorer Class A Uniform

  • Army Combat Uniform (ACU/UCP pattern) pants, bloused
  • ACU jacket
  • Tan t-shirt
  • Tan or green 2” wide pants belt
  • Black pistol belt
  • Desert Tan combat boots
  • Black or OD green Socks
  • Black Pistol Belt
  • Full color, reversed American Flag – right arm pocket flap
  • ACU Name Tapes on back of patrol cap and right breast
  • Explorer Tape of left breast
  • Patrol Cap with Army Exploring patch, or Beret with flash (NCOs), or flash with rank (Officers)

Army Explorer Class B Uniform

  • Army Combat Uniform (ACU pattern) pants, bloused with blousing bands
  • ACU jacket
  • Tan t-shirt
  • Tan or green 2” wide web belt
  • Desert Tan combat boots
  • Black or OD green Socks
  • ACU Patrol Cap with no rank
  • Full color, reversed American Flag – right arm pocket flap
  • ACU Name Tapes on back of patrol cap and right breast
  • Explorer Tape of left breast
  • Fighting Load Carry (FLC) Vest with 2 canteens or water carrier (FLC is issued. Youth purchases canteens and canteen covers)
  • Patrol Cap with Army Exploring patch
  • Unless otherwise indicated by Cadet Commander, Beret can be worn with Class B

Army Explorer Class C Uniform

  • Army Combat Uniform (ACU pattern) pants, bloused with blousing bands
  • ACU Combat Shirt (MASSIF Style) or ACU Jacket
  • Shemagh (optional)
  • Tan or green 2” wide web belt
  • Desert Tan combat boots
  • Black or OD green Socks
  • ACU Patrol Cap or ACU “boonie” hat (preferred)
  • Full color, reversed American Flag – arm flag flap (Combat Shirt)
  • ACU Name Tapes on back of patrol cap and sleeve (Combat shirt)
  • Velcro Rank on Sleeve (Combat Shirt)

Army Explorer PT Uniform

  • Black running shorts with Army logo or No Logo
  • Gray T-Shirt with Army logo or No Logo
  • Athletic socks
  • Running shoes
  • ACU Pants (alternate for shorts)
  • Tan T-Shirt -, if ACU pants are worn

For Club Cadets

Army Issue ACU in extra small or small sizes can sometimes be found on ebay or in surplus stores, but often it is easier for parents of younger cadets to find alternative uniforms. You can find acceptable alternatives at Miller’s Surplus (ask for help), or by ordering Item#/SKU: TRPR-125-ACU from

You will need to buy an issue patrol cap, as the one that comes with these alternative sets are not acceptable for the program. You’ll likely need to do a bit more sewing with the alternate uniforms.

If you find Army Issue ACU in your youth’s size, by all means, use those.


Grooming standards for youth and uniformed adults mirror those of Army Regulation (AR) 670-1, which can be found at  Deviations from these standards need to be approved by Adult leadership. If you are not in conformance, you can still participate, just not in uniform.

Chapter 4 – Conduct and Behavior

Behavior and Behavior Contract

General rules of appropriate comportment are always in effect. Your actions, regardless of where you are or whether you are in uniform, reflect on the entire program.

  • No public displays of affection while in uniform or while participating in an Exploring activity.
  • Explorer activities are for Explorer business only – leave your personal business at home.
  • No one may enter areas designated for a gender other than their own.
  • No one may enter the sleeping area of another gender.
  • All cadets and their legal guardian must sign a behavioral contract at the beginning of the school year, or when they first enter the program.

Battle Buddy

Cadets will be assigned a permanent battle buddy. Whenever needed, temporary battle buddies are assigned. Cadets are not to go ANYWHERE without their battle buddy. This is for your own safety.


Cadets must maintain no less than 2.0 GPA equivalent to remain in good standing. Spot checks of grades via parents or other appropriate means will take place. Cadets not in good standing due to grades will be put on academic probation. This is an administrative hold of all awards and promotions and can be excluded from events if the commander deems it appropriate. This administrative hold will remain in effect until the cadet’s grades are appropriately improved.

