CAP Talk

General Discussion => Membership => Topic started by: Flymetothemoon on April 01, 2017, 02:32:48 AM

Title: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Flymetothemoon on April 01, 2017, 02:32:48 AM
I’m wondering, with the new promotion regulation for senior members, if CAP has too many volunteers and they are trying to have a back door RIF and anti-recruitment campaign.  For many people, attaining the higher grades by attending schools and conferences may be quite a financial and time constraint.  As a teacher, I can’t take off a week to attend some of the schools at the times they are offered.  Additionally, traveling to these locations is very expensive.  There are no alternate choices such as correspondence courses.  Sure, I can understand that you should put something into it other than waiting out the calendar, but it shouldn’t be limited to those with the finances and scheduling flexibility.  It’s a ridiculous barrier they’ve implemented.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 01, 2017, 09:10:58 AM
I’m wondering, with the new promotion regulation for senior members, if CAP has too many volunteers and they are trying to have a back door RIF and anti-recruitment campaign.  For many people, attaining the higher grades by attending schools and conferences may be quite a financial and time constraint.  As a teacher, I can’t take off a week to attend some of the schools at the times they are offered.  Additionally, traveling to these locations is very expensive.  There are no alternate choices such as correspondence courses.  Sure, I can understand that you should put something into it other than waiting out the calendar, but it shouldn’t be limited to those with the finances and scheduling flexibility.  It’s a ridiculous barrier they’ve implemented.

It depends on what schools you are talking about. There are a number of distance learning alternatives to RSC and NSC.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Briank on April 01, 2017, 01:28:30 PM
Is promotion a requirement/expected?  I've met a couple 2d Lts who've been in for many years.  Doesn't seem to be impacting their ability to serve.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Flymetothemoon on April 01, 2017, 01:29:29 PM
What are the alternatives?  Are these correspondence courses?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Flymetothemoon on April 01, 2017, 01:38:59 PM
I have seen positions at wing level having the requirement of Maj or Lt.Col for rank.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 01, 2017, 03:40:07 PM
I have seen positions at wing level having the requirement preference of Maj or Lt.Col for rank.

There are no staff positions at any level which have a grade requirement, other then by reg now National Commanders, etc.

Given the lack of the preferred grade, roles are filled by those available.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SAREXinNY on April 01, 2017, 04:16:52 PM
What are the alternatives?  Are these correspondence courses?

Yes sir, they are correspondence courses taken from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas if you like.  I've taken a couple.  They aren't easy, particularly if you do not have a military background.  I'd suggest talking to your squadron/group PDO.  They can fill you in on the specifics.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 01, 2017, 05:13:22 PM
Unfortunately these are no longer open to everyone.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spam on April 01, 2017, 05:30:14 PM
I have seen positions at wing level having the requirement preference of Maj or Lt.Col for rank.

There are no staff positions at any level which have a grade requirement, other then by reg now National Commanders, etc.

Given the lack of the preferred grade, roles are filled by those available.

Strongly concur with Eclipse here (see, Bob, it can happen)!!  ::)

We "hire" people based on talent, time, and mindset far more than grade. I'm now participating in that staff screening process again and let me assure you we're NOT discussing grade or rank at all! A servant/leader attitude, a mindset to follow the regs, and the ability to work well with others trumps what is on the shoulder marks by a wide margin (for any sensible Wing staff).

To the original comment, though, we've got a double edged sword here. NHQ is trying to address the problems of "old-boy-'ism" and of promoting advanced PD training for individuals seeking advanced grade by raising the bar on expectations for professional development. However, most of the really valuable, very active and energetic volunteer staff already are (by their nature) committed to producing results in other areas of their lives (hey, how about that turn of a phrase) and can't now commit to a broad level of further training to achieve Level III/IV/V, which becomes a barrier to advanced grade. Its a juggling act to try to hold the line high enough to improve long term corporate volunteer expertise without screening out effective, qualified but busy people.

Would I recommend someone who is a Company grade officer without a BS/BA degree to be a DCP (or some other staff function)? Yep, could be. I might even (hypothetically, in this instance) recommend/select someone who is a LT but is a professional educator over a Lt Col with otherwise limited experience working with adolescents, IF (and only if) that is the right individual for the situation. In that instance, promotion doesn't impose any glass ceiling on job selection.

Also, at the end of the day, the promotions, the bits of cloth and metal, the certificates, and the applause of your fellows are the tangible pay we receive as volunteers (that, and seeing victims of disasters preserved and seeing cadets mature into good citizens). If not through promotions, then we need to remember to find other ways to pay our troops, and pay them well.

V/r
Spam

Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SAREXinNY on April 01, 2017, 06:13:22 PM
Unfortunately these are no longer open to everyone.

Sadly, this is true.  Some people may be stuck at Capt or Maj indefinitely...but the OP did say he/she was a teacher so I assume they at least have a bachelor's degree.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Flymetothemoon on April 02, 2017, 06:58:28 AM
So, if in the end the grades mean nothing why even have them?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Fubar on April 02, 2017, 07:22:47 AM
So, if in the end the grades mean nothing why even have them?

Many, many electrons have been spent discussing that. Hit the archives to see the arguments for pro and con.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: RiverAux on April 02, 2017, 08:47:13 AM
Presumably CAP wants as many members as possible to obtain the highest rank possible since presumably that would mean the maximum spread of the information and training that CAP can provide its members.  I would hope that the result of 50% of our members getting to Level 5 (for example) would mean a better CAP overall. 

Now, there are some practical barriers to that which will never be overcome, but CAP should be doing what it can to make it as easy as possible for people to get the training that would improve CAP. 

The barrier that has kept me at Major is the fact that Region Staff College has been held at the same place for probably at least 15 years and is on the other side of a very large Region that would require at least 4 days of driving (to and from) to attend.  I'm just not willing to devote that much drive time to the course.  Why not change it up now and again?  There are other places it could be held.  Heck, you could even do it over a few weekends rather than making people devote a whole work week (and then some) to it.  But, nope.  Too stuck in their ways. 

Yep, there are/were the correspondence courses, but by all accounts they really only provide limited benefit to CAP members, so why should I take them?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Thonawit on April 02, 2017, 12:39:36 PM
I will never see Major or above due to the need for Region Staff College. I can not afford the loss of income for the week that I would have to take off. If I am going to take the time off, I am going to spend it with my family, sorry CAP volunteer service only goes so far in some cases. Also for the same reason by PD is done for Safety due to the need for FEMA 300 and 400.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 02, 2017, 05:09:07 PM
I have seen positions at wing level having the requirement preference of Maj or Lt.Col for rank.

There are no staff positions at any level which have a grade requirement, other then by reg now National Commanders, etc.

Given the lack of the preferred grade, roles are filled by those available.

While it is true that grade requirements may not be required, there are some wing, region and national positions (within the CAP Chaplain Corps) that require completion of Levels 4 and 5.  And completion of those levels in PD are required (along with Time-in-Grade) for advanced grades.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 02, 2017, 05:28:30 PM
While it is true that grade requirements may not be required, there are some wing, region and national positions (within the CAP Chaplain Corps) that require completion of Levels 4 and 5.  And completion of those levels in PD are required (along with Time-in-Grade) for advanced grades.

Training and service requirements for Wing, Region, and National Chief of the Chaplains is a preference, not a requirement:

CAPR 265-1 Page 11-13
http://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/R265_001_538BD6B239386.pdf

Wing:
"(4) Wing chaplains should have prior experience as a unit chaplain, be active in the
CAP Chaplain Corps for at least two consecutive years prior to appointment and achieved Level
III in the Senior Member Professional Development Program."


Region:
"(4) To be considered for region chaplain, each candidate should have prior experience
as a wing chaplain or on region chaplain staff, be active in the CAP Chaplain Corps for at least
five consecutive years prior to appointment and achieved Level IV in the Senior Member
Professional Development Program."


National:
"(3) To be considered for chief, each candidate should have prior experience as a region
chaplain or deputy region chaplain, be active in the CAP Chaplain Corps for at least ten
consecutive years prior to appointment and have achieved Level V in the Senior Member
Professional Development Program."


 
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 02, 2017, 06:17:13 PM
While it is true that grade requirements may not be required, there are some wing, region and national positions (within the CAP Chaplain Corps) that require completion of Levels 4 and 5.  And completion of those levels in PD are required (along with Time-in-Grade) for advanced grades.

Training and service requirements for Wing, Region, and National Chief of the Chaplains is a preference, not a requirement:

CAPR 265-1 Page 11-13
http://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/R265_001_538BD6B239386.pdf

Wing:
"(4) Wing chaplains should have prior experience as a unit chaplain, be active in the
CAP Chaplain Corps for at least two consecutive years prior to appointment and achieved Level
III in the Senior Member Professional Development Program."


Region:
"(4) To be considered for region chaplain, each candidate should have prior experience
as a wing chaplain or on region chaplain staff, be active in the CAP Chaplain Corps for at least
five consecutive years prior to appointment and achieved Level IV in the Senior Member
Professional Development Program."


National:
"(3) To be considered for chief, each candidate should have prior experience as a region
chaplain or deputy region chaplain, be active in the CAP Chaplain Corps for at least ten
consecutive years prior to appointment and have achieved Level V in the Senior Member
Professional Development Program."


The "should" is associated with the prior experience as seen by use of the comma rather than a colon or the word "should" prior to word "achieved Level..."
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 02, 2017, 06:43:01 PM
The "should" is associated with the prior experience as seen by use of the comma rather than a colon or the word "should" prior to word "achieved Level..."

I'm sorry, but that's not how any CAP reg is written and not what it says.  The word "should" indicates the rest of the paragraph is the preference but still
optional, just like every place else it's used in a similar fashion.  If it was otherwise it would say "should...and then will" for the rest".

The comma is for grammatical purposes to separate items in the list, and there should also be one after the word "appointment" in each paragraph.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 02, 2017, 07:52:25 PM
The "should" is associated with the prior experience as seen by use of the comma rather than a colon or the word "should" prior to word "achieved Level..."

I'm sorry, but that's not how any CAP reg is written and not what it says.  The word "should" indicates the rest of the paragraph is the preference but still
optional, just like every place else it's used in a similar fashion.  If it was otherwise it would say "should...and then will" for the rest".

The comma is for grammatical purposes to separate items in the list, and there should also be one after the word "appointment" in each paragraph.

Thanks for your input....the current CAPR 265-1 is in the process of being revised as part of the reengineering project.   Will pass you remarks along to the revision committee for clarification purposes.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 03, 2017, 10:32:09 AM
Is promotion a requirement/expected?  I've met a couple 2d Lts who've been in for many years.  Doesn't seem to be impacting their ability to serve.

