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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Blue Beret and ABUs
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Fubar
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 689

« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2018, 10:40:43 PM »

I'm legitimately confused by the last couple posts, and I'm hoping that you can both clarify for me.


Personally I don't get the whole Blue Beret thing.  It just sounds like a great scheme to get people to pay to come and work your air show for free.

Who is creating the "scheme" in this sentence?  Is it NHQ?  Is it the EAA?  My understanding is that CAP provides assistance to EAA in running their air show each year.  Airventure requires thousands of volunteers (5,000 in 2017) providing a ridiculous amount of work in order to function.  The end result is a fantastic air show that draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors (nearly 600,000 in 2017).  Scheme seems to indicate that someone is taking advantage of someone else.  It seems to me that that isn't the case, given that literally thousands of people happily give their time, talents, and treasure to make the airshow a success each year.

I don't think I'd go so far as to call it a scheme, but there certainly is an invested interested by the NBB leaders and people who return every year to ensure the activity they love so much remains. If you dumped the hat and the event went away, so does the opportunity for a number of people to be in charge of something or return to the escape from their regular lives.

The EAA certainly isn't an interested party, they barely acknowledge CAP's presence.

Each year, we send a couple hundred people to Oshkosh to provide the EAA with support.  I've attended 4 times; twice as a Cadet, and twice as a Senior Member.  Each time, EAA makes it abundantly clear to us that we are a key component of their volunteer work force.

Unless something has significantly changed, the EAA does not go out of their way to acknowledge CAP's participation. The head EAA guy for marshellers who zips around in his love bug convertible has a cult following at NBB, yet he's the same guy who ensures CAP cadets are never assigned to positions of importance. Cadets are always placed along the marked taxi route, they simply point to the next traffic cone and cadet who marks the route. The one exemption to this is the first cadet off the runway has to point left or right depending upon a sign help up by the pilot (where they want to park), otherwise there's no actual marshelling occurring. Whenever something important comes in, such as a large flight of bonanzas or or military aircraft, EAA volunteers take over.

But hey, the EAA throws a BBQ for all volunteers and includes the CAP cadets, so clearly they love us.

The EAA isn't dumb though. Every little issue that pops up during the week they'll ask CAP if they can support it. We need cadets to "guard" an airplane by standing near it for 12 hours and say "don't touch this" or there was a change in the schedule and we need cadets to stand and create a rope fence near some warbirds. The NBB folks never say no to a EAA request, I suspect out of fear they'll somehow not be invited back the next year. The fact that this spur of the moment requests prevent a number of CAP cadets from seeing the air shows, visiting vendors, or taking in anything Oshkosh related isn't even considered by the leadership, yet the advertising is "come to the biggest airshow" as if you might enjoy some of it.

Last time I swung by the airshow I was told the warbird guys where hoping to expand and take over CAP's area, the same warbird group that CAP supports each year by having cadets serve as a static fence line. I believe CAP, Inc owns/leases the building and land though.

I think that if NBB went away and the Wisconsin Wing simply took over ELT deactivation and overdue aircraft searches, but accepted people from other wings to come in and help, we could accomplish the same mission without all the heartache and drama. Wisconsin Wing might not want the additional workload though, they're already chasing ELTs and overdue aircraft all over the rest of the state.
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etodd
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Posts: 1,226

« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2018, 11:07:11 PM »


.... the EAA does not go out of their way to acknowledge CAP's participation.


Is that a problem? Are folks there as humble servants, or for the recognition? No, I haven't worked this event, but in the various things I do, I'm quite happy being the worker bee. Doesn't bother me if others take credit. Some folks are just like the ones you mention at EAA and want to be in the spotlight. Every org has them. I take pride in my work. Those around me that 'matter' know what we all are doing.
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DocJekyll
Forum Regular

Posts: 173

« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2018, 11:20:47 PM »


.... the EAA does not go out of their way to acknowledge CAP's participation.


Is that a problem? Are folks there as humble servants, or for the recognition? No, I haven't worked this event, but in the various things I do, I'm quite happy being the worker bee. Doesn't bother me if others take credit. Some folks are just like the ones you mention at EAA and want to be in the spotlight. Every org has them. I take pride in my work. Those around me that 'matter' know what we all are doing.

To throw it out there for S&G's, and if all the hate on the activity is to be believed/validated, you get the silly french hat, why would we need any more recognition than that?

Ok, Ok, I admit I was stirring the pot with that one.  >:D I'll go hide in my corner now.
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Fubar
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Posts: 689

« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2018, 11:47:46 PM »


.... the EAA does not go out of their way to acknowledge CAP's participation.


