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Eclipse
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« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2012, 03:26:20 PM »

Where?  Are you suggesting someone drive 100 miles everyweek to take over a squadron?

No, I'm suggesting that it is common for members to already be driving longer then they have to, for various reasons (group staff, wing staff, work) and when an opportunity like that opens up, they might be interested in serving closer to home.

As a matter of fact, when I originally joined, it was closer to work than home, which was providence for my ultimate experience, but
there is a group and units in my back yard.  Just recently the group near me had an opening for a new commander, and an experienced
wing staffer will be assuming that job as it is also closer to his home than Wing HQ.

It's also not that common, really, at least in my wing, for people to drive an hour+ one-way for a meeting.  200 miles round trip would be more than
I'd do, but it's not unheard of for others, especially in the areas where there is more farm than people.

Etc., Etc.,

Just because someone isn't currently on the respective roster, doesn't mean they might be a good fit for the job, in a lot of cases it
might mean they are a better fit.
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JeffDG
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2012, 03:55:49 PM »

The basic effect of term limits, whether they be here or in elections for office, is to eliminate a qualified candidate from doing the job.

Put more bluntly, they're a crutch for those who select the officeholder (voters or commanders) to avoid having to provide negative feedback to someone who is not performing, so they can just say "Sorry, Bob, but you know it's policy that it's 3 years and out." 

If someone is not performing, relieve them and put someone in who will.  If they are performing, you're creating change for change's sake, and while that sometimes provides positive results, often it just makes things worse.
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bflynn
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« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2012, 04:02:14 PM »

The basic effect of term limits, whether they be here or in elections for office, is to eliminate a qualified candidate from doing the job.

Actually, the purpose of them is to prevent one individual from accumulating power by virtue of being in an office for an extended time period.
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JeffDG
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« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2012, 04:18:01 PM »

The basic effect of term limits, whether they be here or in elections for office, is to eliminate a qualified candidate from doing the job.

Actually, the purpose of them is to prevent one individual from accumulating power by virtue of being in an office for an extended time period.
Their effect, however, is to simply remove qualified candidates from the pool of people for the office, leading to less competition and lower quality selectnees overall.
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Nathan
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« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2012, 04:48:32 PM »

The only reason that we can justify the concept of a "term limit" is if the wing commanders absolutely cannot be trusted to use their rightful authority to appoint and remove commanders responsibly. And, to be fair, there probably have been instances of such abuse or neglect of duty leading to bad commanders.

But seriously, you guys don't see the problem with this logic?

1) You tell a good commander that he has exactly three years to do everything he wants to do, which pretty severly limits the "big picture" outlook since you have no idea whether the guy who is replacing you has enough experience or ability to finish what you start. Good leaders train their replacements, sure, but no replacement is going to be able to hit the ground running on a job like this, and as is inevitable with any change of command, you're dooming squadrons to adjustment pains and slowdowns every three years, which last as long as it takes for the new squadron commander to get a feel for things.

2) You tell a bad commander that it literally doesn't matter how well he shapes up, because he's losing his job anyway at the end of his term. Doesn't seem to be a good way to encourage someone to step up and fix a flailing squadron.

3) If people honestly think that term limits are somehow going to reduce the number of petty political battles, then they need to check that their medications haven't expired. Telling every senior member in the group that the prime field job is up for grabs every three years has a pretty good chance of leading to even worse factionalism, in-fighting, and smooching-of-the-hindquarters than we see now. At least now, an obnoxious subordinate has to salute and execute, rather than undermine his squadron commander and try to set himself up for the job within the near future.

4) This isn't the cadet program, where the learning is the primary mission and everyone should get a turn. Commanding a CAP squadron doesn't carry the same sort of safety net that being the cadet commander has, and the consequences of screwing it up lead to real-life financial loss, legal problems, safety issues, and possibly the loss of the squadron itself. I frankly don't want any wing commander to be forced to replace a good commander with a poor one simply because there are only a few seniors in the struggling squadron and no one from the outside is willing to take the job.

I'm fine with periodic, mandatory reviews of a squadron commander's performance every three years, even one that is biased against the commander in which he/she must prove that they are doing well or risk getting replaced. But while term limits MAY be useful for the most extreme of cases, they're counterproductive for most units, and the fact is that even the extreme cases can be fixed through other, less encompassing means.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 04:55:31 PM by Nathan » Logged
Nathan Scalia

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bflynn
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« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2012, 04:50:27 PM »

The basic effect of term limits, whether they be here or in elections for office, is to eliminate a qualified candidate from doing the job.

