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Author Topic: Are drill teams now a thing of the past?  (Read 5492 times)
OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« on: December 21, 2017, 11:01:25 PM »

As I re-engage, I learn that some things never change and others do.

As I read CAPP 52-4 I do not see anything regards an actual drill routine or drill team competition.

Am I missing something, or has the drill team competition gone away?
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,635

« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 11:14:03 PM »

Yes. Its essentially gone.

About 4 years ago the NCC was shut down for a number of reasons. It's new, struggling form is for color guards.
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OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 11:22:38 PM »

Yes. Its essentially gone.

About 4 years ago the NCC was shut down for a number of reasons. It's new, struggling form is for color guards.
That makes me sad.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,635

« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 11:32:28 PM »

That makes me sad.

As it did many others, it also had a decidedly opposite effect on a non-trivial number of members.
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darkmatter
Forum Regular

Posts: 145

« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 11:33:42 PM »

So that make the NCC ribbon and drill teams obsolete. That's sad news. that's one of those thing I should I could have done as a cadet
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OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 11:45:00 PM »

That makes me sad.

As it did many others, it also had a decidedly opposite effect on a non-trivial number of members.
What were the issues?
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,635

« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 12:41:20 AM »

So that make the NCC ribbon and drill teams obsolete. That's sad news. that's one of those thing I should I could have done as a cadet

Not obsolete, different.

https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/activities/national_cadet_competition/



It's now focused on skills and knowledge that are actually useful to cadet life.  However for many of the same reasons
as before the "pause", interest is very minimal in many wings.
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darkmatter
Forum Regular

Posts: 145

« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 06:48:04 AM »

Thanks I'll definitely be dig more into this and possible bring it up To see if any cadet might be interested
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FW
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,176

« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 09:52:11 AM »

That makes me sad.

As it did many others, it also had a decidedly opposite effect on a non-trivial number of members.
What were the issues?

Lack of widespread participation was the main issue.  If I remember correctly, there wasn't a NCC in 2016.  The revamped competition format will,  hopefully increase interest, and make the NCC a real competition.
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Toad1168
Forum Regular

Posts: 156
Unit: Missouri

« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 09:56:30 AM »

Let me start by saying I am a former cadet who competed at the Wing level under the old drill team format.  Now as a senior member, I have taken a team to the NCC under the new format. 

The old format allowed for a display of precision of drill that highlighted only one small aspect of cadet life.  It was not representative of the program and all facets of cadet life.  While I was one that loved and excelled at the paramilitary and leadership side of the program, the old format sidelined those cadets who did not embrace that.

The new format covers all aspects of the program.  A team is required to have cadets that can excel in all events.  From drill, to academics, fitness, and stem.  Personally, I saw where this was the downfall of some teams and it seemed it created animosity from some escorts. 

While I agree that new is not always better, IMHO, this change was needed and better represents all cadets.

I'm not sure that non-participation from many wings is a result of the format change or lack of interest from cadets.  I feel that it is more on senior members who either cannot or will not devote the time required for an undertaking of this magnitude.  It is also incumbent upon Wing Directors of Cadet Programs to create the excitement and recruit squadrons to put together teams. 

Just my two cents and humble opinion.
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Toad
darkmatter
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Posts: 145

« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 11:17:54 AM »

I'm not sure that non-participation from many wings is a result of the format change or lack of interest from cadets.  I feel that it is more on senior members who either cannot or will not devote the time required for an undertaking of this magnitude.  It is also incumbent upon Wing Directors of Cadet Programs to create the excitement and recruit squadrons to put together teams.

Well I can tell you in my wing when I too was a cadet we never knew of the NCC (old format) we barely have held color guard compitition. Now I'm not hating on my wing I think over all we have a great cadet programs but there are areas were we can do better like making sure we attemp to hold a color guard and NCC every year or so weather or not cadets partake that's up to them
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OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2017, 11:22:01 AM »

Thanks I'll definitely be dig more into this and possible bring it up To see if any cadet might be interested

They have a window of time to roar through Group, Wing and Region - if interest is as low as it sounds. They will think themselves "not ready" but with positive encouragement and leadership you could be part of a National Championship team. (Although the format is still a tad odd to me, I will get used to it, I'm sure.)
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 915

« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 11:32:54 AM »

The new format certainly requires a more well-rounded cadet and takes away a lot of the influence that Senior Members and parents had in determining the winner.  There were teams that hired professionals to teach drill and design the innovative drill routines.  Not to mention the hundreds or thousands of dollars that some team spent on custom tailored uniforms that were put together and ironed by adults.

