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December 14, 2017, 04:50:21 PM
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CAP Talk  |  Recent Posts
CAP Talk  |  Recent Posts
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 11 
 on: Today at 10:30:03 AM 
Started by Picy3 - Last post by TheSkyHornet
When I was a squadron CC I chose to delegate board chair and promotion authority to the CDC.  They knew the cadets better than me and if a cadet was not getting promoted then there was a level of appeal if the cadet or parents disagreed. If I was on the board then the next step up would be the Group CC and I really didn't want to involve Group in any cadet promotion issues.

Uh, the Group CC should not be involved in that discussion.

CAPR 52-16, 5-2(a):
Quote
The unit commander is the approving authority for all achievements and awards.

You are not following me.  Yes, the unit CC is the approving authority but when the unit CC disapproves Cadet Johnny's promotion and the parents are mad they go up the chain.  If that authority is delegated to the CDC then the parents can go to the squadron CC as an impartial judge.  I have seen this happen more than once where a cadet was not promoted and it actually became a huge issue despite everything being done properly and documented.  The parents went to the IG and since the unit CC is the one who withheld the promotion, it had to be brought to the Group CC for review.

Also, I'm a firm believer in delegating to the lowest level possible and if I can't trust my CDC to make the right call regarding cadet promotions then I really need to get a new CDC.  They are the ones who should know the cadets the best.

Tracking. Absolutely no disagreement on anything there.

 12 
 on: Today at 10:04:17 AM 
Started by deepblue1947 - Last post by NIN
Next up in the CAP balloon fleet:  The giant NIN-head.   ;D

Oh, dear lord.

"Small children ran screaming from the Albuquerque Balloon Fest ground upon the inflation of the Civil Air Patrol's newest 'shape' balloon, the NIN-head."

Stahp!

 13 
 on: Today at 09:56:03 AM 
Started by deepblue1947 - Last post by chuckmilam
There is probably nobody I listen to more on this forum than Darin Ninness.
Dog gone it. Now I can't get in my car because my head just swelled up

Next up in the CAP balloon fleet:  The giant NIN-head.   ;D

 14 
 on: Today at 09:33:21 AM 
Started by Picy3 - Last post by kwe1009
When I was a squadron CC I chose to delegate board chair and promotion authority to the CDC.  They knew the cadets better than me and if a cadet was not getting promoted then there was a level of appeal if the cadet or parents disagreed. If I was on the board then the next step up would be the Group CC and I really didn't want to involve Group in any cadet promotion issues.

Uh, the Group CC should not be involved in that discussion.

CAPR 52-16, 5-2(a):
Quote
The unit commander is the approving authority for all achievements and awards.

You are not following me.  Yes, the unit CC is the approving authority but when the unit CC disapproves Cadet Johnny's promotion and the parents are mad they go up the chain.  If that authority is delegated to the CDC then the parents can go to the squadron CC as an impartial judge.  I have seen this happen more than once where a cadet was not promoted and it actually became a huge issue despite everything being done properly and documented.  The parents went to the IG and since the unit CC is the one who withheld the promotion, it had to be brought to the Group CC for review.

Also, I'm a firm believer in delegating to the lowest level possible and if I can't trust my CDC to make the right call regarding cadet promotions then I really need to get a new CDC.  They are the ones who should know the cadets the best.

 15 
 on: Today at 04:23:49 AM 
Started by CAPSOC_0pur8ur - Last post by Cicero
See https://www.propper.com/ for an alternative supplier for non CAP specific uniform items.

 16 
 on: Today at 01:14:46 AM 
Started by deepblue1947 - Last post by deepblue1947
(Caution, massive tome follows.. Sorry, I got up on my soapbox and got a little hypoxic before I stopped typing and fell off)

I'll echo what Mordecai says about a PAO.  A large component of a successful recruiting program involves organizational awareness in your local community.  If people say "the Civil What Patrol?"  then you're already behind the curve.  More on that later.

I will also caution that the linked slide deck leans heavily toward cohort recruiting for cadets. That said, the objectives remain essentially the same between membership categories: Build economies of scale by grouping your membership in to clearly defined "cohorts" where you can gain the benefit of shepherding several members thru the process of joining and initial training at the same time.  For the most part, the first bits of joining and training are essentially the same for all members, which is helpful to your cohort. After Level I, things tend to become more diffuse for seniors, but its still the same sort of thing. After Level I you can do GES, Comms, get drivers licenses, ICS, etc, all as a cohort, too. Its much more helpful to shepherd those folks thru these flaming hoops as a group than individually.

