December 08, 2022, 12:46:36 am

CAP Launches bold new something something...

Started by Eclipse, June 30, 2022, 08:10:58 pm

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Eclipse

July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pm #40 Last Edit: July 04, 2022, 03:23:33 pm by Eclipse
The DR ship sailed when CAP didn't properly engage after 911, 20+ years ago,
and then got a second chance after Katrina and showed how poorly prepared it
was for any incidents of real scale.

Since then its continued to struggle like a turtle on its back in the sun, while counting
"bare minimum performance" as "wild success".

One only needs to look at the Covid situation to understand that.
The organization lost about 25-30% of its membership, the vast, vast majority of
those left spent two years benched, and a handful, literally a handful, of members who
actual did something, anything, are lumped together with the benched in regards to
decorations and accolades.

There are plenty of other much more coherent agencies and organizations, both NFP and FP
with doctrine and LOTS of funding that have no interest in CAP's uniforms or extra baggage
who "own" the DR space, and have vested interests in not inviting others to the party, except for the occasional press photo.

And no one is going to join CAP to sit and keep a list at a shelter or hand out water.

CAP does not need, nor has it ever had, a "brand". It needs a mission and purpose.

Unless of course its new mission is doing the Floss on TikTok.
(Which for CAP would be about right, since that craze died 4 years ago)

"That Others May Zoom"

etodd

Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmThe DR ship sailed when CAP didn't properly engage after 911, 20+ years ago,
and then got a second chance after Katrina and showed how poorly prepared it
was for any incidents of real scale.

I'm not sure we ever could. When an ELT goes off, often we have to contact several scquadrons with planes until we can find a full crew that is able to "jump and run". Often its a MP from one Squadron and a MO from another. Maybe even a MS from a third. So travel time for each enters into our response time.

What percentage of the membership, when the hurricane strikes are able to drop everything and go help for a week? Its small.  Disasters always catch most people when work and family matters get in the way.

Full time first responders and agencies are 24/7.  CAP members can only help out when its convenient.  Its the nature of volunteers.

Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmAnd no one is going to join CAP to sit and keep a list at a shelter or hand out water.



But thats where we are headed. All the emphasis will be Cadets at some point. And Seniors who want to teach and lead them.

"When disaster strikes, we have Cadets that can hand out food and water, call us."

"Have a big event? We have Cadets that can direct and park cars, call us."

Boy and Girl Scouts ... with a different name.

If we can get enough CFIs willing to volunteer, maybe we can justify keeping the airplanes to teach Cadets to their Private Pilot. Otherwise ...
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

flyboy53

Quote from: etodd on July 04, 2022, 04:44:24 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmThe DR ship sailed when CAP didn't properly engage after 911, 20+ years ago,
and then got a second chance after Katrina and showed how poorly prepared it
was for any incidents of real scale.

I'm not sure we ever could. When an ELT goes off, often we have to contact several scquadrons with planes until we can find a full crew that is able to "jump and run". Often its a MP from one Squadron and a MO from another. Maybe even a MS from a third. So travel time for each enters into our response time.

What percentage of the membership, when the hurricane strikes are able to drop everything and go help for a week? Its small.  Disasters always catch most people when work and family matters get in the way.

Full time first responders and agencies are 24/7.  CAP members can only help out when its convenient.  Its the nature of volunteers.

Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmAnd no one is going to join CAP to sit and keep a list at a shelter or hand out water.



But thats where we are headed. All the emphasis will be Cadets at some point. And Seniors who want to teach and lead them.

"When disaster strikes, we have Cadets that can hand out food and water, call us."

"Have a big event? We have Cadets that can direct and park cars, call us."

Boy and Girl Scouts ... with a different name.

If we can get enough CFIs willing to volunteer, maybe we can justify keeping the airplanes to teach Cadets to their Private Pilot. Otherwise ...

Not far from the truth. Years ago, if you had been given an Air Force-originated fact sheet about the CAP, the curious thing was that the missions were reversed with the cadet program being Number #1. In the end, the CAP Cadet Program is one of the Air Force's accession sources and so much of what we do now, like the flight orientations and flight training, is geared toward that.

RiverAux

Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmthen got a second chance after Katrina and showed how poorly prepared it was for any incidents of real scale
As one who participated for about 3 weeks, I don't see Katrina having been a demonstration of any such lack of preparedness.  Actually, this was the event that really seemed to have launched the idea of sending Wing members out-of-state for large scale DR missions.  Yeah, there were some issues, but I was generally happy with it. 

That being said, long-time readers know that I am also not a fan of the long-standing lack of a DR doctrine in CAP. 

NovemberWhiskey


flyboy53

Ultimately, this discourse about the new logo is a moot point. And this service organization isn't a democracy where everyone has a vote to steer outcomes. We have a chain of command and there are individuals in the higher echelons that have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities.

