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Author Topic: New CAP Parent... Questions, Questions, Questions  (Read 1424 times)
jdp1161
Recruit

Posts: 5

« on: September 13, 2017, 02:13:32 PM »

Hey, all, first time poster…  Our son (13 yr old) joined CAP in June.  He has a desire for a career in the Air Force (either through the Academy or ROTC in college), and we thought this would be a great introduction/training/learning experience for him.  As we have been attending meetings, though, I’m seeing some that raise concerns.  I want to make sure he gets all he can out of the program (he’s highly motivated) so I just want to look to clarify a few things with more experienced folks.

My first question has to do with the PT test.  That’s the last thing he needs to get his Curry.  We’ve been trying to get it done for the last 2 months, but there’s always a reason that it doesn’t happen.  Anyway, the Cadet Commander said the other day that he wants them to test in their ABU’s, because if they were on a SAR mission they’d be running them.  When I was in the Army, we never tested, or did PT really, in BDU’s.  So I looked at the manual for the PT program and it says:  “Cadets do not have to exercise in a CAP uniform. Still, commanders should not require cadets to purchase special gear simply to participate in the program.”  So can the squadron go outside of what the manual indicates?  Or am I mis-reading the manual’s meaning?

I appreciate any information or guidance.  There are other questions, but this is the most pressing.
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 223

« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 02:16:08 PM »

It's definitely ill-advised.  I'd recommend a quick chat with the deputy commander for cadets.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,995

« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 02:36:53 PM »

+1 - PT testing should generally be done on a separate meeting night dedicated to PT (or at least scheduled for a portion as such),
in PT gear (shorts, t-shirts, gym shoes, etc., appropriate for weather or venue, and while a cadet may assist, a senior member needs
to be running the show.

The "SAR Mission" excuse fails since not all cadets are involved with ES (plus it's just a bad idea).

As said, time for a parent discussion with the CDC or CC.
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Майор Хаткевич
200,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,075
Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 02:58:26 PM »

What these gentlemen said. The Physical Fitness program should not be done in a uniform, and especially boots, so the SAR angle sounds like a misguided cadet with a lack of SM oversight.
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jdp1161
Recruit

Posts: 5

« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 03:17:26 PM »

I won't argue with the oversight comment, that kind of heads down the path of other concerns.  Also, spot on that it stem from the cadet commander himself.  His whole goal for being in CAP is to end up working for FEMA when he is done with school.  Everything he does he approaches from a SAR perspective.  It's working for him I guess, as he just got named to some FEMA youth program, I don't know of any other cadet that has an interest in it.

Thanks, all, for the insights.
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 739

« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 03:27:56 PM »

I am a little concerned about it taking over 2 months to do a CPFT.  That should be happening every month.
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jdp1161
Recruit

Posts: 5

« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 03:39:07 PM »

Well, that is kind of what worries me.  It's a small (in my mind at least) Composite Squadron.  Ten SM and 10 cadets on the roster, though only about 5 of each show up each week.  Always the same ones.  We like the people a lot, but they seem, shall we say, not organized.  The holds up on CPFT have been: new Testing Officer not trained to enter in data, guest speakers, cadet commander not in attendance.  Just one thing after another.

The meetings also make me wonder.  The Aerospace office normally presents something, but he gives it at an adult level.  Every one is in one room, but they will do whole segments geared to SM.  I guess I was expecting that the SM and cadets would split off and have things tailored directly to their needs.  Again, maybe it's just my expectations.
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 223

« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 03:41:59 PM »

I am a little concerned about it taking over 2 months to do a CPFT.  That should be happening every month.

I've never seen anywhere that's the standard.  I just looked in 52-16 and it's not in there.  CPFTs every month are boring for everyone involved.  I try to alternate testing with something else, so they end up testing every other month. 

When the new PT program comes in, if I can reduce the frequency of testing even further, I will.
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 739

« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 04:26:07 PM »

I am a little concerned about it taking over 2 months to do a CPFT.  That should be happening every month.

I've never seen anywhere that's the standard.  I just looked in 52-16 and it's not in there.  CPFTs every month are boring for everyone involved.  I try to alternate testing with something else, so they end up testing every other month. 

When the new PT program comes in, if I can reduce the frequency of testing even further, I will.

