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Author Topic: CAP Rank Promotion Challenges - is this typical?  (Read 2969 times)
Herman_Snerd
Recruit

Posts: 5

« on: March 16, 2017, 10:53:31 PM »

Howdy All,

May I ask if it is typical that CAP promotions take so many months to process?    If a child wants to promote on a rapid track, is it typical to be told "you're not on the priority list" when you ask to get a PT or drill test, or get no response at all for weeks in a row from your chain of command? Does it take months to have paperwork entered everywhere, or just here?

I'm starting to worry that CAP is like a members only circle where those "in the club" can promote at will while others cannot. How does one get on the priority list, or why is one offit?   Is this typical of the national organization, or just a problem in his unit?

All feedback appreciated -any guidance on how to move up as a CAP member.  Thank you and have a blessed day.
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 223

« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 11:26:44 PM »

Sounds like a unit-level problem, either culturally or administratively.

The only priority list I can think of is if you don't have the time, personnel, or resources to test everyone at once, but even that is sketchy.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,996

« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 11:34:21 PM »

Howdy All,

May I ask if it is typical that CAP promotions take so many months to process?

No. Cadet promotions can and should be processed immediately after completion or as soon after as possible.
Some units have in-face promotion boards, which is fine, but these should not unduly delay a promotion,
nor should lack of staff, activities that preclude pinning, or any other of the excuses we hear on a regular basis.

Unlike Seniors, cadets are perishable and should not be held back artificially.

If a child wants to promote on a rapid track, is it typical to be told "you're not on the priority list" when you ask to get a PT or drill test, or get no response at all for weeks in a row from your chain of command? Does it take months to have paperwork entered everywhere, or just here?

Something is amiss - promotions are all electronic, even if the unit is still using paper tests.  Units are required to provide regular
opportunities to test, and PT should not be a pinch point.  If weather or facilities are an issue, cadets can test at school or the
park, etc., if a disinterested third party will atest to their completion.

I'm starting to worry that CAP is like a members only circle where those "in the club" can promote at will while others cannot. How does one get on the priority list, or why is one offit?   Is this typical of the national organization, or just a problem in his unit?

This is a local issue, one that is not as uncommon as it should be, but not part of the plan.  If you are a parent or
party with standing, you should be asking direct questions and expect reasonable, timely answers, and if you aren't getting them
start moving up the chain and asking them until you get a decent answer.

This is either negligence, which is unacceptable, or someone is playing games, which is also unacceptable.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 11:44:29 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

PA Guy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 709

« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 02:16:03 AM »

There are always two sides to a story. It would be interesting to hear the squadron's side of this story.
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CAPDCCMOM
Seasoned Member

Posts: 244

« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 08:51:51 AM »

Most Squadrons,  have a running monthly schedule for PT and Drill Tests. I always advise my Cadets that if they don't make the scheduled testing date, they can be delayed.  If the Cadet has used their COC, and has a valid excuse,  illness, school, etc, and if the Testing Officer and another Senior Officer is available,  then an alternate dates can be scheduled.  This must be the exception rather than the rule. Also, it is the Cadet s responsibility to make contact with their Cadet Leadership,  then with Senior Officer Leadership,  not the parent. A Cadet can also be delayed if they are not wearing uniform properly,  or have not memorized the Cadet Oath, or been an Active Participant.

As stated before, there are two sides to each story. I would like to hear the Squadrons side, not just the Cadet that should be "fast tracked".
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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 09:31:47 AM »

Howdy All,

May I ask if it is typical that CAP promotions take so many months to process?    If a child wants to promote on a rapid track, is it typical to be told "you're not on the priority list" when you ask to get a PT or drill test, or get no response at all for weeks in a row from your chain of command? Does it take months to have paperwork entered everywhere, or just here?

I'm starting to worry that CAP is like a members only circle where those "in the club" can promote at will while others cannot. How does one get on the priority list, or why is one offit?   Is this typical of the national organization, or just a problem in his unit?

All feedback appreciated -any guidance on how to move up as a CAP member.  Thank you and have a blessed day.

There's no such thing as a 'rapid track'.  Time-in-grade for all achievements is 56-days and that's IF the cadet meets all other requirements.  If a unit is not providing the opportunities to meet requirements to make the 56-day TIG, then there is a problem.