This new format eliminates the bulk of that but there still leaves a lot to be desired in the execution phase.  I attended NCC this year as a spectator and was very surprised at how some rules were simply thrown out which gave an obvious advantage to certain teams.  These changes were made days or even hours before the event so the other teams had little or no time to adjust.  We have a program in place that should be followed to the letter unless there is a safety concern.  Getting rid of an event because one team doesn't have a member that qualifies is the fault of that team and only that team should have to deal with the consequences.

I also was part of a Region even where they had cadets from a team that lost their Wing event serving as judges.  Somehow a team that let the flag hit the ground (very obviously and I could tell that the judges saw it) won first place in that particular event. 
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darkmatter
Forum Regular

Posts: 145

« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 12:06:14 PM »

I've seen things like that happen before it's always sad to see or hear poeple cheat
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Toad1168
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Posts: 156
Unit: Missouri

« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 12:54:43 PM »

I was amazed at how cutthroat some of the escorts were. It was obvious that some were so focused on winning, that the spirit and comraderie of the event was lost. Compete, yes. But the cadets must view it as a fun and challenging event. Some of the cadets will only have this chance once in their careers. Itís our job as senior members to ensure they get the most out of it.

I did not realize an event was thrown out. I wasnít privy to that.
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Toad
kwe1009
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Posts: 915

« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2017, 02:48:02 PM »

I was amazed at how cutthroat some of the escorts were. It was obvious that some were so focused on winning, that the spirit and comraderie of the event was lost. Compete, yes. But the cadets must view it as a fun and challenging event. Some of the cadets will only have this chance once in their careers. Itís our job as senior members to ensure they get the most out of it.

I did not realize an event was thrown out. I wasnít privy to that.

The new-comer Jeopardy.  One team did not have a cadet who had been in CAP less than 24 months so they combined the 2 Jeopardy events into one and had teams.  They also didn't allow competitors in that event to "buzz in" early.  They had to wait until the entire question was read.

The rules are written pretty well so there should not be a need to "adjust" them, especially on the fly like that.  The team that did not have a member who had been in CAP less than 24 months should have know the rules (they have been published for years now) and knew the consequences of not having an eligible member.

If I remember correctly they also didn't do one of the speech events.

I took a team to NCC under the old format a few years ago and it was a great experience for me and the cadets.  There were a few escorts and cadets who were not very friendly but most were.  The dinner before the awards ceremony was a fun event with most cadets mingling with others and trading patches and other trinkets.  I really didn't see that at this past year's event.  It did not seem like the event staff did anything to try and promote cadets intermingling. 

Hopefully this year's event will be run "by the book."  If you follow the written guidance you keep complaints and appearances of favoritism to a minimum.
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Fubar
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Posts: 673

« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 03:35:33 PM »

I feel that it is more on senior members who either cannot or will not devote the time required for an undertaking of this magnitude.  It is also incumbent upon Wing Directors of Cadet Programs to create the excitement and recruit squadrons to put together teams.

And there's your problem. Getting someone to accept an extraordinarily time-intensive job that only benefits a few cadets out of the squadron is a really hard sell. DCPs have no incentives to provide to get units interested, other than you'll put in tons of time and if you win, you also gets to spend more time and now significant cash to travel to the region competition. Win there and it's a rinse and repeat deal.

I do think the new program was a valiant effort to increase the number of cadets who could participate, but it still comes down to time and money and most folks don't have an abundance of either. It might be time to re-evaluate again because unfortunately, the new format isn't getting the participant numbers either.

Perhaps instead of a competition, NHQ could host a NCSA that the interested cadets we have throughout the country could spend a week training on NCC like events and have a final competition on the last day. I'm not sure there are enough interested cadets nationwide to fill this type of NCSA (without offering some sort of goofy hat or uniform bling), but it would be easier than browbeating squadrons and wings to try and field teams.
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Toad1168
Forum Regular

Posts: 156
Unit: Missouri

« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 03:57:07 PM »

The cost really was negligible.  We were able to get funding from both Wing and Region, once it was determined we were going to NCC.  Travel, food, and lodging were covered by National at the NCC.

The time commitment is the key.  You need a couple of very motivated CP officers to attempt this.  Both I and the squadron commander are former cadets, so this was fun for us.  We leaned on a few other senior members for assistance and one of the USAF recruiters in our area assisted with the color guard and uniform part. 

The funny thing about our team was we started it just to try.  To see what it was about and then to go to Wing in 2018 and really compete.  We started with five cadets.  Our squadron has 45, but there just wasn't the interest.  I browbeat the sixth into joining the team on the day of the Wing competition.  Once we won Wing and then advanced through Region, I had a ton of cadets that wanted to do it. 

Our team did very well for first timers.  Two second place trophies and the Team Spirit award.  We were beyond ecstatic.  Yes, we have already begun the training for 2018.

I don't agree with a NCSA with a competition at the end.  The NCC is a long standing tradition and to go to it is amazing.  The staff at the NCC was very friendly and professional and they actually did push to make sure cadets mingled.  I think some of the problem was that some teams were so focused on winning that they did not know how or were not allowed to relax.  Once again, it's not all about winning.

I agree that events should not be changed because someone did not read the rules prior.  If you're unable to compete because you don't meet the requirements, then take the point penalty and move on.  That is on the escorts.  Its our job to make sure the team is set up correctly to give them the best possible chance.

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Toad
CAPLTC
Forum Regular

Posts: 136
Unit: MER

« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2017, 12:32:14 PM »

The cost really was negligible.  We were able to get funding from both Wing and Region, once it was determined we were going to NCC.  Travel, food, and lodging were covered by National at the NCC.

The time commitment is the key.  You need a couple of very motivated CP officers to attempt this.  Both I and the squadron commander are former cadets, so this was fun for us.  We leaned on a few other senior members for assistance and one of the USAF recruiters in our area assisted with the color guard and uniform part. 

The funny thing about our team was we started it just to try.  To see what it was about and then to go to Wing in 2018 and really compete.  We started with five cadets.  Our squadron has 45, but there just wasn't the interest.  I browbeat the sixth into joining the team on the day of the Wing competition.  Once we won Wing and then advanced through Region, I had a ton of cadets that wanted to do it. 

Our team did very well for first timers.  Two second place trophies and the Team Spirit award.  We were beyond ecstatic.  Yes, we have already begun the training for 2018.

I don't agree with a NCSA with a competition at the end.  The NCC is a long standing tradition and to go to it is amazing.  The staff at the NCC was very friendly and professional and they actually did push to make sure cadets mingled.  I think some of the problem was that some teams were so focused on winning that they did not know how or were not allowed to relax.  Once again, it's not all about winning.

I agree that events should not be changed because someone did not read the rules prior.  If you're unable to compete because you don't meet the requirements, then take the point penalty and move on.  That is on the escorts.  Its our job to make sure the team is set up correctly to give them the best possible chance.

Good discussion.
I participated in the early 1990s.
Agree with every point presented.
My team was comprised, entirely, of cadets who were also high school AFJROTC members from the same school.
Basically, our team was our AFJROTC honor guard team. We kicked $%^! at precision drill etc etc because we practiced 5 days/week before class...
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,635

« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2017, 12:42:12 PM »

The fact that Wing and / or Region covered the cost doesn't make it "negligible", it just means
your team didn't have to pay it or you didn't see the bill. Some wings get state appropriations,
have deep pocket donors, or other revenue streams others don't have access to.

I'm personally aware of drill teams that had annual budgets that exceeded some encampments.
Those expenses included custom-tailored uniforms that were more jumpsuits / costumes then uniforms,
sports coaches, and various related and ridiculous expenditures.

While, in some cases, all but removing these same cadets from general participation in unit and
other activities because "we have to practice", while engendering an undeserved elitism which caused
further unintended consequences. These wings were referred to, deservedly, as "checkbook" teams,
and no one is happier to see them gone then me.

The cadet program's current level of expectation of engagement eats all but the very last of any "extra"
time a cadet has, coupled with the general lack of manpower and "spare" cadets, means that participation in
these ancillary activities is generally to the detriment of where these cadets and seniors are actually needed -
namely unit activities, encampments, and NCSAs.

Having cadets dressed in their finery, marching in a tight square looks great on YouTube, but these days
unless an activity serves the greater program in a S-E-E manner, the organizaiton can ill afford it, either from
a financial or calendar perspective.

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