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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Cadet Uniform -- Too Many Ribbons and Badges (A cadet perspective)
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Starbird
Member

Posts: 83
Unit: NER-NH-056

« on: April 07, 2018, 12:22:28 PM »

Hello all, newly minted NHWG C/2lt here....  who is slightly annoyed that cadets have so many ribbons and badges authorized, for reasons I will attempt to explain.

I know this is a topic that has been discussed a number of times here on the board here, but this is still an issue that irks me.

I'll start with ribbons.  We cadets have too many meaningless promotion ribbons.  I get it, its nice for the younger cadets to feel accomplished after earning every stripe, but....

1)  We really don't need a ribbon for every promotion, that's what the shiny new stripe/circle/diamond on our collars/shoulders are for.  Adding a ribbon as well seems gaudy, and for most promotions (excluding milestones) is kind of meaningless.
2)  Short stacking is great, except.... most cadets refuse to do it.  I get the sense that many feel they will appear "inferior" should they only be wearing their short stack (aka meaningful ribbons), a notion which needs to be kicked in the tail.
3)  It looks kind of ridiculous.  Especially when a new cadet officer (2lt) is wearing as many ribbons as an actual Lt Col either in CAP or in the Air Force would be, while the actual SM/AF 2lt counterpart on average wears 3 ribbons, give or take.
4)  Which leads me to my next point... Not enough space on the uniform.  Especially for cadets who wear the old style uniform, any GT/Air Crew Badges, if worn with full stack, are ridiculously high up on the uniform.  I've even seen a cadet with his aircrew badge almost up to his epaulet/shoulder board.  It just looks wrong.  :o
5) Finally.... and this is my biggest biggest gripe... The "everyone is a winner by default mentality."  It seems that handing out ribbons like candy can be detrimental to cadet motivation and purpose.  It is my personal belief that worn awards should be reserved for significant achievements, not for simply doing what every other cadet is supposed to do anyway.  Ribbon racks become meaningless, in my mind anyway, when they are so overpopulated that nearly every rack is identical with mild variation.  I feel that focus should be on operational and excellence awards, and not so much "I passed two tests with an 80%, yay, another ribbon."

Maybe I'm raining on everyone's parade, but I just feel that there are too many cadet ribbons.  For this reason, unless I'm going in front of a board, I always short stack.  I feel more comfortable in uniform drawing less attention to myself, I guess.

Now on to the badges...

Maybe I'm not going to come across as fair or kind on this one.

I'd like to see the following go away:


- NRA Marksmanship Badge (Not really related to the CAP Mission, and also, the NRA is taking so much political heat right now and is also taking a pretty heavy political stance, and CAP is not supposed to associate politically.)

- Certain Specialty Track Badges (I'm referring to to the ones that are supposed to be issued to senior members who have held a operational duty position (Comms Badge, ES Badge) For some reason we give cadets a free pass to wear these even though they cannot meat the final requirement (serving in a senior member duty slot) That being said, I wouldn't mind so much if there were distinct cadet versions available for wear, without the final requirement to obtain a tech rating.  I just don't approve of cadets wearing badges that would otherwise require senior members to achieve a higher standard.  I'll point out that every other badge that CAP issues/wears that is available for cadets requires cadets to meet the exact same standard as our senior member counterparts.)

- Pre-Solo Badge (Admittedly conflicted on this one.  Yes, its nice to give a badge to the cadets that weren't eligible to solo at flight academy, but once again... the "everyone is a winner mentality" is bugging me here.)

I'm assuming there will be vast and varying opinions on this one.

I guess if it were up to me, I'd change the following:

- Stop awarding and phase out all cadet promotion ribbons except for the milestone achievements, and perhaps the Curry ribbon, for the new cadets sake
- De-authorize the NRA Marksmanship Badge
- De-authorize Specialty Track Badges for cadets that were originally intended for operational seniors
- De-authorize the Pre-Solo Badge (maybe)

+ If necessary (I go back and forth on this one) authorize DISTINCTIVE cadet specialty track badges that do not carry the same implied meaning as their SM specialty track counterparts
+ Only create new ribbons (for cadets) for any significant cadet activity that does not fall under the NCSA ribbon (the only ribbon that comes to mind at the moment would be the Cyber Competition Ribbon)
+ Encourage the simplification of the dress uniform accouterments (god forbid we end up looking like JROTC cadets, with their 20 billion awards) (example: http://schools.stlucie.k12.fl.us/npk/files/2014/02/IMG_2337.jpg )

What would this all accomplish?


