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Second_In_Command
Recruit

Posts: 6
Unit: SER-GA-454

« on: February 23, 2018, 10:49:50 AM »

Hi, I just got promoted to element leader, and I was wondering if you guys have any advice on being an element leader. Or stuff you wish your element leader did differently.
 
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NEBoom
Seasoned Member

Posts: 204

« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 01:40:31 PM »

Hi, I just got promoted to element leader, and I was wondering if you guys have any advice on being an element leader. Or stuff you wish your element leader did differently.

My best advice is to begin noticing things.  That sounds simple (and it mostly is) but it takes a conscious effort to change how you look at the situation around you.  Begin with something easy like uniforms.  Always look over your element members when you first see them at a meeting or activity (I'm not talking about a full inspection, just look them over quickly).  If you see things wrong on their uniform, point them out (appropriately) and have them fix the issue right then. 

Move from there to other aspects of cadet life.  Are your people marching well?  Offer tips to help them if not.  Are they behaving?  Step in when you see issues here and correct them.  Keep your eye out for anything you can do to help and take the initiative to do it.   Understand that actually noticing things that need correcting is the first step.

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Lt Col Dan Kirwan, CAP
Nebraska Wing
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,249

« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 02:33:42 PM »

If you have fixed element assignments, i.e. cadets assigned to your element, make note of unplanned absences and follow up with the cadet. Simply noticing they were absent may encourage them to continue coming back.

As you get more experience, see how they are promoting. If they need help, try to get it for them. This does not necessarily mean you have to tutor them, but pass on to your flt sgt that you have cadets who need help with achievement #. If your cadets do, most assuredly other cadets will.

Finally, set a good example by making sure YOU continue to promote and seek help if you need it. 
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Picy3
Recruit

Posts: 15
Unit: PCR-WA-015

« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 05:34:17 PM »

Yeah, something I really would go for (this is for callouts) is telling them uniform and everything when you know it, anything you wish or would want to be done to you is what you should do, E.g for me it was uniform and what was going on, when I joined I got barely any notice of this and only just a "will u b there" email from my element leader, which for me as a new cadet really annoyed me not knowing if something was going on.

I personally put uniform, stuff were doing and anything that will be coming up such as "Hey and FEST is coming up soon so if you want to go to that you should sign up or start getting ready for it" and a reminder to send callouts at the top and bottom.

Other then that as said look over their uniforms and there is really not much else to do other then be a good example to them.
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I am a person.

Master Sergeant and flight Sergeant.

Rocketry badge, SAR GTM3 badge and one year of cap as of april 1~7 (sometime between there), No encampment until July 7.
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,074
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 05:59:57 PM »

My advice to get started:


1. Go and study your lead lab manual religiously and memorize it (a chapter or two ahead, too). It was designed to help you at this stage of your game.


2. You actually have a short and sweet job description for Element Leader - written at the end of CAPR 20-1 Organization of CAP.
https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/R020_001_73F1BA70FD9EB.pdf. Also read the job description for your boss, the Flight Sergeant, and his boss, the Flight Commander, so you understand their role.


3. The Cadet Staff Handbook has some very good tips for you (see pages 20 (expectations for element leaders), 31/32 (inspections), and most significant, pages 39 and 40 which give you a very specific set of guidance for your new job as Element Leader.
Download it at:  https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/Cadet_Staff_Handbook__Nov_16__Web_47474DD79B032.pdf


4. As you start to invest increasing time, talent, and treasure as a junior leader in CAP, keep in mind your priorities. You must put your Faith, your Family, and your Job (i.e. school for you cadets) before CAP or any other great volunteer activity. Never let those priorities get out of line, at your peril.


Best of luck.
Spam


Edited at Ned's request.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 07:51:00 PM by Spam » Logged
OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 11:17:39 PM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?
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Fester
Forum Regular

Posts: 171

« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 02:37:14 AM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?

Don't think the AF has ever had squad leaders.  And they've been element leaders as long as I remember.... going back to at least 92.
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J2H
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200
Unit: MER-MD-031

« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2018, 06:43:58 AM »

We had Fireteam leaders and Squad Leaders downrange. But that was only in a contingency environment.  Element leader was not an actual job, it was simply the first guy or gal in the element in formation.
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SSgt Jeffrey Hughes, Squadron NCO
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron MD-031
#217169
abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,547
Unit: Classified

« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2018, 08:29:30 AM »

Armyism that crept in and not corrected because no one bothered to read manuals.
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ColonelJack
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,361
Unit: SER-GA-153

« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2018, 09:28:29 AM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?

Don't think the AF has ever had squad leaders.  And they've been element leaders as long as I remember.... going back to at least 92.

During my AF BMT back in 1975, we had squads, and the leaders wore little red badges identifying them as "Squad Leaders."  So the AF had them at least that long.

Jack
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Jack Bagley, Ed. D.
Lt. Col., Civil Air Patrol
Gill Robb Wilson Award No. 1366, 29 Nov 1991
Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,104

« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2018, 12:29:50 PM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?

Don't think the AF has ever had squad leaders.  And they've been element leaders as long as I remember.... going back to at least 92.

During my AF BMT back in 1975, we had squads, and the leaders wore little red badges identifying them as "Squad Leaders."  So the AF had them at least that long.

Jack

Yet those "Squad Leaders" were referred to as "Element Leaders" in the Drill and Ceremonies manual which was written right there at Lackland by the BMT Training folks.

And I wore one of those Squad Leader badges back when I went through Basic back in Sept/Oct 1974.
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NEBoom
Seasoned Member

Posts: 204

« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2018, 12:47:42 PM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?