Fair point.

In CAP, anyone at any grade can server in almost any role. Some posts even come with an automatic promotion eligibility. A 2d Lt who has served in CAP for 10 years can become a Squadron Commander at any time, really. This person can continue to be the Operations Officer with virtually no impact if they keep up on the stuff they should know for the job.

In the military, there are available slots to promote into, and they may not put you into a position until you've reached the rank for it. But if you have to go through a staff college to promote, you'll go as an assignment, not "inconvenient time off, using my vacation."

I have seen positions at wing level having the requirement preference of Maj or Lt.Col for rank.

There are no staff positions at any level which have a grade requirement, other then by reg now National Commanders, etc.

Given the lack of the preferred grade, roles are filled by those available.

Strongly concur with Eclipse here (see, Bob, it can happen)!!  ::)

We "hire" people based on talent, time, and mindset far more than grade. I'm now participating in that staff screening process again and let me assure you we're NOT discussing grade or rank at all! A servant/leader attitude, a mindset to follow the regs, and the ability to work well with others trumps what is on the shoulder marks by a wide margin (for any sensible Wing staff).

To the original comment, though, we've got a double edged sword here. NHQ is trying to address the problems of "old-boy-'ism" and of promoting advanced PD training for individuals seeking advanced grade by raising the bar on expectations for professional development. However, most of the really valuable, very active and energetic volunteer staff already are (by their nature) committed to producing results in other areas of their lives (hey, how about that turn of a phrase) and can't now commit to a broad level of further training to achieve Level III/IV/V, which becomes a barrier to advanced grade. Its a juggling act to try to hold the line high enough to improve long term corporate volunteer expertise without screening out effective, qualified but busy people.

Would I recommend someone who is a Company grade officer without a BS/BA degree to be a DCP (or some other staff function)? Yep, could be. I might even (hypothetically, in this instance) recommend/select someone who is a LT but is a professional educator over a Lt Col with otherwise limited experience working with adolescents, IF (and only if) that is the right individual for the situation. In that instance, promotion doesn't impose any glass ceiling on job selection.

Also, at the end of the day, the promotions, the bits of cloth and metal, the certificates, and the applause of your fellows are the tangible pay we receive as volunteers (that, and seeing victims of disasters preserved and seeing cadets mature into good citizens). If not through promotions, then we need to remember to find other ways to pay our troops, and pay them well.

V/r
Spam

Grade has several purposes:
- Keep with the tradition of the Air Force in using a rank structure
- Provide a retention mechanism to reward training, experience, and time in

We could fully function without actual grade if everything we did was just based on job titles. Most CAP units are not structured based on grade but using a title/function (Operations Officer, Communications Officer, Assistant Communications Officer, etc).

Insignia comes as a form of prestige and recognition. It's a reward for putting in the effort. Huge retention boost in a society of people who seek recognition. Frankly, "selfless service" is minimal in most people. There comes a point when someone goes, "I'm just not getting anything in return." So the promotion process is necessary to keep up the morale and giving members something to work toward. A goal is a great way to tell someone, "Look, you've put in all this work. You're almost there."

The military wants its service members to have a certain level of experience for their function and strongly differentiates the requirements between the commissioned and non-commissioned. In CAP, you may have a Wing Commander who has a GED, no college education, but 20 years as a senior member officer. Good luck finding that in the Army. But the military also provides financial compensation for your labor in addition to the other benefits, to include the awards programs.

CAP just doesn't have the resources, whether funding, facilities, equipment, or manpower, to provide the training and retention for every member. There's only so much that can be done.

I, too, don't like that there may be some form of training I'd like to attend but can't take a week off of work for. It is what it is. I'll survive without it. My financial expenditures come first. I've often said that I would love if CAP paid me the same I make at my job. I put just as much time into CAP as I do my day job, if not more sometimes. I'd choose what I do in CAP over my private career in a flash. But, that's the way this works.

I'm pretty on track, though, with my training requirements in CAP. Perhaps things have just aligned for me to progress at the appropriate rate. But I'm a forward planner---I need to look down the road, and say to myself, "Okay, you really can't miss the next training session or you might fall behind." Alright, I'm there, then. I'll organize that schedule with work. "Hey, boss. Can I take off a week in 6 months?" "Nope. Can't do." "Ugh. Okay, it is what it is." It's just a reminder that I'm not entitled to these things.

Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Panzerbjorn on April 03, 2017, 03:55:04 PM
I will never see Major or above due to the need for Region Staff College. I can not afford the loss of income for the week that I would have to take off. If I am going to take the time off, I am going to spend it with my family, sorry CAP volunteer service only goes so far in some cases. Also for the same reason by PD is done for Safety due to the need for FEMA 300 and 400.

Are you currently a Captain that is eligible for promotion to Major under the old system?

Otherwise, well, you're not saying that you can't afford the loss of income for the week off, as that would be compensated vacation.  You're saying you have other priorities, which is perfectly cool.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Майор Хаткевич on April 03, 2017, 04:19:04 PM
I will never see Major or above due to the need for Region Staff College. I can not afford the loss of income for the week that I would have to take off. If I am going to take the time off, I am going to spend it with my family, sorry CAP volunteer service only goes so far in some cases. Also for the same reason by PD is done for Safety due to the need for FEMA 300 and 400.

Are you currently a Captain that is eligible for promotion to Major under the old system?

Otherwise, well, you're not saying that you can't afford the loss of income for the week off, as that would be compensated vacation.  You're saying you have other priorities, which is perfectly cool.


For most people that week = family vacation time. For others, NCSAs, encampments, etc.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 03, 2017, 04:25:36 PM
I will never see Major or above due to the need for Region Staff College. I can not afford the loss of income for the week that I would have to take off. If I am going to take the time off, I am going to spend it with my family, sorry CAP volunteer service only goes so far in some cases. Also for the same reason by PD is done for Safety due to the need for FEMA 300 and 400.

Are you currently a Captain that is eligible for promotion to Major under the old system?

Otherwise, well, you're not saying that you can't afford the loss of income for the week off, as that would be compensated vacation.  You're saying you have other priorities, which is perfectly cool.

Not everyone gets paid vacations. And adding to what the Major said, for many of our dedicated seniors a week at RSC is a week they're not spending at a higher-value (to them) CAP activity - this is pretty much where I'm at.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Briank on April 03, 2017, 06:13:24 PM
I lose nearly all of my paid vacation time to all the various doctors visits, car repairs, and house repairs that life hands me.  I hear rumors we can do unpaid time off too.  I may pursue that if I'm able to survive long enough in CAP!  :-)
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 03, 2017, 06:42:18 PM
Paid what now?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: kcebnaes on April 03, 2017, 06:47:18 PM
What is this "vacation" thing? How do I apply?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 03, 2017, 07:24:27 PM
BTDT....I was able to attend and check all the boxes necessary with planning ahead.   Difficult to do with full time work and limited vacation time, family responsibilities, finances and the general ebb and flow of life.  Looked at how much time in grade was needed to fulfill the RSC and NSC requirements -- and worked that into the equation.  Had three years from the time I made Captain to meet the RSC requirements  and had 4 years from the time I made Major to attend NSC.  Discussion with the wife and planning paid off.  Able to attend both PD events and promote.    Still have to prioritize (at least for another few weeks until I retire) what CAP activities are must attend and work them into my family routine and work schedule -- and finances :)
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: AirAux on April 04, 2017, 10:23:15 AM
Riveraux, you don't have to attend your Region Staff College, you can attend a closer one to you if there is one?  Just a thought?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 04, 2017, 11:27:31 AM
What is this "vacation" thing? How do I apply?

Right?

I planned to take vacation during this year's Encampment so I could staff. Unfortunately, it's the week before our big company audit, and boss told me "Maybe you can take 2 days off; we'll see closer to then." Urgh.


Now, I'll say, the online courses do provide an alternative to some of the in-person classroom training sessions. When I tried to sign up online, the process was tedious, as there were numerous technical issues because it was going through another wing. Even after I withdrew from the course and notified the persons I was told to, I was still getting information about the class. The participation/conference calls were during my unit meeting time, so no way was I sitting out of my meeting to attend an online class. It was a little excessive compared to what I took in college regarding online courses, but it works for some people.

I think CAP does do a nice job trying to get the volunteers to really dedicated their time and effort to trying to provide as many training opportunities as possible. It's frustrating at times because our planets don't always align, but I have a lot of respect for that effort.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 04, 2017, 11:42:23 AM
In light of the fact that grade confers no authority, responsibility, or personal monetary reward, the entirety of the CAP grade schema has
become very self-defeating, especially for those who are stuck on the bubble and now have to get things done by next year, with many of
those members, especially for the field grades, being literally the last bastions of experienced members CAP absolutely cannot afford to lose
given its current retention vector.

One thing a lot of people don't realize, or choose to ignore until they are in the thick of it, is that you can take the time, make the effort,
and spend the money, and still not get promoted..."because".  This situation can be one of the most demoralizing, counter-incentives
to continued membership of any in the CAP toolbox, and it happens all the time.

A member who quits because they feel slighted or unappreciated when the Major or Lt Col door closes takes 10 years or more to re-grow, assuming
they are ever replaced.

10 years. 

Members, as of writing this, are human, and given to the frailties of vanity, ego, even jealousy.  That's a given, and that knowledge is actually
one of the drivers behind >why< there is a CAP grade schema in the first place. Namely Napoleon's famous quote:
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Recognition of accomplishment is all CAP can offer of a tangible nature,
and despite the rhetoric to the contrary (which has ignored the reality for decades, if not longer), CAP grade >is< reward for work done, >not<
expectation of more responsibility, because there is no "expectation of more responsibility", in fact, the regulations actually prohibit
that very idea.

As we've seen time and again, both here and in person, people may "serve quietly", but they want and need recognition
in equal measures to those they view as peers, and even more importantly, those they feel don't contribute as much.
Unrecognized for too long, those people then quit quietly.

The organization as a whole would be much better off to leave grade for adult members by the curb and focus
on Professional Development as a value in and of itself, or at the least, make grade as a given based on PD and time.

Few are the members who pursue PD for its own sake, owing at least as much to the inconsistent nature of the
training itself and those presenting it.  For every TLC that ignites squadrons, there are ten which are barely tolerable,
presented by members who skimmed the material over coffee and have never worked with cadets.

For every RSC with a strong rep, there's at least one which is (or was) more of a band-camp for the staff and an SLS/CLC
rehash, versus any real preparation for staffing a wing or region.

On the whole, Members pursue PD to get promoted, and far too many at the last minute.  Absent promotions, most wouldn't bother.

