Cadet Program

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program has it's foundation in the military tradition that comes from being the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP cadets learn aerospace, leadership, moral and ethical skills, and many other useful life skills in a structured environment. Cadets have the opportunity to learn leadership through hands-on leadership opportunities such as being a Flight Sergeant, support staff positions, or one of many other positions. By actually leading fellow cadets toward a common goal, CAP cadets learn teamwork, planning, time management, and leadership skills.

The program is based off of four phases whereby cadets learn more and advance through demonstrating their mastery of the knowledge. Through each of the four phases, cadets promote through ranks similar to Air Force enlisted ranks (click here for a chart of CAP ranks). Cadets start at the "bottom of the totem pole" but can advance to a position where they are leading others. CAP believes strongly that one must learn to follow before learning how to lead. All four phases are ended by a Milestone Award. These awards require a special dedication to the program and to performance. Attaining certain awards allows cadets to be given more responsibilities, attend more activities, and be eligible for more aspects of the cadet program.

One of the greatest parts of the CAP Cadet Program are the special activities. Cadets can attend many different activities throughout their CAP career. Cadets can travel to foreign countries, learn to rescue injured persons, spend time at the Air Force's Space Command Headquarters, learn to fly, and many other opportunities.

Members between the ages of 12 and 18 who join the Southeast Minnesota Composite Squadron immediately begin the Cadet Program. Throughout each month on meeting nights, cadets will receive training in leadership, drill and ceremonies, customs and courtesies, uniform wear, emergency services, aerospace education, moral leadership, safety, and participate in a physical fitness test.

More training is available on the weekends, ranging from cadet programs activities, emergency services training, and aerospace education exercises. Some of these training activities are run by the squadron while others are run at the Wing level. Cadets are required to attend at least one squadron sponsored activity per promotion. Cadets are encouraged to attend at least one activity per month.

Cadets wishing to promote to Cadet Officer ranks or participate in any national special activities, including Flight Academy, must first attend a 7-day training event called Encampment. Currently the Minnesota Wing Encampment happens in the month of June, though there are other encampments available.

We ask that all cadet members give the program at least one year of commitment. We expect cadets to attend at least 3 meetings every month, but would prefer them to make all meetings. We do understand that cadets have other priorities such as school, sports, family, and jobs to name a few. We do ask the cadets to choose a balance that works for everyone. A cadet who participates in more than two sports during the school year will not get as much out of the program as the cadet who does not participate in sports.

Absences from the meetings are expected and accepted, provided the cadet lets the appropriate supervisor know when they will be gone.

It sounds like a big commitment and it is. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The Cadet Program is nationally recognized for it's excellence in teaching skills that will prepare you for the future like no other program can. The Southeast Minnesota Composite Squadron is dedicated to teaching cadets and developing future leaders regardless of what their life goals are.


CAP members lead with integrity - the quality of being sincere, honest, and just. It means that we do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do. It is the ultimate expression of self-discipline, and the quality that, more than anything else, builds trust. 

Volunteer Service

CAP members sacrifice our time and our treasure to help others: to save lives and shape the lives of our youth. To serve is to acknowledge and work towards a higher goal, higher than one’s own desires. It’s a deeply worthy mission.


CAP members commit themselves to a level of performance and achievement reflecting the vital work we perform. It means to never settle for “good enough.” The things we do and the technologies we use – during the meetings, during our missions, even while studying at home – require our continual effort to improve.


CAP members view others as having their own fundamental worth and as responsible for their own unique contribution. It means that members are never measured or judged by their race, sex, ethnicity, religion, national origin, or disability. It means that as members we treat each other with fairness, dignity and compassion. It means we value our organization’s heritage, its priorities, its rules and its purposes.

Join us today!

Attend one of our weekly squadron meetings for more information. We are located at   7300 Brataas Dr SW, Rochester, MN 55902 USA

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Emergency Services

Best known for its members’ work in search and rescue and disaster relief missions, CAP is expanding its role in the 21st century to include an increasing number of homeland security operations and exercises. CAP also performs counterdrug reconnaissance missions at the request of law enforcement agencies and can do radiological monitoring and damage assessment. CAP members undergo rigorous training to perform these missions safely and cost-effectively.

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Aerospace Education

CAP maintains both internal and external aerospace education programs. CAP members, both adults and cadets, follow a rigorous program to learn about aviation and aerospace principles. CAP also reaches out to the general public through a special program for teachers at all grade levels. Through this program, CAP provides free classroom materials and lesson plans for aerospace education and each year sponsors the premier national conference in this field.

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Cadet Program

CAP’s cadet program trains young men and women in teamwork, moral leadership, aerospace education, technical skills to support emergency services, and military history and customs. Through national encampments, a college and flight training scholarship program, and the International Air Cadet Exchange, CAP cadets broaden their horizons, learn to assume responsibility, feel self-confidence and set goals for their lives.

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Officer Program

Senior Members do so much more than just fly; they come from all walks of life. Some are doctors, nurses, paramedics, or other medical professionals. Others are lawyers, paralegals, accountants, computer programmers, and other business professionals and executives. Mechanics, cooks, teachers, police officers, clergy, parents, really just about any career or background can be useful to and found in the ranks of the CAP adult membership. CAP supports a variety of missions that require adults from all walks of life.

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Contact Us

  •  7300 Brataas Dr SW
    Rochester, MN 55902
  •  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.