Enough about cohort recruiting.

Really, the most important thing to do first when attempting to effectively recruit seniors is to examine your needs.

The absolute worst thing you can do, especially with seniors, is to recruit a bunch of warm bodies without a corresponding organizational need and a roadmap for their training. Sit down with your squadron commander, deputy commander and probably the PDO and look at what the squadron needs first.

Build a list of your "most needed" or "most at risk" staff areas and start there. Maybe you don't have hardly any issued equipment, so logistics is being happily nailed down by one of the pilots who know where the aircraft preheater, ground power unit and squadron laptop are.  OK, groovy.  Probably OK there, but certainly if you get a guy who's interested and can "understudy" in logistics, don't turn him away.

But don't just look at what you have now, look at what you might need, or areas where you're thin today and might get thinner down the road.  Is Tom the finance guy doing just fine today, but he's going to retire from his day job next June and he and his wife are going to move to Alabama?  Time to find an understudy for Tom so that next May its not a crazy scramble to find a replacement. :)

And don’t forget: Tom the Finance guy is likely also Tom the Pilot guy, so if he’s one of your mission pilots that’s putting hours on the airplane, you’re going to need to get a new pilot too, to maintain your ratio!

Bottom line for your first step:  Look at what staffing your unit needs to be successful in the next 12-24 months, and then start to plan how to go after these clearly defined roles first.

[Side note here: Something to think about as part of your onboarding process and ongoing senior training, you, your commander and the PDO, with help from the others, need to build up the idea and awareness among your membership that you might be an aviator or a radio operator for the squadron, but the unit will also need to you do *something else* to contribute to the success of the organization alongside that duty.  There is no duty position in eServices for “Organic Control Actuator” or “Self-propelled Aerial Sensor Assembly.” Flying, radio operating and such is considered an ES duty, but it not a duty position. This is often a tough nut to crack when you talk to a guy who says “But I’m just here to fly, man..”  This requires a pretty substantial step change in thinking and culture, else down the road you have no commander candidates, etc. If you don’t have this kind of culture in your unit now, its time to start building it. If you already have this kind of culture, then nevermind me, but definitely keep it going.]

OK, second part: have  plan for what you’re going to have these people DO once they join and get trained. Make sure you have a roadmap or a plan for getting these members “gainfully employed” in the 6-10 months after they complete Level I, or they’re going to drift away.  Have an idea of what you’re going to do with them once the commander clicks “Approve” on their Level I training. Whats next?

Don’t wait till after you recruit people to plan for this. Plan for it in advance.  ES training,  comms training, drivers licenses, etc. All the "ancillary stuff leading up to making someone a contributory

And lastly, Where do you go to then find these people?

Like I said above, remember that you’re likely recruiting people who are interested in your mission areas first, who are going to subsequently staff the unit for all the functions to run it second.

The point here is that your main members interest in CAP will come primarily from the mission aspects of your squadron: flying, ES, comms, etc, first. You're not likely to specifically recruit someone *just* to be the Personnel officer or the Finance officer. I mean, maybe you will, but those are going to be few and far between. Some guy isn't likely going to come to CAP, buy an aviator shirt and grey slacks, just to sit at the airport on a Tuesday evening and make sure that the $450 the squadron has in the bank is still there, and do nothing else. That person is likely there for flying, comms or ES first, so concentrate on those areas.

So your list of "most needed" or "most at risk" staff areas from step one is the “what you need,” partly., think about where they came from originally and start there.

So, maybe you have a burning need for some comms folks.  So cast your net toward the local ham clubs. Offer to present on the Civil Air Patrol to a local ham club. (they will likely *jump* at the opportunity to have someone other than Fred present yet again on the benefits of tubes versus integrated circuits in ham gear, or to demonstrate his spark gap set that he built from Marconi's original plans in 1969) 

Get smart about Civil Air Patrol communications, or bring along your Communications Officer, and be prepared to answer questions about the value proposition of a CAP communicator and the likely questions you’re going to get:

“What am I going to do?”

“How soon am I going to do it?”

“Why can’t I use the radios and antennas I already have?”

“What do you mean I have to go thru additional training? I have a SuperExtraGeneralAdvanced license!”

Make sure you’re at least remotely knowledgeable (or your comm officer is) about the whys and wherefores of CAP comms, the starting points, the training required, etc, before you go talk to a bunch of communicators.

Or perhaps, you’re down to 3 mission pilots and you really need 5 to keep the airplane flying appropriately with hours.  OK, well, strangely enough, you’re likely to find pilots … at an airport! >😊  Start with the local airpatch. Go talk to the local EAA chapter or something.

