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Майор Хаткевич
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« on: October 11, 2012, 05:00:29 PM »

As a relatively new SM, I noticed one big thing - very few cadets turned SM. Why is that? I know some people walk away for a bit (college, work, family, etc), but come back and join at some point, but these people tend to be almost as rare as a cadet aging out and turning SM.


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Eclipse
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 05:03:52 PM »

Most kids in their 20's are, naturally, more interested in themselves, their careers, and making their own nest.

It's not until things settle down / slow down a bit, maturity kicks in, and they want to start to give back or
make things better, etc.
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 05:11:00 PM »

College/Military Service tends to happen right around the time cadets are eligible to become SM's, so it makes sense many cadets move on to other things during that critical period.  It would behoove CAP and squadrons, however, to "keep tabs" on their former cadets and where they end up after college/military service and see if they can't be recruited back once their lives settle down a bit.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 05:17:52 PM »

There are some pros and cons to cadets transferring to senior.

From my experience with cadets that leave, they want to focus on collage for awhile or enlist in one of the Branches.

Most Wings have a rule that cadet-to-senior have to stay out of the cadet program for at least a year (sometimes more, some less), and that's a huge turn off.
I see the reasoning behind it on some aspects. Learn the senior side, distance from cadets, learn your role, ect...
Most seniors think that cadets moving over to the dark side still think like a 12 year old kid, when that's not the case.

Cadets that transfer to senior can be the biggest player when it comes to the cadets, because they are "with the times" when it comes to relating to them, and the cadets are more likely to seek their advise.

When you take someone out of a program that they have been in for 5+ years, they aren't too happy and quit.
Why?
When they pick a specialty track away from the CP, they are moved in with the "older crowd" who still think of them as that 12 year old cadet, and makes them uncomfortable.
Now this isn't always the case, just my experience with it. (I don't feel the awkwardness like others have)

I would recommend to any cadet that wants to transfer over, study the senior side before you do! Learn how the PD works, what they need to do to start on a specialty track, whatever they can do to get their foot in the door to make the move easier.

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Eclipse
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 05:27:19 PM »

Most Wings have a rule that cadet-to-senior have to stay out of the cadet program for at least a year (sometimes more, some less), and that's a huge turn off.
I see the reasoning behind it on some aspects. Learn the senior side, distance from cadets, learn your role, ect...
Most seniors think that cadets moving over to the dark side still think like a 12 year old kid, when that's not the case.

Actually, I don't think many wings do this.  I think they should, but far too many never give it a thought.
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CDCTF
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 05:49:05 PM »


When they pick a specialty track away from the CP, they are moved in with the "older crowd" who still think of them as that 12 year old cadet, and makes them uncomfortable.


I am one of those rare few that aged out and have elected to turn SM.

I know why some, including myself to a point, don't want to rejoin. You hit the nail on the head with the treatment. As a cadet, most SMs think you're 12, even though you're clearly a 20 year old, third year engineering student that reads the Wall Street Journal (my case). That treatment translates once you switch over from cadet to SM, just when you thought you may finally get some respect. Even though you may have 3-5 years experience in CAP, they often look at CP experience as essentially irrelevant. In some cases it is, in most cases it isn't. As a mature cadet that has lead, you've dealt with ES, CP and Aerospace Education, which encompasses all three of our missions.

For me, it has been hard to balance an engineering course load and CAP, even just one night a week. I do it b/c I want to better my SQ b/c really I've never been 100% (heck, even 5%) happy with the way my SQ runs. That has motivated me to stay in, but not everyone has that motivation.

I think a lot take a "break" from CAP and it quickly becomes a thing of the past, something they'll never rejoin, they lose the passion and that's something that is just not easily regained.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 06:02:42 PM »

As a cadet, most SMs think you're 12, even though you're clearly a 20 year old, third year engineering student that reads the Wall Street Journal (my case).

Most 20 year olds in college have many miles to travel before they will be taken seriously by most adults.  Having to make your own way, write monthly checks, and being responsible for other people's well-being will bring you the authority of experience that college and the WSJ can't.