Cadets with a weighted GPA of 3.50 or higher, may earn the Academics tab for their uniform.

Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking/Vaping

There is zero tolerance for use of any tobacco products, drugs, or other smoking or vaping products. If you are found with these items, you will be asked to leave, and the Commander will review with you (and with parents for minors) what actions should be taken. At the very least, you will experience a reduction in rank.

False Statements

Knowingly producing a false report or making false statements is contrary to the Army Explorers values and the Army Explorers Creed. The Commander will determine what action to take. It can include anything from probation, reduction in rank, or dismissal from the program.

Bullying and Violence

In order to keep the youth safe, an instance of verifiable bullying or violence are cause for immediate dismissal. Unverifiable instances will result in a notice to the parent and alleged youth that an allegation was made and that a second allegation – verifiable or not – will result in dismissal from the program. We are not going to wait until someone has been verifiably harmed, as our goal is to PROTECT the youth from harm.

Folding and Fixed Blade Cutting Tools

If you wish to carry a folding blade tool, you must successfully complete a knife safety course given by someone in a leadership position. This must be annotated on your records by the S1.

If you wish to carry a fixed-blade tool, you must successfully complete the fixed blade course given by the Platoon Sergeant or higher. This must be annotated on your records by the S1.

Disciplinary Policy

Commander has discretion of the extent of administrative actions applied to cadets. The commander will in all cases meet with a youth under disciplinary review (and with parents for minors) to decide what actions should be taken. Parents are welcome to any such sessions. Discipline is always designed to be in the best interests of the youth and may include the following:

  • Youth may be asked to research a topic specific for the reason for discipline and discuss the research findings with a panel of unit adults
  • Reduction in rank
  • Removal from leadership position.
  • Probationary status – with no ability to earn awards or promotion
  • Asked to leave the unit

Rewards, Gifts, Favors, Endorsements, Public Appearance

Army Explorer Cadets will not accept rewards, gifts, favors, or endorsements related to any Army Explorers service project or activity. Donations to the individual explorer or the organization are acceptable if there is no quid pro quo.

Public Appearances by cadets and uniformed adult leaders are acceptable. AER 670-1 is always in effect if you are appearing in uniform.

Chapter 5 – Training and Activities


The adult leadership and approved cadet leadership have access to your personnel records. Questions about your individual records should be directed to your Squad Leader, who should use the chain of command to resolve your question.

Training Requirements and Promotion

During every activity, cadets will work with a battle buddy. No cadet should ever be alone.

The following training requirements apply to all Army Explorers regardless of rank or position. Waivers can be granted for special circumstances at commander discretion.

Physical Fitness (Personal Readiness)

Each program year, there will be two opportunities to take a graded PR Test in April/May and in October/November. The fitness standards are based on Pushup, Sit-up, and 1 Mile run.

  • Cadets must score at least 60 points in each event to pass the PRT.
  • The scoring is based on a matrix with two age groups 10-14 and 15-20.
  • There is a variable points scale for males and females in the pushup and run events.
  • The sit-up event is scored the same for males as for females

Cadet Basic Training – CBT

  1. This activity is a 3-Night/2-day camping event at the Double V Ranch. Cadets will learn the basics of discipline, teamwork, and focus on tactical and technical proficiency for all E2 qualifying skills, as well as many of the E3 qualifying skills.
  2. Cadets who successfully complete CBT will be promoted to E2 at the close of the CBT activities. Parents are encouraged to attend this ceremony.
  3. Cadets cannot progress to PFC until CBT completed

Packing List:




FLC Vest


Provided by Unit

Class B Uniform


Complete; Worn

Extra Socks


Black or Green

Extra Tee



Extra Underwear



Black knit cap


Optional – No logo unless army

Boonie Cap (optional


ACU only

1 QT Canteens OR 1.5l or larger water bladder

2 canteens; 1 bladder


55L or Larger Rucksack or Duffel (can be military or civilian)


Rucksack is ACU, Green, Tan or Black

Duffel can be any color; nature tones preferred

Headlamp or flashlight with a red lens


We don’t use white light in the field.