Actually, the purpose of them is to prevent one individual from accumulating power by virtue of being in an office for an extended time period.
Their effect, however, is to simply remove qualified candidates from the pool of people for the office, leading to less competition and lower quality selectnees overall.

It does both.  In some sense, someone who is otherwise excellent and has served for X years becomes unqualified because of accumulated power.
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Nathan
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« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2012, 05:03:06 PM »

The basic effect of term limits, whether they be here or in elections for office, is to eliminate a qualified candidate from doing the job.

Actually, the purpose of them is to prevent one individual from accumulating power by virtue of being in an office for an extended time period.
Their effect, however, is to simply remove qualified candidates from the pool of people for the office, leading to less competition and lower quality selectnees overall.

It does both.  In some sense, someone who is otherwise excellent and has served for X years becomes unqualified because of accumulated power.

Poppycock. People become better at their jobs the longer they do them. Ever hear of being promoted to the level of incompetence? That doesn't happen if you keep people at the level they can handle well. It DOES happen if you are compelled to promote someone up to the squadron commander level every three years (and probably promote some squadron commanders past their level of competence as a result).
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Nathan Scalia

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Eclipse
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« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2012, 05:06:40 PM »

But seriously, you guys don't see the problem with this logic?

1) You tell a good commander that he has exactly three years to do everything he wants to do, which pretty severly limits the "big picture" outlook since you have no idea whether the guy who is replacing you has enough experience or ability to finish what you start. Good leaders train their replacements, sure, but no replacement is going to be able to hit the ground running on a job like this, and as is inevitable with any change of command, you're dooming squadrons to adjustment pains and slowdowns every three years, which last as long as it takes for the new squadron commander to get a feel for things.

Whether the "next guy" is qualified, isn't really the "current guy's problem".  Yes, they should be working on training a replacement, but trained or not, the clock is ticking.  Also, CAP is supposed to be a standardized environment, and at the unit level there is very little "big picture" to be concerned with - the goal at the unit level is managing and mentoring the day-to-day CAP needs of individual members, not large-scale planning, etc.  A unit is the working arm of the wing CC's goals and mandate, which in turn is supposed to be fulfilling the mission by supporting those units.

Assuming the person is reasonably qualified and current in CAP, there should be very little learning curve beyond "where are the light switches" to deal with.

Year 1 - Basic Transition tasks, staff reviews, and charting the course.

Year 2 - work the program with the new staff, adjust as necessary.

Year 3 - Begin training replacements and looking towards new personal goals.
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bflynn
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« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2012, 05:37:09 PM »

Poppycock. People become better at their jobs the longer they do them. Ever hear of being promoted to the level of incompetence? That doesn't happen if you keep people at the level they can handle well. It DOES happen if you are compelled to promote someone up to the squadron commander level every three years (and probably promote some squadron commanders past their level of competence as a result).

It isn't poppycock, it's something that happens.  You've never seen someone who has been in a position of power for a long time and people are afraid to question them based on their seniority?  Col Holland?  FDR? 

You're talking about the peter principle, yes of course it happens.  But the real issue with the peter principle isn't that someone fails in a position they're promoted into, but that they're not removed from a position that they're clearly not qualified for.  And to be fair, few people fail outright, they're just not as good initially as the outgoing guy.  That's normal and a good thing, it's the power limiting factor of a change of command in action.

I wouldn't suggest three years, but certainly there is a point where someone has been in place too long and is considered "untouchable".
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RiverAux
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« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2012, 05:53:59 PM »

Keep in mind that having term limits doesn't remove a wing/group commander's ability to get rid of people before that term ends. 

And a good squadron commanders life doesn't end just because their term does.  They will then be well-positioned to move up in the CAP command/staff structure if they so desire.  Stagnation at the group/wing staff level is probably even worse than that seen at squadron commander level.  And, many former squadron commanders will be more than happy to stick around as a worker bee with limited responsibilities in their home squadron. 
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Nathan
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« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 06:11:09 PM »

Poppycock. People become better at their jobs the longer they do them. Ever hear of being promoted to the level of incompetence? That doesn't happen if you keep people at the level they can handle well. It DOES happen if you are compelled to promote someone up to the squadron commander level every three years (and probably promote some squadron commanders past their level of competence as a result).

It isn't poppycock, it's something that happens.  You've never seen someone who has been in a position of power for a long time and people are afraid to question them based on their seniority?  Col Holland?  FDR? 

You're talking about the peter principle, yes of course it happens.  But the real issue with the peter principle isn't that someone fails in a position they're promoted into, but that they're not removed from a position that they're clearly not qualified for.  And to be fair, few people fail outright, they're just not as good initially as the outgoing guy.  That's normal and a good thing, it's the power limiting factor of a change of command in action.