Were grade left at the curb, and real requirements put into place regarding training and proficiency, CAP would be much better
off in the long run.

What it has today is another mess - a large number of members who will continue to serve but always feel they got "cheated"
out of their last promotion, mostly piling up at Captain, coupled with a much smaller number of FGOs who may or may not
have any more knowledge or ability, but were able to take the time for, not to mention could afford the cost of, the RSC and NSC.

As we discussed when the new requirements were announced, Level 4 and 5, not to mention Major and Lt Col, are now as much about
writing a check as any value the member brings to the organizaiton.

You see it already in the language here, and it comes up more and more in person as August 2018 gets nearer...

"Guess I'm stuck at Captain."

"I'll be a lifer Major."

...as if a door is closing unfairly (which it is), not to mention the fact that any new member doing the math
has to realize that the odds of exceeding Captain for anyone joining after Aug 2012, are much smaller then they were before, if they
exist at all, yet NHQ has done nothing to characterize the new climate or even really address it.

One has to wonder why, when pondering retention issues, this doesn't even appear to be on the list, despite the fact that
Unit CCs in the trenches have to deal with it on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 04, 2017, 12:32:06 PM
@ Eclipse,

I think this is where the Cadet Program and Senior Program promotion processes differ so greatly.

Regarding cadets, they have an active participation requirement. The Commander(s) must ensure that the unit's program provides the opportunity for advancement. A cadet who does not attend any of those opportunities for a year did that to himself/herself.

Regarding seniors, those opportunities may be rare albeit required for promotion. It can be really challenging for a senior to attend two classes that may be offered over the course of a year; some areas may only offer it once that year. So if a senior member cannot make that one April class, for example, he/she may have to wait until the following year, or find the means to "pay his/her way" to attend in other locale, perhaps another wing or region.

I, personally, think some of the criteria is excessive, such as the "attend a Wing Conference." Typically, our Wing Conferences are attached to a Professional Development training weekend. But what if it's not? What benefit is there aside from the social outing aspect or general discussion topics? That's not really "training" in my book from what I would expect of a leader learning a more advanced skill set to take on greater responsibilities.

Sometimes, (I might lose some of you older guys here) I compare the progression process to The Sims. "You must have at least 10 friends in order to advance to the next level."

But you're absolutely right. At the end of the day, most (and I emphasize that word) CAP members are human and do require that recognition at some point. They want/need a goal to aim for. That's just another retention tool. A member who shows up to every meeting, and is willing to take all of the online training, read up on subject matter, and puts fort the effort both inside and outside of the regular schedule of events who just cannot make that one weekend a year, or take that week off of work, might be held up from a promotion for an extensive period of time. This is when someone in my position, who does have people who report to me, has to say, "There's nothing I can do for you. You need to attend the conference. Try again next year?" Year
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: CAPDCCMOM on April 04, 2017, 01:02:38 PM
I have jumped through every PD hoop given, and now I have a PDO with more ego than anything else, refusing to help me with my check off for my Senior Rating in my Specialty track. Reason given: I dont have the time to read the regulations to ensure that you know what you are talking about. Went to Wing, was told, that is a a Squadron level issue, and ring around the Cessna begins
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 04, 2017, 01:03:12 PM
You're not wrong about scarcity of PD, but the CP and the "senior program" (hate that term) are not comparable as they have completely different purposes and expected outcomes.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 04, 2017, 01:16:59 PM
I have jumped through every PD hoop given, and now I have a PDO with more ego than anything else, refusing to help me with my check off for my Senior Rating in my Specialty track. Reason given: I dont have the time to read the regulations to ensure that you know what you are talking about. Went to Wing, was told, that is a a Squadron level issue, and ring around the Cessna begins

This is a Command issue and that's where you should take it.

Sounds like this is a "repair / replace" decision in regards to the PDO, since the above in bold is literally and his only job.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: NIN on April 04, 2017, 01:39:41 PM

This is a Command issue and that's where you should take it.

Sounds like this is a "repair / replace" decision in regards to the PDO, since the above in bold is literally and his only job.

This.

A long discussion needs to be had with your commander about this. Or a short one. Either way, you need to point this out.

I had a conversation with a PDO just last night in this regard. Apparently a 2nd Lt was not happy that a fellow (newer) 2nd Lt had been promoted to 1st Lt.  The new 1st Lt has actually taken steps to accomplish his Tech rating.  The 2nd Lt has not.

The PDO was like "Well, she's missing OBC and needs a tech rating."

"Right, have you done anything to help her get her tech rating signed off?  Have you talked to her about OBC?"

I love it when I get the blank look.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: chuckmilam on April 04, 2017, 02:16:59 PM
You see it already in the language here, and it comes up more and more in person as August 2018 gets nearer...

"Guess I'm stuck at Captain."

"I'll be a lifer Major."

I'm missing this part of the conversation, I guess.  What happens in August 2018?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Майор Хаткевич on April 04, 2017, 02:42:30 PM
You see it already in the language here, and it comes up more and more in person as August 2018 gets nearer...

"Guess I'm stuck at Captain."

"I'll be a lifer Major."

I'm missing this part of the conversation, I guess.  What happens in August 2018?


Grandfathering of old promotion requirements ends.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 04, 2017, 03:01:38 PM
TIG increases for all but butter bar, bringing the minimum TIG from 0 to hero to 13.5 years vs. 10
under the pre-2014 program.

But more importantly, the Levels have shifted "up", now requiring LIV / RSC for Major and LV / NSC for Lt Col,
which means for a lot of members that will be too long a row to hoe.

In the interim, members are eligible to get 1-click up under the old program, whatever their next click would
be, and then have to catch-up the PD before they can be promoted further.

New requirements are below:

2d Lt Level I 6 months as a member
1st Lt Level II 18 months as 2d Lt or TFO (or combination thereof)
Captain Level III 30 months as 1st Lt or SFO (or combination thereof)
Major Level IV 4 years as Captain
Lt Col Level V 5 years as Major

On a general note, and no dig on you chuck, but this shows how this info isn't making it to the field.
Despite this change happening almost three years ago, a lot of members are unaware, which means
they will be caught offguard when they eventually get around to it (which is the PD plan for a lot of members).
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: chuckmilam on April 04, 2017, 03:14:47 PM
No offense taken.  I'd been so involved in my own life milestones and then my CAP job-related stuff that I hadn't looked at CAPR 35-5 in years.  I didn't even realize those were new TIG requirements.   :-[
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: EMT-83 on April 04, 2017, 08:39:05 PM
In light of the fact that grade confers no authority, responsibility, or personal monetary reward, the entirety of the CAP grade schema has become very self-defeating, especially for those who are stuck on the bubble and now have to get things done by next year, with many of those members, especially for the field grades, being literally the last bastions of experienced members CAP absolutely cannot afford to lose given its current retention vector.

One thing a lot of people don't realize, or choose to ignore until they are in the thick of it, is that you can take the time, make the effort, and spend the money, and still not get promoted..."because".  This situation can be one of the most demoralizing, counter-incentives to continued membership of any in the CAP toolbox, and it happens all the time.

A member who quits because they feel slighted or unappreciated when the Major or Lt Col door closes takes 10 years or more to re-grow, assuming they are ever replaced.

... [snip]

You have perfectly described my decision to not renew my membership.

With all the stars and planets in perfect alignment for my promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, I was informed that my promotion would never be approved unless I returned to Wing staff or accepted an assignment as Group Commander.

Never mind that I had a very successful tour at Wing and had returned to the squadron. “It’s not what you did for me yesterday, but what you’re going to do for me tomorrow.”

I could have fought it, but why bother? When something is no longer fun, it’s time to move on.

The funny thing is, I had always figured that I would top out as a Major and I was okay with that. But tell me that I can’t have something? Now that’s a different story.

Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: ourpobox on April 05, 2017, 08:06:40 AM
I have jumped through every PD hoop given, and now I have a PDO with more ego than anything else, refusing to help me with my check off for my Senior Rating in my Specialty track. Reason given: I dont have the time to read the regulations to ensure that you know what you are talking about. Went to Wing, was told, that is a a Squadron level issue, and ring around the Cessna begins

I'm not sure if this is an option in your setting, but I've been working with others in the Wing to peer-mentor one another and ensure that we are meeting the requirements.  We document our knowledge, training and experience with another member at a higher level than we are -- likely fulfilling THEIR requirement to mentor another to that level -- and write up what we've found.  They should be able to take THAT to their PDO/Commander and get approval for the next level. 

I don't expect my PDO to know EVERY reg to the degree they can sign off on my Specialty Tracks....they certainly can't be expected to know every Specialty to be able to evaluate my skill...even if they know the reg.  That is why I think this is a good plan.  I've done it with at least three others in 3 different Specialty Tracks.

I hope this helps a bit.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Jaison009 on April 09, 2017, 12:13:20 PM
As a squadron PDO, I fully agree. Well said.

I have jumped through every PD hoop given, and now I have a PDO with more ego than anything else, refusing to help me with my check off for my Senior Rating in my Specialty track. Reason given: I dont have the time to read the regulations to ensure that you know what you are talking about. Went to Wing, was told, that is a a Squadron level issue, and ring around the Cessna begins

This is a Command issue and that's where you should take it.

Sounds like this is a "repair / replace" decision in regards to the PDO, since the above in bold is literally and his only job.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Jaison009 on April 09, 2017, 12:46:14 PM
I am one of those stuck between Capt and Maj now. My rank date was 2JAN15 so I just barely missed the grandfather date and now my 26 months towards my 36 months is 48 and now I need L3 and L4 to promote to Major. I almost chose not to renew membership due to knowing the new requirements have pinned me between a rock and a hard place and my thoughts of topping out at Major are pretty well gone. I am already limited in my time and activity, but my time as a former cadet keeps me coming back (at least for the next year).

In light of the fact that grade confers no authority, responsibility, or personal monetary reward, the entirety of the CAP grade schema has
become very self-defeating, especially for those who are stuck on the bubble and now have to get things done by next year, with many of
those members, especially for the field grades, being literally the last bastions of experienced members CAP absolutely cannot afford to lose
given its current retention vector.

One thing a lot of people don't realize, or choose to ignore until they are in the thick of it, is that you can take the time, make the effort,
and spend the money, and still not get promoted..."because".  This situation can be one of the most demoralizing, counter-incentives
to continued membership of any in the CAP toolbox, and it happens all the time.

A member who quits because they feel slighted or unappreciated when the Major or Lt Col door closes takes 10 years or more to re-grow, assuming
they are ever replaced.

10 years. 