It would be my hope that cadets would finally start caring more about operational and organizational proficiency and excellence, rather than going ribbon chasing.  Furthermore, it would return the meaning to (in my mind) more important awards cadets wear (Cadet Recruiter, Encampment Grad, Community Service, Red Service, NCSA Grad, SAR/Air SAR, Find Ribbon, and the various recognition/achievement awards, etc.)  Finally... maybe we could finally put the distraction of awards and uniform wear aside, and let us focus on what we need to be doing as cadets:  Learning leadership, preparing ES operational readiness, encouraging cadets to promote for the right reasons instead of for the ribbons, learning about aerospace, and generally being more of a team instead of worrying so much about the height of our ribbon racks.  I'm not sure if this is universal, but at my squadron, anyway, more emphasis tends to be put on drill and uniform inspections than leadership training, operations, and ES/AE education... something I am trying to work to change as the old cadet leadership ages out.

Just my two cents, I guess.  I'm sure plenty will disagree.  I apologize if anyone's feelings are hurt.

And yes, I realize this will probably never come to pass.... but a cadet can dream.


Respectfully,

C/2lt Starbird.

(Edit 1) - Spelling/Grammar Error
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 01:13:38 PM by Starbird » Logged
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,927
Unit: of issue

« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 12:46:58 PM »

Greetings fellow NH Wing member.

These are great points and you've done good work here.

The mechanism by which such changes can be promulgated and brought to the Command Council is via the CAC, or even a well-written staff study/position paper via your CC to the Wing Commander.

This has been discussed many times in the past but I doubt its been brought forth in an organized way via the CAC/NCAC or by members of the Command Council.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 915

« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 01:06:28 PM »

Well thought out and I agree with you 100%.  There certainly is not need to have a ribbon for each cadet promotion.  If I see a C/MSgt I don't need to look at their ribbon rack to know that earned all of the achievements previous to that grade.  Getting rid of the promotion ribbons would certainly save money. 
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abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,559
Unit: Classified

« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 03:46:26 PM »

On the same note when it comes to badges the same could be said for SMs. 

One thing ES is not a core part of cadet programs.
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J2H
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200
Unit: MER-MD-031

« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 04:37:30 PM »

Remember that in the AF, a 2nd LT is about as new as an Airman Basic, so they won't have as many ribbons, they don't normally go from Enlisted up to LT like Cadets do.
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SSgt Jeffrey Hughes, Squadron NCO
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron MD-031
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OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 434
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 04:59:56 PM »

I suggest that on milestones, the predecessor ribbons be made "optional" but not eliminated. They represent well over five decades of history and have served us well. Great to see such rational and cogent arguments presented by a cadet, well done!
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LSThiker
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,830
Unit: Earth

« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 05:20:08 PM »

As others have mentioned, there is a mechanism for you to suggest these.

However, a few things:

- NRA Marksmanship Badge (Not really related to the CAP Mission, and also, the NRA is taking so much political heat right now and is also taking a pretty heavy political stance, and CAP is not supposed to associate politically.)

CAP's use of the NRA Marksmanship Badge is in no way associating CAP politically with the NRA.  So this is a non-factor. 

Quote
- Certain Specialty Track Badges (I'm referring to to the ones that are supposed to be issued to senior members who have held a operational duty position (Comms Badge, ES Badge) For some reason we give cadets a free pass to wear these even though they cannot meat the final requirement (serving in a senior member duty slot) That being said, I wouldn't mind so much if there were distinct cadet versions available for wear, without the final requirement to obtain a tech rating.  I just don't approve of cadets wearing badges that would otherwise require senior members to achieve a higher standard.  I'll point out that every other badge that CAP issues/wears that is available for cadets requires cadets to meet the exact same standard as our senior member counterparts.)

For cadets to earn the specialty track badges (ES, IT, Com, and History are the only ones allowed to be earned by cadets), all the requirements are the same as for Senior Members as with Cadets.  There is, of course, the obvious exceptions in that Cadets cannot earn Level 1.  So again, a non-factor.  If Cadets are earning the badge without performing all the same work, then that Squadron Commander is in the wrong. 
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,202

« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 06:11:25 PM »

I suggest that on milestones, the predecessor ribbons be made "optional" but not eliminated. They represent well over five decades of history and have served us well. Great to see such rational and cogent arguments presented by a cadet, well done!

Not the first time this idea has come up. We did this in about 1970, it didn't last long due to the large numbers of complaints.
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Starbird
Member

Posts: 83
Unit: NER-NH-056

« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 10:22:56 AM »

Dear all:

My sincere apologies for taking quite a while to get back to you all.  First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your valuable insight, feedback, and opinions.  Now, without further ado:

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Greetings fellow NH Wing member.

These are great points and you've done good work here.

The mechanism by which such changes can be promulgated and brought to the Command Council is via the CAC, or even a well-written staff study/position paper via your CC to the Wing Commander.

This has been discussed many times in the past but I doubt its been brought forth in an organized way via the CAC/NCAC or by members of the Command Council.

