The CAP provides mentoring to youth and can lead to a career in the Air Force.
It traveled three times the speed of sound, at 2,200 miles an hour.
"Because of the altitude we could go where most other airplanes couldn't go," said Colonel Joe Kinego, retired United States Air Force pilot.
Kinego flew the Cold War's SR-71 Blackbird. The aircraft could pass a football field length in one blink. But the air force, he says, isn't only about flying a souped-up plane.
"It teaches discipline to the young people, gives them a strong sense of identity," said Kinego.
On Saturday, Kinego visited the Civil Air Patrol's Rochester Squadron to speak to cadets about a future in the air force.
"What you learn as a young cadet from your mentor hopefully will make you a good mentor to a young cadet when you're in charge," said Kinego.
The civil air patrol is a volunteer organization with the United States Air Force that provides emergency services like search and rescue, as well as aerospace education for youth and the general public.
"If you were to be lost in the woods, they would be coming out after you there are chapters that do medical missions," said Kinego.
Whether it's the allure of fast planes, the brotherhood or serving your country, Colonel Kinego says the mentoring available within the civil air patrol is a great place to start.
"I spent 27 years in the air force and I had many men and women who inspired me," said Kinego.