Members, as of writing this, are human, and given to the frailties of vanity, ego, even jealousy.  That's a given, and that knowledge is actually
one of the drivers behind >why< there is a CAP grade schema in the first place. Namely Napoleon's famous quote:
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Recognition of accomplishment is all CAP can offer of a tangible nature,
and despite the rhetoric to the contrary (which has ignored the reality for decades, if not longer), CAP grade >is< reward for work done, >not<
expectation of more responsibility, because there is no "expectation of more responsibility", in fact, the regulations actually prohibit
that very idea.

As we've seen time and again, both here and in person, people may "serve quietly", but they want and need recognition
in equal measures to those they view as peers, and even more importantly, those they feel don't contribute as much.
Unrecognized for too long, those people then quit quietly.

The organization as a whole would be much better off to leave grade for adult members by the curb and focus
on Professional Development as a value in and of itself, or at the least, make grade as a given based on PD and time.

Few are the members who pursue PD for its own sake, owing at least as much to the inconsistent nature of the
training itself and those presenting it.  For every TLC that ignites squadrons, there are ten which are barely tolerable,
presented by members who skimmed the material over coffee and have never worked with cadets.

For every RSC with a strong rep, there's at least one which is (or was) more of a band-camp for the staff and an SLS/CLC
rehash, versus any real preparation for staffing a wing or region.

On the whole, Members pursue PD to get promoted, and far too many at the last minute.  Absent promotions, most wouldn't bother.

Were grade left at the curb, and real requirements put into place regarding training and proficiency, CAP would be much better
off in the long run.

What it has today is another mess - a large number of members who will continue to serve but always feel they got "cheated"
out of their last promotion, mostly piling up at Captain, coupled with a much smaller number of FGOs who may or may not
have any more knowledge or ability, but were able to take the time for, not to mention could afford the cost of, the RSC and NSC.

As we discussed when the new requirements were announced, Level 4 and 5, not to mention Major and Lt Col, are now as much about
writing a check as any value the member brings to the organizaiton.

You see it already in the language here, and it comes up more and more in person as August 2018 gets nearer...

"Guess I'm stuck at Captain."

"I'll be a lifer Major."

...as if a door is closing unfairly (which it is), not to mention the fact that any new member doing the math
has to realize that the odds of exceeding Captain for anyone joining after Aug 2012, are much smaller then they were before, if they
exist at all, yet NHQ has done nothing to characterize the new climate or even really address it.

One has to wonder why, when pondering retention issues, this doesn't even appear to be on the list, despite the fact that
Unit CCs in the trenches have to deal with it on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: RiverAux on April 09, 2017, 07:37:25 PM
Riveraux, you don't have to attend your Region Staff College, you can attend a closer one to you if there is one?  Just a thought?

That has been considered, but given my overall apathy regarding CAP the last few years I haven't explored that lately. 
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: ProdigalJim on April 09, 2017, 08:13:46 PM

Not everyone gets paid vacations. And adding to what the Major said, for many of our dedicated seniors a week at RSC is a week they're not spending at a higher-value (to them) CAP activity - this is pretty much where I'm at.

I hear this a lot, so I looked it up and it sure ain't pretty:

https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/paid-leave-in-private-industry-over-the-past-20-years.htm (https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/paid-leave-in-private-industry-over-the-past-20-years.htm)

An analysis by an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics compared 2012 to 1992-1993 to see how vacation and leave patterns changed over two decades. It found that overall fewer workers get paid vacations now than did 20 years ago -- 77% of all workers today versus 82% in 1992-1993.

Those numbers are much worse for part-time workers and those who work for employers with fewer than 100 employees: nearly a third of those who work for smaller employers did not have access to paid vacations, compared with the quarter who were shut out from paid vacations two decades earlier.

So I wonder if CAP has more than its expected share of members whose employment falls into those categories (part-time, smaller employer)? And if so, maybe we need to adjust our protocols internally to reflect that, as a way to address dissatisfaction and retention?

I'll confess I was surprised, and feel bad that I was. I've had pretty generous vacation benefits for about 15 years or so, and really didn't have to make a choice like RSC vs. my one-and-only week off with the family. I'm very fortunate...and apparently even more fortunate than I originally knew.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: NIN on April 09, 2017, 09:07:45 PM
It is a problem.

In my previous job I got a week of vacation. ONE.  So a day off here that wasn't a sick day to make a trip (ie. National Conference) or whatever, and now you can't even take a long weekend. Terribly limiting.

My current job I get three weeks, and my boss is a little casual about things like an afternoon off for a doctor's appointment or an IEP meeting, so "whew."  (I'm in IT, so, you know, that unexpected weekend long server outage ...)

But I do know plenty of folks that cannot do that.

Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: LTC Don on April 10, 2017, 08:28:16 AM
I maxed out quite sometime ago, but when I saw the change, I was terribly disappointed.  It seems quite counterproductive to do something like that and then complain about senior member Airman retention.

I can specifically remember when our membership numbers were at 68,000 plus.  Now we are down to 56,000+.  Sad state of affairs.

If the crystal palace occupiers thought PD needed an overhaul, then the quality of training should have been looked at, not how many years someone holds a grade.

This whole program needs to be reset back to previous levels.  Now.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Al Sayre on April 10, 2017, 08:58:04 AM
Another thing is the "real cost"of attending.  You need to add in the cost of that week's vacation.  That's 40 hours of the members paycheck they are spending on CAP stuff.  If they make $25/hr, that's an $1000 donation to CAP that's not tax deductable...
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: CAPDCCMOM on April 10, 2017, 11:16:12 AM
^^^^ Also loss of income is not the only factor, You also have to pay for meals and lodging, easily racking up another $1000. Grade is now based on the pay to play system.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 10, 2017, 11:57:09 AM
And in a >lot< of cases, the inability to attend RSC or NSC isn't due to the member not being fully invested,
it's because they >are< fully invested and are already burning that vacation time (or kitchen pass) on encampments,
flight academies, NESA, or similar activities, not to mention running squadrons and the like.

As much as I dislike waivers, special appointments, and mission skills promotions, there ought to be a way for
members with relevent experience to get credit towards various PD.

Served X number of years as Unit CC, Group CC, running major activities, or primary in staff jobs or key roles?
The SLS/CLC/RSC or even NSC waivers should be on the table.  No one who has served successfully as a Unit CC
is going to get much out of SLS or CLC - that train left the station when someone decided it was OK for
a member without those sessions to be appointed as CC in the first place, yet far too many Unit CCs get stuck
on their own, well-deserved promotions, because they didn't take the time to "get theirs while everyone else was...".

They wait until they "have time", which generally means after they step down, and then get the "Well you're clearly
stepping back..." speech, which is 100%,  Grade A fertilizer in a CAP paradigm.

CAP will punch a ticket as high as Major for a newb with the right degree but zero relevent CAP experience, but
there's no allowance for members actually running things. That's not right.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Ned on April 10, 2017, 01:16:48 PM
I have been concerned about the PD costs (both time and treasure) for some time.  I wrote an extensive AAR after my stint at staff college, which cost me well over $1k after airfare, motel, food, and course fee.

A significant part of the problem is locating a "pot of money" to use to help defray PD costs.  I've scrubbed the CAP budget pretty extensively over the years (including my time on the BoG Audit Committee), and the only path forward I could suggest is allowing the use of appropriated funds for senior training in the same way we use it to underwrite costs for things like Cadet Officer School.

The problem is that the AF does not believe there is existing authority to spend the funds for seniors.  it would require some revisions to the SOW and possible some sort of legislative fix, both of which take a lot of time and effort.  From the AF perspective, they have provided a "no-cost alternative" by way of ACSC and War College via distance learning.  The fact that those alternatives don't seem to offer much in the way of CAP-specific training is less important to them than the fact that they are free.  (There is also the whole BA thing, but they are also not very sympathetic in that regard, either.)

So until we can invest the time and effort to change the SOW (a significant effort, BTW) I don't see a lot of relief in the short run for seniors with average means.  As others have noted, the "pay to play" system greatly limits the officers available for senior leadership slots.  That affects all of us.

Ned Lee
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 10, 2017, 01:36:56 PM
As others have noted, the "pay to play" system greatly limits the officers available for senior leadership slots.

No, it limits promotion of the officers who are filling those slots and doing the job anyway, despite PD or grade.
And that is the real problem.  CAP has no issue partaking of people time, treasure, and initiative, it just doesn't have
a clue how to treat those same people in regards to recognition of their efforts.

"Sure, you can be Wing DCP, but a Major? Sorry, no RSC, and you missed the Wing Conference because you were at all those
enacmpments...Anyway, did you finish up your unit visits and activity plans yet? You're doing' a great job, Brownie!"


That fiction and fallacy should be fixed before we start trying to burn appropriated funds on training which is "inconsistent"
at best in regards to its quality and moreso applicability.

If CAP wants to actually have a system in which training and PD level is required to hold jobs at various levels,
fine, accept that, and the ramifications of that decision, if, on the other hand, the status quo is to be maintained
(where members with wet ID cards and no CAP or military experience are appointed to Wing staff roles because
they are the one and only), CAP should stop playing "pretend" with grade and PD in regards to its place and its importance.

The current stance penalizes our man of our active members while in some cases rewarding those with little organizational
input or effect but plenty of free time.

And like access to AAFES, ACSC and War College might still be technically an option, but since it isn't available for
everyone, shouldn't be mentioned as much of an option at all.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Ned on April 10, 2017, 02:11:36 PM
As others have noted, the "pay to play" system greatly limits the officers available for senior leadership slots.

No, it limits promotion of the officers who are filling those slots and doing the job anyway, despite PD or grade.
And that is the real problem. 

Bob, I'm not sure we really disagree here.  Just a different way of expressing the same thought.  I can only agree that promotion is limited by PD level, and for many officers, it is difficult to attend the required schools for promotion, and further agree that many officers cannot take ACSC or the AWC.

And I suspect we agree that completion of ACSC or AWC has limited direct application to CAP in any event.

What I'm a little fuzzy about is your proposed solution to the situation.  Could you expand on your thoughts?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 10, 2017, 02:16:44 PM
If AF correspondence courses are considered equal, can we add at least an on-line RSC as an option (and not give wing commanders the option to screw with their members, like they do now with the online SLS/CLC options)? If the networking is really that big of a deal (and it shouldn't be, at least not worth $1k and a week of vacation time), make it a discussion course.

Besides, if you really want to network on a region/national scale, there are plenty of national activities that could use your help instead.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: kwe1009 on April 10, 2017, 03:35:01 PM
If AF correspondence courses are considered equal, can we add at least an on-line RSC as an option (and not give wing commanders the option to screw with their members, like they do now with the online SLS/CLC options)? If the networking is really that big of a deal (and it shouldn't be, at least not worth $1k and a week of vacation time), make it a discussion course.

