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bosshawk
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Posts: 1,585

« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2011, 12:23:48 AM »

I am one of those who have recently left CAP.  I deliberately let my membership expire after 18 years.  I was not exactly idle during those years: MP, MS,Mission Check Pilot, Sq Commander, deputy commander two or three times, Cadet O Ride Pilot, ROTC O Ride Pilot, Mt Flying Instructor, CD pilot, FRO, Mission Manager for CD operations, Wing Deputy Director of CD Ops, Director of CD Ops, to name a few.

I quit in disgust with CAWG leadership(?) and a general lack of leadership in most of what I saw in CAWG.  My only experience was in CAWG: I never served in any other Wing.

I won't go into details, because I don't want to drag the dirty linen out into the open.  I have PM'd some of those on CT with whom I have established a better than casual relationship.  I have expressed my feelings to a select group in CAWG.  If anyone wants more details, I will consider how well I know you and respond via PM

As most of you know, I served over 30 years in the military(active and reserve) and I regularly had problems with the way that semi-military things are done in CAP by what I consider to be rank amateurs.
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Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
Wilson #2777
Flying Pig
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2011, 12:34:07 AM »


I am one of those who have recently left CAP.  I deliberately let my membership expire after 18 years.  I was not exactly idle during those years: MP, MS,Mission Check Pilot, Sq Commander, deputy commander two or three times, Cadet O Ride Pilot, ROTC O Ride Pilot, Mt Flying Instructor, CD pilot, FRO, Mission Manager for CD operations, Wing Deputy Director of CD Ops, Director of CD Ops, to name a few.

You forgot all around swell guy with some cool war stories ;D
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bosshawk
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2011, 12:47:16 AM »

Thanks, Rob.
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Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
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Robert Hartigan
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Posts: 184
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2011, 12:56:15 PM »

Thomas K. McKee has an interesting and on point article at Volunteer Power. CAPTALK has essentially rehashed his 7 reasons why volunteer quit. He contends that volunteer managers need to operate like Human Resource managers. McKee's confession on why he quit volunteering is almost a template for reasons people leave CAP.

His article is a good piece that will serve well as a basis for a conference seminar or professional development class or at the very least a waypoint for emerging leaders to reference.  http://www.volunteerpower.com/articles/WhyPeopleQuit.asp

On a personal note, I think the reason some leave CAP is because appointed leaders do not know how to lead and those leaders are befuddled by functional conflict and react to it as if it was dysfunctional conflict. Said reaction is typically asymmetrical in relation to the perceived infraction. Instead of seeking common ground or at least understanding, the so called leader passively threatens the follower until the situation has to be handled by a higher echelon. The follower leaves by one way or another and the leaders cheer that they have won because they chased away a human resource. Then those same leaders are the ones that complain that retention is a problem. I believe it is a telling sign of the organization's health when new members know the form number to terminate membership before they know what a CAPF 120 is!
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<><><>#996
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2011, 03:08:05 PM »

Those people who need to know why I quit were made aware of my reasons in an email I sent out.  It is for the reasons I explained in that email that I felt forced to leave an organization that I have supported with my time, talents, and treasure since 1963.  It is for those reasons that I will never return.

And, Bob, even though I did not copy you directly on the email, I am absolutely sure that you are well aware of my action and the reasons behind that action.

I will not put this information out on "Front Street," but you are welcome to PM me if you have any questions.
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Another former CAP officer
RADIOMAN015
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2011, 04:17:24 PM »

if you are no longer a member, what leads you to continue to post in CAPTalk?



In my experience, the #1 reason members quit is incorrect expectations set from day one, which result in the member not understanding CAP at a fundamental level and fighting up stream their whole time.
So could you define a bit more about that "fundamental level of misunderstanding about CAP" which causes most of the memberships to leave ???
RM
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RADIOMAN015
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »

Thomas K. McKee has an interesting and on point article at Volunteer Power. CAPTALK has essentially rehashed his 7 reasons why volunteer quit. He contends that volunteer managers need to operate like Human Resource managers. McKee's confession on why he quit volunteering is almost a template for reasons people leave CAP.

His article is a good piece that will serve well as a basis for a conference seminar or professional development class or at the very least a waypoint for emerging leaders to reference.  http://www.volunteerpower.com/articles/WhyPeopleQuit.asp

On a personal note, I think the reason some leave CAP is because appointed leaders do not know how to lead and those leaders are befuddled by functional conflict and react to it as if it was dysfunctional conflict. Said reaction is typically asymmetrical in relation to the perceived infraction. Instead of seeking common ground or at least understanding, the so called leader passively threatens the follower until the situation has to be handled by a higher echelon. The follower leaves by one way or another and the leaders cheer that they have won because they chased away a human resource. Then those same leaders are the ones that complain that retention is a problem. I believe it is a telling sign of the organization's health when new members know the form number to terminate membership before they know what a CAPF 120 is!
Very good reference above, perhaps the BOG, and the rest of the leadership should take a good look at this and perhaps get some training from that consultant.