Is that a problem? Are folks there as humble servants, or for the recognition? No, I haven't worked this event, but in the various things I do, I'm quite happy being the worker bee. Doesn't bother me if others take credit. Some folks are just like the ones you mention at EAA and want to be in the spotlight. Every org has them. I take pride in my work. Those around me that 'matter' know what we all are doing.

That's a fair point, but from an organizational standpoint, CAP, Inc. should ensure we get proper recognition for the services we provide. That's how you increase awareness of the organization, create strong partnerships that lead to additional funding sources, or even justify the existing corporate donations and government appropriations we receive.

There's also a legitimate discussion to be had about providing a teenage labor force for free to an organization with over 200,000 members that has more than $50 million in annual income at an event creating $110 million dollars of tourist income for the local community.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,972

« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2018, 12:12:26 AM »

There's also a legitimate discussion to be had about providing a teenage labor force for free to an organization with over 200,000 members that has more than $50 million in annual income at an event creating $110 million dollars of tourist income for the local community.

^This.

The activity is marketed like some "Pancake Fly-in" and that helping out is a "community service", when in fact it's a huge, extremely
profitable business venture.  It's CES for aviation, literally.

As of writing this, there is zero mention of CAP that I can find on their website or other collateral.
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Mitchell 1969
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Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2018, 06:25:00 AM »

In addition to the discussion about getting excited to provide free labor to somebody else’s fundraiser, with a magic hat as the reward, I’d like to go back to what was said earlier.

Specifically, about his “berets” constantly watch other “berets” for real or imagined transgressions of ...something... . To that was added a statement to the effect that the hats and the St. Alban’s Cross have been removed from people who possessed them.

Who, exactly, are the “berets” who are the “watchers?” Who appoints them? How? What is their reporting process for transgressions once the “watching” has revealed ...something... which the watcher finds objectionable? To whom are those reports sent? And - what regulation, manual, pamphlet, supplement, memo or note outlines the process wherein “Berets” are empowered to relieve other “Berets” of their, uh, berets?

Am I the only one who sees the cult-like overtones to what appears to be an undocumented secret society within CAP, complete with its own regalia, oath and, for all I know, secret handshakes?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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_________________
Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
DocJekyll
Forum Regular

Posts: 173

« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2018, 09:13:44 AM »

In addition to the discussion about getting excited to provide free labor to somebody else’s fundraiser, with a magic hat as the reward, I’d like to go back to what was said earlier.

Specifically, about his “berets” constantly watch other “berets” for real or imagined transgressions of ...something... . To that was added a statement to the effect that the hats and the St. Alban’s Cross have been removed from people who possessed them.

Who, exactly, are the “berets” who are the “watchers?” Who appoints them? How? What is their reporting process for transgressions once the “watching” has revealed ...something... which the watcher finds objectionable? To whom are those reports sent? And - what regulation, manual, pamphlet, supplement, memo or note outlines the process wherein “Berets” are empowered to relieve other “Berets” of their, uh, berets?

Am I the only one who sees the cult-like overtones to what appears to be an undocumented secret society within CAP, complete with its own regalia, oath and, for all I know, secret handshakes?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I can only infer from my own body of experience as a beret. It's kinda like being your brothers keeper so to speak. We just look out for and care for each other because of our shared experiences. I think you're taking it too literally and trying to dismantle something in your mind that is a lot more complex than it actually is. I know there's a lot of misspeak going around on it, but I can give you an example from my personal life:

A few months after NBB 06, one of the dudes that I commanded a flight with passed away in a plane crash (those of you that know, you know who it is and likely who I am). I drove 8.5 hrs to where his family lived in the cold, snowy December as a 17 year old with a half beaten down unreliable truck to be there for him and his family...and the other berets that came out for support as well. We were all very close and those 2-3 days we celebrated his life we became even closer.

Now that's probably a little more serious than the occasional correction like "hey dude, you're being a d#(#&@, knock it off that's not what we're about." but it's in the same vein. It's no different in other groups, it just so happens that this particular group gets a lot of hate from the rest of it's org, which I've always found odd.

I think that the tones and accusations of cult-like behavior about those who attend NBB are a bit too hyperbolic. The freemasons it isn't.
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isuhawkeye
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Posts: 1,312

John's web site
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2018, 10:44:36 AM »

I had the pleasure of serving at Oshkosh several times over my CAP career, and I feel like I need to address a few things that have come up in this discussion. 