Yes it is boring but a cadet's promotion should not be held up simply because a unit won't give a cadet the test in over 2 months.  Personally I haven't seen a unit not give the test at least monthly during a regular meeting or some other time.  Making a cadet wait that long to get the final item checked off for their first promotion is a good way to discourage that cadet.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 04:32:10 PM »

CPFTs every month are "boring"?  Time to brush up on the regs and pamphlets.  NHQ is trying to increase the amount of PT activities,
not reduce them.   

If no one needs to test, they still need to practice, or you could do team sports, etc.  That once a month, less formal meeting is important
to build unit spirit.

A couple of other things.

A "testing officer" is not required to enter scores, or in any way proctor PT.

Another issue, there is an entire Cadet curriculum that needs to be addressed and is generally run on a 13-week evolving / revolving
schedule.  Consistency is important to insure participation. See; "Squadron in a Box"  https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/library/squadron-in-a-box/

And as to the Cadet CC being absent forcing changes in schedule, that's not cricket, either.  If he can't be there, someone else should take up the slack,
not blow off the activity.

Sadly this isn't uncommon - an inexperienced person accepts the CC job, no one mentors him, and things fall off the rails fast.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 04:34:39 PM »

When the new PT program comes in, if I can reduce the frequency of testing even further, I will.

The only thing that really changes is the requirement to make an objective standard to promote for non Milestones.

Cadets still have to be participating and setting their personal benchmarks.  If anything, absent a regular
requirement of a number for promotions, monthly PT will become even more important as otherwise the risk is
cadets being unable to make Milestone numbers because they are going from zero to 4-clicks at a time standards.

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"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 223

« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 05:17:55 PM »

I can fit the intent of the fitness program with other activities. PT night doesn't automatically equal CPFT.

So where did anybody read that I was reducing PT activities?

My understanding of the innovations newsletter thingy was that the new program would make a CPFT score last for 180 days, and squadrons should offer the test at least quarterly.

Curry is a different animal, and I get them through as much of the requirements as I can as quick as possible.
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NC Hokie
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 883
Unit: MER-NC-057

« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 06:25:20 PM »

Hey, all, first time poster…  Our son (13 yr old) joined CAP in June.  He has a desire for a career in the Air Force (either through the Academy or ROTC in college), and we thought this would be a great introduction/training/learning experience for him.  As we have been attending meetings, though, I’m seeing some that raise concerns.  I want to make sure he gets all he can out of the program (he’s highly motivated) so I just want to look to clarify a few things with more experienced folks.

My first question has to do with the PT test.  That’s the last thing he needs to get his Curry.  We’ve been trying to get it done for the last 2 months, but there’s always a reason that it doesn’t happen.  Anyway, the Cadet Commander said the other day that he wants them to test in their ABU’s, because if they were on a SAR mission they’d be running them.  When I was in the Army, we never tested, or did PT really, in BDU’s.  So I looked at the manual for the PT program and it says:  “Cadets do not have to exercise in a CAP uniform. Still, commanders should not require cadets to purchase special gear simply to participate in the program.”  So can the squadron go outside of what the manual indicates?  Or am I mis-reading the manual’s meaning?

I appreciate any information or guidance.  There are other questions, but this is the most pressing.

I won't duplicate any of the good advice that has already been offered, but I do have a question for you.  It sounds like you're a bit more involved with CAP than the average parent.  Have you considered joining as a cadet sponsor member or full senior member to help his unit?
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William Hess, Maj, CAP
Tar River Actual
coudano
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,115

« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 09:26:15 PM »

Anyway, the Cadet Commander said the other day that he wants them to test in their ABU’s, because if they were on a SAR mission they’d be running them.

This cadet commander is on a little too loose of a leash.
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husker
Forum Regular

Posts: 150
Unit: NHQ-007

« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2017, 08:41:23 AM »

Anyway, the Cadet Commander said the other day that he wants them to test in their ABU’s, because if they were on a SAR mission they’d be running them.

I'm not the most experienced member out there, but I have 25 years in the program as a cadet and senior - primarily as an ES and ES training guy.  I have never once had to run in a utility uniform during a training or actual mission.

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Michael Long, Lt Col CAP
Deputy Director, National Emergency Services Academy
nesa.cap.gov
mlong (at) nesa.cap.gov
jdp1161
Recruit

Posts: 5

« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 08:56:46 AM »


I won't duplicate any of the good advice that has already been offered, but I do have a question for you.  It sounds like you're a bit more involved with CAP than the average parent.  Have you considered joining as a cadet sponsor member or full senior member to help his unit?

