CAP Talk

General Discussion => Membership => Topic started by: jfkspotting on December 28, 2017, 12:56:48 PM

Title: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: jfkspotting on December 28, 2017, 12:56:48 PM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Eclipse on December 28, 2017, 01:09:36 PM
Model the behavior you expect and ignore the "opinions".
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Alaric on December 28, 2017, 02:05:14 PM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?

As CAP attracts many people who do not wish to join the military, but are interested in things like ES, Rocketry (and other Aerospace topics), and Cyber, please define what you mean by professionalism. 
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: TheSkyHornet on December 28, 2017, 03:27:59 PM
Do you have an example of a problem that occurred at your home unit or that you may know of?

Regarding the "military" vs "non-military" aspirations, it's going to be very subjective. CAP gives guidance as to what professional conduct is. Units have the flexibility to take their conduct beyond that. For example: Does it say you can't chew gum in uniform? No, but that's a common military-esque standard for professionalism. Is it nit-picky? That's to be determined. The same goes for eating/drinking while walking around, talking on the cellphone, personal conduct, etc.

You'll always have different levels/styles of banter/horseplay, and unit practices. I think the key is to weed out the "This should absolutely, under no circumstance, be done at any time" behavior: Racist jokes, inappropriate gestures, and so forth. If it's something that wouldn't fly at school, or in an office, it shouldn't be in CAP. There may be a level of "water cooler" conversations in small groups. You'll never get rid of that. But you really need to keep in mind the question of "Is this a conversation that I would have with someone who, brand-new, walked in the door just now and asked me what CAP is?" That's a good start to deciding if it's "professional."

That's a matter of personal conduct.

Now onto the matter of bearing. How do you look? How do you act? How do you make yourself appear to everyone around you? Is this the appearance of a leader who is cool under pressure and upholds the standards of uniform wear and courtesies? Do you salute superiors? Do you use proper ranks/grades? Do you address people with a formal greeting of the day?

Professionalism goes way beyond "acting appropriately." You need to look heavily at how someone conducts themselves "behavior aside." Do they come off as a person who takes all of this seriously, or do we think it's not a big deal and not get so hopped up into how we interact with one another?

Make these standards and expectations known early on, and enforce them consistently across everyone---seniors and cadets, and lead by example.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: etodd on December 28, 2017, 09:05:38 PM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?

As CAP attracts many people who do not wish to join the military, but are interested in things like ES, Rocketry (and other Aerospace topics), and Cyber, please define what you mean by professionalism.

^^^^^  This ... a hundred times over.  We are not ROTC (but can be at times for those who are interested in that aspect)
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Mitchell 1969 on December 29, 2017, 04:28:10 AM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?

Please give actual sources for your claim of “...mixed PR and opinions...” and explain what you mean by “...some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military.” Also, could you define what you mean by cadets “...serving our military?”

Thank you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Toad1168 on December 29, 2017, 10:40:49 AM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?

As CAP attracts many people who do not wish to join the military, but are interested in things like ES, Rocketry (and other Aerospace topics), and Cyber, please define what you mean by professionalism.

^^^^^  This ... a hundred times over.  We are not ROTC (but can be at times for those who are interested in that aspect)


eTodd, I agree that we are not ROTC.  However, the OP is talking about cadets.  Cadets are required to wear the AF style uniform and conduct themselves accordingly.  We cannot dismiss order and discipline because a certain cadet joined just for STEM.  The standards have to be universal.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: FW on December 29, 2017, 01:08:02 PM
CAP has been getting some mixed PR and opinions, as some cadets look as if they would be better not serving our military. What are some ways to enforce professionalism at the squadron level when we are at group events, to distinguish ourselves?

As a former cadet, current senior member, and one who has been considered a "professional" for more years than I wish to count, I can readily state, the CAP cadet program has no problems with instilling "professionalism" into its (cadet) members. 

The program takes a young man or woman from follower to leader in a methodical way.  Usually, a capable senior member(s)  provide oversight.  Holding each member accountable and strict adherence to our core values is key.  The formula works.  I give the CAP cadet program credit for my "professionalism"........ Just sayn'.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: SARDOC on January 02, 2018, 09:04:27 PM
I think the entire purpose of the cadet program is to instill leadership, including professional traits, into our Cadet cohorts.  Try the CAP cadet curriculum.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Live2Learn on January 05, 2018, 01:08:30 PM
I think the entire purpose of the cadet program is to instill leadership, including professional traits, into our Cadet cohorts.  Try the CAP cadet curriculum.