 :grin: Thank you, Sir!  I'll bring this to my CC when I see him next, and hopefully we can figure this out.  Due to a recent staff change, I don't think we currently have a CAC representative.  Worth a shot anyway!


- - - - - - - - - - - -

Well thought out and I agree with you 100%.  There certainly is not need to have a ribbon for each cadet promotion.  If I see a C/MSgt I don't need to look at their ribbon rack to know that earned all of the achievements previous to that grade.  Getting rid of the promotion ribbons would certainly save money. 

  Yes, cost and availability is another issue I forgot to mention!  We often have to hold off on promotions due to ribbons arriving late, and as a cadet, buying replacements can get expensive (especially if you order from ultrathins, which I and many others I know do.) Thank you for raising the point, Sir!

- - - - - - - - - - - -

On the same note when it comes to badges the same could be said for SMs. 

Could you clarify what you mean by this, sir?  I am unsure.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

One thing ES is not a core part of cadet programs.

Maybe not, if you want to go by the regulation definition, but the fact remains that cadets can and should play a big role, especially on ground teams... another one of our missions is ES, which should apply to cadets as well.  Furthermore, the core value of Volunteer Service (in my interpretation, anyway, correct me if I'm wrong please), as it refers to cadets, means more than preforming exterior volunteer service to CAP, also including, where appropriate, being part of our operational mission force.  Feel free to set me straight if I have misinterpreted.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I suggest that on milestones, the predecessor ribbons be made "optional" but not eliminated. They represent well over five decades of history and have served us well. Great to see such rational and cogent arguments presented by a cadet, well done!

Thank you, Sir!  When you refer to making predecessor ribbons optional, do you mean modifying short stack so that milestones can be included, whilst retaining the full stack option?  If I read that wrong, please correct me.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

As others have mentioned, there is a mechanism for you to suggest these.

However, a few things:

- NRA Marksmanship Badge (Not really related to the CAP Mission, and also, the NRA is taking so much political heat right now and is also taking a pretty heavy political stance, and CAP is not supposed to associate politically.)


CAP's use of the NRA Marksmanship Badge is in no way associating CAP politically with the NRA.  So this is a non-factor.

I know that it is not intended to convey any political affiliation, sir, merely signifying that the cadet wearing it is proficient and accurate in the use of firearms (which is a good thing, but I might add that weapons/combat training for cadets is not a priority in CAP), however, I fear that it could be perceived  the wrong way.  Who knows which cadet's parents might be offended when their cadet asks them to sign the activity waver and/or comes home wearing the badge, just because said parent takes issue with the NRA and is offended that Civil Air Patrol is involved with the organization in any way, even if it is just in the form of an awarded badge.  It sounds crazy, but, crazier things have happened.  I understand that everyone may not agree, but in this day and age with our turbulent political climate, personally, I would avoid wearing wearing anything with the letters 'NRA' on it whilst trying to remain politically neutral.  I agree, it should be a non-factor.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious...

Quote
- Certain Specialty Track Badges (I'm referring to to the ones that are supposed to be issued to senior members who have held a operational duty position (Comms Badge, ES Badge) For some reason we give cadets a free pass to wear these even though they cannot meat the final requirement (serving in a senior member duty slot) That being said, I wouldn't mind so much if there were distinct cadet versions available for wear, without the final requirement to obtain a tech rating.  I just don't approve of cadets wearing badges that would otherwise require senior members to achieve a higher standard.  I'll point out that every other badge that CAP issues/wears that is available for cadets requires cadets to meet the exact same standard as our senior member counterparts.)

For cadets to earn the specialty track badges (ES, IT, Com, and History are the only ones allowed to be earned by cadets), all the requirements are the same as for Senior Members as with Cadets.  There is, of course, the obvious exceptions in that Cadets cannot earn Level 1.  So again, a non-factor.  If Cadets are earning the badge without performing all the same work, then that Squadron Commander is in the wrong. 

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here, sir.  Yes, the training requirements are the same.  But the badge should represent the rating and the operational responsibilities to go along with that, which I will note not are not expected of cadets.  For example, the duties and responsibilities of an ES Tech, according to CAPP 70-3:

Quote
CAPP 70-3, Updated MAR 5 2018
Position Description -- ES Specialty Track

In general, a Technician level Emergency Services Officer should be able to:

1.  Develop a professional relationship with agencies responsible for search,
domestic emergencies, and civil defense;
2.  Develop and maintain members that can perform the requirements of emergency
service mission;
3.  Develop unit training programs to ensure that highly qualified ES personnel are
available for search
and rescue, disaster relief missions, etc.
4.  Implement plans and standard operating procedures to support the Wing’s
emergency services program;
5.  In cooperation with Logistics and Communications, maintain records to
determine the status of resources (personnel, vehicles, aircraft, radios, and other
emergency equipment) available for ES missions;
6.  Work with their Commander and with other unit staff functions (Communications,
Operations, Maintenance, Logistics, et cetera) to accomplish the administrative
and maintenance functions essential for ES resources.