Beyond that, here's the documentation to be informed about the Cadet Program requirements.
https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/R052_016_2011_02_BFAB729553AB1.pdf

Civil Air Patrol is not a 'members only circle'.  Become informed on what CAP is and does.  That is not to say, that there aren't very poorly run units out there in the wild.
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Donald A. Beckett, Lt Col, CAP
Commander
MER-NC-143
Gill Rob Wilson #1891
Chappie
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,052

« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:25 AM »

^^^ "Spot on" LTC Don  :clap:
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Disclaimer:  Not to be confused with the other user that goes by "Chappy"   :)
kcebnaes
Member

Posts: 97
Unit: GLR-OH-064

« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 09:57:09 AM »

I agree for the most part, however there is a "fast track" that some can use. There's advance promotion that CAN happen, but is not guaranteed for JROTC cadets. But, with that there's certain stipulations, AND you have to have commander approval. Check out CAPR 52-16, 10-1(a)1-3. That's the ONLY "fast track." Anything else is against the Regs.

Like the others, I really would like to hear the other side.
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Maj Sean Beck
Ohio Wing
Group VI Commander
LATORRECA
Forum Regular

Posts: 181

« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 07:07:26 AM »

Have a heart to heart talk with the DCC or squadron commander. If the play stupid then talk to the cadet program director for your state (wing).
  Fast track sometimes is good however a cadet who's not prepared to assume the responsibility can't fast track.
  It's hard for parents to understand, however take a step back and talk to the individuals I mentioned above.

Sent from my HTC Desire 530 using Tapatalk

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Herman_Snerd
Recruit

Posts: 5

« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 07:21:08 AM »

Thank you everyone for the great feedback, advice, and food for thought. Sincerely appreciated.

Encouraged by the details you shared, I had a great conversation with a leader of the unit yesterday.  Here are a few updates to constructively share.
•   The lack of response in recent weeks to texts and in-person requests to drill test from the cadet’s  immediate supervisor in the unit was problematic, and should not have happened. Cadets are learning, including this person who is a newer leader – coaching will be provided.
•   The priority list is simply a tool this unit uses to advise the cadets who based on testing /time/PT status is ready for a drill test.  It was a mistake my cadet wasn’t on it.  In this unit,  a student leader maintains this list and again unfortunately there was an issue.  Again, coaching will be provided. 
•   We agreed mistakes happen, but  the leader I spoke with was disappointed it took these weeks during which her student leader team didn’t work together to identify the issue, and resolve this more quickly. Specifically the next persons engaged from the chain of command didn’t resolve the issue, but took the list to mean that no opportunity should be given.  She will meet with her leadership team to highlight the constructive learning opportunities this series of issues provides.
•   He’ll be tested this week and promoted, and can promote every 56 days.

I appreciate there was a potential for another side of the story that would provide perhaps an understanding or justification or the delays – an  attitude, an action taken by the cadet, an issue, lack of attendance, performance issues with the student cadet, but none of that is the case here.  In this case there is just one story- there was a number of problems,  they are being fixed, and we’ve moving forward.

I agree on the comments for me to better understand – I can assure you this is my goal, and why I reached out/ why I had the conversation yesterday.  There is a lot more for me to learn, and I thank you for sharing your insights as this I believe has been helpful toward my gaining insight and some knowledge.

Thanks again!
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LATORRECA
Forum Regular

Posts: 181

« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 07:46:36 AM »

Glad to hear that. Good luck

Sent from my HTC Desire 530 using Tapatalk

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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,865

« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 10:49:40 AM »

Herman_Snerd, the 56 days between promotions is the minimum time allowed between promotions. IT IS NOT A "SCHEDULE!!!!!
If the Squadron Commander feels that a cadet is not ready for a promotion, they do not have to approve it. It can be for a variety of reasons such as maturity level or discipline problems. They should tell the cadet and you why they decided to hold the cadet back. The main thing here is communication.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 884

« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 03:20:45 PM »

Regarding the comment on review boards:
I come from a unit where the "old way" of doing things was to hold review boards solely in the 4th week of each month on the so-called "Blues day." A formal, in-person, sit-down review board was held for every achievement. If a cadet became eligible to promote on, say March 2, they would have to wait until March 23 to have their review, as simple math tells is us 21 days after becoming eligible to promote. I saw this exact same practice in another unit, and an additional unit beyond that which had a slightly modified process, but still what I would consider to be "over-the-top."

Now, I am a stickler for addressing certain areas of what I would consider to be the responsibility of the individual who wants to promote, such as signing up for a drill test in advance of a known testing date. Don't ask the day of. If a cadet passes their drill test and is immediately eligible to promote, say from C/A1C to C/SrA, by all means, right into eServices that evening. Congrats. But if they come up to me during that meeting and say, "Can I get a drill test so I can promote today?" Absolutely not. They don't learn responsibility if they get it handed to them then and there.