First, the events surrounding EAA Oshkosh are some of the largest real-world events that CAP runs on a regular basis.  The incident management experience of running a complex incident with multiple sites over several operational periods is incredibly valuable for the development of Communications capabilities, direction finding skills, Incident Management Teams, and much more.  I am surprised that CAP has not done more to bring national attention to the work of the Wisconsin wing.  It could be a great place to develop type 1 and type 2 incident management team members. 

Second, this is one of the only training events that CAP runs that culminates with real-world mission experience. 

Third, to say that EAA doesn't recognize CAP's contribution is not correct.  Considering that CAP is a relatively small presence on the field we get a lot of regular recognition.  Write-ups in the daily newspaper are not uncommon, and EAA radio highlights our work.  This is more than the aviation explorers or many other volunteer groups get. 

Next, to say that CAP jumps for every assignment handed out by EAA is incorrect.  CAP has turned down many assignments on the field.  The requests are weighed by the staff and evaluated.

Finally the headgear.  The Beret grew out of an era where CAP fostered the regional development of special teams.  In the late 70's and early 80's, there were rangers, pathfinders, and all sorts of other wiz bang team names all across the country.  Iowa's Special Service Corps became the North Central Region Special Service Corps which evolved into the National Blue Beret Activity as it exists today.  In its early years, the event was much longer with a week-long field training exercise at Fort McCoy followed by the operational support of the airshow.  Should the headgear be evaluated, probably, but if it is it should be considered along with Ranger tabs and other bling that CAP fosters.  Blaming the failure of the CAP/EAA Oshkosh event with its smurf suits and other challenges is not the benchmark against which those decisions should be made. 

Wrap up, As with many youth-centered programs across the country, there is little that is truly special or unique about completing the National blue Beret Activity.  The sense of pride and accomplishment that these young men and women develop is not special compared to that developed through scout camps or other high adventure programs.  This commonality does not diminish the fact that they work hard, they learned skills, and they developed as individuals and teams.  Those very tangible accomplishments make them feel proud, special, and that is cool.  Youth should come out of these programs with an extra confidence.  My experience with CAP youth is that graduates of any National activity come back with a sense of swagger and pride.  I have had issues with graduates of NBB, Hawk Mountain, PJOC, and NEAS who come home thinking that they are better than everyone else.  It's up to local leaders to harness that pride and use it to better the local unit and to encourage greater development of programs.

Thanks for the time, have a great day and enjoy your experience serving your community
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Eclipse
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Posts: 28,972

« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2018, 11:12:08 AM »

Third, to say that EAA doesn't recognize CAP's contribution is not correct.  Considering that CAP is a relatively small presence on the field we get a lot of regular recognition.  Write-ups in the daily newspaper are not uncommon, and EAA radio highlights our work.  This is more than the aviation explorers or many other volunteer groups get. 

This is the issue - reality does not jive with the rhetoric, and that's where the dichotomy with the swagger comes in.

Same goes for recognition - as I mentioned before, the EAA surely appreciates the help, but with zero external mentions
of "partnerships", etc., the overall value nationally, of an activity which CAP portends to be a core part of, is essentially
lost or non-existent.  Mentions in the paper or on EAA radio are the equivalent of encampment newsletters - you're
just preaching to the choir.

The comment about the communications and ICS training opportunities is interesting, but again lost.  I don't think I've ever once
heard or read anything regarding the challenges and best practices in this regard.  I've said for years that if NHQ made Airventure
participants, NESA grads, and "Rangers" the "first-call / first go" teams in major incidents, the grief they get about bling and
elitism would be significantly less.  Yes, these members go to missions like everyone else, but not as a "x" team, just
anecdotally if their wing is involved.

Like a lot of other CAP "non-issue-issues" it goes away with a pen - "leave the hat at the activity, and wear your standard NCSA
patch and dec proudly", but the reality, as mentioned, if that because of the way these activities (not so much NESA) are
marketed, if the "special" is removed, people won't show.

It would be a very interesting exercise to see how many people would go to HMRS if the awards were "just" a dec and a patch.
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isuhawkeye
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,312

John's web site
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2018, 11:31:00 AM »

Quote
Same goes for recognition - as I mentioned before, the EAA surely appreciates the help, but with zero external mentions
of "partnerships", etc., the overall value nationally, of an activity which CAP portends to be a core part of, is essentially
lost or non-existent.  Mentions in the paper or on EAA radio are the equivalent of encampment newsletters - you're
just preaching to the choir.

