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flyboy53
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« Reply #100 on: March 11, 2011, 11:34:53 AM »

Just a comment here. Guess, I got a little side-tracked reading all this information and the left-base thing that went on.

Considering that I'm joe average member with no insight into the the activiites of the NB/NEC or NHQ -- only a real distain for all the politics -- I do realize that the goings on of a former national commader really rocked this organization to its core. And, I really don't feel that the comments on this string by a "suspended" blogger should have any real merit and only serves to stur things up a bit, as it has.

I do know, however, all that the current national commander has been attacked serveral times while working very hard to repair the damage with the Air Force, our elected leadership, and the general membership....a schedule that has been amazing and all without pay. It has amused me that the current National Commander has always been a phone call away from the CSAF and Congressional offices. I would rather trust the leadership to be acting in a spirt of what's good for the organization and not for their own agenda.

Maybe all of these changes strengthens our role within the Air Force or the federal government. Maybe it changes the governance model enough to allow for other positive changes. I know, I for one, always believed that the National Commander should be board selected by the Air Force or the BoG. It makes it a very clean process. Let's just wait and see.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 11:41:15 AM by flyboy1 » Report to moderator   Logged
FW
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« Reply #101 on: March 11, 2011, 01:09:49 PM »

Considering that I'm joe average member with no insight into the the activities of the NB/NEC or NHQ -- only a real disdain for all the politics

This is the reason why "transparency and good governance" is key to a successful Civil Air Patrol.
The average member has absolutely no idea what goes on in the NB, NEC or BoG. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, the membership should, at least, have the opportunity to know what issues they are working on which effect us all.  Unfortunately, it seems only because of CAPTalk and postings of "the bloggers", do we get any idea at all. 
 
Do any really know why Pineda is gone?  NO!   It is a closed matter of the BoG.  We only assume what happened.  The knowledge we have is due to the "leaks" or other such outside reporting that may or may not be true. We trust our leadership acted in our best interests. But, we at least knew there was a problem coming. We saw major issues (many of which were open agenda items of the NB) which were throwing up red flags everywhere.  CAP has moved on. 
 
Today there are other issues which consume the leadership.  My observations give me the impression of less transparency than ever before.  There is absolutely no reason to keep the idea for improving our governance from the general membership.  Yes, I understand that the committee's work should be "closed" however, the finished report should not.  The members deserve a say.  And, because of the "grapevine", they have the opportunity.  Over time, the members will have a further chance to provide input through official channels. 
 
There is a place for closed sessions and non disclosure.  However there is no place to control the flow of information to the point of silliness.  IMHO, we are becoming paranoid with sharing ideas.  Sharing ideas with the membership; especially those ideas which have a general bearing on the organization is healthy.  It may take more energy to provide sunshine but, at least, it's healthy.
 
YMMV  ;D 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 03:18:30 PM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
NIN
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« Reply #102 on: March 11, 2011, 02:59:45 PM »

I do know, however, all that the current national commander has been attacked serveral times while working very hard to repair the damage with the Air Force, our elected leadership, and the general membership....a schedule that has been amazing and all without pay. It has amused me that the current National Commander has always been a phone call away from the CSAF and Congressional offices. I would rather trust the leadership to be acting in a spirt of what's good for the organization and not for their own agenda.

Nicely written, sir.

I know General Courter. She's a phone call away from me (a retired CAP member), not because she's the National Commander, but because she's in my phone book and Christmas card list as "Amy" >:)

But thats the way she's always been, as my group commander, or wing commander.

(Funny story: right after she was elected as the National Vice Commander, she came up here for our wing conference.  This was, uh, September of 2006 as I recall. I had been more or less inactive for awhile, just doing some minor squadron-level stuff, so I had been totally out of the "wing scene" for awhile.  I showed up on Friday night to the hospitality suite, knowing that the General would be there. I walk in, get some weird looks from wing staff folks, and Amy spots me from across the room, excuses herself from the conversation she's having and makes a beeline for me.  Big loud "haven't seen you in years" reunion, all the wing staff folks are like "Wait, how does he know the General?"  I even had the wing vice come up to me and demand to know why I thought I could act that way around the vice national commander. I suggested that there was some beach sand nearby that might find a home in his nether regions..<GRIN>)

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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Larry Mangum
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« Reply #103 on: March 11, 2011, 03:49:34 PM »

I have to agree with NIN and flyboy 1.  While I do not know General Courter, the same way NIN, does, I have spoken to her multiple times in various locales and situations and always found her to be sincere, and approachable. 

She also inherited a major mess and has worked to clean it up. Does she always get it right, absolutely not, but show me someone who does.  I personally believe she always strives to steer CAP into doing the right thing and for the right reasons and that means that no matter what actions she takes or reviews, she is going to upset some of the members.