I fail to see when it would be appropriate for a cadet, not a senior member who actually holds the tech rating, to preform duties 1, 4, and 5.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.
The other duties are preformed under direct supervision from a SM ES Officer.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.

Since cadets do not preform all of these duties, and none without supervision, and are not expected to, I honestly do not find it appropriate for them to wear the ES Tech badge.  The same can be said for the other Tech badges that are currently available to cadets.  In my opinion, if you do not officially have the tech rating, and all of the responsibility that comes along with it, you should not wear the badge.  As I mentioned above, there are no other badges, with these odd exceptions, that allow cadets to earn them without the full responsibility and qualification that comes along with them.  I'd have no problem if cadets could earn distinctive cadet versions of these badges that go along with cadet level duty positions, provided that they do not carry the same meaning as badges worn by actual technicians who are expected to preform the duties that cadets are not.  This, however, is just my opinion, and I know many disagree, and I respect that.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I suggest that on milestones, the predecessor ribbons be made "optional" but not eliminated. They represent well over five decades of history and have served us well. Great to see such rational and cogent arguments presented by a cadet, well done!

Not the first time this idea has come up. We did this in about 1970, it didn't last long due to the large numbers of complaints.

I'd be interested to know exactly why all of the complaints arose, sir? Mostly cadets complaining about having a small ribbon rack?

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Once again, thank you to everyone who replied!  I look forward to further discussion and debate.

Very respectfully,

C/2lt Starbird

« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 03:57:34 PM by SarDragon » Logged
Starbird
Member

Posts: 83
Unit: NER-NH-056

« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 10:41:08 AM »

Remember that in the AF, a 2nd LT is about as new as an Airman Basic, so they won't have as many ribbons, they don't normally go from Enlisted up to LT like Cadets do.

Missed one!  Sorry, Sgt.

Yes, this is certainly true.  It still seems awkward that a cadet officer can walk around with potentially as many ribbons as a 4 star general.
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Geber
Member

Posts: 68

« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2018, 12:14:52 PM »

Yes, this is certainly true.  It still seems awkward that a cadet officer can walk around with potentially as many ribbons as a 4 star general.

That's true, but not unusual.  Cadets at service academies get lots of ranks and insignia that seem to the uninitiated civilian like the ranks and insignia of actual military NCOs and officers. When young folks graduate from high school, those who did well academically get all kinds of decorations for their robes. But all of those disappear after graduation.
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Phil Hirons, Jr.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 803
Unit: NER-RI-001

« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2018, 12:16:03 PM »

As others have mentioned, there is a mechanism for you to suggest these.

However, a few things:

- NRA Marksmanship Badge (Not really related to the CAP Mission, and also, the NRA is taking so much political heat right now and is also taking a pretty heavy political stance, and CAP is not supposed to associate politically.)


CAP's use of the NRA Marksmanship Badge is in no way associating CAP politically with the NRA.  So this is a non-factor.

I know that it is not intended to convey any political affiliation, sir, merely signifying that the cadet wearing it is proficient and accurate in the use of firearms (which is a good thing, but I might add that weapons/combat training for cadets is not a priority in CAP), however, I fear that it could be perceived  the wrong way.  Who knows which cadet's parents might be offended when their cadet asks them to sign the activity waver and/or comes home wearing the badge, just because said parent takes issue with the NRA and is offended that Civil Air Patrol is involved with the organization in any way, even if it is just in the form of an awarded badge.  It sounds crazy, but, crazier things have happened.  I understand that everyone may not agree, but in this day and age with our turbulent political climate, personally, I would avoid wearing wearing anything with the letters 'NRA' on it whilst trying to remain politically neutral.  I agree, it should be a non-factor.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious...

Full Disclosure: I am RI Wing's Cadet Firearms Training (CFT) Project Officer, a Benefactor Life NRA Member, NRA Instructor (Rifle, Pistol & Shotgun), NRA / USA Shooting Rifle Coach and run the Junior Rifle Program for the Smithfield (RI) Sportsman's' Club (SSC).

Not everyone is going to love or even like you no matter what you do. So, yes, I think you are being overly cautious.

Like a lot of things in the Cadet Program, communication with the parents for CFT is essential. The letter I send out for the application process details what the program entails, the credentials and experience of the people running the program including the the connection to the SSC program that has taught marksmanship to over 500 children since 2000.

CAP Regulations on this issue treat this as a High Adventure Activity (HAA) and impose requirements beyond that. NRA Instructors are the largest group of people authorized to run these programs.