What I see is in some case the organization tries to run like it is military when in fact it's a bunch of civilians that may have their own agenda, and may not be willing to compromise at any level.  We may also over sell ourselves especially on all this buzz word "homeland security & defense" type activities.  Within each wing there's really only a small percentage involved in these type of activities.   When you add all the administrative mumbo jumbo and the overall punitive activities (e.g. driving a CAP and having an accident) when compared to other volunteer organizations there's a marked difference.

Also because we basically get just about all of our funding from the USAF military, we end up playing their games (because of our contractual requirements) and employing their rhetoric/philosophy which may not be suited for civilians who volunteer their time, effort, and money with no real compensation, little recognition, and more than average individual risk (much of which could be improved via the organization e.g. buy insurance for vehicles & aircraft).
RM
   
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NIN
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2011, 05:14:15 PM »

On a personal note, I think the reason some leave CAP is because appointed leaders do not know how to lead and those leaders are befuddled by functional conflict and react to it as if it was dysfunctional conflict. Said reaction is typically asymmetrical in relation to the perceived infraction. Instead of seeking common ground or at least understanding, the so called leader passively threatens the follower until the situation has to be handled by a higher echelon. The follower leaves by one way or another and the leaders cheer that they have won because they chased away a human resource. Then those same leaders are the ones that complain that retention is a problem. I believe it is a telling sign of the organization's health when new members know the form number to terminate membership before they know what a CAPF 120 is!

^this. :)

Back when I was a squadron commander (not sure which time..<GRIN>), I used to take retention very seriously, doing things like sending members up for renewal a personal (well, mail merged, but it *looked* personal) letter to thank them for their membership, telling them to be on the look out for their renewal notice from National, etc. :) 

I also practiced (and I'd like to think I was good at it) other "good skills to retain volunteers," like being sure I wasn't wasting people's time with repetitive or poorly planned meetings, communicated well with the membership of the unit (schedule, standards, change, that sort of thing), and made people feel like their contribution, however large or small, was appreciated and recognized appropriately. In some cases, when I had parents step up to help, I made a big deal out of it, to include Certificates of Appreciation (my unit, at one point, was going thru 50-80 of those certificates a year, between appreciation to local businesses or parents who lent a hand, etc) and, when appropriate, recommendation for CAP-specific decorations such as the Commander's Commendation or awards such as senior member or cadet of the year.

On the other hand, occasionally you get a person in your unit who is, uh, how can I put this delicately?  "Someone you'd rather would darken someone else's door?"  Yeah.  Them.  People who are either there for all the wrong reasons (self-aggrandizement, ego, whatever) or just don't pack the gear to really make an appropriate contribution without being a disproportionate drain on the unit's resources (ie. guys who you have to hand hold thru everything, because they're either intellectually challenged or just not capable of being a productive member from lack of skill or whatever. Its pretty sad when you inherit a unit on Veteran's Day and the previous commander had appointed a guy as the Finance Officer who was fairly incapable of counting his wedding vegetables and getting the same number more than once.  The first thing the wing commander says upon handing you the flag is "The finance report is late.." You ask the Finance Officer for the records and he brings you a plastic shopping bag full of receipts, the CAP financial regulation, the squadron checkbook and the balance sheets with multiple scratchouts... This is not someone who should have been in that position without a much higher degree of supervision, training, experience or background.  So you do the finance report, and submit it, and the find another job for this Finance Officer, only to realize he can't even be made, say, your squadron vehicle manager because he's incapable of using the Internet, or can't remember month-to-month what he's supposed to do..)  Or, this person is just a tremendous troublemaker and you just want them "gone."

In those cases, as I've often said, "Remember those little  things that you're supposed to do to retain a member? Yeah, just don't do those things."

Eventually, they get fed up and leave. 