Agree.  Whether or not a Cadet decides to join any branch of the military is, in my view, inconsequential.  I believe a "successful" outcome for CAP is help cadets  develop traits of a  good citizen who will contribute is positive ways.  If they acquire CAP's Core Values of integrity, excellence in all they do, respect for others, snf volunteer service then they've got a definite head start on their path to adulthood. I'd also hope they acquire a healthy portion of 'empathy' during their CAP experience.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Robert Hartigan on January 05, 2018, 10:36:36 PM
Model the behavior you expect and ignore the "opinions".

And, since some of the Senior Members have never had any leadership training maybe we should require those modeling behavior to study and test through the Cadet Program’s curriculum to establish a baseline? Based on my expierence as a Cadet and Senior Member, I have seen too many times when Senior Member apply the ‘Do as I Say, Not as I Do’ case study because they just don’t know any better. The problem starts near the top so should the solution. 
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Eclipse on January 05, 2018, 11:05:43 PM
I wouldn't have any issue with that.

There was short period of time where seniors could take cadet tests online.

I started one, got distracted, and the next time I returned it gave me a nastygram
about not being a cadet.

Would love to see this changed, and maybe add the Milestones to the Senior Specialty
Tracks - say Wright for Tech, Mitchell for Senior, Earhart for Master, and then maybe stars
on a ribbon or something for for Eaker and Spaatz.

It might actually earn some credibility from cadets, and would certainly show some
of the less informed seniors what it really involved.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: TheSkyHornet on January 09, 2018, 11:58:45 AM
It might actually earn some credibility from cadets, and would certainly show some
of the less informed seniors what it really involved.

I think it is one of the biggest issues. Far too many seniors are absolutely clueless in the running of a cadet program, and they don't bother to learn any of it; not to mention seniors who don't care to solicit feedback from cadets.

The cadet program is not an activity club. They don't want to be handed whatever it is seniors have to pass down to them to do. "Well, it's fun to me." Okay, it's not fun to them.

You want to increase professionalism? Treat them more maturely and give them credit when due. They may not be adults, but they're not stupid; they're just inexperienced. Treat them like inexperienced individuals that need guidance, not mandates.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Toad1168 on January 09, 2018, 01:35:06 PM
Start with the basics.  TLC is a must.  But, it needs to be taught by experienced and rated CP officers.  I would like to see a train the trainer type approach to instructors.  Whether it be by webinar or other means, instructors in the various courses, especially TLC should be trained on the material.  We have all seen instructors who teach from a position of personal bias as opposed to what the course is actually about.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: etodd on January 09, 2018, 01:44:08 PM

 Far too many seniors are absolutely clueless in the running of a cadet program, and they don't bother to learn any of it;

Someone who may be a great senior ES member and always shows up and does an incredible job, and a great asset to the Squadron ..... doesn't always equate to them having what it takes to be a teacher of 13 year old kids. If its 'not their thing' it will show and the Cadets will know it. Working with kids is something have to desire to do. Don't force folks into it or you'll get bad results.

Recruit non-aircrew types of civilians, like school teachers, to work with the Cadets.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on January 10, 2018, 11:49:29 AM
Start with the basics.  TLC is a must.  But, it needs to be taught by experienced and rated CP officers.  I would like to see a train the trainer type approach to instructors.  Whether it be by webinar or other means, instructors in the various courses, especially TLC should be trained on the material.  We have all seen instructors who teach from a position of personal bias as opposed to what the course is actually about.

This. 

FWIW, I have attended and taught TLC; I enjoyed both but I suffered though one module where the instructor did exactly what you describe.  It was awful and degraded the class for the attendees.  The basic instructor course isn't enough, you need to be comfortable actually teaching and not simply talking to the PPT!
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on January 10, 2018, 11:57:56 AM

 Far too many seniors are absolutely clueless in the running of a cadet program, and they don't bother to learn any of it;

Someone who may be a great senior ES member and always shows up and does an incredible job, and a great asset to the Squadron ..... doesn't always equate to them having what it takes to be a teacher of 13 year old kids. If its 'not their thing' it will show and the Cadets will know it. Working with kids is something have to desire to do. Don't force folks into it or you'll get bad results.

Recruit non-aircrew types of civilians, like school teachers, to work with the Cadets.

Changed my mind; comment deleted.  I get your point, even if I wouldn't express the last sentence in that way.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Toad1168 on January 10, 2018, 12:11:36 PM

 Far too many seniors are absolutely clueless in the running of a cadet program, and they don't bother to learn any of it;

Someone who may be a great senior ES member and always shows up and does an incredible job, and a great asset to the Squadron ..... doesn't always equate to them having what it takes to be a teacher of 13 year old kids. If its 'not their thing' it will show and the Cadets will know it. Working with kids is something have to desire to do. Don't force folks into it or you'll get bad results.

Recruit non-aircrew types of civilians, like school teachers, to work with the Cadets.

Regardless of who we recruit, we need to be very vigilant in who is ultimately assigned as CP officers.  Too many times, I've seen the position filled by either the last one to speak up or by the person who just wanted to do it.  Not necessarily the best candidate. 