The Winchester / NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program sets a series of goals that get progressively harder to obtain. 
No one gets an award for showing up. (You raise this point a few times.)

Creating medals for CAP only would be cost-prohibitive. (You mention cost savings in other areas)

All of this to remove 3 little letters from a medal a small number of cadets might wear. See the PDF for a picture.

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Thor3785
Newbie

Posts: 3

« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2018, 12:16:59 PM »

Quote
- Certain Specialty Track Badges (I'm referring to to the ones that are supposed to be issued to senior members who have held a operational duty position (Comms Badge, ES Badge) For some reason we give cadets a free pass to wear these even though they cannot meat the final requirement (serving in a senior member duty slot) That being said, I wouldn't mind so much if there were distinct cadet versions available for wear, without the final requirement to obtain a tech rating.  I just don't approve of cadets wearing badges that would otherwise require senior members to achieve a higher standard.  I'll point out that every other badge that CAP issues/wears that is available for cadets requires cadets to meet the exact same standard as our senior member counterparts.)

For cadets to earn the specialty track badges (ES, IT, Com, and History are the only ones allowed to be earned by cadets), all the requirements are the same as for Senior Members as with Cadets.  There is, of course, the obvious exceptions in that Cadets cannot earn Level 1.  So again, a non-factor.  If Cadets are earning the badge without performing all the same work, then that Squadron Commander is in the wrong. 

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here, sir.  Yes, the training requirements are the same.  But the badge should represent the rating and the operational responsibilities to go along with that, which I will note not are not expected of cadets.  For example, the duties and responsibilities of an ES Tech, according to CAPP 70-3:

Quote
CAPP 70-3, Updated MAR 5 2018
Position Description -- ES Specialty Track

In general, a Technician level Emergency Services Officer should be able to:

1.  Develop a professional relationship with agencies responsible for search,
domestic emergencies, and civil defense;
2.  Develop and maintain members that can perform the requirements of emergency
service mission;
3.  Develop unit training programs to ensure that highly qualified ES personnel are
available for search
and rescue, disaster relief missions, etc.
4.  Implement plans and standard operating procedures to support the Wing’s
emergency services program;
5.  In cooperation with Logistics and Communications, maintain records to
determine the status of resources (personnel, vehicles, aircraft, radios, and other
emergency equipment) available for ES missions;
6.  Work with their Commander and with other unit staff functions (Communications,
Operations, Maintenance, Logistics, et cetera) to accomplish the administrative
and maintenance functions essential for ES resources.

I fail to see when it would be appropriate for a cadet, not a senior member who actually holds the tech rating, to preform duties 1, 4, and 5.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.
The other duties are preformed under direct supervision from a SM ES Officer.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.

Since cadets do not preform all of these duties, and none without supervision, and are not expected to, I honestly do not find it appropriate for them to wear the ES Tech badge.  The same can be said for the other Tech badges that are currently available to cadets.  In my opinion, if you do not officially have the tech rating, and all of the responsibility that comes along with it, you should not wear the badge.  As I mentioned above, there are no other badges, with these odd exceptions, that allow cadets to earn them without the full responsibility and qualification that comes along with them.  I'd have no problem if cadets could earn distinctive cadet versions of these badges that go along with cadet level duty positions, provided that they do not carry the same meaning as badges worn by actual technicians who are expected to preform the duties that cadets are not.  This, however, is just my opinion, and I know many disagree, and I respect that.


- - - - - - - - - - - -
While I can get behind most of your points, I would have to disagree with you on specialty tracks. I actually wrote a proposal on the NCAC to the command council a couple years ago to open all specialty tracks, barring certain ones like legal, to cadets. Why would you limit cadets? I don't see why cadets can't do 1, 4, 5. For almost all ratings, the duty position for the technician level is only an assistant anyway. So working with the primary person in the duty position supervising you to do #1 would be totally fine, but I can see cadets doing it themselves. Also, every SM has a supervisor too, so it's not just cadets who would have one. #4 can be as simple as teaching ES classes and setting a goal to get cadets GES if that's the wing's goal. #5 Well, every cadet should learn how to manage and track resources. In addition, we have had a cadet working with comms on the national comm team which would have more responsibilities than your average unit comms officer. I earned all 4 tracks and have held 6 duty positions at the wing level.