Besides, if you really want to network on a region/national scale, there are plenty of national activities that could use your help instead.

Agreed.  I would actually say that SLS/CLC are more important in regards to networking.  Getting to know people in your own Wing is much more important to me than meeting someone from the other side of the country.  If SLS/CLC/UCC can be done online then why can't RSC and NSC? 
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 10, 2017, 03:52:28 PM
What I'm a little fuzzy about is your proposed solution to the situation.  Could you expand on your thoughts?

Make things equal.

For starters, remove the subjectivity of promotions (perhaps with the exclusion of pending disciplinary actions) to
insure that anyone who does make the effort isn't disapproved for promotion "because".  If it's not in 35-5,
it can't be considered, suggested, or required - just like any other volunteer organization which values member initiative
and retention over "guarding the field grades".

Next, either find a way to open ACSC & War College to everyone like they used to be, or eliminate them from being options
to residential schools.

Remove the requirements to attend Conferences from PD.  These have no relevance to PD whatsoever, (being 
aholdover from the days when VHF nets were a news source), become impediments to progression, and are resented by a lot
of people who either can't go, or get dragged to day of listening to less-informed, less-active people pontificate about CAP.

Most importantly, allow for a path to promotion based on performance and service vs. check-writing and attendance.  Perhaps keep the
PD tracks largely as-is and make them the focus of progression, with staff service as the primary.  Annual OPRS with a point scale that turns into
your next grade instead of a squishy narrative no one will read.  Promotability would be obvious, problem children would bubble up, and personality
issues in either direction could be addressed when they occur instead of 3 years down the line when you find out the guy you didn't get along with
at encampment is now somehow on the Wing promo board and will decide you don't get oaks because he thinks "bricks are maroon, not red".

"Subjectivity in reward and assignment" is what kills a volunteer organization.  Objectivity and transparency is a big part of sustaining one.

Problem solved.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Paul Creed III on April 10, 2017, 03:52:35 PM
If AF correspondence courses are considered equal, can we add at least an on-line RSC as an option (and not give wing commanders the option to screw with their members, like they do now with the online SLS/CLC options)? If the networking is really that big of a deal (and it shouldn't be, at least not worth $1k and a week of vacation time), make it a discussion course.

Besides, if you really want to network on a region/national scale, there are plenty of national activities that could use your help instead.

Agreed.  I would actually say that SLS/CLC are more important in regards to networking.  Getting to know people in your own Wing is much more important to me than meeting someone from the other side of the country.  If SLS/CLC/UCC can be done online then why can't RSC and NSC?

As someone who works at one of the top public universities in the nation in online education, CAP could convert all of the PD courses to quality online courses. Note the use of the word "quality" which is not dropping a PowerPoint on a webpage with a simple quiz and calling it a day. I mean, let's hire a someone with proper training in instructional design and use a real learning management system and let's do this right. The amount of money to do this right is a drop in the bucket in terms of the volunteer time that is lost when devoted members pop smoke and exfil.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 10, 2017, 03:54:39 PM
If AF correspondence courses are considered equal, can we add at least an on-line RSC as an option (and not give wing commanders the option to screw with their members, like they do now with the online SLS/CLC options)? If the networking is really that big of a deal (and it shouldn't be, at least not worth $1k and a week of vacation time), make it a discussion course.

Besides, if you really want to network on a region/national scale, there are plenty of national activities that could use your help instead.

Agreed.  I would actually say that SLS/CLC are more important in regards to networking.  Getting to know people in your own Wing is much more important to me than meeting someone from the other side of the country.  If SLS/CLC/UCC can be done online then why can't RSC and NSC?

Twenty years ago, I could agree with the networking rationale. Now, after having done SOS, ACSC, and the Naval War College all by DL, not so much. There were plenty of opportunities to network and with Facething, Skype, Google what ever they call it this week, it was easy to have very valuable "meetings" and class sessions. If the DoD says that you can do your JPME by DL, I'm not sure that CAP's backward thinking is the way to go. Furthermore, if you're spending a mortgage payment to go to one of these CAP colleges, you should be getting something out of it other than a checked box in your OPF. One of the things about the DoD courses is that they award academic credit for their completion. Is that still true with the CAP courses? I'm guessing it's not. Additionally furthermore, some employers will look at a CAP completion certificate and say "Gee, that's swell". Those same employers will pay to have your ACSC certificate framed.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: walter1975 on April 11, 2017, 10:50:21 AM
Concur with Lt Col Creed.  I chaired an online emergency management and disaster science undergraduate and graduate program at a very traditional university for 9 years, and designed 15 online 3 semester hour (40-45 contact hours) courses, and parts of half a dozen others.  The work is in setting up the course design (standard classroom course design is not necessarily portable to online), designing exercises, and writing the materials.  Teaching in this way is labor intensive (in my experience 3 to 1 over a classroom course), but is especially effective if it is heavily discussion based.  Our students felt that they got to know each other better, to know the instructors better, and to better understand the material than in a classroom course.  Pregraduation testing showed that students retained the knowledge and skills taught better than in equivalent classroom courses.  Use of an industry standard learning platform is mandatory - we used Blackboard, and I have also used Moodle, and both offered a high level of flexibility in features.

Instructional design background is very important if you are going to make this sort of effort.  I was lucky that I had experience in the Air Force introduction of ISD in the 1970s, was a weapons instructor course graduate, and had graduated from FEMA's Master Trainer program.  My faculty who were traditional faculty members had a lot of trouble with course design, and I had to do a lot of hands on training to make sure their work was effective.   

It is important to note that in my experience (Florida Wing Squadron Staff School in the 1980s, SLS, CLC, RSC) there is a difference between what we need in CAP for the average member and the military service PME courses (SOS, ACSC, AWC).  CAP courses are training, learning how to do specific jobs, and deckplate leadership.  Military PME can do that - I took an Army Air Defense Artillery basic officer course and learned a lot about Hercules and HAWK employment, and was amazed at how intricate the problems of loading an attack transport are in a Marine Amphibious Warfare course.  But the senior level stuff, especially ACSC and AWC, is education to create a broad worldview for the military officer, not nuts and bolts.  It is valuable, and may become more valuable as we work in a new command relationship with the Air Force, for our senior officers, but it is not a substitute for what most of our members face on meeting night. 
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Toad1168 on April 11, 2017, 12:12:56 PM
My issue is the same as others; time away from family, expense, and the rest so I will not rehash that.  I had this conversation with a senior NCO in CAP and mentioned the idea of making it partly online and partly in residence.  Basically making the in residence part fit into a weekend.  I thought a nice happy medium.  The response was that it would cheapen the value of the education in CAP.  It has become painfully obvious that the PD courses are most easily completed by either the very young, just out of college with no family CAP members or the retired with a lot of free time members.  Those of us that must balance work, family, kids, and life, plus fit in our desire to be of service to CAP; have to sacrifice somewhere.  It is a running joke that CAP is the full-time part-time volunteer job. 

With today's technology, our PD system is at best antiquated.  I agree that networking can be accomplished online and its not necessary to sit and listen to endless stories of the old days of CAP (which I myself have been guilty of telling).
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: walter1975 on April 11, 2017, 01:15:39 PM
With all due respect to the senior NCO in CAP who said online education would cheapen the value of education in CAP, he is ill-informed and living in a way past era.  The train left the station two decades ago.  Every major university in the United States and a substantial number in other countries offers or is working to offer online education - if it is good enough for Harvard University, which offers online learning in all of its significant schools and centers, then surely it is good enough for CAP.  Or does the NCO have a degree from Harvard so that he can make the comparison that CAP training is better than a Harvard degree?  All insistence on on-site bricks and mortar education does is perpetuate the myth that you need butts in seats to justify the cost of physical plant - a standard argument at my university was that online programs would reduce the number of people eating in the dining hall ...

Bottom line - if you want a trained membership, you offer training in a way that the members can access it.  Anything else would seem to make very little sense and to be an impediment to organizational progress.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Paul Creed III on April 11, 2017, 02:11:44 PM
With all due respect to the senior NCO in CAP who said online education would cheapen the value of education in CAP, he is ill-informed and living in a way past era.  The train left the station two decades ago.  Every major university in the United States and a substantial number in other countries offers or is working to offer online education - if it is good enough for Harvard University, which offers online learning in all of its significant schools and centers, then surely it is good enough for CAP.  Or does the NCO have a degree from Harvard so that he can make the comparison that CAP training is better than a Harvard degree?  All insistence on on-site bricks and mortar education does is perpetuate the myth that you need butts in seats to justify the cost of physical plant - a standard argument at my university was that online programs would reduce the number of people eating in the dining hall ...

Bottom line - if you want a trained membership, you offer training in a way that the members can access it.  Anything else would seem to make very little sense and to be an impediment to organizational progress.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 11, 2017, 02:21:14 PM
While there is something to be said about the networking made possible that takes place during an "in-residence" course, I have participated in several on-line courses that were very beneficial -- as well as on-line courses where video-conferencing through several apps were used (Though residing in CA, I did my TLC course with the AKWG via video conferencing a few years ago.  It was a great experience.).  Time and distance plays a big factor in training for our CAP members....and I am all for providing our members the necessary tools/training in whatever method meets their needs.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Chappie on April 11, 2017, 02:22:03 PM
With all due respect to the senior NCO in CAP who said online education would cheapen the value of education in CAP, he is ill-informed and living in a way past era.  The train left the station two decades ago.  Every major university in the United States and a substantial number in other countries offers or is working to offer online education - if it is good enough for Harvard University, which offers online learning in all of its significant schools and centers, then surely it is good enough for CAP.  Or does the NCO have a degree from Harvard so that he can make the comparison that CAP training is better than a Harvard degree?  All insistence on on-site bricks and mortar education does is perpetuate the myth that you need butts in seats to justify the cost of physical plant - a standard argument at my university was that online programs would reduce the number of people eating in the dining hall ...

Bottom line - if you want a trained membership, you offer training in a way that the members can access it.  Anything else would seem to make very little sense and to be an impediment to organizational progress.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

^^^ Joining you  :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Ned on April 11, 2017, 02:33:25 PM
Every major university in the United States and a substantial number in other countries offers or is working to offer online education - if it is good enough for Harvard University, which offers online learning in all of its significant schools and centers, then surely it is good enough for CAP. 

To be fair, major universities still believe strongly in the "in person" education as well.  Including Harvard.