Not optional; year round

Gloves / Glove Liners



Toiletries kit with your needed hygiene articles


Print name on it

Sleeping bag or sleeping roll of blankets


No color requirement / best if it’s a 10-degree bag or lower.

Rain Gear


Poncho or rain pants and jacket

Camo compact or sticks


Three color brown, black, olive or four color including sand

First Aid Kit


Optional but useful


As needed – provide with instructions to Bivouac OIC


Army Explorer Leadership Camp (AELC)


  1. This activity is a 2-day/3-night event held after the last week of school.


  1. Cadets must earn the right to go. The criteria are:
    1. Have an excellent record of wearing your uniform on Uniform Day.
    2. Must pass all your classes.
    3. Your achievement and attitude in Army Explorers must be well above average.
    4. Must be physically and emotionally able to undergo the training.
    5. Other criteria as determined by the Instructors


  1. AELC Events include many leadership opportunities and:
    1. Physical Fitness Obstacle Course
    2. Land Navigation
    3. Leader Recon and Sand table
    4. Tactical Recon
    5. Air Rifle Marksmanship
    6. Leadership Reaction Course
    7. Modified APRT




Chapter 6 – Promotions and Advancement Criteria

Probationary Explorer – C/E1

New applicants are probationary for no less than 4 consecutive meetings. There can be no break in attendance to constitute 4 consecutive meetings without a leave of absence. During these meetings, the E1 will work with an assigned “Buddy” to learn the skills required for promotion to E2. Any waivers to this policy are at the discretion of the Commanding Advisor.

Cadet Private – C/E2

To attain this rank, the Explorer must be assessed by a higher-ranking youth, or by a uniformed adult advisor in the following:

  • Display a willing and positive attitude
  • Attend 4 meetings
  • Correctly render the hand salute by command
  • Recite the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Correctly recite the Army Explorer Creed
    • I am an American Army Explorer – a member of a Team.
      I will do my best to support the principles of freedom for which my country stands.
      I am proud of my uniform, my country, and its flag.
      I promise to live in a way that humbly serves my peers, my community, and myself.
      I am an American Army Explorer.
  • Identify all Cadet Ranks
  • Identify all US Army Ranks
  • Come to positions by command (fall in/out, attention, parade rest, stand-at ease, at ease, rest) and describe the differences between them.
  • Recite the Army Explorer Creed
  • Warrior Skills C/E2 (can be found on the internet)
    • 113-571-1022 Perform Voice Communications
    • 071-326-0608 Use Visual Signaling Techniques
    • 052-191-1361 Camouflage Yourself and Your Individual Equipment
    • 071-331-0815 Practice Noise, Light, and Litter Discipline
  • Execute all facing movements by command (left, right, about, half left/right)
  • Correctly execute the march by command (forward, rear, column left/right, chain step, flanking right/left)
    • 1st General Order – I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
    • 2nd General Order – I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner.
    • 3rd General Order – I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.
  • Learn the Military Phonetic Alphabet and Numbers


  • Learn to tell time on a 24 hour clock (Military Time)

Cadet PFC – C/E3

To attain this rank, the Explorer must be assessed by a higher-ranking youth, or by a uniformed adult advisor in the following:

  • Take initial Physical Readiness Test (PRT)
  • Identify all US Services Enlisted and Officer Ranks
  • Able to assume leadership of and move cadet formations from point to point without difficulty
  • Warrior Skills C/E3 (can be found on the internet)
    • 081-831-1001 Evaluate a Casualty (Tactical Combat Casualty Care)
    • 081-831-1003 Perform First Aid to Clear an Object Stuck in the Throat of a Conscious Casualty
    • 301-371-1000 Report Intelligence Information
    • 081-831-1005 Perform First Aid to Prevent or Control Shock
    • 081-831-1007 Perform First Aid for Burns
    • 081-831-1008 Perform First Aid for Heat Injuries
    • 071-329-1000 Identify Topographic Symbols on a Military Map
    • 071-329-1001 Identify Terrain Features on a Map
    • 071-329-1002 Determine the Grid Coordinates of a Point on a Military Map
    • 071-329-1003 Determine a Magnetic Azimuth Using a Lensatic Compass
    • 071-329-1004 Determine the Elevation of a Point on the Ground Using a Map
    • 071-329-1005 Determine a Location on the Ground by Terrain Association
    • 071-329-1018 Determine Direction Without a Compass
    • 071-510-0001 Determine Azimuths Using a Protractor