Tell me what responsibilities you don't think a cadet can do in the other 3 tracks already permitted because ES is probably going to be the one you most think cadets can't do out of the 4. The reason why I'm such a proponent of cadets earning specialty track is that it lets cadets get off the "old beaten road" of the cadet program and let cadets learn life skills and something that may interest them. In addition, our cadet to SM rates as abysmal (Ran the stats last night and in my wing in the past 8 years, only 13 cadets who were Mitchell or above has transferred over to SM) and I'm hoping if more cadets get a foot in the door of becoming a SM through specialty tracks, then they are more likely to stay.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 12:29:27 PM by Thor3785 » Logged
Geber
Member

Posts: 68

« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2018, 12:36:44 PM »


CAPP 70-3, Updated MAR 5 2018
Position Description -- ES Specialty Track

In general, a Technician level Emergency Services Officer should be able to:

1.  Develop a professional relationship with agencies responsible for search,
domestic emergencies, and civil defense;
.
.
.
4.  Implement plans and standard operating procedures to support the Wing’s
emergency services program;
5.  In cooperation with Logistics and Communications, maintain records to
determine the status of resources (personnel, vehicles, aircraft, radios, and other
emergency equipment) available for ES missions;

At least one cadet in my squadron has satisfied 1 by being a volunteer firefighter. Other possibilities are being a member of Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service or Citizen Emergency Response Team.

Notice that 4 just says "implement", not create. Things such as maintaining a radio log, calling names on a contact list during an actual mission, or sending out emails to the squadron with meeting agenda that include emergency services topics would all qualify.

Number 5 could involve helping people check in upon arrival at a mission base, call out property tag numbers to a senior member who is conducting an inventory. or the like.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 04:59:55 PM by Geber » Logged
abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,559
Unit: Classified

« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2018, 01:51:00 PM »

Since you actually think before you post I'll throw you a bone. 

One SMs have just as many badges that can be worn as cadets, and quite a few want to wear all their mil stuff on their uniform. 

ES may be one of the missions for CAP but it is not the main mission nor is it a core tenet of CP.  If cadets want to participate fine let them.  But it should not be pushed and forced because it's someone's opinion or viewpoint.  Cadets can be more productive and good volunteers in other aspects.
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J2H
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200
Unit: MER-MD-031

« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2018, 01:59:55 PM »

I wear my military ribbons (where height allows) and sometimes, I feel like a General
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SSgt Jeffrey Hughes, Squadron NCO
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron MD-031
#217169
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,398
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2018, 04:16:08 PM »

The last time an effort was made to reduce the allowable number of ribbons, it lasted about nine months. The uproar was swift and very vocal. Attitudes may have changed since 1971, but I don't think the idea will fly any higher now than it did back then.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
CAPLTC
Forum Regular

Posts: 144
Unit: MER

« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2018, 05:13:22 PM »

TL/DR.
In a real sense:
Who cares?
All cadet programs issue many many many many ribbons. JROTC, ROTC, service academies, etc. Ribbons for everything.
One time I merged my AFJROTC and CAP ribbon racks (as was allowed) and ended up with 50+ ribbons, just to see what it looked like. It looked pretty funny! :)
The last thing I am concerned with is cadets wearing too many ribbons. So wear your ribbons and neck down the other stuff.
Everyone knows you're a cadet just by looking at your baby face and weird-looking rank insignia.
Not all cadets get to Mitchell, and what? 5% get to Earhart?
So for come cadets those first 3 ribbons are a BIG deal and they're very proud of them.

The USAF issued more silver stars and more bronze stars in the Iraq Campaign than the Army did ... should we be alarmed?

CAP follows the USAF lead and the USAF loves to hang stuff on uniforms.
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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
J2H
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200
Unit: MER-MD-031

« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2018, 06:15:14 PM »

Amen to that!  I got SO many in 9 yrs as a cop
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SSgt Jeffrey Hughes, Squadron NCO
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron MD-031
#217169
Starbird
Member

Posts: 83
Unit: NER-NH-056

« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2018, 08:14:35 PM »

Since you actually think before you post I'll throw you a bone. 


I'll try to take that as a compliment :P

Quote


One SMs have just as many badges that can be worn as cadets, and quite a few want to wear all their mil stuff on their uniform.


You raise a fair point.

Quote

ES may be one of the missions for CAP but it is not the main mission nor is it a core tenet of CP.  If cadets want to participate fine let them.  But it should not be pushed and forced because it's someone's opinion or viewpoint.  Cadets can be more productive and good volunteers in other aspects.


This is certainly true.  However, I suspect the average search line would be short a few without them! Lol.  Sorry if I over stressed that point.


TL/DR.
In a real sense:
Who cares?
All cadet programs issue many many many many ribbons. JROTC, ROTC, service academies, etc. Ribbons for everything.
One time I merged my AFJROTC and CAP ribbon racks (as was allowed) and ended up with 50+ ribbons, just to see what it looked like. It looked pretty funny! :)
The last thing I am concerned with is cadets wearing too many ribbons. So wear your ribbons and neck down the other stuff.
Everyone knows you're a cadet just by looking at your baby face and weird-looking rank insignia.
Not all cadets get to Mitchell, and what? 5% get to Earhart?
So for come cadets those first 3 ribbons are a BIG deal and they're very proud of them.