Don’t come in “Hey, you should come fly with Civil Air Patrol!” but maybe go in a little more “soft” with a nice presentation about how the new 406mhz beacons integrate into the SARSAT system and are a good thing, or about how not closing out your flight plan gets lots of people out of bed at night.  Show them that CAP folks are knowledgeable and smart about aviation.

Do that at EVERY airpatch within your recruiting area. Maybe they have a pilot club, maybe an airport association. Meet with them. But don’t walk into the flight school or the FBO and start recruiting 40hr PIC pilots with the promise of “Free Flying.” Aim at the guys who are experienced aviators, Instrument and Commercial, who have the ability to spin up quickly to become mission pilots, check pilots and such with 180-270 days of becoming a member. Be open and frank with the low time guys “Your best bet is to continue to build PIC hours, come on board CAP and start flying as a mission scanner/mission observer so you can understand how the whole thing comes together before you get the required hours. At 100 hrs PIC you can become a transport mission pilot and maybe get some flying paid for in relocating aircraft…” that kind of thing.

Recruiting ES folks (ground, mission base) is a little different, but you can use some FB advertising to focus on people with emergency management backgrounds or interests, for example.

As you add members to the unit, you’re going to also find people who have interest in *other* areas. “Tim the pilot is a bookkeeper, he’s willing to help in finance. Sam the radio guy is also an amateur photographer, he can take awesome pictures…”  Now you’re finding the people that fit into those other areas as you talk to them during the onboarding process.

At the same time you’re doing all this, your PA should be busy building local awareness over all the cool stuff you’re doing at the unit.  Since you want to likely attracts ES, flying & comms people first, then you need to build local awareness in your units activities and missions in ES, flying, comms, etc. And *most* of that is thru PAO work. But some of that is thru community engagement that might be a little outside of what you would consider your normal mission scope.

Also, unless you're the odd senior squadron that marches in local parades (I have to admit I've never seen that!), you’re going to have be be a little more creative in your community engagement. What kinds of *other* things are going to build the CAP "Brand Awareness" in your area? Maybe you helped out the local Marine Corps unit with Toys for Tots this year?  How about a volunteering day at the local homeless shelter? Photos of folks in CAP uniforms serving up homecooked fare for people less fortunate than us is a great public interest story.  Pretty much anything (except “LOCAL CAP ROBS LIQUOR STORE!”) is going to be positive and interesting press and is going to raise your visibility in the local area.

That’s about all I have for now. I have to drive to Boston!

Darin I just now got back to this thread I started and want to thank you for taking the time to post this reply.  There are a lot of very good ideas within your post and I will certainly implement these suggestions into a structured plan or outline.  I appreciate this very much,
MG

 17 
 on: Yesterday at 11:40:50 PM 
Started by dmandrell - Last post by radioguy
I really like the J-Pole antennas from Arrow Antennas (http://www.arrowantennas.com/sub/jpole.html).  I was going to email them and see what making one for 118-137 Mhz would cost, but also wanted to check for advice on here.

If I recall correctly, you can call Arrow to find out the cost of a custom model OSJ for the aircraft band.  They also have two different ground plane models intended for the aircraft band.

DPD productions also offers several base antennas specifically for the aircraft band.

 18 
 on: Yesterday at 11:16:50 PM 
Started by dmandrell - Last post by EMT-83
A 1/4 wave mobile antenna mounted in the center of a cookie sheet or old road sign will work well, probably better than a gain antenna. Sounds backwards, but antenna performance isn't just about gain. The antenna pattern is just as important.

A 1/4 wave antenna has very good omnidirectional coverage. A gain antenna has significant signal nulls, particularly in regards to elevation. If your interest is in stations much higher than your elevation (such as airplanes), those nulls will be an issue.

 19 
 on: Yesterday at 09:56:05 PM 
Started by Picy3 - Last post by Fubar
Per R52-16

Ah, this might be the source of my confusion, I'm quoting the new regulation CAPR 60-1, which replaces R52-16 in a couple of months. I'll go back and compare differences.

 20 
 on: Yesterday at 09:54:15 PM 
Started by dmandrell - Last post by SarDragon
J-poles aren't really a good way to go. They are pretty inefficient for base station use.

I have a 5/8-wave mag mount that sits on a 2' circle of thin steel, and it works great. I used a 2 meter antenna base, and cut my own whip out of the right size stainless steel wire.

I know other folks who use pizza plates or cookie sheets, and get decent coverage and SWR.

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