Cadet Corporal – C/E4

To attain this rank, the Explorer must be assessed by a higher-ranking youth, or by a uniformed adult advisor in the following:

  • Pass the PRT with at least 60 Points in each event.
  • Perform voice communications, including opening and closing a radio net.
  • Participate in 1 service project and 1 recruiting event in past 180 days (commander may choose to waive this if opportunities have not been available)
  • Participated in 2 field exercises in past 180 days
  • Warrior Skills C/E4
    • 081-831-1023 Perform First Aid to Restore Breathing and/or Pulse
    • 081-831-1025 Perform First Aid for an Open Abdominal Wound
    • 081-831-1026 Perform First Aid for an Open Chest Wound
    • 081-831-1033 Perform First Aid for an Open Head Wound
    • 081-831-1034 Perform First Aid for a Suspected Fracture
    • 081-831-1044 Perform First Aid for Nerve Agent Injury
    • 081-831-1045 Perform First Aid for Cold Injuries
    • 081-831-1046 Transport a Casualty
    • 081-831-1053 Practice Individual Preventive Medicine Countermeasures
    • 071-000-0006 React to Man-to-Man Contact
    • 071-326-0501 Move as a Member of a Fire Team
    • 071-326-0502 Move Under Direct Fire
    • 071-326-0503 Move Over, Through, or Around Obstacles (Except Minefields)
    • 071-326-0510 React to Indirect Fire While Dismounted
    • 071-326-0511 React to Flares
    • 071-329-1014 Locate an Unknown Point on a Map and on the Ground by Intersection
    • 071-329-1015 Locate an Unknown Point on a Map and on the Ground by Resection
    • 071-510-0002 Compute Back Azimuths
    • 081-831-0101 Request Medical Evacuation
    • 071-326-0515 Select a Movement Route Using a Map
  • Arrange a team or squad in various tactical formations

Cadet Sergeant – C/E5

  • Cadets must be
  • This rank requires a written test and a promotion board appearance
  • To attain this rank, the Explorer must be assessed by a uniformed adult advisor in the following:
    • No failed PRT in the past year
    • Participate in 2 service projects and 2 recruiting events in past 180 days
    • Attended additional career field training
    • Led 2 field activities or provided 2 skills instruction sessions in past 90 days
    • Able to conduct inspection of formation
  • Warrior Skills C/E5
    • 081-831-1056 Coordinate Medical Activity Support
    • 081-831-1057 Supervise Compliance with Preventive Medicine Measures
    • 158-100-3006 Resolve an Ethical Problem
    • 805C-PAD-2401 The Army’s Equal Opportunity Program and Sexual Harassment Policy
    • 071-326-5705 Establish an Observation Post
    • 158-100-4003 Communicate Effectively at the Direct Leadership Level
    • 158-100-4009 Communicate in Writing
    • 071-326-5502 Issue a Fragmentary Order
    • 071-326-5503 Issue a Warning Order
    • 071-730-0006 Enforce Operations Security
    • 158-100-7003 Counsel a Subordinate
    • 158-100-7012 Develop Subordinates
    • 158-100-7015 Develop an Effective Team
    • 158-100-8006 Solve Problems Using the Military Problem-Solving Process
    • 081-831-1058 Supervise Casualty Treatment and Evacuation
    • 081-831-1059 Implement Measures to Reduce Combat Stress
    • 071-331-0820 Analyze Terrain
    • 071-410-0012 Conduct Occupation of an Assembly Area
    • 071-420-0021 Conduct a Movement to Contact by a Platoon
    • 071-326-5805 Conduct a Route Reconnaissance Mission
    • 071-332-5021 Prepare a Situation Map
    • 551-88M-3601 Perform Duties as Convoy Commander
    • 551-88N-3042 Plan Unit Move
    • 071-326-3013 Conduct a Tactical Road March
    • 071-720-0015 Conduct an Area Reconnaissance by a Platoon
    • 805C-PAD-2472 Prepare a Duty Roster

C/E6 and Above

These ranks are associated with positions in the Unit. The Cadet Commander, Platoon Sergeant and Adult Leadership will recommend and approve cadets for these ranks based on a wide-range of considerations and will apply the criteria and process below.