I wouldn't suggest three years, but certainly there is a point where someone has been in place too long and is considered "untouchable".

Not buying it. The Peter Principle has nothing to do with "not removing someone from a position they aren't qualified for."

And as long as the Wing Commander has the authority to remove squadron commander, there isn't such a thing as "being untouchable" by virtue of position alone. Political status is not so much based on position as it is on networking status, which definitely allows even a former commander to have significant influence on how things are run. If you're worried about the super-villains of CAP, then the goal is to prevent them from getting the position in the first place. Once they have the position, the damage is done already.

And, amusingly enough, the only way a lot of these nuisances are going to have the opportunity to serve as a squadron commander is if the wing commander is forced to appoint them in a smaller squadron with no other alternatives.
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Nathan Scalia

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MSG Mac
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« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2012, 07:35:46 PM »

In my experience most Commanders (SQ, GP, and Wing) don't serve out thier full terms. In those rare instances where they do become Commander for Life, their staffs either stagnate, in the belief that Col so and so will take care of that or leave for other opportunites where they can advance.
As for Wing Commanders replacing non functioning Commanders I was once in a Squadron where the Commander let his membership lapse and it took three months and an email to the Wing King asking if he either knew or gave a [darn] that that particular unit had informed higher HQ (Gp and Wing) of the situation, filed a F27 to have a new commander appointed, and hadn't had any response. I did however receive several phone calls within two hours from the Vice Commander and Chief of Staff informing me that the WING/CC did give a [darn] about his units.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 07:42:42 PM by MSG Mac » Logged
Michael P. McEleney
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jimmydeanno
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2012, 10:14:54 PM »

I think the most compelling reason for term limits is the "breath of fresh air" that come with a new commander.  Many commanders that have been in a position for 10 years may be doing a "good enough" job, but that doesn't mean that with new leadership the squadron can't move out of the plateau that it has reached.

Considering that most CAP units are small, and barely known in the communities they support, it makes me wonder how many squadron commanders are even doing a "good enough" job, never mind being someone I'd want in the position indefinitely. 
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luscioman
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« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2012, 02:18:18 PM »

So how would you evaluate this?

Squadron X
Commander took over in 2002 as a Captain. Commander was a former cadet and was 28 at the time of taking over the unit. When he first started as commander unit strength was 42 members and it was a composite squadron. As of last month the squadron has 117 members in total and peaked in 2011 at 124 members. The unit supports most of the groups emergency services functions which include funded missions. The commander is the only IC in the unit and has about every other es speciality you can have. He also has a great deal cadet program knowledge. There is no other senior in his unit or group with the expierence or knowledge that he has. He also serves in wing in a staff position. When others were asked to take over aa cc nobody wanted to take on that responsiblity and the expectation the squadron needed to continue to be this succusesful. Eventually someone did take it due to the term limit. To make a statement that the commander or squadron is stagnent   

(Taken from his cap resume)
2003- Squadron of Distinction for wing
2003- Wing Squadron commander of the year
2003- Color Guard Team won wing, region and placed at national comp- Commander was escort
2004- Squadron of discting for wing
2004- Drill Team won wing comp- Commander was escort
2005- Commander was wing senior of the year
2005- Squadron of merit wing
2005- Commander was senior of the year for wing
2005- Commader was commander of the year for wing
2005- Color Guard won national competition- escort
2006- Squadron won drill team wing- escort
2007- Squadron was squadron of year wing
2008- Drill team won wing comp- Commander was escort
2010- Drill team won wing comp- Commander was escort
2011- Color Guard won wing, reg and went to national- Commander was escort
2011- Commander was es staff member of the year for wing

From 2002-2011 Unit was Composite squadron of the group every year


On the flip side
There is another unit in the group that has had the commnader for 11 years. The squadron has a total of 24 members 11 of which are cadets. They have only had 2 cadets renew from the last year. The cadet program is very weak and they have not had any cadet promotions in almost a year. They cannot find someone to take over the unit so i suspect it will close.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2012, 02:30:37 PM »

So how would you evaluate this?

With that level of experience, CAP would be better served with his having a broader role then as a unit CC, and further, he should be more than
capable of mentoring a replacement, probably several.  As a Group or Wing staffer, he'd be able to help the struggling units fix their programs.

His resume also has "issues" - "Distinction" is a Region award, Merit is the award at the wing level.  I'm sure his unit does a fine job, but the
Merit and distinction awards are cadet-focused, as is the rest of his resume.  If this is a composite squadron, that's actually somewhat of a problem,
and one I would address if he was under my command.  I can point to plenty of units that win these awards each year based on a subjective
decision by the approver, when in fact they are nothing special.  My unit won it in 2007, and while it went to me as CC, the credit and effort
was on the CDC's staff.   My only role was in setting the framework.