I know several mature cadets who can walk the line very well, and far too many who believe that just their diamonds give them a moral
imperative to "fix" CAP.   They walk in having been "big cheese" last week, find themselves a SMWOG this week and don't like not standing
at the front of the room, even though their relevant experience wouldn't place them there (yet).

Leading adults is a lot different then leading adolescents.
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Cool Mace
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 06:21:02 PM »

As a cadet, most SMs think you're 12, even though you're clearly a 20 year old, third year engineering student that reads the Wall Street Journal (my case).

Most 20 year olds in college have many miles to travel before they will be taken seriously by most adults.  Having to make your own way, write monthly checks, and being responsible for other people's well-being will bring you the authority of experience that college and the WSJ can't.

I know several mature cadets who can walk the line very well, and far too many who believe that just their diamonds give them a moral
imperative to "fix" CAP.   They walk in having been "big cheese" last week, find themselves a SMWOG this week and don't like not standing
at the front of the room, even though their relevant experience wouldn't place them there (yet).

Leading adults is a lot different then leading adolescents.


Yes, for some reason new seniors must "prove" themselves when there is no need to. Just being in collage, working in a full time career job and keeping up with CAP is not nearly enough.  :o

Eclipse, you second point was very bold (granted, about 99% of your posts are  >:D ). Being a 20 year old C/Maj/Lt Col/Col for some reason isn't enough to grant them the respect they deserve?
I don't think most cadets that transfer expect to be the CC's right hand (CDC or DCS) any time soon. But they do have more knowledge on the cadet side than just being a senior member will ever have. If you don't live that life, then you can't fully know.

Again, I don't think 99% of cadets that transfer over expect to be "leading" anyone right off the bat. We still have to "put our time in", just like any other brand new senior. But here's the difference.
Most cadets turning senior have been in for more than a few years by the time comes, and know more than just Joe Smith off the street. Other seniors should still show the proper respect to the "Transfers" that they earned as a cadet.

I haven't had any issue with this myself (or anything big enough to matter), but I have seen it done before.

YMMV
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johnnyb47
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 06:25:27 PM »

Collage = (From the French: coller, to glue, French pronunciation: [kɔ.laːʒ]) is a technique of art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
A College = (Latin: collegium) is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. Usage of the word college varies in English-speaking nations. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, an institution within a university, an institution offering vocational education, or a secondary school.

Sorry, it was killing me. :)
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Cool Mace
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 06:35:10 PM »

Collage = (From the French: coller, to glue, French pronunciation: [kɔ.laːʒ]) is a technique of art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
A College = (Latin: collegium) is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. Usage of the word college varies in English-speaking nations. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, an institution within a university, an institution offering vocational education, or a secondary school.

Sorry, it was killing me. :)

Thank you, Johnny. I thought it looked wrong, but went with it anyway.
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johnnyb47
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Van Dyke Cadet Squadron
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 06:53:51 PM »

I'm here to help!

On the subject:
I think it has to do with the crummy jobs a 21 year old has to take to get into the work force, long school hours for those in college, that out of place feeling a lot of us had when we turned 20-21 (cant hang at the kids table but not old enough to sit at the old farts table) and they lack common ground with the average senior member.
After business is done and it's time to chit chat most of our seniors talk about their kids who are almost as old as a recently crossed over SM would be or, god forbid, all teh different "old people" ailments/surgeries we've been going through.

In short I think it's a combination of life changes and failure in the SM ranks (one side or the other) to find enough common ground to keep the new SM coming back.
 
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Capt
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 07:29:34 PM »



In short I think it's a combination of life changes and failure in the SM ranks (one side or the other) to find enough common ground to keep the new SM coming back.


This reason right here is why I started studying the senior side when I was 19. I get along great with about 98% of the seniors in my Wing, and have a lot in common with them thanks to this.
I would encourage any cadet that age to make friends on the senior side when they feel comfortable to do so. Finding the common interest is a huge part of the transition!
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arajca
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 07:31:34 PM »

I have seen far more cadet-turned-to-senior members who have this crazy idea that they'll be able to fix everything that's wrong with the unit's cadet program without having a clue as to how the back-of-the-house works. I've lost count of how many times I've heard these members talk about "taking over the squadron" as soon as they turn 21.

