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« on: August 12, 2017, 11:54:19 PM »

I have been a cadet in Civil Air Patrol for only about 3 months and it is not what I expected it to be. When I looked into it and joined I was expecting to always be doing something fun and exciting such as going out on missions and such. Instead all I have seen is 90% training, 10% action. We do things that don't interest me such as Cyber Patriot, character development, and "becoming" better leaders. I understand the importance of all of these things but it is really not what I was looking for. I want to go into the Army or Marines, something action packed and fast paced. I feel like CAP isn't worth my time and effort. I am not one to quit something that I have started and the last thing I want to do is walk in at the next meeting and say that I am quitting, especially after spending some time with other cadets and senior members. It is the program, not the people and environment.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,547
Unit: Classified

« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 12:21:04 AM »

Take some time and think about it.  And honestly the Army and Marines are not all that fast paced, they spend more time training than doing things as you put it.  And No one can keep a "fast pace" and "action packed" routine for long.  Sooner or later the body and the mind breaks down. 

You may not be having fun right now but in your phase of the program you are suppose to be learning more.  Give it some time and it may turn around.  You will get out of the program what you put into it. 
Seasoned Member

Posts: 306

« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 12:35:12 AM »

It's a progressive thing. At 3 months you're only 25% into your first year of membership and you aren't ready to do the things you want to do.

I recommend you put everything you have into this year. Go to an encampment and look into an activity like Hawk Mountain Ranger School. Then see what you think.

No military branch is all swinging from ropes with a knife in your teeth all the time. As an E-4 I once had to clear all the pine cones from the squadron area because a scheduled range day fell through and god forbid we get free time. My buddy came back from a Bragg visit and said he saw a bunch of 82nd dudes landscaping their barracks area with E-tools.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,069
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 01:17:37 AM »

Look at it this way:

Professional warriors know that they must train to standards and train hard, and follow their training in a real fight. Those who haven't learned the discipline to put up with the rigamarole, and trained as they planned to fight (and are flexible enough to adapt to circumstances) will lose that fight. so, be careful in what you wish for: if all you want is "action" then losing and dying because you were too impatient to learn the trade of war may be what you get. There is a WORLD of difference between disciplined soldiers (who put up with and live under discipline, and don't break under pressure) and the screaming barbarian who is in it for emotional reasons and will break and run (and die under our guns).

That's not an excuse for or approval of crap training (garrison parties as Jester mentions). Its just a reflection that as far back as the Romans and Babylonians, good salty NCO centurions have been smacking eager young farm boys back into line and yelling at them to do it by the numbers - AGAIN! With repetition, with what may seem frustrating and boring measures to your new guy perspective.

So, "by the numbers" for you as a CAP cadet include mandatory D&C, mandatory character development, etc. because decades of time and experience have proven that these are the methods that produce winners through the CAP program. If all you're seeking is a thrill ride, and you don't want discipline and to seek real training, perhaps you're not suited for a career in the US military at all (because that's what enables us to win wars, just as it did for the Romans).

Go read some Kipling - trust me, you want the Army/Marines, you will love this:

Then someday when you're a salty NCO, look back on this, and determine that you'll never fill slack time with useless training - make it count!


Seasoned Member

Posts: 288

« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 01:24:18 AM »

Sadly, reality and romanticized versions of the military as put forth via movies, video games and other media rarely are the same.  Without all the frequent drudgery of training, the flashes of "excitement" you are looking for will only result in defeat either physically or mentally both in and out of battle.  Don't give up on something you are only just beginning because you really do not have a good grasp on what life or the program can give you.  You will only get out of it what you put into it.  Good luck.
400,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 833
Unit: SER-AL-134

« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 10:55:03 AM »

Lol. Trust me the Marine Corps is 90% boredom and dumb games invented by SNCOs and 10% oh my god.
Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

USMC AD 1996-2001
USMCR    2001-2005  Admiral, Great State of Nebraska Navy  MS, MO, UDF
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,807
Unit: Earth

« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 11:10:05 AM »

Lol. Trust me the Marine Corps is 90% boredom and dumb games invented by SNCOs and 10% oh my god.

It may have been from The Onion, but it is probably the single most accurate "news" article published about the military:
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,611

« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 11:39:01 AM »

At 3 months in you're still learning how to be a cadet. If you are comparing CAP time
to military basic training or similar time in a fire or police service, you've barely completed
your first week.

No matter what you want to do in life, the "exciting" come well after the "learning", and it's only a
small percentage of the total time.

In the military or civilian EMS, there's generally an initial training session of 3-4 months where you
learn the basics of the organization and the expectations of wearing the uniform.