The USAF issued more silver stars and more bronze stars in the Iraq Campaign than the Army did ... should we be alarmed?

CAP follows the USAF lead and the USAF loves to hang stuff on uniforms.

That viewpoint works for some, such as yourself, and I have full respect for that! :)  As I said in my OP post, I realize it is very unlikely to change, but nonetheless, I still maintain we could do away with quite a few of them.

Quote
- Certain Specialty Track Badges (I'm referring to to the ones that are supposed to be issued to senior members who have held a operational duty position (Comms Badge, ES Badge) For some reason we give cadets a free pass to wear these even though they cannot meat the final requirement (serving in a senior member duty slot) That being said, I wouldn't mind so much if there were distinct cadet versions available for wear, without the final requirement to obtain a tech rating.  I just don't approve of cadets wearing badges that would otherwise require senior members to achieve a higher standard.  I'll point out that every other badge that CAP issues/wears that is available for cadets requires cadets to meet the exact same standard as our senior member counterparts.)

For cadets to earn the specialty track badges (ES, IT, Com, and History are the only ones allowed to be earned by cadets), all the requirements are the same as for Senior Members as with Cadets.  There is, of course, the obvious exceptions in that Cadets cannot earn Level 1.  So again, a non-factor.  If Cadets are earning the badge without performing all the same work, then that Squadron Commander is in the wrong. 

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here, sir.  Yes, the training requirements are the same.  But the badge should represent the rating and the operational responsibilities to go along with that, which I will note not are not expected of cadets.  For example, the duties and responsibilities of an ES Tech, according to CAPP 70-3:

Quote
CAPP 70-3, Updated MAR 5 2018
Position Description -- ES Specialty Track

In general, a Technician level Emergency Services Officer should be able to:

1.  Develop a professional relationship with agencies responsible for search,
domestic emergencies, and civil defense;
2.  Develop and maintain members that can perform the requirements of emergency
service mission;
3.  Develop unit training programs to ensure that highly qualified ES personnel are
available for search
and rescue, disaster relief missions, etc.
4.  Implement plans and standard operating procedures to support the Wing’s
emergency services program;
5.  In cooperation with Logistics and Communications, maintain records to
determine the status of resources (personnel, vehicles, aircraft, radios, and other
emergency equipment) available for ES missions;
6.  Work with their Commander and with other unit staff functions (Communications,
Operations, Maintenance, Logistics, et cetera) to accomplish the administrative
and maintenance functions essential for ES resources.

I fail to see when it would be appropriate for a cadet, not a senior member who actually holds the tech rating, to preform duties 1, 4, and 5.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.
The other duties are preformed under direct supervision from a SM ES Officer.  Such responsibilities should be left to the adult leader member.

Since cadets do not preform all of these duties, and none without supervision, and are not expected to, I honestly do not find it appropriate for them to wear the ES Tech badge.  The same can be said for the other Tech badges that are currently available to cadets.  In my opinion, if you do not officially have the tech rating, and all of the responsibility that comes along with it, you should not wear the badge.  As I mentioned above, there are no other badges, with these odd exceptions, that allow cadets to earn them without the full responsibility and qualification that comes along with them.  I'd have no problem if cadets could earn distinctive cadet versions of these badges that go along with cadet level duty positions, provided that they do not carry the same meaning as badges worn by actual technicians who are expected to preform the duties that cadets are not.  This, however, is just my opinion, and I know many disagree, and I respect that.


- - - - - - - - - - - -
While I can get behind most of your points, I would have to disagree with you on specialty tracks. I actually wrote a proposal on the NCAC to the command council a couple years ago to open all specialty tracks, barring certain ones like legal, to cadets. Why would you limit cadets? I don't see why cadets can't do 1, 4, 5. For almost all ratings, the duty position for the technician level is only an assistant anyway. So working with the primary person in the duty position supervising you to do #1 would be totally fine, but I can see cadets doing it themselves. Also, every SM has a supervisor too, so it's not just cadets who would have one. #4 can be as simple as teaching ES classes and setting a goal to get cadets GES if that's the wing's goal. #5 Well, every cadet should learn how to manage and track resources. In addition, we have had a cadet working with comms on the national comm team which would have more responsibilities than your average unit comms officer. I earned all 4 tracks and have held 6 duty positions at the wing level.

Tell me what responsibilities you don't think a cadet can do in the other 3 tracks already permitted because ES is probably going to be the one you most think cadets can't do out of the 4. The reason why I'm such a proponent of cadets earning specialty track is that it lets cadets get off the "old beaten road" of the cadet program and let cadets learn life skills and something that may interest them. In addition, our cadet to SM rates as abysmal (Ran the stats last night and in my wing in the past 8 years, only 13 cadets who were Mitchell or above has transferred over to SM) and I'm hoping if more cadets get a foot in the door of becoming a SM through specialty tracks, then they are more likely to stay.