The statement above is very accurate that too many seniors are clueless and have no desire to learn the proper way to run a cadet program.  It takes very little time for a bad CP officer to run a thriving cadet program into the ground. 

Push the training and make sure that anyone assigned to CP goes through it sooner than later.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on January 10, 2018, 02:48:20 PM
Regardless of who we recruit, we need to be very vigilant in who is ultimately assigned as CP officers.  Too many times, I've seen the position filled by either the last one to speak up or by the person who just wanted to do it.  Not necessarily the best candidate. 

The statement above is very accurate that too many seniors are clueless and have no desire to learn the proper way to run a cadet program.  It takes very little time for a bad CP officer to run a thriving cadet program into the ground. 

Push the training and make sure that anyone assigned to CP goes through it sooner than later.

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Eclipse on January 10, 2018, 03:24:24 PM
Regardless of who we recruit, we need to be very vigilant in who is ultimately assigned as CP officers.  Too many times, I've seen the position filled by either the last one to speak up or by the person who just wanted to do it.  Not necessarily the best candidate. 

The statement above is very accurate that too many seniors are clueless and have no desire to learn the proper way to run a cadet program.  It takes very little time for a bad CP officer to run a thriving cadet program into the ground. 

Push the training and make sure that anyone assigned to CP goes through it sooner than later.

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.

I don't disagree with the sentiment, but in far too many units the "less then best choice" is also the "only choice".
In some cases leaving the two options of "Joe" or "no unit".

There's also the non-trivial issue of someone who has held the door open for a decade with no help, mentoring, or
guidance from higher HQs - everyone knows "Jenny" is "very nice", and does "so much for her cadets", but
isn't remotely current on the program 10 years ago, let alone today, causes issues with her understanding of
CPPT, promotions, etc., etc., but if you decide "through the door or out the window" other people will also be upsets
because "this organization just uses people and then tosses them away" and leave as well.

Easy you say "go" - that's the "right" decision, but that doesn't grow new, competent staff to backfill a place no
one else would step up before.

Cadets emulate and mirror their examples, and this issue of the competency and appropriateness of cadet leaders
is a widespread problem across the entire organization.  It took decades to break it, and will take decades to fix it.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: TheSkyHornet on January 13, 2018, 09:59:49 AM
Regardless of who we recruit, we need to be very vigilant in who is ultimately assigned as CP officers.  Too many times, I've seen the position filled by either the last one to speak up or by the person who just wanted to do it.  Not necessarily the best candidate. 

The statement above is very accurate that too many seniors are clueless and have no desire to learn the proper way to run a cadet program.  It takes very little time for a bad CP officer to run a thriving cadet program into the ground. 

Push the training and make sure that anyone assigned to CP goes through it sooner than later.

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.

I don't disagree with the sentiment, but in far too many units the "less then best choice" is also the "only choice".
In some cases leaving the two options of "Joe" or "no unit".

There's also the non-trivial issue of someone who has held the door open for a decade with no help, mentoring, or
guidance from higher HQs - everyone knows "Jenny" is "very nice", and does "so much for her cadets", but
isn't remotely current on the program 10 years ago, let alone today, causes issues with her understanding of
CPPT, promotions, etc., etc., but if you decide "through the door or out the window" other people will also be upsets
because "this organization just uses people and then tosses them away" and leave as well.

Easy you say "go" - that's the "right" decision, but that doesn't grow new, competent staff to backfill a place no
one else would step up before.

Cadets emulate and mirror their examples, and this issue of the competency and appropriateness of cadet leaders
is a widespread problem across the entire organization.  It took decades to break it, and will take decades to fix it.

I think this is absolutely true, and a huge Catch 22.

You have a lot of situations where there are dedicated people who really do care, but know absolutely nothing. And it's not just "read the book." That works for some people, but not everyone. Some individuals need that guidance and direction, and training (both formal and informal). What you don't want to do is walk in the door, take the reigns, and go "Whoa! You're wrong! You're dead wrong! Get out!"

Now, in my case, I walked into a unit that really had that. My Commander at the time, very nice person, was absolutely clueless. I had never worked with CAP cadets before. I didn't know the regulations. I was just there to "help out" until other stuff came along on my agenda. I got placed into a role that I didn't even understand, let alone know I was officially assigned to a job. It's just me; I had to start reading up on this stuff, and it was a huge learning curve. I had disagreements with the way things were ran, but respected the chain of command and my position in it. Some of it was greatly confirmed through PDO training. I brought back what I learned and asked to sit down and discuss some ideas. Some people took it as an opportunity to let off the controls a bit because everyone was overworked; others took it as a personal stab that the new guy came in and thinks he knows better. Over time, it changed; nothing overnight. I still have issues as a CDC that those same individuals still have to chime in, and sometimes step into cadet classes, without being solicited and continuing to share incorrect information now years later. This is absolutely when I'll revert back to the Patrick Swayze method: be nice, until it's time not to be nice.