After that, you move on to technical training or schools, etc., where you start to learn actual job skills.
In the military, that's basic training, then "A-School", or tech school, or whatever.

For CAP, that would be Curry, then an encampment or two, and then NESA if you're interested in ES,
or some other NCSAs around career fields you enjoy learning about.

In most cases, CAP, the military, or even civilian jobs, new people aren't much use to the organization for
at least a year, sometimes longer, and can take 10 years to be "good" or "experienced" in most contexts.

To a new cadet that seems like a lifetime away, but give it that year to see where you stand.

Also, I would strongly suggest you and your parents discuss this with your Commander and / or Deputy for Cadets.
They should know that expectations may not have been set right, and may have some ideas to help you get through
some of the "less fun" and on to "more fun".

Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,124

« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 06:19:03 PM »

it is really not what I was looking for

While I agree with most others,
a) give it some more time
b) your expectations may be a little unrealistic

That said, particularly after giving it a good full try, if you aren't enjoying it, then go do something else.

However, don't be one of those special folks who doesn't enjoy CAP, but feels compelled to stick around and gripe about how much they don't like it.  As if the only thing they DO enjoy is not enjoying CAP, in a loud and grotesque manner, within plain earshot of people who clearly do enjoy it...

If this aint your gig, seek life elsewhere.
Good luck!

See ya.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,165

« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 07:55:52 PM »

Yes, all the CAP promotional materials (brochures, videos, etc.)  targeted towards teens to become Cadets .... are just that, marketing gimmicks to get folks in the door. Not a criticism, as all organizations do it. Its how you get folks in the door. It is what it is.
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Seasoned Member

Posts: 406

« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 09:21:08 AM »

Training is and hopefully will remain the name of the game.  The military is full of clichés and many actually make sense:

*The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in conflict.

* To become an effective leader you must learn to be an effective follower.

No one walks up to a tank, ship, airplane gets in and punches the throttle.  Long before the trainee sees the hardware there are hours and hours of classroom drills, yard drills, PT, Marching,  Police Calls, dumb military stuff, and all that.  All with a purpose. 

As a Civil Air Patrol Cadet those things that don't interest you much are those things that form the foundations of what you will become in the future.  Don't give up. 
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
2d Armored Cavalry Regiment
3d Infantry Division
504th BattleField Surveillance Brigade

ARMY:  Because even the Marines need heros.    
CAVALRY:  If it were easy it would be called infantry.
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 12:26:42 PM »

When I looked into it and joined I was expecting to always be doing something fun and exciting such as going out on missions and such. Instead all I have seen is 90% training, 10% action.

So how do you expect to go out on missions, until you've been trained to go out on missions? 3 months in, you've barely got your Curry, let alone achieved enough training to be mission ready. If missions are what you want, then get with your Squadron ESO and come up with a game plan to get you to that point, and then be prepared to put in the work.

We train like we fight, so we can fight like we train. Training is at least 90% of the job, if not more, so that when a call does come in, we're prepared to go out and save lives, and serve our communities.

Have you completed General Emergency Services? ICUT? Gone to an Encampment? Do those things, become a GTM3 Trainee, attend some Wing SAREX's, go to Hawk, go to NESA, etc. As others have said, you get out of it what you put in. If all you've done is show up each week with unrealistic expectations, you'll end up a disappointed quitter.

If you've done all you can, and you're Squadron isn't supporting your goals, to to a few meetings at a few different Squadrons in the area, and find one that's a better fit. Speak with your Chain of Command, and then go from there.

1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
Holding Pattern
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,241
Unit: Worry

« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 12:47:26 PM »

I have been a cadet in Civil Air Patrol for only about 3 months and it is not what I expected it to be. When I looked into it and joined I was expecting to always be doing something fun and exciting such as going out on missions and such. Instead all I have seen is 90% training, 10% action.

For what it's worth, I think you just defined the military with that sentence.

As much as training can suck sometimes, if you don't prove yourself in training you won't go on missions. The big missions also tend to not play with your schedules very well. If you find yourself two signoffs short of a qual and a callout for a Katrina level response occurs, you aren't going.

If you believe the training is deficient, however, you have three options:

1. Suggest changes up the chain of command

2. Be the change you wish to see in the unit: Ask to help on the planning and execution side of the training

3. Pay to go to a national training academy.
Seasoned Member

Posts: 219

« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 02:23:21 PM »

   If you want to be a Marine. First you have to have some discipline. I was a cadet once and 20 year later still in the Marine Corps as Infantryman.   

    Whatever, I've learned in CAP, has help me to be a better leader and a successful individual. Take it for what is worth stay in the CAP, give it a chance. If not, then get out...

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