8940 Military Department
Program Descriptions


The Military Department manages the following seven programs while serving more than 12,000 youth annually: California Cadet Corps, Oakland Military Institute, Grizzly Youth Academy, Sunburst Youth Academy, Discovery ChalleNGe Academy, STARBASE Academy Sacramento and STARBASE Academy Los Alamitos. The California Cadet Corps, founded in 1911 by the California Legislature and then-Adjutant General BG Edwin Forbes, is a school-based, applied leadership program that is designed to provide maximum growth and leadership opportunities for cadets from elementary through high school levels. It provides leadership opportunities for cadets by allowing them to conduct training for junior cadets, perform as leaders in their cadet military units, and by demonstrating proper behavior and citizenship at their schools and in their communities. As part of their training, cadets provide assistance and support to the school and community. The Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy develops leaders of character by providing a rigorous seven-year college preparatory program to promote excellence in the four pillars of academics, leadership, citizenship, and athletics. Using a military framework, the goal of Oakland Military Institute is to graduate cadets who are capable of meeting the admissions requirements for any college in the nation and who are prepared for their roles as future leaders. The mission of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old high school dropouts. Graduates leave the program with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens. The goal of the Department of Defense STARBASE program is to motivate elementary school students, primarily 5th graders, to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education. The curriculum is designed to increase student involvement and interest in STEM, enhance their understanding of the role that STEM literacy plays in their lives, strengthen potential for future careers, and make the pursuit of STEM activities more attractive and accessible. While attending STARBASE students interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the "real world." These seven youth programs are financed with federal, state and local funds. The California National Guard is involved in youth programs because political and community leaders at the federal, state, and local levels recognize that the National Guard brings structure, discipline, and effective leadership training methods to the educational setting.