(NOTE: There are very limited circumstances for the use of this technique.  Its often when *everybody* in the unit is fed up with a particular individual and, while they've done nothing to warrant a legitimate CAPF 2B proceeding, you know that the unit would be *much* better off without this person.  In nearly 10 years as a unit commander, I've had TWO people like that.  In both cases, a squadron membership board would have potentially filtered them out, but once they were members they were just non-productive, and actually destructive, members.   One was a woman who we later found out a) had been convicted of embezzlement and yet conveniently left that part blank on her CAPF 12, and b) had a history of making what wound up to be false and baseless claims about other people, like sexual harrassment or whatever.   She explained the CAPF 12 thing to the satisfaction of NHQ,  but there was nothing we could have easily terminated her membership on otherwise, especially without invoking additional wrath from this woman in the form of frivolous lawsuits, etc.  So we'd change a meeting and conveniently forget to call her, etc.   And we all protected ourselves with a "no lone zone" around all of us when she was in the AO.  Finally, after about 6 months of "oh, you didn't get the message about the staff meeting change?" and things like that, she just stopped showing up. *whew*)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 03:17:20 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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Flying Pig
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2011, 05:43:52 PM »

Sometimes I dont think its as deep as that.  Sometimes, as with my case when I let my membership lapse for about 4 years, CAP just didnt have a place in my life anymore.  I had started in LE and had other things to do.  When my membership renewal came in, volunteering was realy the last thing I had on my mind.  After that, I had pretty much totally forgotten about CAP.
About 4 years later, pretty well set in my career, I saw a CAP plane fly into Fresno and I walked over and talked to the crew who was from So Cal.  They were flying the GA-8.  I walked over, introduced myself and started telling some CAP stories etc etc.  Now look at me! 
When I left, it wasnt because someone screwed me or that I felt neglected or whatever.  It just didnt have a place in my life anymore.  CAP could have started flying Apaches helicopters ELT missions and I still wouldnt have been interested. 
Many people join for their kids.  Their kids join as cadets, so they join also.  When their cadets are done, so are they. 
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RVT
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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2011, 06:33:28 PM »

His article is a good piece that will serve well as a basis for a conference seminar or professional development class or at the very least a waypoint for emerging leaders to reference.  http://www.volunteerpower.com/articles/WhyPeopleQuit.asp

I'm happy to see that scheduling made the list.  As someone who works on Saturday, I am severely limited in what I can do - the the point of where giving up has crossed my mind more than a few times.
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Robert Hartigan
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2011, 06:40:27 PM »

I have to add one of my favorite quotes especially since we are discussing a problem that is a constant of any organization the size of CAP. It is from the current Mayor of Cleveland. The Honorable Frank Jackson said, "It's not that we don't know what the problems are. We've known them for years. It's not that we don't know what the solutions are. We've known those for years. The problem is we haven't done anything about it."
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<><><>#996
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FW
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2011, 08:52:43 PM »

Robert, that about says it all.   We are so ingrained with the status quo, we don't really want to change our way of doing things. And, being mired in our own inertia, it seems we just don't want to spend the energy needed to overcome it and produce positive change. 

Of course, positive change is possible.  If our leaders really wish it.... :angel:
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Stonewall
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2011, 03:30:39 AM »

I let my membership expire 3 times and twice found reasons to come back and try it again.  Both times I was utterly disappointed.  This 3rd time, after expiring in December 2010, I have decided NOT to renew yet again. 

I have a lot more fond memories than bad, and I'd like to keep it that way.  In the end, I think my personality and leadership style did not meld well with current members at the squadron level.  No fights or arguments, I just wasn't understood.  I was highly successfull as a squadron deputy commander for cadets and squadron commander.  But perhaps I have passed my prime in CAP.

1987 to 2010, I'd say I had a good run.  Maybe I'll start all over again in 9 years when my son is old enough to join.
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2011, 04:35:08 AM »

Hummmmm....could it be that most CAPTALKERS are inactive membership wise?   It would seem that most of the more prolific ones are no longer members.
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2011, 10:34:22 PM »

I think it says much of Civil Air Patrol that many CAPTalk contributors are former members. 
We need to learn from others mistakes and experiences; as well as our own.   CAPTALK gives us the Forum to exchange ideas with all.  And, as a well moderated forum, CAPTALK currently is the best (IMO) venue for this exchange.

Does anyone really have a problem with this???



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AbnMedOps
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 02:30:36 AM »

Long-time lurker, first time poster.

I am a WAY "former member", having been a cadet in the 1975-80 timeframe, now all growed-up, in the last few years of a military career, and weighing joining CAP as a Senior Member.  Additionally, at least two of my military peers have recently asked my opinion of CAP for them and their cadet aged kids.

As part of my "recon" I have chatted with CAP members encountered at airports, airshows, military installations, and other venues. Additionally, I have held my nose and plummed the internet. (I will say that CAP TALK seems the most balanced and frank resource).

Sadly I am leaning strongly away from involvement in CAP. Very sadly because I think, with SIGNIFICANT BUT ACHIEVABLE CHANGES, Civil Air Patrol could have an incredible potential for both the cadet program and for General Aviation. But I don't see it ever happening.