LTC Don makes a great point: The opportunity to become eligible to promote must be provided. For junior cadets especially, they may still be confused about how to get their promotions in. I expect Cadet NCOs to be able to manage their own track and test at their own pace. I may have to nudge the Cadet Airmen from time to time. "Hey, Cadet So-and-So, make sure you get that aerospace test done by next week if you want to promote on time." But the unit needs to make sure it schedules drill testing, the CPFT, and Character Development appropriately so that cadets can fulfill their promotion requirements by what can only be offered at the unit (albeit the CPFT having a slight exception with external testing, but that's exceptionally rare). I have seen units go, "We have to cancel PT today. They'll just have to test next month." I see it entirely fair if a cadet doesn't show up, for whatever reason, or if they fail that they don't get a retest until the next scheduled testing date. But don't cancel the sessions that the squadron has full control over and punish the cadet. Fair? That's subjective. I think it's unfair.

As PHall stated, the minimum time between promotions is 56 days. If I have a cadet repeatedly show up out of uniform, even if they're wearing civilian attire because they couldn't get a haircut, I'm not promoting them. Show me you can demonstrate the maturity and self-discipline to come dressed appropriate. If they only attend one meeting a month for 6 months, promotion is extremely unlikely. That's not active participation, and you can't demonstrate to me that you've learned anything. It doesn't matter what the circumstances are.

But I will not intentionally try to hold someone back just because I'm frustrated or I don't care for that individual. I don't prove anything to anyone by saying, "Yanno what, I don't feel like letting you have the chance." They all have the chance. They need to accept the opportunity and utilize it to their advantage.

I don't hold anyone up. They only hold themselves up. I make darn sure the opportunity is there to advance, and I've been known to share strong words with my peers when the schedule doesn't allow me to make sure I get those opportunities in.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,996

« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 03:49:38 PM »

Based solely on the information provided, it sounds like this unit may be leaning a bit too hard on the concept of "cadet run".

That's all well and good, but 52-16 stresses that the adult leadership is always in charge of testing, and frankly, few and
far between are the CAP units that are so large that at least the CDC, if not the CC as well, are at least peripherally aware
of the status of the majority of cadets in regards to progression and testing, if only because they get notified of the
completion of said tests, and if they aren't seeing those messages, then nothing is getting done.

Certainly the adults assigned to be in charge of testing should be checking down the chain as to who is scheduled, etc..
Again, "cadet run" sounds very nice on paper, but many CCs forget that those cadets "running" things are also in "learning mode',
have divided attentions and priorities, not to mention may simply be in over their skis.  Mistakes are made, and a week or two here
or there is no big deal, but more then that can start to impact a cadet's initiative and spirit, especially if they feel like the issue is more then
simple oversight.

A "week or two" may not sound like a big deal, but if the unit stands on their schedule, and only allows for testing at certain times,
which is within their purview, missing a week may actually mean missing a month, and then next month "we're going to DC for Legislative Days",
"and the next month is encampment", and before you know it, 3-4 months have passed with no test.

As to the 56 days being "the minimum" vs. "the scheduled", agreed, and there will always be extenuating circumstances - lack of participation (there
are far too many cadets who are allowed to show up once a quarter to promote and don't do anything else), disciplinary issues,
legitimate need for more training, etc., but 56 days is an excellent barometer of interest and initiative.  Cadets who pass the
56 day mark without any testing activity are definitely "at risk", pass two of them and questions need to be raised because
by the third one you're going to have an issue. 

As I mentioned before, Cadets are perishable, and being 2-3 stripes behind your peers can be enough many times for them to quit.
If that's their choice, so be it, but it should not be due to them being left behind, or another cadet in their chain "in charge of" testing
ignoring them, on purpose or by negligence.
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 884

« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 04:29:05 PM »

As I mentioned before, Cadets are perishable, and being 2-3 stripes behind your peers can be enough many times for them to quit.
If that's their choice, so be it, but it should not be due to them being left behind, or another cadet in their chain "in charge of" testing
ignoring them, on purpose or by negligence.

I think this statement is key.

If a unit does permit cadets to "run" the show, it needs to be done with close supervision. If there is a foul-up, what are the circumstances and how did you correct/overcome the situation?

For example:
We had a situation where a C/SrA signed up for a drill test with the First Sergeant. An Asst Testing Officer was present during drill testing, and verified with the First Sergeant what he felt the cadet should receive grade-wise. The cadet passed the Achievement 4 drill test. The problem? The Wright Brothers Milestone is not Achievement 4; it's just that: a Milestone. Simple mistake, right? Well, now, you have to inform that cadet that he took the wrong drill test because nobody realized until they went to enter the eServices scores. So, who's at fault?

Well, the C/SrA didn't bother to review the test beforehand, and never realized he was taking the wrong test.
The First Sergeant didn't bother to verify that there's a different between a Milestone and an Achievement.
And the senior member didn't double-check that the tests being administered were correct.