There is an active conversation about the kinds of classes and courses of study that are best conducted on-line or in person.  And it may well be that CAP's PD classes could be taught entirely by distance learning, or some combination of both methods.  I would like to see us develop a distance learning version of RST, for instance, and then field-test it (if that is the right term) and compare with the results from the traditional version.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 11, 2017, 02:36:12 PM
Gotta +1 that as well, especially the last line, and this is >not< the state of CAP today,
nor has it been in the reasonable past.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 11, 2017, 02:38:03 PM
There is an active conversation about the kinds of classes and courses of study that are best conducted on-line or in person.  And it may well be that CAP's PD classes could be taught entirely by distance learning, or some combination of both methods.  I would like to see us develop a distance learning version of RST, for instance, and then field-test it (if that is the right term) and compare with the results from the traditional version.

And sometime in 2025 the company that buys CAP's remaining assets can roll it out.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Devil Doc on April 12, 2017, 11:07:25 AM
And in a >lot< of cases, the inability to attend RSC or NSC isn't due to the member not being fully invested,
it's because they >are< fully invested and are already burning that vacation time (or kitchen pass) on encampments,
flight academies, NESA, or similar activities, not to mention running squadrons and the like.

As much as I dislike waivers, special appointments, and mission skills promotions, there ought to be a way for
members with relevent experience to get credit towards various PD.

Served X number of years as Unit CC, Group CC, running major activities, or primary in staff jobs or key roles?
The SLS/CLC/RSC or even NSC waivers should be on the table.  No one who has served successfully as a Unit CC
is going to get much out of SLS or CLC - that train left the station when someone decided it was OK for
a member without those sessions to be appointed as CC in the first place, yet far too many Unit CCs get stuck
on their own, well-deserved promotions, because they didn't take the time to "get theirs while everyone else was...".

They wait until they "have time", which generally means after they step down, and then get the "Well you're clearly
stepping back..." speech, which is 100%,  Grade A fertilizer in a CAP paradigm.

CAP will punch a ticket as high as Major for a newb with the right degree but zero relevent CAP experience, but
there's no allowance for members actually running things. That's not right.

Amen, I believe waivers on PD Level and Rank should be Authorized to. Especially if you are a Military Retiree that took an NCO Course, or Maybe a Member with a Bachelors or Master Degree and Ex Military.. I am sure what you learn at RSC,NSC is the Same... I took SLS, I learned how CAP Worked... I don't think I need CLC, RSC ,or NSC for that matter. Of Course, you will have members that don't fit that criteria... but if they have proven leadership, loyalty, have the experience and Ribbons to prove it... why not?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SarDragon on April 12, 2017, 05:38:27 PM
Amen, I believe waivers on PD Level and Rank should be Authorized to. Especially if you are a Military Retiree that took an NCO Course, or Maybe a Member with a Bachelors or Master Degree and Ex Military.. I am sure what you learn at RSC,NSC is the Same... I took SLS, I learned how CAP Worked... I don't think I need CLC, RSC ,or NSC for that matter. Of Course, you will have members that don't fit that criteria... but if they have proven leadership, loyalty, have the experience and Ribbons to prove it... why not?

I presume that you are basing your statement on your USN leadership experience. I think that's a poor assumption on your part.

As a long-time CAP member, and a retired PO1, I have found that even that level of USN leadership experience comes nowhere close to the level of knowledge imparted by CLC, RSC, and NSC. Some of the more broad CLC material is a carry-over from the Navy, but much of what is presented in all three courses is CAP specific, and is material that RealMilitary™ officers may not get as a part of their training.

I have retired naval  and AF officers (O-6, O-5, O-4, O-4)  in my unit, and all of them have remarked on the value of SLS, CLC, and RSC over and above their military leadership training.

CAP does give waivers of specific CAP courses based on corresponding level military courses, but it never hurts to do the CAP stuff, too.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on April 13, 2017, 10:00:48 AM
With all due respect to the senior NCO in CAP who said online education would cheapen the value of education in CAP, he is ill-informed and living in a way past era.  The train left the station two decades ago.  Every major university in the United States and a substantial number in other countries offers or is working to offer online education - if it is good enough for Harvard University, which offers online learning in all of its significant schools and centers, then surely it is good enough for CAP.  Or does the NCO have a degree from Harvard so that he can make the comparison that CAP training is better than a Harvard degree?  All insistence on on-site bricks and mortar education does is perpetuate the myth that you need butts in seats to justify the cost of physical plant - a standard argument at my university was that online programs would reduce the number of people eating in the dining hall ...

Bottom line - if you want a trained membership, you offer training in a way that the members can access it.  Anything else would seem to make very little sense and to be an impediment to organizational progress.

 :clap: :clap: :clap:

Adding to you and Chappie!
 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Devil Doc on April 13, 2017, 03:33:03 PM
Amen, I believe waivers on PD Level and Rank should be Authorized to. Especially if you are a Military Retiree that took an NCO Course, or Maybe a Member with a Bachelors or Master Degree and Ex Military.. I am sure what you learn at RSC,NSC is the Same... I took SLS, I learned how CAP Worked... I don't think I need CLC, RSC ,or NSC for that matter. Of Course, you will have members that don't fit that criteria... but if they have proven leadership, loyalty, have the experience and Ribbons to prove it... why not?

I presume that you are basing your statement on your USN leadership experience. I think that's a poor assumption on your part.

As a long-time CAP member, and a retired PO1, I have found that even that level of USN leadership experience comes nowhere close to the level of knowledge imparted by CLC, RSC, and NSC. Some of the more broad CLC material is a carry-over from the Navy, but much of what is presented in all three courses is CAP specific, and is material that RealMilitary™ officers may not get as a part of their training.

I have retired naval  and AF officers (O-6, O-5, O-4, O-4)  in my unit, and all of them have remarked on the value of SLS, CLC, and RSC over and above their military leadership training.

CAP does give waivers of specific CAP courses based on corresponding level military courses, but it never hurts to do the CAP stuff, too.

I mean that is true, However, I didn't learn anything new in USN Leadership. I never went to an NCO Academy. I learned Leadership from 2 Years in  NJROTC and 3 Years in AJROTC. I still have my leadership books.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Майор Хаткевич on April 13, 2017, 04:33:04 PM
Amen, I believe waivers on PD Level and Rank should be Authorized to. Especially if you are a Military Retiree that took an NCO Course, or Maybe a Member with a Bachelors or Master Degree and Ex Military.. I am sure what you learn at RSC,NSC is the Same... I took SLS, I learned how CAP Worked... I don't think I need CLC, RSC ,or NSC for that matter. Of Course, you will have members that don't fit that criteria... but if they have proven leadership, loyalty, have the experience and Ribbons to prove it... why not?

I presume that you are basing your statement on your USN leadership experience. I think that's a poor assumption on your part.

As a long-time CAP member, and a retired PO1, I have found that even that level of USN leadership experience comes nowhere close to the level of knowledge imparted by CLC, RSC, and NSC. Some of the more broad CLC material is a carry-over from the Navy, but much of what is presented in all three courses is CAP specific, and is material that RealMilitary™ officers may not get as a part of their training.

I have retired naval  and AF officers (O-6, O-5, O-4, O-4)  in my unit, and all of them have remarked on the value of SLS, CLC, and RSC over and above their military leadership training.

CAP does give waivers of specific CAP courses based on corresponding level military courses, but it never hurts to do the CAP stuff, too.

I mean that is true, However, I didn't learn anything new in USN Leadership. I never went to an NCO Academy. I learned Leadership from 2 Years in  NJROTC and 3 Years in AJROTC. I still have my leadership books.


I'll be honest, the CAP leadership books don't prepare you to lead SMs. Nor do the CAP Courses. Do they give some interesting concepts to use in planning and such? Sure. But are they of some great value? Nah.


TLC is just about the best course I've taken/taught/director'd so far. The discussions, ideas, networking are an awesome bonus.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SarDragon on April 13, 2017, 07:42:40 PM
I mean that is true, However, I didn't learn anything new in USN Leadership. I never went to an NCO Academy. I learned Leadership from 2 Years in  NJROTC and 3 Years in AJROTC. I still have my leadership books.

And therein lies a key part of the discussion - the 'O' for officer. Now your commentary is more relevant. I still see a need for CAP-specific PD courses, though, because they tailor the content to our dual status as the USAF Auxiliary (the quasi-military part), and as a federally chartered non-profit corporation.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 17, 2017, 04:48:49 PM
As someone who works at one of the top public universities in the nation in online education, CAP could convert all of the PD courses to quality online courses. Note the use of the word "quality" which is not dropping a PowerPoint on a webpage with a simple quiz and calling it a day. I mean, let's hire a someone with proper training in instructional design and use a real learning management system and let's do this right. The amount of money to do this right is a drop in the bucket in terms of the volunteer time that is lost when devoted members pop smoke and exfil.

I absolutely agree. There is way too much "check the box" and not enough teaching/instructing/mentoring. A 2-day class on "how to be a leader in the Cadet Program" is not going to make you a manager of cadets, period, plain and simple, cut and dry. The same goes for "higher education" toward officership (I'm referring to CAP "education," not collegiate).

There is a heck of a lot of subject matter being crammed into a very short time frame to minds that will barely remember any of it, often taught by people who have no practical experience outside of a classroom.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Ned on April 17, 2017, 05:28:30 PM

I absolutely agree. There is way too much "check the box" and not enough teaching/instructing/mentoring. A 2-day class on "how to be a leader in the Cadet Program" is not going to make you a manager of cadets, period, plain and simple, cut and dry. The same goes for "higher education" toward officership (I'm referring to CAP "education," not collegiate).

There is a heck of a lot of subject matter being crammed into a very short time frame to minds that will barely remember any of it, often taught by people who have no practical experience outside of a classroom.

And I absolutely agree with you that taking a 1 or 2-day Training Leaders of Cadets course is nowhere near enough to train a competent CP officer.  Which is why there is a whole lot more to the specialty track training than the schoolhouse classes.

Take a look at CAPP 216, Cadet Programs Specialty Track Study Guide (https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/P216_A3EECB272DFF7.pdf), which describes our comprehensive training program which includes a whole lot of mentoring, "knowledge, training, and performance requirements," service requirements, as well as those dreaded schoolhouse courses. 

So the Good News is -- at least for CP -- is that we fully realize is that job competence requires more than "check the box" classes.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: jjmalott on April 17, 2017, 08:48:24 PM
Well, I just took part in the beta testing for the online UCC.  I thought Col Aye did an excellent job in providing some tools to help the member step into the unit CC position.  Col Aye has great credentials and has put together a very good course for CAP.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Alaric on April 17, 2017, 10:49:02 PM
Well, I just took part in the beta testing for the online UCC.  I thought Col Aye did an excellent job in providing some tools to help the member step into the unit CC position.  Col Aye has great credentials and has put together a very good course for CAP.

