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jeders
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« on: April 21, 2011, 02:11:20 PM »

I know what a TAC officer IS and DOES, but I want to know about the acronym itself. In reading the TXWG TAC Officer guide here, they say that TAC is short for Tactical, which doesn't make much sense since we're not storming building with the SWAT team. In the Army, and I seem to remember it being in the Air Force too, TAC stands for Training, Advising, and Counseling, which would makes a lot more sense considering what TACs do.

As I've researched this online, it seems that in CAP, using the term Tactical Officer instead of Training, Advising, and Counseling Officer is somewhat widespread. So my questions are, where/when did this come from and what does your wing think TAC means?
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a2capt
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 02:54:56 PM »

When they yell, "attack!" you come running.

I'm with the Air Force use of the acronym myself, as you're there to offer exactly that, advice and counseling, and a bit of training at our activities. Helping keep track of a subset of attendees at a cadet activity.
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NCRblues
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 03:16:05 PM »

I think this is just one of those things in CAP that took on a life of its own. When i was a cadet at my basic encampment we were introduced to our TAC, told what he would do, but never what the acronym stood for. So a few days into the encampment all the cadets were calling them tactical officers.

If you do not educate people on the proper ways, they will fill the void with whatever sounds the "coolest".
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DC
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 03:19:08 PM »

One could argue that Tactical Officers aid in the 'tactical level' execution of encampments, rather than dealing with the more 'strategic level' planning and oversight. One definition of 'tactical' in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is "of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose", which I think is an apt description of a tactical officer's job at encampment. They work with a single flight, collectively helping the encampment achieve the right training atmosphere and helping with the overall execution of the activity.

I've heard both terms, and use them interchangeably myself, both work.
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Larry Mangum
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 03:33:20 PM »

If I remember correctly, while at Lowry AFB for tech school (76, 77) we had Senior Training  Adviser's (STA) and Training Adviser's (TA) rather then TAC officers.  Could it be that TAC is a corruption of that terminology.

BTW the AF still has TA's and STA's.
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Larry Mangum, Lt Col CAP
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 04:14:21 PM »

"TAC" is not short for "tactical", it is an acronym for:

T - Teach

A - Advise

C - Counsel
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coudano
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 04:27:59 PM »

"TAC" is not short for "tactical", it is an acronym for:

T - Teach

A - Advise

C - Counsel

This is the way i've always treated it.
And in my opinion, most implementations of TAC that i've seen have been flat wrong.
The tac is not just a van driver and blister checker.
And most certainly should not be directly teaching advising or counseling the in-flight cadets.

Imho the TAC should be essentially mentoring the flight staff.
(of course driving, safety, and blister duty as well, but almost as ancillary roles)

*and  med checker in a former life, but we don't really do that anymore, i guess
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Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 04:34:42 PM »

This is the definition from the ILWG Spring Encampment Site:

"...We consider our TACs to be an integral part of the event, and therefore seek out members with
the ability to be both influential and invisible at the same time.
 
The TAC's basic mission:
         Insure at all times that the cadets are safe.
         Mentor and advise cadet leaders who need guidance.
         Act as a front-line counselor for cadets having difficulty with the experience.
         Provide feedback to the Senior staff regarding the "temperature" of the event.
 
That's the "influential " component.
 
The "invisible " part is more difficult.  Just as we hope our cadets excel, sometimes life's
most valuable lessons are learned from failure.  Effective TACs understand they are not part of the cadet
chain of command, and must walk the fine line between being helpful and letting situations unfold in safe
but "less than successful" ways to allow our cadet leaders to gain valuable experience..."
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jeders
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 06:00:13 PM »

"TAC" is not short for "tactical", it is an acronym for:

T - Teach

A - Advise

C - Counsel

Here's the really sad part, at least with TXWG. The TAC Officer Guide defines it as Tactical officer. However, the Encampment Training Manual defines it like you have, in a chapter titled Tactical Officer. People just don't pay attention to anything it seems and instead just make things up.

This is the definition from the ILWG Spring Encampment Site:

"...We consider our TACs to be an integral part of the event, and therefore seek out members with
the ability to be both influential and invisible at the same time.
 
The TAC's basic mission:
         Insure at all times that the cadets are safe.
         Mentor and advise cadet leaders who need guidance.
         Act as a front-line counselor for cadets having difficulty with the experience.
         Provide feedback to the Senior staff regarding the "temperature" of the event.
 
That's the "influential " component.
 
The "invisible " part is more difficult.  Just as we hope our cadets excel, sometimes life's
most valuable lessons are learned from failure.  Effective TACs understand they are not part of the cadet
chain of command, and must walk the fine line between being helpful and letting situations unfold in safe
but "less than successful" ways to allow our cadet leaders to gain valuable experience..."


I definitely like this.
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ol'fido
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 06:38:27 PM »

I believe that in the bygone days of CAP and WIWAC, a Tac officer WAS short for Tactical Officer. This position was most likely a reflection of the "Tactical" officers at the service academies who were/are commissioned officers who advise and guide the cadet leaders. However, as the job at CAP encampments evolved and as we became more "corporate" in our thinking the "Tac" became the TAC as in Teach, Advise, Counsel.

Bob's description is good and basically the same as we use at the Summer Encampment.
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 10:44:45 PM »

I learned it as Tactical Officer at the NJWG encampment in 1966.

YMMV.
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Dave Bowles
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PHall
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2011, 01:43:34 AM »

The CAWG Encampment Training Manual (aka, The ETM) has a chapter on the history of encampments and has a story on how TAC Officers got their name.

www.cawgcadets.org        Activities  ->  Encampment  -> ETM
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: What is a TAC Officer.
 


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