Here is what I have observed:

1. CAP seems stuck in the same time-warp as 1975.  The same or lower SAR statistical claims, the same dingy church basement meetings, the same wanna-be pretenders, and the same focus on scandal and backstabbing.

2. Little-to-no connection, interest, or relevance to General Aviation. Certainly nothing to appeal to the demographic with the income/net-worth required to be actively involved in GA.

3. A seeming active discouragement of pilots joining. At least 2-3 times I have been engaged by a CAP member, and when I mention "Oh, that sounds interesting, I'm a private pilot" they immediately shut me down with "Well, CAP IS NOT A FLYING CLUB."  WTF???

(Well, no [Filter Subversion], I know that CAP is not a "flying club" but ya know what? Since CAP doesn't seem to thrive very [Filter Subversion] well on it's own, maybe when I next spend some quality time with my Representative or Senator, or just some staffer or General Officer, I just might be tempted to blurt out: "Hey, those CAP clowns should be de-funded of tax money and turned into A FLYING CLUB!")

4. 2b !! Or not to be, that is the question. That comment above about Form 2b is so completely on the mark. I remember that "2B" crap from all the way back in 1975 - endless waves of witch-hunts and Stalinist purges, the rumors of which filtered down even to us cadets. Enthusiastic new senior member, pilots, ex-military, airplane owners....one after the other, all chased away. And I do not blame these achievers for "not participating" - they tried, but are not the class of people who will willingly bang their heads for more than 6-12 months without result.

Well, that's my opening rant. [darn] glad to be here!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 03:16:20 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
PHall
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2011, 02:46:27 AM »

3. A seeming active discouragement of pilots joining. At least 2-3 times I have been engaged by a CAP member, and when I mention "Oh, that sounds interesting, I'm a private pilot" they immediately shut me down with "Well, CAP IS NOT A FLYING CLUB."  WTF???

(Well, no [Filter Subversion], I know that CAP is not a "flying club" but ya know what? Since CAP doesn't seem to thrive very [Filter Subversion] well on it's own, maybe when I next spend some quality time with my Representative or Senator, or just some staffer or General Officer, I just might be tempted to blurt out: "Hey, those CAP clowns should be de-funded of tax money and turned into A FLYING CLUB!")

Probably because we have had way more then a few "new members" join just so they can fly for free. Seems they were told that flying for CAP is really cheap.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 03:16:42 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
RiverAux
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2011, 02:50:01 AM »

I certainly wouldn't view CAPTalk as a balanced representation of CAP.  The vast majority of CAP members have their heads down and get the job done.  Only a tiny number come here to discuss issues that 99% of CAP members don't really care about very much.  If you want to have a great time in CAP and do some good, immediately stop paying attention to CAPTalk or anything outside of whatever squadron you might join. 

In general I'd say that you're in a very strange area if CAP members are giving you that sort of attitude about joining as a private pilot.  However, keep in mind that we in CAP are quite often approached by pilots who very clearly are just interested in free or cheap flying and couldn't care less about our missions.  Its entirely possibly that you gave off such a vibe, whether you intended to or not. 
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rmcmanus
Recruit

Posts: 34

« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2011, 03:17:47 AM »

Wow, AbnMedOps, your post hast to be the most negative of anyone who has ever come into contact with our organization.  Sure, some of what you say is correct, but I'm willing to bet that the situations you mention were made by INDIVIDUALS and and are not representative of CAP as a whole.  It amazes me that, since 1975, you seem to have found only those who comprise the Anti-CAP crowd.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion but CAP is not a flying club.  The reason that we must remind prospective members of that fact is because so many pilots will only join if allowed to fly cheap/free.  The hard-working members of our organization are not "anti-pilot" and certainly not "anti-military," we are just frustrated when we can't get an iota of "other" work from those who join only to fly. 

Now - for you to threaten to bad-mouth CAP to your representative, senator and any general officers you encounter because you've had some bad experiences, makes me glad that you've decided to leave us alone. As much as you try to hide it, you're carrying quite a bit of venom about our organizaiton.  Actually, considering the fact that your only experience with CAP has been as a cadet, you've never had a chance to experience membership while holding a position that could allow you to make positive changes.  Certainly you must know that false allegations are common in any (relatively) large organziation. 

Good luck in your military career, Sir.  I regret that you have such a negative perception of CAP but am grateful that you have decided to stay away.  We may be far from perfect, but we're better-off without YOU!   
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MIKE
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2011, 03:21:12 AM »

Lay off the personal attacks... You know the rules.
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Mike Johnston
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