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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: Encampment Intensity Split-Off Thread Attempt
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abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2018, 06:23:46 PM »

Man, you really need to come out of the stone age and adapt.  In my 20 year career i never did push ups as an form of punishment.  Wait that's because in my career it's not allowed and punishment is adminestered by certain folks.

And you can thank society for the way things are.  Do I think kids these days need to be a little more tougher sure unfortunately yelling at them isn't going to toughen anyone up.

I think your heart may be in the right place, your methods are dated.
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Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,184

« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2018, 06:49:28 PM »

True, there's nothing to back it up, because for some reason CAP has equated a set of pushups to a physical assault. 

Let me see if I can help here.  While we continue the discussion of when raised voices may be appropriate at encampment, I need to respond to this to avoid any confusion.

For several years, our Cadet Protection Doctrine stated that physical exercise as punishment ("Drop and Give Me 20") was a form of hazing.  That was unnecessarily confusing and has been corrected in the current version of both the 60-1, and the encampment guidance.  I can certainly see how, in the past, it might have been equated as an equivalent to a physical assault in some circumstances.  But that is no longer the case.

Physical exercise as punishment is nonetheless strictly prohibited at any and all cadet activities, including encampment.  It is not hazing, per se, but is a violation of a best practice, and is almost always treated as a boundary concern rather than hazing.  There are countless tools good leaders have to create group discipline, cohesion, and esprit de corps, but pushups are not one of them in CAP.  We simply removed that particular tool from the tool box.

Think of it this way:  CAP absolutely forbids hazing.  Plus we have another rule that prohibits using physical exercise as punishment.  They are different concepts.

Ned Lee
National CP Manager
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jfkspotting
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2018, 10:54:41 PM »

As a flight sergeant this year, this is absolutely ridiculous.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,614

« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2018, 12:09:06 AM »

As a flight sergeant this year, this is absolutely ridiculous.

As a flight sergeant this year, you would do well to insure you are familiar with the national curriculum and policies,
and make sure you listen well at RST.
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 306

« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2018, 12:49:39 AM »

As a flight sergeant this year, this is absolutely ridiculous.
Expound.
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Trenzalorian
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Posts: 102
Unit: NY-406

« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2018, 08:32:05 AM »

As a flight sergeant this year, this is absolutely ridiculous.

I'd love to know what you find ridiculous, so we can have a discussion about it this weekend.
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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 306

« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2018, 02:49:50 PM »

As a flight sergeant this year, this is absolutely ridiculous.

I'd love to know what you find ridiculous, so we can have a discussion about it this weekend.

I'd rather him discuss it here if he's comfortable doing so.  It would be interesting to hear from another perspective.
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abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,547
Unit: Classified

« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2018, 03:26:15 PM »

Tick-tock
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LGM30GMCC
Seasoned Member

Posts: 320

« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2018, 04:55:05 PM »

I have seen this debate since I was a cadet, which was now more time ago than I usually care to admit to myself...

That being said, I can see the arguments for building an intensity into an activity like encampment though I think what people are often really going after is challenge. Challenge is one of the key traits of cadet life so I'm on board with that. Fun is also one of the traits so it's finding a balance since one is not supposed to supersede the other, they are all equal.

So if we want to add elements of a military training model without the use of voice-based intensity (yelling, etc) how do we go about doing that?

I would argue I am in a career field that has zero yelling involved, but very high standards and expectations. (It goes along with the territory.) Much of the stress in our training was based on time constraints (very short ones in some cases), excessive information overwhelming us and forcing us to sift through what was presented to pick out what we needed, and a lack of information from which we had to extrapolate what to do in a given situation. I would also argue these are much greater challenges than "Can I put up with someone yelling at me for X number of days?" I put up with some of that for 4 weeks at field training...and 2 years off and on in college. It was neither particularly effective at training, nor productive in developing me as a leader. In fact, of the incident I remember most where it was used against me there was some amount of embarrassment on my part for screwing up, but the AFROTC cadet officers doing the grilling actually had other cadets (from the Army ROTC) looking down at them with a view of "Who are you to tear into that guy? You really don't know much more about anything than he does." I have also met both of those cadet officers since my commission, work with one of them now, and they have both expressed that it was inappropriate, ineffective, and really just perpetuating a stupid stereotype they expected.