As for having to 'prove' themselves, yes, they do. Before they get into a leadership position, they need to show they have made the mental switch from cadet to senior member, which is very difficult for many. And no, just because you were a C/Maj, C/Lt Col, or C/Col does not mean you understand how the cadet program runs, despite what the NB thinks.
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Garibaldi
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2012, 07:33:15 PM »

Life choices. I've known a few cadets who became seniors at 18 who decided to stick with it, and a few more who decided after a few months that the military was a better option. Right now, we have a 19 year old TFO former Spaatzen who is in college and is as active as life lets him be.

Most of the active seniors in my unit, with 3 other exceptions, have zero cadet experience: myself, the CC (who was also a Spaatz cadet. Turns out he joined 3 years after I did and has had a plethora of life and CAP experience that I do not. After 5 years I managed to get to the lofty grade of C/SSGT and no position higher than element leader), and the aforementioned TFO and his brother, also a Spaatzen, who is also a Major.

Many former cadets have issues separating themselves from their former cadet friends, like Johnny said, even if they were superior to them as cadets. There's also the issue of money. College students and those just starting out in the workforce have little extra money for CAP, or time for that matter. Once they see that pretty much anything they want to do as a SM costs money they don't have, they tend to get disillusioned. That, and actually having to work for a CAP living in a job that needs to be done that they may not necessarily want to do, like logistics or historian (nothing against either of those jobs).
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jimmydeanno
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2012, 07:40:37 PM »

My unit is probably well outside the norm when it comes to this situation.  About 75% of my seniors are former cadets, and our average senior age is about 27.  The cadets that have graduated or are in college have transitioned to senior membership, but they aren't part of my unit any longer.

I think that a lot of it has to do with approaching the subject before the day that they arrive at the time to make the decision.  From my experience as a cadet, becoming a senior member just wasn't something that was thought about.

Additionally, with career building, family starting, college, military life, etc., often the demands for time are far greater than what they can give as they adjust to their new-found independence.  For example, a cadet that joins the Air Force is going to find themselves going to BMT, Tech School, getting to their first base.  This is the time when being active in CAP is going to first be a possibility.  However, now they have to work on becoming proficient in their jobs, passing their CDCs, and getting enough stuff done to get promoted.  Mix this in with deployments, etc., and you may have a senior member, but not a very active one.

I do think that Eclipse has a good sense of the majority of cadets that do turn senior, however.  Even highly successful cadets that earn the Spaatz, or whatever, often have a difficult time transitioning because being IN the cadet program, and RUNNING the cadet program are vastly different.  As a cadet, you get the opportunity to work with adults that are running the program.  As an adult, you get to work with adults who aren't in the program.  These two scenarios have vastly different expectations of results, and there is little to no safety net for the latter. 

So, it's no wonder that experienced officers have reservations about putting a brand new cadet -> senior member and putting them in some sort of leadership position, despite all the "experience" that they have.  I'd love to take the majority of our seniors and make them Deputy for Cadets or Seniors, but between their life demands and lack of experience, the end result wouldn't be very good.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2012, 08:21:24 PM »

I'm not particularly worried about the small numbers of those that go straight from cadet to senior for all the reasons mentioned above. 

However, as a former cadet that rejoined about 10 years later I do think there is a pool of hundreds of thousands of former cadets that could potential be recruited as seniors. 

The problem is maintaining contact with these former cadets through the 10-20 years most will take to get established before they are truly able and interested in rejoining the program.  Obviously their old address, phone number, and email addresses are likely to be invalid. 

I think social media may actually be helping maintain this link between cadets and CAP.  If they "liked" CAP's facebook page as a cadet, they'll probably maintain that "like" going forward and get constant reminders about what CAP is doing and sooner or later that might draw them back in.  The rise of social media is probably too new for this effect to be noticed, but I think it has potential. 