Maybe I've met a few too many unreliable cadets during my time in CAP.  But hey, for the ones who are mature enough, and have proven themselves dependable, I'd be fine with giving it a shot :) (Maybe a lower age requirement would be added, though, I'd say 16 or 17 plus)

As others have mentioned, there is a mechanism for you to suggest these.

However, a few things:

- NRA Marksmanship Badge (Not really related to the CAP Mission, and also, the NRA is taking so much political heat right now and is also taking a pretty heavy political stance, and CAP is not supposed to associate politically.)


CAP's use of the NRA Marksmanship Badge is in no way associating CAP politically with the NRA.  So this is a non-factor.

I know that it is not intended to convey any political affiliation, sir, merely signifying that the cadet wearing it is proficient and accurate in the use of firearms (which is a good thing, but I might add that weapons/combat training for cadets is not a priority in CAP), however, I fear that it could be perceived  the wrong way.  Who knows which cadet's parents might be offended when their cadet asks them to sign the activity waver and/or comes home wearing the badge, just because said parent takes issue with the NRA and is offended that Civil Air Patrol is involved with the organization in any way, even if it is just in the form of an awarded badge.  It sounds crazy, but, crazier things have happened.  I understand that everyone may not agree, but in this day and age with our turbulent political climate, personally, I would avoid wearing wearing anything with the letters 'NRA' on it whilst trying to remain politically neutral.  I agree, it should be a non-factor.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious...


Full Disclosure: I am RI Wing's Cadet Firearms Training (CFT) Project Officer, a Benefactor Life NRA Member, NRA Instructor (Rifle, Pistol & Shotgun), NRA / USA Shooting Rifle Coach and run the Junior Rifle Program for the Smithfield (RI) Sportsman's' Club (SSC).

Not everyone is going to love or even like you no matter what you do. So, yes, I think you are being overly cautious.

Like a lot of things in the Cadet Program, communication with the parents for CFT is essential. The letter I send out for the application process details what the program entails, the credentials and experience of the people running the program including the the connection to the SSC program that has taught marksmanship to over 500 children since 2000.

CAP Regulations on this issue treat this as a High Adventure Activity (HAA) and impose requirements beyond that. NRA Instructors are the largest group of people authorized to run these programs.

The Winchester / NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program sets a series of goals that get progressively harder to obtain. 
No one gets an award for showing up. (You raise this point a few times.)

Creating medals for CAP only would be cost-prohibitive. (You mention cost savings in other areas)

All of this to remove 3 little letters from a medal a small number of cadets might wear. See the PDF for a picture.



For the record, I personally have no issues with the NRA.  And, under further consideration.... on this point I'll admit I was probably making mountains out of molehills.  Also, I really am not very familiar with the CFT program, having never gone through it, so I'll defer to your expertise :-)

Yes, this is certainly true.  It still seems awkward that a cadet officer can walk around with potentially as many ribbons as a 4 star general.

That's true, but not unusual.  Cadets at service academies get lots of ranks and insignia that seem to the uninitiated civilian like the ranks and insignia of actual military NCOs and officers. When young folks graduate from high school, those who did well academically get all kinds of decorations for their robes. But all of those disappear after graduation.

Fair enough.  I still can't bring myself to appreciate the look, but it is what it is.

The last time an effort was made to reduce the allowable number of ribbons, it lasted about nine months. The uproar was swift and very vocal. Attitudes may have changed since 1971, but I don't think the idea will fly any higher now than it did back then.

I'm sorry to hear it.  I wish that that had succeeded.  If there is ever enough support, maybe it will go through again, permanently, but I hold no high hopes.

I wear my military ribbons (where height allows) and sometimes, I feel like a General

Amen to that!  I got SO many in 9 yrs as a cop

Lolz.

Anyway, I think I got back to everyone this time.  If I missed your post, let me know and I'll respond to it.  I'll get some more opinions from the cadets at my squadron on ribbons, and on the off chance I get support, I'll forward it to my CAC Rep (If we ever appoint one!  I think its been almost a year now since we've had one, either that or the new one isn't consulting with the cadets at squadron  ??? )  Upon reading your arguments, and some further consideration, I'm going to let my original ideas on badge reform go.  Y'all have raised some convincing points defending them, and it badges now to be a non-issue.  Funny what some rethinking can do.  I still maintain my points on ribbons, though  >:D  ;D

Also, sorry for causing drama!  We tend to get pretty heated discussing uniforms, haha.  8)

All the best,

C/ 2lt Starbird
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Cadet Uniform -- Too Many Ribbons and Badges (A cadet perspective)
 


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