How then to increase intensity at an encampment without the crutches of 'yelling' 'raising voices' or whatever you want to call it? I offer the following as ways to do so.
1 - Give time limits and remind people of them. I'm not talking silly limits like 10 second showers, but times to get out the door, make sure they're organized and on their way. If you want to increase stress on cadet NCOs in an appropriate way I'll talk a bit more about that later.

2 - Grade/evaluate people. If someone knows their performance is being evaluated and graded it can add some level of stress. Now since we haven't set a national standard by which you could "fail" encampment the metrics have to be appropriate. Feedback can actually be beneficial for students if it's gone over with them, but a constant hum of inspectors just watching and evaluating all aspects can be stress inducing. If you don't think so...I invite you to watch a USAF unit effectiveness inspection or nuclear surety inspection sometime. Zero yelling...lots of stress.

3 - Question someone. "Cadet X, why did you do X?" In a normal speaking tone. Continue to press, find the limits of what considerations they are taking. Press on 2nd and 3rd order effects.

How to apply this even further? Traditionally cadre have been the ones leading and students largely just have to shut up and execute. This is often modeled on the basic training format but I propose using the Field Training or OTS format instead.

Namely the students be more responsible for leading students (which hits another key trait) and the cadre act as instructors. In this model the Flight Sergeants would act primarily as instructors/questioners of any student NCOs. The student NCOs would be the ones marching flights from point A to B, making sure the flight stays on time (at least in their minds, though to the extent it's permissible building in a couple minutes slush in the schedule for students to fail at something can be beneficial), ensuring their fellow students are ready for inspection, etc. The cadet officer cadre would act primarily as evaluators and picking which student NCOs are going to be assigned to what tasks next and that training objectives are being met. Additionally they are responsible for making sure the flight sergeant doesn't go over the line. The Senior Members with the flight are the ultimate backstop to ensure there is not total mission failure (keeping in contact with senior staff, ensuring CPP is followed, etc) and act as mentors to the cadet officer cadre primarily.

This would also add the intensity for the students that they are suddenly not in receive mode. They are actively responsible not only for themselves but for the success of others and their flight.

Just some food for thought.
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Spam
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Posts: 1,071
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2018, 06:01:22 PM »

I think that every proposal to "add intensity" needs to go through a review process including an appropriate level of senior officer oversight.


I appreciate your mention of time limits/time management, which I think is a good idea, IF very carefully set out and monitored. The 10 second showers and so forth are a symptom of runaway intensity addiction in our junior leadership, as are the old trope of successive layers of command subtracting 15 minutes from their superiors time on target, to the point where junior NCOs are waking people up at oh dark thirty to sit and wait - thus "proving" their ability as leaders. ("Ooo-rah, we're first out to PT/first finished at DFACS/etc.").


You think that's not a big thing, at age 17, or 24. Its not a big thing if you've mastered the art of the "hack" and can hack life.  Then, later in life, you think differently after you've had to deal with multiple 13 year olds who through lack of hygiene time haven't had a shower in 3 days and have developed open bleeding sores on their thighs, or who finally present at sick call on THU AM with painfully impacted bowels due to not having had personal time to take a crap in days (while eating MREs!), or who had an unusual/unexpected period due to induced stress and were too intimidated by "intense" cadet leadership to ask for help until they were overwhelmed.


Hey, if these are outside your experiences, be thankful. If that sort of thing is present in an active duty situation with adults, that's one thing (still unsat) but with our youngest volunteers, that's abuse that we can and must avoid. The old approach of molding 13 and 15 year olds using the ancient draftee "break them all the way down first, to remake them" mold is not just gone with the old CAP - it is gone from the active military, who are no longer involuntary draftees, but rather motivated volunteer professionals.


Our unpaid, youngest volunteers deserve a balanced, carefully monitored experience filled with Eustress - not Distress. Take a couple moments and look those terms up...