She's awesome
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 17, 2017, 10:57:06 PM
CAP is desperately in need of an effective UCC, so any steps in that direction are sorely needed and should be
appreciated.

With that said, an online UCC will potentially reduce or remove local flavor, nuance, and policies, etc., from discussions,
and in most cases those are the most important parts of any of the in-face schools.  Members don't need 45 minutes on
writing a letter to request hangar space, they need to know that the Wing requires triplicate hardcopies to approve unit meetings.

And UCC, good, bad, or otherwise, doesn't really have any affect on promotions, per se, since UCC isn't required for anything,
including command, and Wings are so all over the road with expectations that anything "national" will just potentially confuse things more.

Along with the the effort being done to white-out and re-scan the document numbers, and re-vamping various classes, CAP needs a class for
Wing CC Charm School on "The Art of Reading and Following Regulations Without Embellishment".
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 18, 2017, 09:12:04 AM
With that said, an online UCC will potentially reduce or remove local flavor, nuance, and policies, etc., from discussions, ...

I could argue that this is a good thing. Let's cut out the wing crap and assemble the best leaders we can get our hands on from across the country, and train commanders up. Wings will always beat local stuff into their people effectively on their own.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Papabird on April 18, 2017, 09:32:05 AM
I could argue that this is a good thing. Let's cut out the wing crap and assemble the best leaders we can get our hands on from across the country, and train commanders up. Wings will always beat local stuff into their people effectively on their own.

Or they can get Group CCs to do the beating.   >:D :o
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 18, 2017, 10:03:19 AM
With that said, an online UCC will potentially reduce or remove local flavor, nuance, and policies, etc., from discussions, ...

I could argue that this is a good thing. Let's cut out the wing crap and assemble the best leaders we can get our hands on from across the country, and train commanders up. Wings will always beat local stuff into their people effectively on their own.

I agree, but as long as the wing cr..."customizations"...are allowed to continue, training people to a national standard that isn't workable locally
it just potentially makes things worse.

The flip side is that if you start training people properly the "customizations" will die organically, however that puts the change on a geologic timeline
CAP may well not outlive given the current trends.

Further, the lack of any requirement to complete the UCC before assuming command really takes the teeth out of its utility.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: kwe1009 on April 18, 2017, 10:15:23 AM

Further, the lack of any requirement to complete the UCC before assuming command really takes the teeth out of its utility.

That is something that I never understood.  You have a course on how to be a unit commander but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.  In my short time in CAP I have seen quite a number of commander complete their 4 years and never attended UCC. 

We make CPPT mandatory for those working with cadet so they understand the rules yet we don't put a similar requirement on commanders to understand the rules of their position.  Also, you can learn a lot in UCC about how to be a more efficient CC.  If we made this course mandatory it would definitely help those struggling with command and may also take some of the negative stigma that becoming a CC in CAP carries.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Майор Хаткевич on April 18, 2017, 12:26:09 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 18, 2017, 12:29:01 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

That's what I thought too. It wasn't a prerequisite to assuming command, but it had to be done in the first 12 months. Don't have a cite, but will dig in a bit...
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 18, 2017, 12:31:58 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

Maybe, but considering the last time I can find that one was actually offered in our wing was Summer 2015, that seems like a moot point.

You can require whatever you want but if it's not offered then there's no point. You still need commanders.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 18, 2017, 12:38:57 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

Maybe, but considering the last time I can find that one was actually offered in our wing was Summer 2015, that seems like a moot point.

You can require whatever you want but if it's not offered then there's no point. You still need commanders.

That was part of the rationale for offering an online version. It is in theory much easier to access and administer.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 18, 2017, 12:41:29 PM
UCC is not, and never has been required, for a command appointment either before or after appointment.

Some wings indicate it as a local requirement, or preference for consideration, but in the words of ICENINE
"Its good to want things".

It is not (or wasn't) an inspectable item during an SUI, and the only mention of it in the Command specialty track
is as an activity for course credit.

The only requirement for Command is membership in good standing, and presence, with the latter sometimes being waived as well.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 18, 2017, 12:55:04 PM

I absolutely agree. There is way too much "check the box" and not enough teaching/instructing/mentoring. A 2-day class on "how to be a leader in the Cadet Program" is not going to make you a manager of cadets, period, plain and simple, cut and dry. The same goes for "higher education" toward officership (I'm referring to CAP "education," not collegiate).

There is a heck of a lot of subject matter being crammed into a very short time frame to minds that will barely remember any of it, often taught by people who have no practical experience outside of a classroom.

And I absolutely agree with you that taking a 1 or 2-day Training Leaders of Cadets course is nowhere near enough to train a competent CP officer.  Which is why there is a whole lot more to the specialty track training than the schoolhouse classes.

Take a look at CAPP 216, Cadet Programs Specialty Track Study Guide (https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/P216_A3EECB272DFF7.pdf), which describes our comprehensive training program which includes a whole lot of mentoring, "knowledge, training, and performance requirements," service requirements, as well as those dreaded schoolhouse courses. 

So the Good News is -- at least for CP -- is that we fully realize is that job competence requires more than "check the box" classes.

The Specialty Track "training" for a CP Tech is a joke. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. Perhaps it outlines the general "you should knows" of the Cadet Program, but it's minimal at best as far as not only teaching/training cadets but learning from them as well, not to mention that I find so many people closely intertwined with the Cadet Program that really have no prior concept/understanding of the things cadets do (drill, uniform inspections, courtesies, various training subject matter), especially in units where the the roster is smaller with lesser experienced senior members and poor turnover rates. It takes a lot to really get things moving, and sustained.

Some of the other Specialty Tracks are very similar, from what I've seen, in their own realm. But, really, overall, it's like the professional development communities tries to make it all work, but doesn't quite get there. And I get it: limited resources. It's tough. I don't envy the people who constantly get the feedback, to include the criticisms. But I think, from my own experiences, from talking to people, and just general observations over the past couple of years that I've been in CAP, most, and I use that word emphatically, have minimal knowledge as they progress and have had very little oversight of their progression by their peers/superiors. To use a blunt term: they're clueless.

You will always have people who don't try. They'll always exist. But then you do have those people who want to learn, and need some hand-holding to help them get there. Some may be very good on their own, but you don't want to turn anyone loose, even if they seem to "naturally get it," because they may stray off and learn the wrong way, and they may pick up on misinformation that could be detrimental to their development. If you had more people brought up through structure, then you could rely on those people, as they span out, to hold to that structure and try to bring people up further the way they learned, rather than handing them off to the "next guy," if at all.

I always ask:
How many of us had to learn on our own?

I'll go a step further:
How many of us learned from someone who obviously had no clue, and really didn't help the training process?


UCC is not, and never has been required, for a command appointment either before or after appointment.

Some wings indicate it as a local requirement, or preference for consideration, but in the words of ICENINE
"Its good to want things".

It is not (or wasn't) an inspectable item during an SUI, and the only mention of it in the Command specialty track
is as an activity for course credit.

The only requirement for Command is membership in good standing, and presence, with the latter sometimes being waived as well.

Here's a question: Do you feel the majority of those who have taken UCC, as intended to serve as unit commanders at the squadron level, greatly benefited from the course, or, for the most part, learned stuff that maybe they could have simply found if they read the regulations?
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 18, 2017, 01:21:33 PM
Here's a question: Do you feel the majority of those who have taken UCC, as intended to serve as unit commanders at the squadron level, greatly benefited from the course, or, for the most part, learned stuff that maybe they could have simply found if they read the regulations?

The latter.

There are usually 3 lights-on moments, and two "oh poops" when you find out someone's "best practice"
has been banned for a decade, but on the mean you're not going to "fix" people who have already been in
CAP for several years and are either performing properly, or not all that interested, and the majority of participants
sit politely, take copious notes, and go right back to whatever their SOP was at their second unit meeting
(the first meeting after UCC is taken up by the attendee telling everyone all they are doing wrong, generally
met by crickets.)

Same goes for the specialty tracks, which are intended to be progressive and indicate a path to successful performance,
but are generally done as afterthoughts when a person hits their TIG clock.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Paul Creed III on April 18, 2017, 01:26:30 PM
Here's a question: Do you feel the majority of those who have taken UCC, as intended to serve as unit commanders at the squadron level, greatly benefited from the course, or, for the most part, learned stuff that maybe they could have simply found if they read the regulations?

Didn't help me one bit (admittedly, this was like 6 years ago now and several years before I assumed squadron command).

This is a far more useful bit of material than anything I walked away with from UCC:
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au/smith.pdf
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: EMT-83 on April 18, 2017, 01:47:03 PM
Unfortunately, the quality of Professional Development program delivery is hit or miss. I’ve endured days of Death By PowerPoint, weekends spent crammed into hard wooden chairs with no elbow room, and presenters with the personality of day-old fish.

On the other hand, I’ve attended some outstanding training led by dynamic SMEs that really had their stuff together and did a great job of engaging everyone.

The “check the box” requirement for members to serve as presenters or course directors is largely responsible for poor quality. Having unqualified members instructing others is doing them a disservice, but we’re holding members back if we don’t.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 18, 2017, 01:51:13 PM
"Meh, I looked at the materials, but I'd rather talk about myself..."

And then he did...for 45 minutes...

A direct quote from one of my first classes at my first SLS for which I had to drive 6 hours and two RONs to attend.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 18, 2017, 02:00:56 PM
Here's a question: Do you feel the majority of those who have taken UCC, as intended to serve as unit commanders at the squadron level, greatly benefited from the course, or, for the most part, learned stuff that maybe they could have simply found if they read the regulations?

Didn't help me one bit (admittedly, this was like 6 years ago now and several years before I assumed squadron command).

This is a far more useful bit of material than anything I walked away with from UCC:
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au/smith.pdf

Kudos on the link. I scoped through it briefly, and I really want to sit down and give this a thorough read through.

Unfortunately, the quality of Professional Development program delivery is hit or miss. I’ve endured days of Death By PowerPoint, weekends spent crammed into hard wooden chairs with no elbow room, and presenters with the personality of day-old fish.

On the other hand, I’ve attended some outstanding training led by dynamic SMEs that really had their stuff together and did a great job of engaging everyone.

The “check the box” requirement for members to serve as presenters or course directors is largely responsible for poor quality. Having unqualified members instructing others is doing them a disservice, but we’re holding members back if we don’t.

Absolutely, positively no disagreement there.



"Meh, I looked at the materials, but I'd rather talk about myself..."