It's a learning moment for all three involved.

Cadet Airman: Be sure to track what test you need.
Cadet First Sergeant: Coordinate with a senior member. Don't just randomly start doing drill testing.
Senior Member: Take responsibility. The cadets do not run the program. Cadets do not oversee testing.

Now you have a pissed off cadet, an embarrassed cadet, and a frustrated senior member.

CDC sighs and has to fix everything. But now the CDC knows that he needs a list of test sign-ups so he can make sure the cadets are studying the correct material, that he needs to give instructions to the testing staff as to who is testing what, and come up with a better way of organizing the testing process without making him do all of the work by himself.

I think the fact that someone brought it to CAP Talk and is asking questions on this forum is a good step. Get opinions and try new ideas. If you see something isn't working, address it. Don't just "go with the flow" because "that's how it's always been done."
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,996

« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2017, 04:54:38 PM »

Ugh, that "Ach 4 vs. Milestone" issue catches more people, and the fact that there's no mention of it
in the drill test deck doesn't help.

About a year or so ago this came up and it took like 4 Lt Cols, and 3 echelons before anyone realized
that this particular test was available in the WB online Milestone area for 1-time use.  A number just thought
it was another oversight by the curriculum.

The deck shoudl have a page that says "see WB Milestone" for something.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 884

« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2017, 05:22:05 PM »

The deck shoudl have a page that says "see WB Milestone" for something.

I completely agree.

I had a 17-year-old high school senior C/SMSgt who went for his Achievement 7 drill test. Of course, he ends up taking the Achievement 8 test.

"How did you do on your drill test?"
"I passed it."
"Yeah? What did it test on?"
"It was a parade column.....blah blah blah."
"At what point did you realize you took the wrong test?"
"Crap. I knew it."
"Just now, huh..."
"I thought it was the wrong test. It's not what I studied."
"So why didn't you speak up right then?"
"I figured I studied the wrong material. I still passed though."
"You passed the wrong test...."
"But I passed the higher level test  ;D
 :o

Okay, freeze frame. The Achievement 7 drill test is essentially a mixture of a written test and verbal explanation of a Group-level ceremonial formation and a change of command. The Achievement 8 drill test is a physical pass in review. Big differences. You'd know if you were taking the wrong test if you actually read the test.

This is one of those moments when all of the holes in the Swiss Cheese Model started lining up perfectly. Process failure at all levels.

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almostspaatz
Forum Regular

Posts: 115
Unit: GLR-OH-288

Imgur
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2017, 09:26:25 PM »

The deck shoudl have a page that says "see WB Milestone" for something.

I completely agree.

I had a 17-year-old high school senior C/SMSgt who went for his Achievement 7 drill test. Of course, he ends up taking the Achievement 8 test.

"How did you do on your drill test?"
"I passed it."
"Yeah? What did it test on?"
"It was a parade column.....blah blah blah."
"At what point did you realize you took the wrong test?"
"Crap. I knew it."
"Just now, huh..."
"I thought it was the wrong test. It's not what I studied."
"So why didn't you speak up right then?"
"I figured I studied the wrong material. I still passed though."
"You passed the wrong test...."
"But I passed the higher level test  ;D
 :o

Okay, freeze frame. The Achievement 7 drill test is essentially a mixture of a written test and verbal explanation of a Group-level ceremonial formation and a change of command. The Achievement 8 drill test is a physical pass in review. Big differences. You'd know if you were taking the wrong test if you actually read the test.

This is one of those moments when all of the holes in the Swiss Cheese Model started lining up perfectly. Process failure at all levels.
(emphasis mine)
That particular test has been an issue of dissent in my experience...my last squadron had cadets diagram both portions of the test
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C/Maj Steve Garrett
GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 122
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 12:48:41 PM »

I am a bit confused about the Wright Bros. drill test. The CAP website says:
2.   Leadership:  Pass a comprehensive Learn to Lead exam, with a grade of 80% or higher, closed-book, untimed. This test includes multiple-choice questions from the first three chapters of Learn to Lead and a section testing performance in drill and ceremonies.
 [emphasis added]

However, the data entry for the Wright Bros, has a place to enter a drill test like the other phase 1 and 2 achievements. Our cadet who just took it didn't remember anything about drill when I asked her after just after completing the test. Also the online test has a 30 minute time limit if I remember correctly.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 12:52:41 PM by GaryVC » Logged
LATORRECA
Forum Regular

Posts: 181

« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 02:38:15 AM »

Well you'll want to call CP HQ. We still use the book test and it does have several drill movements towards the end as question 50-59 I think. Don't quote me however is there.

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