Jenny's hard work means a lot when she's all there is, and she's doing her best with strong intentions. When she starts to get that guidance, if she doesn't want to listen to it, then she's in the way and acting irresponsibly. I think so much of this goes back to the fact that people don't realize how much work a cadet program takes to run, not just in a way that is productive and worth while, but in accordance with the standards (and there are quite a few of them).

Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on January 14, 2018, 12:01:47 PM
I think this is absolutely true, and a huge Catch 22.

You have a lot of situations where there are dedicated people who really do care, but know absolutely nothing. And it's not just "read the book." That works for some people, but not everyone. Some individuals need that guidance and direction, and training (both formal and informal). What you don't want to do is walk in the door, take the reigns, and go "Whoa! You're wrong! You're dead wrong! Get out!"

Now, in my case, I walked into a unit that really had that. My Commander at the time, very nice person, was absolutely clueless. I had never worked with CAP cadets before. I didn't know the regulations. I was just there to "help out" until other stuff came along on my agenda. I got placed into a role that I didn't even understand, let alone know I was officially assigned to a job. It's just me; I had to start reading up on this stuff, and it was a huge learning curve. I had disagreements with the way things were ran, but respected the chain of command and my position in it. Some of it was greatly confirmed through PDO training. I brought back what I learned and asked to sit down and discuss some ideas. Some people took it as an opportunity to let off the controls a bit because everyone was overworked; others took it as a personal stab that the new guy came in and thinks he knows better. Over time, it changed; nothing overnight. I still have issues as a CDC that those same individuals still have to chime in, and sometimes step into cadet classes, without being solicited and continuing to share incorrect information now years later. This is absolutely when I'll revert back to the Patrick Swayze method: be nice, until it's time not to be nice.

Jenny's hard work means a lot when she's all there is, and she's doing her best with strong intentions. When she starts to get that guidance, if she doesn't want to listen to it, then she's in the way and acting irresponsibly. I think so much of this goes back to the fact that people don't realize how much work a cadet program takes to run, not just in a way that is productive and worth while, but in accordance with the standards (and there are quite a few of them).
+1, my experience also.  Your major point- the time it takes to run a **good** cadet program - is the most misunderstood aspect of the program.  I am the CDC for the third go-round because the other choices were unwilling to train or change; my CC is the CC because he *has* the time whereas  I do not and the other choice works a rotating shift in the FD, and would have been a good choice but an absentee landlord far too often, which is how we got into a bad place initially.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: darkmatter on January 15, 2018, 09:12:50 AM
so many good points, also along the lines of cap need to stop putting seniors in a job they might not be suited for. sometimes the lack of professionalism among cadets doesint always originate from the cadets them selves. this post has done a good job at looking at the whole picture but in general i see seniors dont step back and evaluate themselves and ask "could the cadets poor professionalism be from mirroring what they see the seniors doing?" not to go to hard on seniors i will say yes the other half of the time the unprofessional ism does come straight from the cadets themselves.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: CAPLTC on January 19, 2018, 11:09:51 PM
This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.

True.
There are also some phenomenally bad CP "leaders" with large-ish cadet squadrons.
Cleaning up after a toxic DCC is just as challenging.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: TheSkyHornet on January 21, 2018, 02:20:22 PM
so many good points, also along the lines of cap need to stop putting seniors in a job they might not be suited for. sometimes the lack of professionalism among cadets doesint always originate from the cadets them selves. this post has done a good job at looking at the whole picture but in general i see seniors dont step back and evaluate themselves and ask "could the cadets poor professionalism be from mirroring what they see the seniors doing?" not to go to hard on seniors i will say yes the other half of the time the unprofessional ism does come straight from the cadets themselves.

So true.

Lest we forget that cadets' professionalism comes from what their taught---and the fact that they're teenagers---by their senior member counterparts. Even if cadets are "inappropriately/ineffectively" teaching other cadets, it's because the seniors have failed to make that correction.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Live2Learn on January 29, 2018, 12:06:09 PM
Model the behavior you expect and ignore the "opinions".

Let this opinion "eclipse" all others.  I agree.  Darn good advice.  Cadets are watching to see what the 'ol dudes and dudettes are doing.  They might seem to be off in a teenage hormone induced fog... but they aren't.  Model behavior and be amazed when they come out of the fog on track and launched.
Title: Re: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
Post by: Phil Hirons, Jr. on February 01, 2018, 02:07:46 PM
This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.
Likely the truest thing I've read today and probably tomorrow. :clap: :clap: