First, congratulations on accepting Squadron level command (the best gig in CAP).
My advice to you in several parts:
1. You hosted a staff meeting with your cadet staff, with a second CPPT approved officer present (good job on both counts - CPPT process discipline, and treating cadet officers as valued parts of the team). Cadet officers are defined as indirect leaders and are appropriate to provide analysis and planning inputs, as well as to execute the plan which you as CC approve.
2. You observed a valid training shortfall in your unit (cadets unable to execute basic drill to standards). As noted, cadet officers are expected to provide INDIRECT leadership, not DIRECT leadership. Thus, your cadet commander and his (cadet officer) staff should never be drilling the flight themselves. They should be monitoring the success of Cadet NCOs instructing and drilling the flight. So, first things first - recommend you address the systematic issue of roles and responsibilities by having everyone study up on job duties. See the Cadet Staff Handbook at: https://www.capmembers.com/file.cfm/media/blogs/documents/Cadet_Staff_Handbook__Nov_16_802A2D2F952CC.pdf
3. You should consider that there might have been a communications issue between you and your subordinates related to this program noncompliance. If there have been irregularities and turmoil within the unit, to the point where your cadet officers are teaching drill... you need to back up and push the "reset" button before taking drastic action to drive willing volunteers away. I would very strongly suggest that you take some steps to hit reset:
3A. ASAP: sign up for a Unit Commanders Course (UCC) for yourself. If OHWG fails to provide them, try neighboring Wings. At the very least, schedule some quiet time to look over the slides on line at: https://www.capmembers.com/cap_university/professional_development/inresidence_courses/unit-commanders-course-ucc/
3B: Schedule a staff retreat on a Saturday, and plan an agenda for it using the CP Manual. This should be a bottom up review of cadet program requirements, starting first with the program expectations (USE THE MANUALS) and then your expectations as Commander. Keep an open mind for discussion and inputs from your staff (cadet and officer). Strongly recommend that you set up a laptop and projector, bring up CAPR 52-16, and scroll through it together, reading the entire freakin' thing.
3C: Your statement, "I have the right to..." etc. seems pretty gutsy to me for a new commander in a unit with problems. Recommend that you re-cage that attitude to read: "As the Commander, I have the duty to enforce the program of record, which requires me to act when I see program discrepancies, from drill to insubordination". My advice here is that when you rest your authority on your opinion you have weak power (especially as a 1LT, no offense intended), but when you make a statement which links your actions to the rule of law and the official program of record, you have STRONG power (and accountability).
4. Regardless of misunderstandings, and regardless of any missteps you might make as a new Commander, that insubordination cannot be allowed to stand. As an example, think on Russell Crowe's Captain Aubrey in the film "Master and Commander" where he backed up his subordinate LT by having an insubordinate rating punished... but then didn't let his young officer off the hook, either. Your "COC" (I would assume that you meant Cadet Commander, or C/CC, who is a part of your cadet "Corps") needs to receive public consequences, quickly.
5. What I would recommend is the following:
5A. Ensure that you have a Membership Committee duly appointed in eServices.
5B. Send an email to the cadet, copying your Membership Committee, informing him that he will report for an in person counseling board this week regarding an incident that took place on XJAN17. Be sure to request that the Chaplain witness attend, and be sure to cc your Group/CC for info (you need a Command track mentor, and be sure that he's got his eye on you, as a new Commander in a troubled unit).
5C. Prepare a one page, short written reprimand for the cadet. Point out in it that IAW CAPR 35-3 27 DECEMBER 2012, 3(d), a valid cause to terminate Cadet membership includes misconduct, defined in 3(d)1 and 4 as "Conduct unbecoming a member of CAP", and "Insubordination", respectively, and that he is hereby formally reprimanded. Do not give this to the cadet, nor discuss it with him, until the board sits.
5D. In the review board, the tone to take is to be firm, to recognize that he has valid concerns, that he has the experience of being a cadet officer and that he's a valued member of CAP that you (especially in your situation) need to help turn the unit around, BUT, that you cannot tolerate insubordination as exhibited by this instance. You are required per the regs (that hook again, see?) to administer progressive discipline by this written warning, and that you want to jointly see this as a growth experience for you both to learn from and move on together. You should expect feedback when you are considering a plan; as you discuss the problem, your subordinates had better be bringing you ideas and even (appropriately, politely, even humorously) critiquing your ideas. When people stop bringing you suggestions, then you are really in trouble as a leader. You need them to feel free enough to give you push back, politely, and you should accept that
- right up until the point where you make a decision and issue the order, at which point participative leadership ends and they should shut up and salute.
5E. Having duly taken into account his frustration at having a screwed up unit and potentially at your actions, if you find that due to continued outbursts you must suspend a sitting Cadet Commander for this, really you should remove him for cause. If so, recommend you document that too. If he goes off on you further and exhibits an inability to control himself, recommend you terminate him swiftly, ensuring that you cc your Group/CC. That's not Mitchell cadet quality.
Expected outcome: you need this to not be LT Telford versus Cadet Bagodonuts, but you, trying to follow the program, with the expectation that whatever nutso or fantastic orders you give, that they will give you feedback in a calm and rational manner. If you give a nutso order (I've done so many times over the past 30 years, to my shame), you should expect to get some push back.
Here's my advice on that: float your analysis and ideas as a draft plan in your staff retreat, and base them on having read the regs and studied the records/history of your unit. Then, give them your Commanders Intent
and step back and let them do their jobs as Cadet Officers
: ("Here's my expectations: I'd like to see us improve drill to the point where every cadet wearing Curry stripes and above can actually pass the Lead lab 1 drill practical they should have passed to earn that stripe... now give me options, people"). Discuss their responses, judge and make your decision, and then empower the Cadet NCOs to implement it
. Move to next problem. In summary, use this drill problem as your model to implement a proper unit staff function.
Long, wordy response. Let us know how this sounds.