Yeah, we're very involved from a parental standpoint.  We are completely committed to trying help my son reach his goal of making the Academy, so whatever it takes we're there.  I've considered it, but I'm not sure I'm at a point where I can add anything else to my plate.  My son was named to the Wing Cadet Advisory Committee, and one of the things being looked at is the creation of a similar Parent Advisory Group at either squadron or wing level.  That would probably be the most likely avenue for me to go.

We do have a good relationship with the Squadron Commander (SM).  He's pretty open to suggestions, and knows that we have the unit's best interest at heart (not just our son's).  My only holdup is knowing what is "the norm" for CAP, so I spend a fair amount of time looking stuff up.  I want to have a clear understanding of "how stuff works" vs. "how I think they should work".
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Eclipse
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 09:57:52 AM »

We do have a good relationship with the Squadron Commander (SM).  He's pretty open to suggestions, and knows that we have the unit's best interest at heart (not just our son's).  My only holdup is knowing what is "the norm" for CAP, so I spend a fair amount of time looking stuff up. I want to have a clear understanding of "how stuff works" vs. "how I think they should work".

This is your best bet - I wouldn't be too worried or excited about CAC, it's generally an exercise in learning parliamentary procedure and having pizza.
The fact that your son hasn't even been in 6 months, yet he's already been appointed a CAC rep should be some indication of the status of that group.

Parents should always be involved and interested in what their cadets are doing, and ask all the questions they need to, but
the idea of a "Parental Advisory Council" is going to send a chill up the spine of anyone who reads it with experience in the program.

Not, again, with any intent on excluding parents, but there is so much to understanding the program, competing priorities for time, and
just general stress on staff who are all volunteers, that having less-informed people "advising" is just a bad idea.  For those who want to
be that involved, they should write a check, go to TLC, and roll up their sleeves.
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Майор Хаткевич
200,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,075
Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 10:12:47 AM »

go to TLC, and roll up their sleeves.


Actually, not a bad idea. If OP truly doesn't have time to commit to the program, then at least reading TLC materials might be a helpful exercise.


Here is all the info for the basic portion of the course: https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/library/tlc_course/tlc-basic/


It's by far one of the more excellent courses CAP has, and I think would help OP, even lacking the participation/discussion with others.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,995

« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2017, 10:32:44 AM »

I could very much see how being familiar with the TLC curriculum, as well as CAPR 52-16 and Squadron-in-a-box, could eliminate
a lot of "Why can't we just..." conversations, many of which are centered around "going to this cool place I saw once" (while not
being interested in chaperoning, driving, or going themselves, etc.

The museum at Wright Patt seems to be a bright, shiny object in this regard, but anything that remotely resembles AE or
the military is also fair game, not to mention we should do more "...x...", or Johnny can only come to 4 meetings a year, but he's in
a youth program at the park, so can't he just "test out" for promotions from home, and he's super-organized so he should
probably be running things. "What's the big deal man?"

We've recently had some of these conversations at my squadron - expedience and lack of time had allowed us to slip
a bit in our structure and adherence to policies about testing, reporting in whether you're going to a meeting, etc.

It's interesting how fast "a slip here and a slip there" becomes the norm, which in turn means everything is slippery, and before you
know it your meetings are being run at the whim of cadets who don't plan, tell mom, or understand what they are asking,
and it's hard to say "no", because "You did it for Johnny!".

So we've dialed back the slips and dialed up the structure - still allows for flexibility when warranted, but less "conversations" when not.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:37:19 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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jdp1161
Recruit

Posts: 5

« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 11:15:55 AM »



Parents should always be involved and interested in what their cadets are doing, and ask all the questions they need to, but
the idea of a "Parental Advisory Council" is going to send a chill up the spine of anyone who reads it with experience in the program.

Not, again, with any intent on excluding parents, but there is so much to understanding the program, competing priorities for time, and
just general stress on staff who are all volunteers, that having less-informed people "advising" is just a bad idea.  For those who want to
be that involved, they should write a check, go to TLC, and roll up their sleeves.

Just to be clear, the parent council thing isn't my idea, it's already been on the radar apparently.  Even if it were ever adopted, I would see it only as a means to supplement and be a resource to the program, not run over it to make sure little Timmy is the star cadet. 

I've been a manager for more years than I care to remember, so I'm a big believer in consistency.  My interest is in knowing what "should" happen, as much as possible, so everyone gets the most from the program.  If "x" is supposed to happen, and other squadrons do "x", but our squadron does "y", then asking for clarification seems in order. 
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: New CAP Parent... Questions, Questions, Questions
 


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