With 117 members, he's not a one-man show, and those CD's on his staff should be given the chance to run things their way, even if their way is a continuation of his way.

He also should not be serving on wing staff if he is a commander, this is a personal opinion and pet peeve of mine - we create these little inward spirals of chain of command, and then wonder why people not in the spiral are frustrated about cronyism. Commander is a full-time job.

Your picture paints a member with experience who is an asset to CAP, he gets a comm-comm and a job offer when his term is up.

There is another unit in the group that has had the commnader for 11 years. The squadron has a total of 24 members 11 of which are cadets. They have only had 2 cadets renew from the last year. The cadet program is very weak and they have not had any cadet promotions in almost a year. They cannot find someone to take over the unit so i suspect it will close.

Then it should close.

This picture is one where everyone involved found better ways to spend their time, and no one, including the cadets' parents saw enough value in CAP
to make the effort needed to keep things moving. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 02:35:07 PM by Eclipse » Logged


luscioman
Recruit

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« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2012, 02:48:19 PM »

So how would you evaluate this?

His resume also has "issues" - "Distinction" is a Region award, Merit is the award at the wing level.  I'm sure his unit does a fine job, but the
Merit and distinction awards are cadet-focused, as is the rest of his resume.  If this is a composite squadron, that's actually somewhat of a problem, 

I know the regs but I will find you several units that have won "wing squadron of disctinction."
http://www.plymouthcap.org/
http://www.northtampacadetsquadron.com/

Also how is winning an award "somewhat of a problem?" can you explain that? I put the awards he won and also put "he serves in a wing staff position." in the top. In addition he is a rated IC and has about every es speciality as I also put.
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jeders
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« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2012, 02:56:40 PM »

So how would you evaluate this?
...
When others were asked to take over aa cc nobody wanted to take on that responsiblity and the expectation the squadron needed to continue to be this succusesful.

So in a world with no term limit expectations, instead of training a successor this hard charger gets burned out. Then half the squadron leaves over night because no one knows, or wants, to step up. With a hard limit in place he knows that there is a point when he will be relieved of command and he needs to make sure that someone is trained to take over.

I'm usually against term limits below wing, and I think 3 years with the option of one more is too short. But a 5 year term limit with no limit on the number of terms would help solve a lot of continuity issues. It would also allow commanders like the one quoted above to go on to help a greater number of members.
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If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse
Major Carrales
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« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2012, 03:03:38 PM »

The situation should not be that a Commander is shouldering the whole load.  There should be every attempt to staff the posts in the unit with people who can accomplish the task at hand.  If this is the case, the Commander is an "administrator" and "puppet master" who coordinates the staff.  If that is done a "rotation" of staff officers into Command would be very reasonable.

No commander is, or should be, an ISLAND....and if they choose to be they will end up bikini atoll.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:35:30 PM by Major Carrales » Logged
"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

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Nathan
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« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2012, 09:43:48 PM »

The longer the terms, and the less compulsory the replacement, then the more I would be okay with the concept.

As I said, I have no problem with evaluating commanders periodically to make sure they are doing their job (like parole, basically). But if there is EVER the possibility that a good commander would HAVE to be forced to switch out with a bad one, then the system is in a worse place than where we are now. We simply can't afford to lose the good guys when we have them.

The overall solution is, of course, better wing oversight of how their commanders are operating. I'm not entirely sure why we're sitting here trying to figure out ways to accommodate wings with bad oversight instead of fixing the fact that the bad oversight exists in the first place. If we could trust our wing commanders to appoint the best commander available for the job, then there is absolutely no point in term limits.

And if we give (some) of our wing commanders the benefit of the doubt, the fact that a bad leader is in command of a squadron isn't necessarily evidence that wing screwed up. It could be that there are simply no suitable replacements. I have no doubt in my mind that there are wings dropping the ball when it comes to appointing their squadron commanders, but if they're the problem, then we should be aiming our treatments at the wing itself. Otherwise, we're not doing much more than changing the problem. Instead of having bad commanders stick around too long, we have good commanders who never get enough time to actually fix the units before the next (possibly bad) commander takes over.
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Nathan Scalia

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luscioman
Recruit

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« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2012, 12:54:18 AM »

Eclipse you have a lot information on this topic and a lot of experience. So what benchmarks would you use to evaluate a strong unit and its commander? Do you currently evaluate units in your wing as a group or wing officer? Also please expand on why a unit receiving awards is a problem and how you would correct that if they were under your command. Thanks for your guidance on the topic.
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