Promotion Criteria.

  1. Cadets will be considered for promotion on an ongoing basis, but generally, there are events in the training calendar that trigger promotion. These events generally culminate training and testing for specific rank advancement.
  2. Promotions are based upon your academic and leadership achievement, recommendation by your chain of command, and approval by the Advisors.
  3. Your rank is also related to your duty position.
    1. When you are promoted, you will be assigned to a position of higher rank requirement. If a position is not available, your promotion may be held until a position becomes available.
    2. If you are assigned to a senior leadership position which requires a higher rank, you may be temporarily promoted to that rank. This is called being “frocked” to that rank. You will only hold this rank while in this particular leadership position.
  4. Cadets must be passing all classes to be eligible for promotion.




Promotion procedures.

  1. Each Cadet will be evaluated by a Cadet Rater (immediate supervisor) and Cadet Senior Rater each month. Part of this rating will indicate how well you performed during this period and whether you should be promoted. Performing well on this rating is the first step in getting promoted.
  2. Certain Promotions may require a written test, performance test, and/or appearance board. You must receive a 60% on any test or board score to be considered promotable.
  3. The Promotion Study Guide is available on the website. It is your responsibility to prepare for promotion tests. In addition to qualifying you for promotion, they are also graded.
  4. The Table below lists all promotion criteria to the applicable rank:





Other Requirement








Prior service as a PVT


Performance and Written Test

Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior service as a PFC


Performance and Written Test

Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior service as a CPL


Written Test

Appearance Board by Unit Leadership



Written Test

Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior Service as a SSG


Written Test

Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior Service as a SFC



Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior service as a PFC or above


Written Test

Present a Leadership Brief and Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior service as a 2LT


Written Test

Present a Leadership Brief and Appearance Board by Unit Leadership

Prior service as a 2LT or 1 LT



Appointed by Advisors




Appointed by Advisors




Skills assessments and other internal tests for C/E1 – C/E4 can be conducted by a technical advisor, a uniformed adult leader, or higher-ranking cadet. Assessments for C/E5 and higher must be conducted by a uniformed adult leader or technical advisor

Community Events and Public Relations

Cadets will occasionally participate in community events or events where maximum exposure to the public and/or media is present. Cadets are required to present themselves with dignity at all events in which they are in uniform or otherwise representing the Army Explorers.

Awards Scholarships and Grants

In addition to training related awards, Company and Battalion level awards, and individual achievements, the following awards can be earned.

  • Career Achievement Award – Available to Explorer youth members and recognizes young people for career proficiency achievement and community service.
  • The Young American Award – Given to young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 who have achieved excellence in the respective field and have been involved in service to their community, state or country that adds to the quality of life.
  • Leadership Award for Youth and Adults – is a distinguished award for Explorers and adult volunteer leaders who have given exceptional leadership in Exploring or Learning for Life programs.
  • The Congressional Award – Hours dedicated to earning an award at one level are carried with you to the next level – Bronze, Silver and Gold, available for youth members ages 14 to 24 years old.
  • Adult Learning for Life awards include the Russell C. Hill and William H. Spurgeon III Awards.

Tabs and Required Criteria.

Once awarded, Cadets retain the tab even if no longer on the team or activity that initially qualified them for wear. The Tab is only awarded once.

Tabs are listed below:




Honor Guard

Member of the Color Guard, Flag Detail or Drill Team

Rifle Team

Member of Marksmanship Team or SASP Team

Leader Course

Completing an Exploring or other Leadership Camp


RECONDO team who complete AE RECONDO School and requirements

Medic Patch

Platoon Medic


Has recruited 2 other members who achieved at least E2