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Captain Needa
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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2012, 08:42:24 PM »

As a cadet, most SMs think you're 12, even though you're clearly a 20 year old, third year engineering student that reads the Wall Street Journal (my case).

Most 20 year olds in college have many miles to travel before they will be taken seriously by most adults.  Having to make your own way, write monthly checks, and being responsible for other people's well-being will bring you the authority of experience that college and the WSJ can't.

I know several mature cadets who can walk the line very well, and far too many who believe that just their diamonds give them a moral
imperative to "fix" CAP.   They walk in having been "big cheese" last week, find themselves a SMWOG this week and don't like not standing
at the front of the room, even though their relevant experience wouldn't place them there (yet).

Leading adults is a lot different then leading adolescents.


Yes, for some reason new seniors must "prove" themselves when there is no need to. Just being in collage, working in a full time career job and keeping up with CAP is not nearly enough.  :o

Eclipse, you second point was very bold (granted, about 99% of your posts are  >:D ). Being a 20 year old C/Maj/Lt Col/Col for some reason isn't enough to grant them the respect they deserve?
I don't think most cadets that transfer expect to be the CC's right hand (CDC or DCS) any time soon. But they do have more knowledge on the cadet side than just being a senior member will ever have. If you don't live that life, then you can't fully know.

Again, I don't think 99% of cadets that transfer over expect to be "leading" anyone right off the bat. We still have to "put our time in", just like any other brand new senior. But here's the difference.
Most cadets turning senior have been in for more than a few years by the time comes, and know more than just Joe Smith off the street. Other seniors should still show the proper respect to the "Transfers" that they earned as a cadet.

I haven't had any issue with this myself (or anything big enough to matter), but I have seen it done before.

YMMV

Speaking as a Senior Member who joined at the tender age of 18 (who has a sister and brother about to make the Cadet to SM jump), I can certainly relate to both sides of this.  I don't think cadets should expect any special treatment though.  They should be listened to--same as any other adult member with experience in a certain area--but they have to prove themselves as well.  In fact, they do have it a bit harder, just by the very nature of switching.  They used to be a cadet, but now they're not.  That's going to take time for EVERYONE to get used to--cadets and fellow seniors alike--and the former cadet has to be able to re-forge their place in the squadron.  This is especially true with cadets moving to SM in their same unit.

And while I have incredible respect for those who have achieved their Spaatz award, sorry, it's not an all-inclusive achievement that makes you automatically smarter than everyone else.   :o

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SarDragon
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2012, 08:47:42 PM »

I crossed over a very long time ago. One thing that helped me was the 1+ year break in participation caused by Navy boot camp and the follow-on tech school. I turned SM when I enlisted, but maintained my membership. The other thing that helped was the move to a different unit in a different wing, when I finally started participating again.
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Dave Bowles
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2012, 10:11:41 PM »

I never had time.  Becoming a Senior Member was the farthest thing from my mind when I graduate High School.  I graduated on a Thursday night, and Saturday morning I was at MCRD San Diego.  It wasnt until about a year after I got out of the Marines that I was moving some things out of my parents house and pulled my cadet uniform shirt and pants out of the garment bag that was hanging in a closet.  Complete blues with ribbons just as they were when I hung them up for the last time 6 years earlier.  Even had a ketchup stain on them from my little going away thing I had at McDonalds on the way home from my last meeting.   Talk about interesting flashbacks to some of the greatest times of my life! 

So I looked up the local unit, Hemet Ryan Sq 59 and went to a meeting.  And there it started all over again.  I never viewed being a cadet as a transition into being a SM.  To me, they were to totally separate organizations if you will, with two totally separate missions.  My view, and still is, that being a cadet sets you up to get started on life more mature and able than the average teen.  Being a SM was something to come back to after I was an established adult with something to offer.  To be totally honest, if I hadn't pulled that uniform out of my old childhood closet that lazy afternoon, I dont know that CAP would have entered back into my mind.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2012, 11:17:58 PM »

FWIW.....the BSA has this same problem....most scouts move on to do other things and then don't get invovled again until they have kids of their own.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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