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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Getting Around Senior Members
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007_Staff
Newbie

Posts: 1
Unit: GLR-MI-007

« on: November 06, 2017, 11:33:51 AM »

Hello fellow CAP members. I have had a problem recently with my whole group. I am the flight sergeant for GLR-MI-007 and also group 707 chair. My cadets have needed some serious improvement recently.  The flight is all Airman that don't really have any idea what they are doing. I have found multiple ways to fix the cadets, even created my own great start program. The problem is that senior members in my squadron don't want the program to be cadet run and wasn't to do them all themselves. When told by the group commander to fix thing the squadron commander ignores him and does what ever he wants. I need a way to get the senior members to let the program be cadet run. So that we can better as leaders, not the senior members.

Thank you for any suggestions.
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dwb
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,319

« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 12:23:13 PM »

I would start by not airing your grievances on the internet.

Seriously. There are more positive ways to ask this question without throwing your superiors under the bus.
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xray328
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 520
Unit: IL-189

« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 12:32:10 PM »

Yeah, generally not a good idea to go on the internet and talk bad about your squadron cc.  You might hear from both your squadron cc and your group cc on this since you’ve included them and your Squadron info here.  Not a smart move.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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dwb
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,319

« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 01:09:59 PM »

I don't want this to just be a pile-on, so let me offer something constructive.

What you're asking for here is advice "leading up". How do influence your superior officers to let you have some additional responsibility? It's a good thing that you see the problem and want to help.

Some concrete actions you can take:

1. Ask. Just ask plainly, through the chain of command, to help. Like in math class, be prepared to show your work: identify the problem, factors bearing on the problem, a range of solutions, etc.

2. Be patient, especially if you're relatively new to CAP or new to your staff role. The senior members' goal is to keep the program moving forward long-term, and they want to make sure you're prepared for added responsibility before letting you run amok.

3. Be respectful of their time and experience. Sometimes the answer is going to be "no", and taking your case to the court of public opinion isn't appropriate.

4. Make sure you are on point, all the time. You can always control yourself, so make sure your attitude and actions are top notch.

5. After #4, make sure to improve your little corner as best you can. Maybe you're just a flight sergeant, but you can train element leaders, you can mentor new people, you can motivate your flight to succeed, you can impart your enthusiasm on them. Don't try to change the world at the expense of changing the things you can work on today.

Hope this helps. Also, don't identify who you are on the internet then complain about your seniors. We don't like that. :)
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bd5av8r
Recruit

Posts: 18
Unit: MER-SC-056

« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 01:33:18 PM »

Wow, for only 1 post you are getting off on the wrong foot.

While it may not seem like it now, the Senior side is here to help the cadets grow and get better. It's not for us alone. Asking you CC  may actually get the problem solved in a pretty quick manner. I haven't met a CC yet that wasn't receptive to the people in his squadron.

We (Seniors) are actually  a wonderful asset to have. Really. :)
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Greetings from SC!
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 963
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 01:42:45 PM »

Hello fellow CAP members. I have had a problem recently with my whole group. I am the flight sergeant for GLR-MI-007 and also group 707 chair. My cadets have needed some serious improvement recently.  The flight is all Airman that don't really have any idea what they are doing. I have found multiple ways to fix the cadets, even created my own great start program. The problem is that senior members in my squadron don't want the program to be cadet run and wasn't to do them all themselves. When told by the group commander to fix thing the squadron commander ignores him and does what ever he wants. I need a way to get the senior members to let the program be cadet run. So that we can better as leaders, not the senior members.

Thank you for any suggestions.


As requested:


1. Span of control perception/mismatch: "problem recently with my whole group". If you are a mid grade cadet NCO (you stated you were in a Flight Sergeant billet at your unit), your span of control is very limited by definition to your Flight. Not the whole unit, and certainly not the Group. My advice would be to color within your own lines, recognizing that you are in a Direct Leadership (NCO) role. You are not the Group Commander, nor the Squadron Commander, nor even a cadet officer and Cadet Commander, so focus on doing your job (only).

2. Inappropriate assignment for current grade: "and also group 707 chair. My cadets have needed some serious improvement recently.  The flight is all Airman that don't really have any idea what they are doing". I assume that's a Group CAC (Cadet Advisory Council), where CAC should be for cadet officers (indirect leaders) and very senior C/NCOs on occasion. You're a case example of why (when people challenge me on it) I refuse to let junior cadets participate in CAC and be distracted from focusing on Job 1. If your subordinates in your Flight have training problems, you arguably should resign from CAC (never should have been appointed) and you need to be focusing on them.