Instead of the back biting that often goes on here and in the wings, perhaps people need to step back, take a deep breath, and think about how we can be part of the improvement process. In short we can be part of the solution, part of the problem or simply walk away in frustration, but in any case, the choice is ours.

I choose to be part of the solution. 
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Larry Mangum, Lt Col CAP
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« Reply #104 on: March 11, 2011, 03:54:18 PM »

Instead of the back biting that often goes on here and in the wings, perhaps people need to step back, take a deep breath, and think about how we can be part of the improvement process. In short we can be part of the solution, part of the problem or simply walk away in frustration, but in any case, the choice is ours.

I choose to be part of the solution.

I don't have too much to add.

I just wanted to quote this because I think it's worth reading at least twice. :)
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JACKIE M. BRISKI, Capt, CAP
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« Reply #105 on: March 11, 2011, 10:17:10 PM »

I know, I for one, always believed that the National Commander should be board selected by the Air Force or the BoG. It makes it a very clean process. Let's just wait and see.

Agreed.

The only National Commanders I have met are General Bergman and the current Commandant of the U.S. Ranger Corps.

I have never met General Courter, but virtually all accounts I have heard of those who have met her and some who know her personally click with what's been said here - that she is very personable and approachable.

I think she had a lot of moxie to wade into the hornets' nest left by her predecessor. 

All right, she's not perfect.  None of us are.

The only decision I profoundly disagree with was the termination of the CSU - and that wasn't her alone.

Nonetheless, because she is our National Commander and she's trying to do a decent job, I think she deserves respect.
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« Reply #106 on: March 11, 2011, 10:37:47 PM »

Instead of the back biting that often goes on here and in the wings, perhaps people need to step back, take a deep breath, and think about how we can be part of the improvement process. In short we can be part of the solution, part of the problem or simply walk away in frustration, but in any case, the choice is ours.

I choose to be part of the solution.

I just wanted to quote this because I think it's worth reading at least twice. :)

It is a good quote.  Sort of like "I'm for safety".   >:D
 
No one (who wants the best for CAP) wants Gen Courter to fail or, wish her anything but success.  I don't think that is the issue.  The issue is, IMHO, how do we become "part of the solution" when we don't have any idea what is going on due to a complete lack of (official) information. 
 
I've worked with and known every National Commander since Gen Anderson.  I've been witness to every peak and valley of our governance since 1994. The difference between today and then is the complete control of information flowing to the membership. 
 
This is not a matter of "trust" it is a matter of being able to make reasonable decisions based on the need to know.  Even a cursory knowledge of what was going to happen with the "CSU' may have averted the huge outcry we ended up with.  Same with the governance committee report.  If the membership was prepared, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  This has nothing to do with confidentiality or "non disclosure".  It has to do with control. And, I think this need for control is getting a bit silly. 
 
This is my opinion and, from our continued conversation, seems valid.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #107 on: March 11, 2011, 10:51:26 PM »

How do we become part of the solution?

By doing our job and forcing our peers and subordinates to do their job.

If you want to make changes...the only way to do that is become part of the system and keeping to your core values.

Make it wing command and then you have power to affect change.

Even if we in the trenches know 100% of what was going on up at the HQ level....we have no power beyond using the chain of command.

If we want staight answers to our questions....again we use the chain of command.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
JeffDG
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« Reply #108 on: March 12, 2011, 12:05:12 AM »

This is not a matter of "trust" it is a matter of being able to make reasonable decisions based on the need to know.  Even a cursory knowledge of what was going to happen with the "CSU' may have averted the huge outcry we ended up with.  Same with the governance committee report.  If the membership was prepared, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  This has nothing to do with confidentiality or "non disclosure".  It has to do with control. And, I think this need for control is getting a bit silly. 
 
This is my opinion and, from our continued conversation, seems valid.
:clap:

The leadership cannot on one hand do things like "Governance" discussions behind closed doors with no information available to members, and at the same time complain that people are jumping to wild speculation. 

Look at it another way.  In 2008, the US House of Representatives held a closed session for the first time in decades.  They have the right to do so when they wish to do so.  This was with respect to legitimately sensitive information (Electronic Surveillance of Terror Suspects). 

What do you think would happen if the House of Representatives and Senate went into closed sessions and passed a Constitutional Amendment (ie. recommendations WRT "Governance")?  Do you think people would just say "Oh well, we know they've proposed some kind of amendment or other, but we don't really need to know what it is."?  Seriously?