Don't think the AF has ever had squad leaders.  And they've been element leaders as long as I remember.... going back to at least 92.

During my AF BMT back in 1975, we had squads, and the leaders wore little red badges identifying them as "Squad Leaders."  So the AF had them at least that long.

Jack

Yet those "Squad Leaders" were referred to as "Element Leaders" in the Drill and Ceremonies manual which was written right there at Lackland by the BMT Training folks.

And I wore one of those Squad Leader badges back when I went through Basic back in Sept/Oct 1974.


I went through AF BMT in 1984, and it was still "squad leader" then (no red badges though).  So it looks like sometime between '84 and '92 they switched, which isn't surprising since a lot was changing in the AF during that time. 

I still catch/correct myself all the time on this.  Old habits and all...
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Lt Col Dan Kirwan, CAP
Nebraska Wing
GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 174
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2018, 08:01:45 PM »

I went through BMT in 1971 and there were definitely squads then. We had badges but I don't remember what color they were.
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J2H
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200
Unit: MER-MD-031

« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2018, 08:13:27 PM »

Squads became flights in garrison... downrange it varies... but I have been deployed in Squads (with fireteams) as a Fireteam Leader
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SSgt Jeffrey Hughes, Squadron NCO
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron MD-031
#217169
ColonelJack
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,361
Unit: SER-GA-153

« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 09:58:51 AM »

Gently off topic, but when did "squad leader" become "element leader"?

Don't think the AF has ever had squad leaders.  And they've been element leaders as long as I remember.... going back to at least 92.

During my AF BMT back in 1975, we had squads, and the leaders wore little red badges identifying them as "Squad Leaders."  So the AF had them at least that long.

Jack

Yet those "Squad Leaders" were referred to as "Element Leaders" in the Drill and Ceremonies manual which was written right there at Lackland by the BMT Training folks.

And I wore one of those Squad Leader badges back when I went through Basic back in Sept/Oct 1974.


True that.  I still have my old BMT study guide, 42+ years later.   ;)

Jack
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Jack Bagley, Ed. D.
Lt. Col., Civil Air Patrol
Gill Robb Wilson Award No. 1366, 29 Nov 1991
Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
Holding Pattern
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,246
Unit: Worry

« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2018, 09:18:43 PM »

Even 20-1 interchanges Squad and Element (see the last page):

Quote
Cadet Element Leader
Suggested cadet grades: C/A1C through C/TSgt
Responsible for the supervision and training of the cadet element, to include:
Satisfactory performance during formations and ceremonies.
Military bearing.
Morale.
The cadet squad leaders should be familiar with CAP directives as listed in CAPP 52-15.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,196

« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 04:43:50 PM »

My advice would be to talk with your Flight Sergeant and ask him/her what they expect of you.

You'll need to meet the expectations of your superiors, not the general public with varying opinions on a message board.
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Second_In_Command
Recruit

Posts: 6
Unit: SER-GA-454

« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2018, 10:53:02 AM »

My advice would be to talk with your Flight Sergeant and ask him/her what they expect of you.

You'll need to meet the expectations of your superiors, not the general public with varying opinions on a message board.
Ok thanks
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The_CAP_Life_Chose_Me
Recruit

Posts: 39

« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2018, 11:52:20 AM »

Second-In-Command,

I wished my element leader would have been more out-reaching toward his cadets in the element. Like for example, starting off at C.A.P. I was too scared to ask questions to my element leader even if it was an important question. So it might be helpful for every once in awhile to ask your element if they have any questions that you need to answer or if they need help in any way. But that's just me I say you do what you think is best for your element.

Sincerely,

C/SrA Cassie
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C/SrA Cassie
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,196

« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 11:01:59 AM »

Second-In-Command,

I wished my element leader would have been more out-reaching toward his cadets in the element. Like for example, starting off at C.A.P. I was too scared to ask questions to my element leader even if it was an important question. So it might be helpful for every once in awhile to ask your element if they have any questions that you need to answer or if they need help in any way. But that's just me I say you do what you think is best for your element.

Sincerely,

C/SrA Cassie

Definitely agree with this.

Element Leader is the first "real job" a cadet usually has the opportunity to fulfill. This is going to set your superiors with an early-on expectation of your future performance, including what type of character you present, how you can supervise and management basic tasks and small groups, and what deficiencies you might have that can be improved upon. It's an early start to eye-watching for future duty positions.

Part of this is going to require you to demonstrate how well you take instruction, how you take feedback and constructive criticism, and how you pass that along to your subordinate cadets. Talk to them. Find out what issues they have. Do not let it become an opportunity for them to bash their prior Element Leader, or say things like "I know you had issues with Cadet So-and-So, but those days are over." This is your chance to show them you work for them, not the other way around. Your job is to help build the confidence and camaraderie of your element. And please don't take that as an opportunity to go "See the other Elements? They suck." It's not a competition.

One of the things I didn't like from a squad leader I once had was his attitude and how he saw everyone else. He came across as if he was there to shine, and not polish up the others. It stood out, and we all knew it. Honestly, the only reason we even worked for the guy was because someone else in a higher position put him in charge of us, and if we didn't, we'd suffer regardless of it being his fault or ours. When I came across a new squad leader sometime later, his first thing was to introduce himself to us, express his expectations, and then treat out like teammates. That's a big deal; huge. If we had questions, we could ask. If we didn't know, there was no feeling of being stupid or ignorant; he answered to the best of his abilities, or he went and found out for us. It's such a low-level leadership position, very basic, but it stands out and helps teach the grunt level guys that early on how to move up over time and carry on that same practice with their someday-new subordinates.
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Element Leader
 


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