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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,145

« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 09:59:49 AM »

Regardless of who we recruit, we need to be very vigilant in who is ultimately assigned as CP officers.  Too many times, I've seen the position filled by either the last one to speak up or by the person who just wanted to do it.  Not necessarily the best candidate. 

The statement above is very accurate that too many seniors are clueless and have no desire to learn the proper way to run a cadet program.  It takes very little time for a bad CP officer to run a thriving cadet program into the ground. 

Push the training and make sure that anyone assigned to CP goes through it sooner than later.

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.

I don't disagree with the sentiment, but in far too many units the "less then best choice" is also the "only choice".
In some cases leaving the two options of "Joe" or "no unit".

There's also the non-trivial issue of someone who has held the door open for a decade with no help, mentoring, or
guidance from higher HQs - everyone knows "Jenny" is "very nice", and does "so much for her cadets", but
isn't remotely current on the program 10 years ago, let alone today, causes issues with her understanding of
CPPT, promotions, etc., etc., but if you decide "through the door or out the window" other people will also be upsets
because "this organization just uses people and then tosses them away" and leave as well.

Easy you say "go" - that's the "right" decision, but that doesn't grow new, competent staff to backfill a place no
one else would step up before.

Cadets emulate and mirror their examples, and this issue of the competency and appropriateness of cadet leaders
is a widespread problem across the entire organization.  It took decades to break it, and will take decades to fix it.

I think this is absolutely true, and a huge Catch 22.

You have a lot of situations where there are dedicated people who really do care, but know absolutely nothing. And it's not just "read the book." That works for some people, but not everyone. Some individuals need that guidance and direction, and training (both formal and informal). What you don't want to do is walk in the door, take the reigns, and go "Whoa! You're wrong! You're dead wrong! Get out!"

Now, in my case, I walked into a unit that really had that. My Commander at the time, very nice person, was absolutely clueless. I had never worked with CAP cadets before. I didn't know the regulations. I was just there to "help out" until other stuff came along on my agenda. I got placed into a role that I didn't even understand, let alone know I was officially assigned to a job. It's just me; I had to start reading up on this stuff, and it was a huge learning curve. I had disagreements with the way things were ran, but respected the chain of command and my position in it. Some of it was greatly confirmed through PDO training. I brought back what I learned and asked to sit down and discuss some ideas. Some people took it as an opportunity to let off the controls a bit because everyone was overworked; others took it as a personal stab that the new guy came in and thinks he knows better. Over time, it changed; nothing overnight. I still have issues as a CDC that those same individuals still have to chime in, and sometimes step into cadet classes, without being solicited and continuing to share incorrect information now years later. This is absolutely when I'll revert back to the Patrick Swayze method: be nice, until it's time not to be nice.

Jenny's hard work means a lot when she's all there is, and she's doing her best with strong intentions. When she starts to get that guidance, if she doesn't want to listen to it, then she's in the way and acting irresponsibly. I think so much of this goes back to the fact that people don't realize how much work a cadet program takes to run, not just in a way that is productive and worth while, but in accordance with the standards (and there are quite a few of them).

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Brit_in_CAP
Seasoned Member

Posts: 389
Unit: MER-VA-002

« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2018, 12:01:47 PM »

I think this is absolutely true, and a huge Catch 22.

You have a lot of situations where there are dedicated people who really do care, but know absolutely nothing. And it's not just "read the book." That works for some people, but not everyone. Some individuals need that guidance and direction, and training (both formal and informal). What you don't want to do is walk in the door, take the reigns, and go "Whoa! You're wrong! You're dead wrong! Get out!"