3. Lack of adherence to standards. "even created my own great start program". The existing program of record works when it is followed properly. In your vast experience of your teen years you've decided to trash the collective wisdom of 75 years of cadet program lessons learned. Bad move. Recommend you swallow your pride, shelve your good idea fairy wings until you execute training per the program.

4. Misunderstanding of CP roles and responsibilities: "don't want the program to be cadet run and wasn't to do them all themselves". You evidently haven't bothered (as a Flight Sergeant) to read the frickin' manual. Your officers may be doing the jobs that you haven't yet demonstrated mastery of yet, and may even be performing tasks that you SHOULD be doing, but are not, preferring instead to see yourself in a more advanced role than your current spot.

Ref: https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/Cadet_Staff_Handbook__Nov_16__Web_47474DD79B032.pdf
"Section 1.4 THE CHANGING ROLE OF SENIOR MEMBERS
New or Rebuilding Units
In contrast, if the unit is bottom-heavy – perhaps it is brand new or
rebuilding – the senior staff will need to take a more hands-on
approach. In the absence of mature cadet officers, the senior staff
must fulfill the goal-setting, planning, and decision-making functions
until junior cadets acquire some rank, maturity, and leadership skills.
The senior staff may even need to instruct cadets in fundamental subjects
like drill and the wear of the uniform, performing duties normally
assigned to cadet NCOs. Hopefully, cadets will progress quickly and
earn entry-level leadership positions. When that happens, the senior
staff should gradually delegate more authority to the cadets and
enlarge the cadet staff’s sense of autonomy. In other words, every time
the cadet staff takes one step forward in the Cadet Program, the senior
staff should take one step back".


Good luck with your commanders. They may be kinder than I would for the tenor and content of your post here.


V/r
Spam





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Airplane girl
Member

Posts: 58

« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 05:10:02 PM »

As a cadet, I have had some experience with similar issues. So here's my advice:

One thing that's important is to always be professional and respectful, even if the people around you aren't. Don't write anything on the internet, in an email, or in a text that you wouldn't want said to every single person in your squadron. Also, don't get emotional, especially in emails. As soon as something is sent, the person you sent it to can always screenshot it and you don't know who they are going to show it to.

Keep in mind that there's a good chance that the senior members in your squadron are going to be there for as long as you are a cadet, so you're going to have to learn how to work with them. Don't start by trying to change everything all at once. Start with smaller things, and show the senior members that you are responsible and capable of having increased responsibilities within the squadron. Also, keep promoting. When you are a cadet officer, the senior members will probably give you more leadership responsibilities.

And be careful because even though you are trying to improve your squadron, you could end up damaging your reputation in your squadron and your group. Even if you do everything like you're supposed to do, things in CAP aren't always fair when it comes to situations like this.
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Dank Meme Master
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,080
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 05:18:16 PM »

^^^^^

Peer wisdom.  :clap: Great stuff.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
stillamarine
400,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 812
Unit: SER-AL-134

« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 11:17:53 AM »

As a cadet, I have had some experience with similar issues. So here's my advice:

One thing that's important is to always be professional and respectful, even if the people around you aren't. Don't write anything on the internet, in an email, or in a text that you wouldn't want said to every single person in your squadron. Also, don't get emotional, especially in emails. As soon as something is sent, the person you sent it to can always screenshot it and you don't know who they are going to show it to.

Keep in mind that there's a good chance that the senior members in your squadron are going to be there for as long as you are a cadet, so you're going to have to learn how to work with them. Don't start by trying to change everything all at once. Start with smaller things, and show the senior members that you are responsible and capable of having increased responsibilities within the squadron. Also, keep promoting. When you are a cadet officer, the senior members will probably give you more leadership responsibilities.

And be careful because even though you are trying to improve your squadron, you could end up damaging your reputation in your squadron and your group. Even if you do everything like you're supposed to do, things in CAP aren't always fair when it comes to situations like this.

I believe this is one of the best posts by a cadet here in a long time. Good advice.  :clap:
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

USMC AD 1996-2001
USMCR    2001-2005  Admiral, Great State of Nebraska Navy  MS, MO, UDF
tim.gardiner@gmail.com
Pace
CAPTalk Moderator
Dark S'Member Lord
*
Posts: 669

« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 12:47:25 PM »

I've learned that when I'm asking for permission to go against the grain, it usually goes better if I bring donuts and coffee to the conversation. YMMV
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Lt Col, CAP
Former C/Lt Col
Former this & that
Squadron guy
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,683
Unit: of issue

« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 01:33:51 PM »