I see the need for closed sessions.  They happen on all corporate boards and other governing bodies.  But governance issues are not a topic that should be discussed behind closed doors.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #109 on: March 12, 2011, 01:20:42 AM »

Make it wing command and then you have power to affect change.
Apparently this would no longer be the case if  the proposal under discussion was what was reported here.
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NIN
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« Reply #110 on: March 12, 2011, 01:44:49 AM »

What do you think would happen if the House of Representatives and Senate went into closed sessions and passed a Constitutional Amendment (ie. recommendations WRT "Governance")?  Do you think people would just say "Oh well, we know they've proposed some kind of amendment or other, but we don't really need to know what it is."?  Seriously?

Well, since a Constitutional Amendment has to be ratified by the states, I'd think the people would say  "Once they decide the _what_, we can decide on the 'yes' or 'no' part."  IOW, no matter the discussion that gets there, a Constitutional Amendment is not something that can be decided in secret.

(I think you picked a poor example, but I surely do take your meaning)

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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« Reply #111 on: March 12, 2011, 03:14:40 AM »

Even a cursory knowledge of what was going to happen with the "CSU' may have averted the huge outcry we ended up with.

In what respect?

The "outcry" from the Air Force (which seemed to be much greater in perception than reality, given that they gave directives for correcting it, which were followed), or the "outcry" from the membership from canning it?

I am harbouring some hope that the decision to do away with it will be at least partially reversed to keep it with the modifications General Courter has directed.

However, I'm not going to hold my breath, given that it seems like the last thing National wants to talk about right now is uniform issues (and, no, I'm not trying to turn this into a "uniform" thread).

Given the popularity of the CSU among rank-and-file CAP members, I think the real issue concerning that is that we were, by and large, not heard.  OK, that could invoke the military argument that the brass doesn't need our approval, like when the Army phased out the Ike jacket for the "greens" and later made the dress blues standard, or when the Coast Guard designed its own uniform rather than continuing with the modified Navy rig.

But then the "corporate" side of decision-making-by-board comes into it...and the schizoid nature of CAP shows itself again.
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« Reply #112 on: March 12, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »

^An interesting supposition on my point.  However, the "outcry" from the membership is what extended the wear of the "CSU".  The membership was heard but, after the fact.  If the membership was notified (there was no reason the motion was withheld from the meeting agenda). There would have been proper vetting of the issue before the decision was made.

Because of our status as members of a civilian benevolent public service organization, we need to be part of the solution by being informed of those issues which we "need to know" about.  We trust our leadership to be forthcoming with the information when we need to have it. 
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2011, 07:24:47 PM »

I suspect there may have been a "frank and open exchange of views" (i.e., some real disagreement and argument within the NB) about these governance proposals.

I can understand their desire to have such a discussion (debate?) in executive session.

A summary report to the general membership identifying the issues discussed, majority and minority opinions, could do a great deal to dispel the aura of conspiracy that some see in this closed meeting.

Personally, since the only worst kept secret than CAP's existence is a secret within CAP, I'm not particularly concerned: the whole story is bound to leak out in the next few months!
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RADIOMAN015
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« Reply #114 on: March 13, 2011, 02:43:57 PM »

Considering that I'm joe average member with no insight into the the activities of the NB/NEC or NHQ -- only a real disdain for all the politics

This is the reason why "transparency and good governance" is key to a successful Civil Air Patrol.


Today there are other issues which consume the leadership.  My observations give me the impression of less transparency than ever before.  There is absolutely no reason to keep the idea for improving our governance from the general membership.  Yes, I understand that the committee's work should be "closed" however, the finished report should not.  The members deserve a say.  And, because of the "grapevine", they have the opportunity.  Over time, the members will have a further chance to provide input through official channels. 
 
There is a place for closed sessions and non disclosure.  However there is no place to control the flow of information to the point of silliness.  IMHO, we are becoming paranoid with sharing ideas.  Sharing ideas with the membership; especially those ideas which have a general bearing on the organization is healthy.  It may take more energy to provide sunshine but, at least, it's healthy.
 
YMMV  ;D
I've always wondered if there was a major issue involving the membership why at the wing level and below the membership couldn't at least get polled on what they think.  Surely the people we have on the boards have extensive experience and likely "most" have the best intentions for Civil Air Patrol but doesn't the general membership's opinion count ???.

I would agree that certain items should be secret (e.g. adverse personnel actions, contract negotiations, etc.) but on governance issues, yes a summary of the proposal would be in order as well as the actual vote by each members of the board.    Also on this "non disclosure" agreement is it really to broad and an attempt to muzzle information that should get out to the general membership ??? :(   

I think at least some in the membership need to remember that this is the CIVIL Air Patrol and reorient their fantasy thinking that this is the military -- It isn't!!!!, and IF you get too many members annoyed with foolishness they will just reduce their volunteer time availability or leave the program completely :(.
RM
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