I choose to remain positive. As I said previously, it took me about two decades to become accepting of the new Air Force logo. While, I prefer the CAP insignia I mentioned previously, I do recognize that change is constant and if we are to survive as an organization, we have to be prepared for change in order for CAP to evolve into whatever platform that best meets the needs of the Air Force or our other customers. A new logo does that.

At some point, I will probably buy the emblem on something. The polls and other social platforms don't always reflect the true feelings of the membership.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Eclipse on July 04, 2022, 03:10:05 pmOne only needs to look at the Covid situation to understand that.
The organization lost about 25-30% of its membership, the vast, vast majority of
those left spent two years benched, and a handful, literally a handful, of members who
actual did something, anything, are lumped together with the benched in regards to
decorations and accolades.


I think this point is exceptionally true.

I'm not sure what the actual percentage of regular participation was in weekly cadet unit meetings, but I knew of squadrons that went for months without meeting because they couldn't figure out how to adapt to a virtual format; and many which refused to adapt. Yet, they still received Crisis Service Ribbons.

I know of squadrons that couldn't meet because their unit leaders were in the "vulnerable" category when units went to Phase 1 and 2. Yet, they still received Crisis Service Ribbons.

It was a blanket stamp across eServices because of the labor intensive approach to vet how many members actually participated to X-% over the "crisis period," and to provide some form of morale boost to individuals who were already not participating, and the additional ribbon/award wasn't enough anyway to hold onto them anyhow. Most people don't even remember the Crisis Service Ribbon, and don't realize that it exists today.

How many units presented the ribbon to their members when it first came out?
How many units presented it after your last batch of new recruits came in? ...Most of you forgot about it, didn't you?

It has very little meaning to most individuals beyond some email someone received paragraphing some exemplar performance that doesn't even relate to those individuals. They were mostly students showing up to a virtual meeting; if they showed up at all.

I'm really glad the senior units that were too vulnerable to perform any CAP missions in masks but held their meetings at the local bar were able to get theirs.


Quote from: flyboy53 on July 08, 2022, 03:59:11 pmUltimately, this discourse about the new logo is a moot point. And this service organization isn't a democracy where everyone has a vote to steer outcomes. We have a chain of command and there are individuals in the higher echelons that have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities.

I choose to remain positive. As I said previously, it took me about two decades to become accepting of the new Air Force logo. While, I prefer the CAP insignia I mentioned previously, I do recognize that change is constant and if we are to survive as an organization, we have to be prepared for change in order for CAP to evolve into whatever platform that best meets the needs of the Air Force or our other customers. A new logo does that.

First off, no, a new logo doesn't do that. A new logo doesn't change our mission or evolve with our mission. Frankly, maybe I'm left out of the loop, but has our mission changed? I don't remember hearing about that one.

Don't put every investment that the "people at the top" know what's best for the "people at the bottom." A strategic marketing plan often has no connection to grassroots educational programs at the lower echelon--of any organization for that matter. That's kind of how grassroots operations work.

Maybe this is a cart before the horse thing? No idea at this point.

Down here at the ground level, there's really not much of a strategic vision of where we're headed. We still have to come up with our own schedules, find our own meeting locations, come up with the funds to pay for our facilities and materials, do all of the recruiting, and do our own public affairs work.

The reality is that the majority of CAP is "left on its own" beyond some integrated IT systems and PDFs outlining compliance elements and best practices.

flyboy53

People join organizations like the CAP for the same reason(s) they chose to serve their country, serve in the military or serve any one of a number of various organizations. They are seeking a way to achieve a goal or skill, seek some level of recognition through the affiliation with that organization, or some sense of just belonging to something greater than themselves. That is, in part, why CAP has such a broad spectrum of members.

Statistics, such as previously quoted that blamed the pandemic on the reason why people left CAP, may have a root significance but, in reality, can be manipulated to whatever end the presenter is trying to argue. It may not address the true core organizational culture or personal issues that initiated the departure. After all, how many of those members left for personal reasons, for a toxic command or membership culture, or simply because they found a different venue like the Coast Guard Auxiliary or a volunteer ambulance or fire department, or Red Cross to fulfill their needs.

In the end, we eat our own, and only sound the alarms when it becomes a troubling retention statistic, or you can't find a trained member to assume the reins of command or some leadership position. We do that in this forum when we use acronyms like WIWAC or WIWASM and we relegate retired members to non-status because they are no longer dues paying, in direct contradiction of CAPR-39-1, Chapter 4. The mistake with retired members is completely severing them from the organization, instead of allowing them to continue being dues paying members in a different status. Then, when a retired member returns, his or her role is always diminished because people are genuinely afraid that he or she may be of value, and the core issue that may have caused the departure, unless personal, is never addressed. 

You want to embrace the retention issue, then change the organizational culture and lend value to all members. The issue here is no different than a social or veteran's group. All organizations are suffering the same fate these days and I know that as a past county commander of a veterans organization, and a board member of a not-for-profit.

Certainly, about 10 percent of the membership may remain active, but there is a reason why that individual has chosen to watch from the sidelines. There are also reasons why organizational cultures change or evolve.

