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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Potential member - attendance expectations?
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Posts: 11
Unit: ric-va-123

« on: August 18, 2017, 06:45:32 AM »

Hi.  I'm prior military.  My two teens and I would like to participate with a local CAP.  However our time is limited by JROTC and a slew of other activities.  How many meetings must one attend to remain a member?  I could see us attending several in a row then not be able to go for up to one month while preparing for another competition.  The last thing I want to do is get anyone's hopes up only to let them down.  With this in mind, as a senior, it sounds best I take on a nonessential role in the squadron.  Please share your thoughts/experiences.  Thank you
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,124

« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 07:41:05 AM »

There is no hard number written in the rules.

The cadet oath requires cadets to "attend meetings regularly" and "participate actively"

You'll have to work out your arrangement with your local unit.

If you were trying to join my local unit, my approach goes like this...
Phase 1 cadets need to attend at least 50% of the things for two reasons
1. to make sure they are around enough to integrate as members of the squadron (build relationships)
2. to make sure they are meeting some sort of minimum standard for attendance and participation

My personal expectation for phase 2+ cadets is more than 50%...  In those phases, you aren't a follower anymore.
You can't lead if you don't show up.

We have done deals too with cadets who were in sports seasons or whatever...  They were really active all year but basically just couldn't come to CAP at all during Football or whatever.  So they go away mid-august, and we pick them back up again around November or so.  That's all locally arranged.

As for your senior member role in the squadron,
They are all essential.
The good news is that there are jobs that you can "complete" that can take a real thing off the plate of the squadron commander within a couple hours a month.  Again, find out what the squadron commander needs done, and see which of those things best fit your availability, interests, and abilities.

Posts: 11
Unit: ric-va-123

« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 08:03:15 AM »

Great guidance.  Thank you Coudano!
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 09:34:30 AM »


First off, welcome to the Civil Air Patrol.

As a former Army JROTC C/LTC, I can tell you there is a lot of value and benefit to being dual enrolled. JROTC focused on areas where CAP was lacking, and CAP focused on areas JROTC was lacking. Being a CAP Cadet helped me immensely in JROTC, and vice versa. In a little over a year, I went from being a lowly supply clerk to Battalion Commander in JROTC, mainly due to the extra discipline and leadership skills gained in CAP.

Again, as Coudano stated, attendance requirements are very much a local thing. If the Squadron does the Great Start program for beginning Cadets, 100% attendance is usually expected for the 5-8 week program. If too much is missed, they may not graduate Great Start with the rest of their flight, and have to make up the missed time at a later date.

Once Great Start is complete, then in my Squadron we ask for 50-75% attendance at meetings and activities, but like most Squadrons, there are exceptions. Like Coudano, we have Cadets that disappear during hockey season, football season, etc. The key here is communication with the Squadron before, during and after the period of absence. They aren't going to care much if you let them know in advance, but they may have something to say if you drop off the face of the earth for 2 months and no one knows why.

Absences will also influence promotions. If a Cadet is promoted, and then gone for 3 months, they can't promote the second they return....we usually require them to be active again for a number of weeks before they are eligible to promote. Again, this is very Squadron specific.

One other consideration is training for programs such as Cyber Patriot, ES specialties, etc. My Squadron is currently running Ground Team and UDF training over the course of a few months. Cadets who sign up for the training are expected to be there each week and prepared. If they miss, and fall behind, it's not fair to the other Cadets who are there every week to hold up training to catch up one or two, so once they get so far behind we have to drop them from the training until the next time around.

Again, a lot of this is Squadron specific, so continued communication with your local Squadron's Chain of Command is essential.

*edited to correct a spelling error
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Potential member - attendance expectations?

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