The Missouri Wing Civil Air Patrol held a cadet competition at Fort Leonard Wood March 17 and 18, where cadets from Fort Leonard Wood and Wentzville Composite squadrons competed for the right to represent Missouri Wing Civil Air Patrol at the regional competition being held in April at Camp Ashland, Nebraska.

The cadets of both squadrons performed a written test; an indoor practical (color guard) test; an outdoor practical test, which consisted of properly raising and lowering the flag; a problem-solving test and a physical fitness test.

In addition to the testing, cadets were inspected on the wearing of their Dress Blues, and were graded on extemporaneous and public speaking. Cadets were also graded on teamwork and sportsmanship.

The teams performed so well that they will both advance to regionals, where they will compete against other teams for the national title.

"We have learned from our mistakes of last year," said Justin Smith, Wentzville cadet commander. "Using our knowledge, we want to be a better team and to reach our goals of hopefully attending nationals again."

Cadet Staff Sgt. Damien Dodson, Fort Leonard Wood Squadron, said this is his first year competing, and he is glad he did.

"It was a lot of fun and very interesting to meet the other cadets of Wentzville," Dodson said.

Individuals from ages of 12 to adult are invited to attend squadron meetings on Fort Leonard Wood. Meetings are held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays in building 1288. For more information, call 573.452.4889 or 573.528.3689.

(Editor's note: Spurgeon is the Fort Leonard Wood Composite Squadron Public Affairs officer.)