Certainly, a new logo has nothing to do with the CAP mission. It is, however, a sign of a shift in our organization -- whether positive or negative. Like it or not, it is embraced by the membership, or individuals have the right to choose that logo they best identify with.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: flyboy53 on July 10, 2022, 01:40:19 pmStatistics, such as previously quoted that blamed the pandemic on the reason why people left CAP, may have a root significance but, in reality, can be manipulated to whatever end the presenter is trying to argue. It may not address the true core organizational culture or personal issues that initiated the departure. After all, how many of those members left for personal reasons, for a toxic command or membership culture, or simply because they found a different venue like the Coast Guard Auxiliary or a volunteer ambulance or fire department, or Red Cross to fulfill their needs.

That information and data would need to be captured through an exit interview/survey to best provide any actual metrics regarding member attrition; and the majority of members leave CAP by not returning rather than expressing what their issue actually is.

Now why they choose not to express that information may vary depending on if they feel ostracized by the unit, are afraid to confront the unit out of some feared adversarial response, any level of embarrassment, or perhaps maybe a total disregard and lack of courtesy. There are really countless reasons at this point.


QuoteThe mistake with retired members is completely severing them from the organization, instead of allowing them to continue being dues paying members in a different status. Then, when a retired member returns, his or her role is always diminished because people are genuinely afraid that he or she may be of value, and the core issue that may have caused the departure, unless personal, is never addressed. 

Let's also add in that "retirement" from CAP includes very little actual return to the individual. It's not like they get a pension.

Furthermore, retirement also induces a separation of experience and currency in qualification/training. I have never seen a retiree in any professional development course that I have been in; thus, we can conclude that they are not up-to-date or current on modernized information.

While that individual may have loads of experience and practical skills to offer, it may conflict with current regulations and protocols. I'll point to examples on Cadet Protection and the modernization of the Cadet Programs curriculum. This person simply might not know anything about current cadet promotion processes, and they may be from an earlier era where certain cadet activities/conduct were permissible that, today, or prohibited or widely discouraged.

I do believe that everyone has value to offer. But age and experience are not enough on their own to be able to provide a functional benefit. And if a person wishes to provide that continued functionality, they should remain an active member and not a retiree.

QuoteYou want to embrace the retention issue, then change the organizational culture and lend value to all members. The issue here is no different than a social or veteran's group.

I think we're placing some great generalizations about very complex organizational issues, to include which part of the CAP member corps is feeling about a particular topic.

The modern triumphs and tribulations of the Cadet Program need to be faceted around the fact that, while there is a major social aspect to the program, it is not a social club nor is it simply a community service outreach program. The Cadet Program is a youth leadership development and training program, and nothing less than that. It's not a club or a hobby. Cadets are students in the organization, and while exciting opportunities may exist to balance out the "work" part of it--and provide additional educational experiences--, all of the extracurriculars are in addition to the core of the program, which is leadership education of an aerospace theme.

How that education is being delivered, and the often lack of delivery, is likely a major contributor to retention issues beyond people becoming disinterested. There were many units during the pandemic (which is still apparently not over) that failed to deliver any worthwhile educational experience or continued to ensure the advancement/progression of their cadets. That's a failure on this organization to fulfil that mission and to not correct that shortcoming...whether that's a National matter, Wing, squadron, what have you.

The subject here needs to not be the direction of blame. There needs to be a clear vision of what this organization intends to pursue in the coming future, and that vision must be expressed throughout the organizational hierarchy; and it must come it clear direction and objectives for the lower echelons to carry out in order to fulfil this mission at the widest possible level of accomplishment and impact to the member corps.

QuoteCertainly, about 10 percent of the membership may remain active, but there is a reason why that individual has chosen to watch from the sidelines.

Let's also take note that the majority of inactive individuals don't "watch from the sidelines;" they disappear altogether. Maybe they return now and then for a brief period. Maybe they return for years or decades and give back to an organization that they once strayed away from.

But we should caution an impression that people who are inactive are somewhat checking in and still paying attention. I would challenge that with the argument that most of those individuals have absolutely no attention to CAP, nor do they wish to.

Not only do we, as an organization, need to understand why people lose interest and try to curb that; we also must learn to let go and move on with the absence of some of those individuals. We need to be immensely cautious about trying to redevelop the organization in order to retain individuals who may still otherwise walk away later than today. -- There is a huge difference between someone who loses interest because CAP isn't providing what they want and someone who has no attention to CAP at all, for whatever reason came up in their life.

Luis R. Ramos

At the risk of members roasting me for posting on this thread a few weeks after the last post, I have to add something here.

I watched again Star Trek III, the Search for Spok. The headbands the priestesses wear reminded me of this new CAP symbol. The difference is the headbands on Star Trek III are translucent, and the CAP sign is in blue.
Squadron Safety Officer
Squadron Communication Officer
Squadron Emergency Services Officer