Now, in my case, I walked into a unit that really had that. My Commander at the time, very nice person, was absolutely clueless. I had never worked with CAP cadets before. I didn't know the regulations. I was just there to "help out" until other stuff came along on my agenda. I got placed into a role that I didn't even understand, let alone know I was officially assigned to a job. It's just me; I had to start reading up on this stuff, and it was a huge learning curve. I had disagreements with the way things were ran, but respected the chain of command and my position in it. Some of it was greatly confirmed through PDO training. I brought back what I learned and asked to sit down and discuss some ideas. Some people took it as an opportunity to let off the controls a bit because everyone was overworked; others took it as a personal stab that the new guy came in and thinks he knows better. Over time, it changed; nothing overnight. I still have issues as a CDC that those same individuals still have to chime in, and sometimes step into cadet classes, without being solicited and continuing to share incorrect information now years later. This is absolutely when I'll revert back to the Patrick Swayze method: be nice, until it's time not to be nice.

Jenny's hard work means a lot when she's all there is, and she's doing her best with strong intentions. When she starts to get that guidance, if she doesn't want to listen to it, then she's in the way and acting irresponsibly. I think so much of this goes back to the fact that people don't realize how much work a cadet program takes to run, not just in a way that is productive and worth while, but in accordance with the standards (and there are quite a few of them).
+1, my experience also.  Your major point- the time it takes to run a **good** cadet program - is the most misunderstood aspect of the program.  I am the CDC for the third go-round because the other choices were unwilling to train or change; my CC is the CC because he *has* the time whereas  I do not and the other choice works a rotating shift in the FD, and would have been a good choice but an absentee landlord far too often, which is how we got into a bad place initially.
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darkmatter
Forum Regular

Posts: 124

« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2018, 09:12:50 AM »

so many good points, also along the lines of cap need to stop putting seniors in a job they might not be suited for. sometimes the lack of professionalism among cadets doesint always originate from the cadets them selves. this post has done a good job at looking at the whole picture but in general i see seniors dont step back and evaluate themselves and ask "could the cadets poor professionalism be from mirroring what they see the seniors doing?" not to go to hard on seniors i will say yes the other half of the time the unprofessional ism does come straight from the cadets themselves.
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CAPLTC
Forum Regular

Posts: 134
Unit: MER

« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2018, 11:09:51 PM »

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.

It's never wrong to step back from a leadership role or training role for which you realize you are not fitted or for which you have insufficient time; plenty of work for everyone so no need to fear non-contributor status!

If you haven't got the time for the training then you haven't got the time for the role.  That applies to CP and everything else we do.

True.
There are also some phenomenally bad CP "leaders" with large-ish cadet squadrons.
Cleaning up after a toxic DCC is just as challenging.
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"Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact." -- SECDEF Mattis
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,145

« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2018, 02:20:22 PM »

so many good points, also along the lines of cap need to stop putting seniors in a job they might not be suited for. sometimes the lack of professionalism among cadets doesint always originate from the cadets them selves. this post has done a good job at looking at the whole picture but in general i see seniors dont step back and evaluate themselves and ask "could the cadets poor professionalism be from mirroring what they see the seniors doing?" not to go to hard on seniors i will say yes the other half of the time the unprofessional ism does come straight from the cadets themselves.

So true.

Lest we forget that cadets' professionalism comes from what their taught---and the fact that they're teenagers---by their senior member counterparts. Even if cadets are "inappropriately/ineffectively" teaching other cadets, it's because the seniors have failed to make that correction.
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Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 618

« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2018, 12:06:09 PM »

Model the behavior you expect and ignore the "opinions".

Let this opinion "eclipse" all others.  I agree.  Darn good advice.  Cadets are watching to see what the 'ol dudes and dudettes are doing.  They might seem to be off in a teenage hormone induced fog... but they aren't.  Model behavior and be amazed when they come out of the fog on track and launched.
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Phil Hirons, Jr.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 802
Unit: NER-RI-033

« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2018, 02:07:46 PM »

This.  If it takes little time for a bad CP officer to trash the program, and it takes a good CP officer much, much longer to restore the program.  Been there, seen that.
Likely the truest thing I've read today and probably tomorrow. :clap: :clap:
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Ways to increase professionalism among cadets?
 


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