Academy cadets are organized into squadrons to teach respect for and use of the chain of command. A squad leader heads each squadron. A squad leader heads each squadron. A squad leader must be an upper class cadet who has shown leadership abilities. Squadron size is from five to fifteen cadets. Academy administration determines the size of an individual squadron based on the needs of individual cadets. Larger squadrons may include smaller individual squads, at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Squadrons exist to teach cadets to work together as a team, to respect authority, and to learn the command and social skills vital to Starfleet officers. The Superintendent may reassign cadets to a different squadron as a result of recommendations from an instructor or at the request of a cadet who can present good reason for such a transfer. The administration discourages frivolous transfers between squadrons since cadets are expected to learn to work together and overcome any personal differences.

Squadrons regularly train together and with other squadrons. Squadrons may take part in special Academy programs, such as advanced flight training, with the permission of the Superintendent. Such programs are often used to reward exemplary performance.

Red Squad

Starfleet Academy uses the squadron system to allow cadets of similar interests and needs to work together, learning teamwork and respect for authority. Red Squad is an outgrowth of this idea, grouping outstanding Starfleet cadets together as a team to enhance their experience and education at the Academy. Red Squad provides an atmosphere that encourages excellence among all its members.

Membership in Red Squad requires the Superintendent's permission as well as an outstanding and spotless record from the applying cadet. Red Squad members are eligible to live in a special dormitory set aside for squad members and may take part in specialized classes, training, and field work. Members of Red Squad are expected to exemplify Starfleet ideals and provides an example to other cadets of how much they can achieve. This squad truly represents the finest the Academy has to offer.