I've learned that when I'm asking for permission to go against the grain, it usually goes better if I bring donuts and coffee to the conversation. YMMV
Stereotyper.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Pace
CAPTalk Moderator
Dark S'Member Lord
*
Posts: 669

« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 01:38:17 PM »

You better believe it. Stereotypes didn't come into existence for no reason.  8)
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Lt Col, CAP
Former C/Lt Col
Former this & that
Squadron guy
Angus
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 558
Unit: MA-002

« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 03:19:56 PM »

You're right YMMV.  For me it's not about the donuts, it's about the caffeine or salty snacks.   ;)
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Maj. Richard J. Walsh, Jr.
SE, ESO, PIO Boston Cadet Squadron
Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 225

« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 03:58:07 PM »

I've waited a bit to reply to this thread so I can give it some thought, because I have a tendency to come off the top rope on things I'm passionate about.

Here's the thing:  SMs aren't something to "get around".  They're the foundation and structure of your unit's cadet program.  They manage it and herd all the cats.  In the words of Eclipse (I think) that I read here and promptly stole, cadets take from the program, seniors give to it.  There's some overlap of course, but in general that's the way it works.

What makes you think that you have every bit of information and perspective on what's really going on in your unit?  As a flight sergeant, you may not see that the higher levels of the cadet staff may be weak (most likely because they're learning too) and the senior staff has to step in.  You may not see a lot of things. 

For now, your only priority needs to be your flight.  (I don't really care about CAC for the most part, honestly).  Just be the best flight sergeant, have the best flight, take complete and total ownership of your lane.  Your element leaders need to be the absolute best because you mentor them and develop them.  Then when you move up to a position where you can influence the things you want, you will have built up a better layer of junior leaders that will enable you to run with the ball as a cadet commander (or wherever you end up).

And if one of my cadets went and aired dirty laundry in such an identifiable and unprofessional way, I don't know how I'd handle it.  Hopefully kindly.  People don't respond to this kind of method.  Don't make more enemies than you do friends, even if you're right.
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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 963
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 04:58:30 PM »


Not a huge fan of Snopes, but they were the immediate copy of this to hand.

https://www.snopes.com/politics/military/airforce.asp

Claim:   First-year cadet criticizes U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s personnel decisions.
Status:   True.


R/s
Spam






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ColonelJack
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,338
Unit: SER-GA-153

« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2017, 07:39:39 AM »


Not a huge fan of Snopes, but they were the immediate copy of this to hand.

https://www.snopes.com/politics/military/airforce.asp

Claim:   First-year cadet criticizes U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s personnel decisions.
Status:   True.


R/s
Spam

I wonder what ever happened to that extremely presumptive young cadet ...

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
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,683
Unit: of issue

« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2017, 08:49:56 AM »

 that place where the grass grows behind Vandy? Legend has it he's buried there.

On another note: I remember when this first circulated, I had to read it a couple of times to understand who the SecAF was referring to as "Bob". It wss the cadet.  That was literally the most Air Force thing I'd ever read.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 225

« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2017, 08:54:10 AM »

Reminds me of when that A1C emailed the CSAF to complain about Blues Monday several years ago.
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Angus
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 558
Unit: MA-002

« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2017, 10:29:39 AM »


Not a huge fan of Snopes, but they were the immediate copy of this to hand.

https://www.snopes.com/politics/military/airforce.asp

Claim:   First-year cadet criticizes U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s personnel decisions.
Status:   True.


R/s
Spam

I wonder what ever happened to that extremely presumptive young cadet ...

Jack

I believe he's now asking customers if they want to Super-size their meal for only $2 more. 
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Maj. Richard J. Walsh, Jr.
SE, ESO, PIO Boston Cadet Squadron
jeders
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,013

« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2017, 10:54:10 AM »


Not a huge fan of Snopes, but they were the immediate copy of this to hand.

https://www.snopes.com/politics/military/airforce.asp

Claim:   First-year cadet criticizes U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s personnel decisions.
Status:   True.


R/s
Spam

I wonder what ever happened to that extremely presumptive young cadet ...

Jack

I believe he's now asking customers if they want to Super-size their meal for only $2 more.

Based on his LinkedIn Profile (I could only find one Robert Walsh who listed the Air Force Academy during the time frame in question) he continued his education at UC Boulder and is now a somewhat successful software engineer.
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If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse
CAPLTC
Member

Posts: 65
Unit: MER

« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 10:14:12 PM »

I wonder what ever happened to that extremely presumptive young cadet ...
Jack

Friend of a friend.
Here he is...
https://www.linkedin.com/in/brombomb
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"Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact." -- SECDEF Mattis
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Getting Around Senior Members
 


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