A recruiting pool of over 500,000 people in attendance all of whom are aviation enthusiasts is a little more than an encampment newsletter
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 336

« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2018, 11:50:57 AM »

This has turned into the best discussion of NBB I’ve seen on this forum.

Incidentally, the best parts of it are when it moves past the beret.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,972

« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2018, 12:00:43 PM »

Quote
Same goes for recognition - as I mentioned before, the EAA surely appreciates the help, but with zero external mentions
of "partnerships", etc., the overall value nationally, of an activity which CAP portends to be a core part of, is essentially
lost or non-existent.  Mentions in the paper or on EAA radio are the equivalent of encampment newsletters - you're
just preaching to the choir.

A recruiting pool of over 500,000 people in attendance all of whom are aviation enthusiasts is a little more than an encampment newsletter

That sounds like a Shark Tank market estimate that would get Cuban all upset, but fair enough, it's still the choir.

Otherwise CAP would see an annual "OshKosh bump", which doesn't happen - you can't even go on the Airventure website
and find a link to CAP, and as someone from a surrounding state, I've never in 18+ years had a new recruit say
"I saw you guys at Oshkosh".

The above point gets more to the typical squandering of opportunity and exposure.

A month out, CAP should be flooding Adsense with "Come see us at booth ##", maybe with a water bottle or
squeeze ball coupon , and then be bringing in reps from every Region (at least, if not every wing) to speak to
people from around the country about what is happening locally in their states, not to mention following up with interested visitors.

(Argument from authority) As someone who works in the Tradeshow industry, I can tell you that just being
"there" isn't enough - you need engagers and follow-up to make the presence worth the expense.
As I said, this and "Sun and Fun" are the CES of Aviation, yet there is zero residual membership
bump at the local level.

Why is that?
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,411

« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2018, 02:04:35 PM »

Is there maybe an issue with the expectation that CAP will always be at Oshkosh, and therefore, maybe get treated as expected staff and not trainees who volunteered to help?

Not compare local operations with an NCSA, but we've faced similar events where a local airport or festival expects us to be there without so much as a mention after the fact in their news article.

Just a thought.
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isuhawkeye
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,312

John's web site
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2018, 02:12:11 PM »

Since you doubt the numbers here is the source https://www.eaa.org/en/airventure/eaa-airventure-news-and-multimedia/eaa-airventure-news/eaa-airventure-oshkosh/08-01-17-airventure-2017-facts-and-figures
they do count daily admissions and total the daily admissions, so if you attend each day for 7 days you will be counted 7 times. 

As to the missed marketing opportunity, there is a separate CAP initiative at Air venture in which CAP staffs a very large display space right off of the aeroshell square (show center) where cap sets up aircraft displays, has youth and adults in uniform.  They share their CAP experiences and provide information to those in attendance. 

Finally, in 1996 I was a young man at Oshkosh for the first time.  My dad paid for my ticket so I could go in and walk around the planes.  That was my first exposure to CAP.  That fall I reached out to the squadron that was at the Aurora Illinois airport and a squadron near Naperville Illinois.  I did not get much of a welcome from them.  I ended up joining CAP in the spring of 1998 while I was a student in college.  I returned to Oshkosh in 1999 as a flight officer at NBB

As we often say your mileage may vary
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francisderosa16
Recruit

Posts: 40

« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2018, 08:45:51 PM »

Also,
I recently encountered a Cadet at an air show in CAP Blues with a blue beret on, is this permitted?
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,285

« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2018, 09:07:45 PM »

No.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,210

« Reply #56 on: June 13, 2018, 09:31:48 PM »

Also,
I recently encountered a Cadet at an air show in CAP Blues with a blue beret on, is this permitted?


You sure they were CAP and not AFJROTC? They have different rules you know.
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isuhawkeye
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,312

John's web site
« Reply #57 on: June 14, 2018, 09:20:12 AM »

Also,
I recently encountered a Cadet at an air show in CAP Blues with a blue beret on, is this permitted?

Do color guards still wear the beret occasionally, or is that a thing of the past?
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,972

« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2018, 09:24:26 AM »

Do they? Probably. Allowed? No.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,411

« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2018, 09:54:02 AM »

Do they? Probably. Allowed? No.

This.

I'd argue that a quarter of uniform discrepancies that we see come from "They said I could" and a quarter come from "Oh, I didn't know." The rest more than likely come from "Meh, who cares?"

It's a real pet peeve. How hard is it to wear the right hat and haircut?
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Blue Beret and ABUs
 


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