And then he did...for 45 minutes...

A direct quote from one of my first classes at my first SLS for which I had to drive 6 hours and two RONs to attend.

That's every class...
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 18, 2017, 02:09:46 PM
Here's a question: Do you feel the majority of those who have taken UCC, as intended to serve as unit commanders at the squadron level, greatly benefited from the course, or, for the most part, learned stuff that maybe they could have simply found if they read the regulations?

Didn't help me one bit (admittedly, this was like 6 years ago now and several years before I assumed squadron command).

This is a far more useful bit of material than anything I walked away with from UCC:
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au/smith.pdf

Yep. And General Goldfein's book. It's been a long time, and they are still part of my library.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Paul Creed III on April 18, 2017, 02:13:39 PM

Absolutely, positively no disagreement there.


The Basic Instructors Course should be required of anyone before they ever step foot in front of students, whether ES, AE, CP, or senior member PD.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Майор Хаткевич on April 18, 2017, 04:18:12 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

Maybe, but considering the last time I can find that one was actually offered in our wing was Summer 2015, that seems like a moot point.

You can require whatever you want but if it's not offered then there's no point. You still need commanders.


I've been part of two UCCs in ILWG in 2016/2017
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Spaceman3750 on April 18, 2017, 04:21:28 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

Maybe, but considering the last time I can find that one was actually offered in our wing was Summer 2015, that seems like a moot point.

You can require whatever you want but if it's not offered then there's no point. You still need commanders.


I've been part of two UCCs in ILWG in 2016/2017

Then word isn't getting out (or maybe I didn't retain the email, sometimes I'm wrong). I have a single email about one that was scheduled for January looking for instructors but no follow up for student registrations.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: TheSkyHornet on April 18, 2017, 04:32:05 PM
but it is not a requirement before assuming command or within a certain time period after assuming command.


IIRC, you need to do UCC within 12 months of taking command?

Maybe, but considering the last time I can find that one was actually offered in our wing was Summer 2015, that seems like a moot point.

You can require whatever you want but if it's not offered then there's no point. You still need commanders.


I've been part of two UCCs in ILWG in 2016/2017

Then word isn't getting out (or maybe I didn't retain the email, sometimes I'm wrong). I have a single email about one that was scheduled for January looking for instructors but no follow up for student registrations.

I know we're required in OHWG to take UCC within a certain timeframe of becoming a Commander. I don't know what that is, or where it came from (and frankly, I've never looked it up). If that's bad gouge floating around, so be it.

It does seem to be common thought that UCC doesn't "teach" you to be a Commander. I know my Commander said he appreciated some of the discussions, and did have those "oh poop" moments. But, overall, he said he was fairly disappointed in the fact that a great deal of that course was talking policy and not practice. He said the same as our Recruiting Officer/PAO when he walked into a recruiting class, and said 20 minutes into the class, he had to ask "This is the recruiting forum, right?" Apparently, they talked for those first 20 minutes as if they were catching up with people they knew. That's a big issue for people who take training seriously and are there to really learn from the class.

I walked away with a lot of information from TLC about how I could fix things at my unit, mostly because I had a hunch that there was a lot of "no no, don't do that" practices going on. As a new officer, and somewhat thrown into the lion's den as CDC, I needed to discuss my concerns with people and figure out if I was going down the wrong path with what I believed and what I wanted to change. When I sat in SLS, it was more of the same, but I saw a huge disconnect in the class between the different levels of people in CAP, and those with varying years of experience, who I don't think got a whole lot from the course. Again, everything was Cadet Program-based, and that seems to be the norm because composite squadrons often spend so much time looking toward their Cadet Program and neglect the other side of the house. I'm not sure anyone walked away from that class with an idea of how to be an officer, but more so a member of a project team. It's not that there wasn't good information in the class. Just, as someone who spent time in officer training classes, I expected a lot of refreshers from my earlier days and a lot of "officer" subject matter, which I really don't feel like I saw.

I still reference my old textbooks and PowerPoint slides as my go-to, and that's some of the subject matter I try to pass on to my cadets, some of whom I think could lead circles around some of the senior members I've seen, including field grade officers.

Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SarDragon on April 18, 2017, 06:11:31 PM

Absolutely, positively no disagreement there.


The Basic Instructors Course should be required of anyone before they ever step foot in front of students, whether ES, AE, CP, or senior member PD.

Riiight.

Here's the course description (emphasis mine):
Quote
The Basic Instructor Course is intended to provide Civil Air Patrol members a reference for instruction. The course consist of approximately 20 pages of reading and a quiz. To get credit for the course, you have to score a minimum of 80 percent on the quiz. The quiz is open book and consist of 25 multiple choice and true/false questions.

The Navy spent 4 weeks training me to be an instructor. It was the hardest course I took while in the Navy. We had a couple of quizzes a week, and about 40% of our course work was practical - standing in front of "students" and presenting courseware. Another 15% or so was building courseware (group-paced classroom type). We spent almost as much time after hours doing homework as we spent in the classroom.

The thing CAP offers (I decline to call it a course) is a farce, and at best gives someone a false sense of security on their ability to teach a CAP course. It gets no positive recommendation from me.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: THRAWN on April 18, 2017, 06:19:11 PM
In one of my former wings, we had an internal Train the Trainer program. It was overseen by a college prof who taught methods of instruction, how to build curriculum, lots of practical delivery as both a lead and assistant instructor, how to teach to different age groups, as well as development on how to be the SME in your topic.

It lasted six months of weekends, as well as homework at the local unit.

You cannot learn to teach by watching a powerpoint and taking a short quiz.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Eclipse on April 18, 2017, 06:22:12 PM
The Navy spent 4 weeks training me to be an instructor. It was the hardest course I took while in the Navy. We had a couple of quizzes a week, and about 40% of our course work was practical - standing in front of "students" and presenting courseware. Another 15% or so was building courseware (group-paced classroom type). We spent almost as much time after hours doing homework as we spent in the classroom.

The thing CAP offers (I decline to call it a course) is a farce, and at best gives someone a false sense of security on their ability to teach a CAP course. It gets no positive recommendation from me.

Agreed - I had to do a similar-length of college-credit course to be a Motorcycle Safety Instructor, plus mandated refreshers and multiple 20-hour updates.

Teaching adults continuing education is not an inherent skill, with a big part of it grasping the material yourself, before you start trying to
teach someone else, not to mention that just because "you can do a thing, doesn't mean you can teach a thing".
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: walter1975 on April 19, 2017, 09:23:18 AM
I would add that it requires continuous study on the instructor's part, continuous practice in the classroom to hone the craft, and an appetite for learning from your students.  You have to work at being current in the material and you have to work at being better in every delivery.     
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: SarDragon on April 19, 2017, 08:01:06 PM
I would add that it requires continuous study on the instructor's part, continuous practice in the classroom to hone the craft, and an appetite for learning from your students.  You have to work at being current in the material and you have to work at being better in every delivery.     

Amen!
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: Flymetothemoon on April 21, 2017, 03:49:23 AM
These courses are a significantly different from the CAP PD courses.  The AF courses are close to a graduate degree in amount of time and work invested.  The CAP PD is little more than show up, smooze, go home.
Title: Re: Senior Promotion Barriers
Post by: deepblue1947 on May 05, 2017, 09:40:18 PM
In light of the fact that grade confers no authority, responsibility, or personal monetary reward, the entirety of the CAP grade schema has
become very self-defeating, especially for those who are stuck on the bubble and now have to get things done by next year, with many of
those members, especially for the field grades, being literally the last bastions of experienced members CAP absolutely cannot afford to lose
given its current retention vector.

One thing a lot of people don't realize, or choose to ignore until they are in the thick of it, is that you can take the time, make the effort,
and spend the money, and still not get promoted..."because".  This situation can be one of the most demoralizing, counter-incentives
to continued membership of any in the CAP toolbox, and it happens all the time.

A member who quits because they feel slighted or unappreciated when the Major or Lt Col door closes takes 10 years or more to re-grow, assuming
they are ever replaced.

10 years. 

Members, as of writing this, are human, and given to the frailties of vanity, ego, even jealousy.  That's a given, and that knowledge is actually
one of the drivers behind >why< there is a CAP grade schema in the first place. Namely Napoleon's famous quote:
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Recognition of accomplishment is all CAP can offer of a tangible nature,
and despite the rhetoric to the contrary (which has ignored the reality for decades, if not longer), CAP grade >is< reward for work done, >not<
expectation of more responsibility, because there is no "expectation of more responsibility", in fact, the regulations actually prohibit
that very idea.

As we've seen time and again, both here and in person, people may "serve quietly", but they want and need recognition
in equal measures to those they view as peers, and even more importantly, those they feel don't contribute as much.
Unrecognized for too long, those people then quit quietly.

The organization as a whole would be much better off to leave grade for adult members by the curb and focus
on Professional Development as a value in and of itself, or at the least, make grade as a given based on PD and time.

Few are the members who pursue PD for its own sake, owing at least as much to the inconsistent nature of the
training itself and those presenting it.  For every TLC that ignites squadrons, there are ten which are barely tolerable,
presented by members who skimmed the material over coffee and have never worked with cadets.

For every RSC with a strong rep, there's at least one which is (or was) more of a band-camp for the staff and an SLS/CLC
rehash, versus any real preparation for staffing a wing or region.

On the whole, Members pursue PD to get promoted, and far too many at the last minute.  Absent promotions, most wouldn't bother.

Were grade left at the curb, and real requirements put into place regarding training and proficiency, CAP would be much better
off in the long run.

What it has today is another mess - a large number of members who will continue to serve but always feel they got "cheated"
out of their last promotion, mostly piling up at Captain, coupled with a much smaller number of FGOs who may or may not
have any more knowledge or ability, but were able to take the time for, not to mention could afford the cost of, the RSC and NSC.

As we discussed when the new requirements were announced, Level 4 and 5, not to mention Major and Lt Col, are now as much about
writing a check as any value the member brings to the organizaiton.

You see it already in the language here, and it comes up more and more in person as August 2018 gets nearer...

"Guess I'm stuck at Captain."

"I'll be a lifer Major."

...as if a door is closing unfairly (which it is), not to mention the fact that any new member doing the math
has to realize that the odds of exceeding Captain for anyone joining after Aug 2012, are much smaller then they were before, if they
exist at all, yet NHQ has done nothing to characterize the new climate or even really address it.

One has to wonder why, when pondering retention issues, this doesn't even appear to be on the list, despite the fact that
Unit CCs in the trenches have to deal with it on a regular basis.

Very well stated and valid points Eclipse.  I wholeheartedly concur.

Mg