R/s
Spam


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etodd
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Posts: 1,165

« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2018, 08:33:26 PM »

What percentage of Cadets "desire" the military aspects of CAP, because they are planning on military careers ... vs ... those Cadets who "tolerate" the military aspects of CAP on drill night so they can enjoy aerospace and other things on the other days? My guess is the percentage of the former is rather small(?)
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Eclipse
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Posts: 28,614

« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2018, 10:02:38 PM »

The majority are interested and invested in the military aspects, not necessarily because of
career aspirations, however the fallacy is that "military discipline = yelling".

It doesn't.

Yelling is intended, generally, for one purpose - intimidation.  If you have to intimidate people
into following you, you're no much of a leader, and won't last long in CAP.

That also doesn't mean that every moment in uniform is a pizza party, and that there aren't
aspects that are less "fun" then others, even downright unpleasant at times, but a good leader,
military or otherwise, is able to characterize the end goals and purpose behind activities, actions,
and even disciple, so that intimidation isn't necessary, or at the least the intimidation comes
from the real threat of being denied access to a desired opportunity, vs. some hollow threat
that comes from yelling.
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xray328
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 568

« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2018, 03:17:41 PM »

Yet this still happens...

Removed to protect the innocent.  Video was of cadets screaming at other cadets.

Fast forward to :50

Not only did it happen, it was filmed and uploaded by a senior member who apparently thought nothing of it.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 04:42:12 PM by xray328 » Logged
ZigZag911
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Posts: 1,981

« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2018, 09:13:19 PM »

In the immortal words of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, "It isn't personal, it's strictly business."

When the instructor allows emotion to enter into it, yelling or demeaning the under-performing cadet, it is no longer teaching, it is approaching, at the very least, a boundary violation in the area of emotional abuse.

It is not only prohibited, it is also counter-productive. Fear is not an effective teaching tool.

 As Ned said, encampment needs to be highly structured ("regimented", to use his term) fostering self-discipline and teamwork among the student cadets, as well as the staff -- senior and cadet.

In my experience -- and I helped run wing encampments for about 10 years -- there are two keys:

1) the attitude of the encampment commander and key leaders

2) thorough advance training for staff, particularly those working directly with the cadet in-flight students.

I'd like to see some sort of visitation/evaluation of encampments by CAP National HQ and CAP-USAF. Right now
one problem is a lack of accountability, largely based on supposed "traditions", some created as recently as 2015!

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abdsp51
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« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2018, 01:31:03 PM »

In the immortal words of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, "It isn't personal, it's strictly business."

When the instructor allows emotion to enter into it, yelling or demeaning the under-performing cadet, it is no longer teaching, it is approaching, at the very least, a boundary violation in the area of emotional abuse.

It is not only prohibited, it is also counter-productive. Fear is not an effective teaching tool.

 As Ned said, encampment needs to be highly structured ("regimented", to use his term) fostering self-discipline and teamwork among the student cadets, as well as the staff -- senior and cadet.

In my experience -- and I helped run wing encampments for about 10 years -- there are two keys:

1) the attitude of the encampment commander and key leaders

2) thorough advance training for staff, particularly those working directly with the cadet in-flight students.

I'd like to see some sort of visitation/evaluation of encampments by CAP National HQ and CAP-USAF. Right now
one problem is a lack of accountability, largely based on supposed "traditions", some created as recently as 2015!

Agree.  Also you do know that CAP-USAF does have someone look over things right?  The last encampment I was at had  USAF Maj there.
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Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,184

« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2018, 06:04:08 PM »

Also you do know that CAP-USAF does have someone look over things right?  The last encampment I was at had  USAF Maj there.

Not as much as we would like.  There are no man days allocated for CAP RAP officers to visit encampments these days.  While it is possible for a liaison region to make that happen occasionally, or even a points only reservist to visit, our AF colleagues no longer require AF evaluation or even a presence at encampments.  It is primarily a resourcing issue.

Perhaps someday that may change.  More AF presence at encampment is always welcome.

Ned Lee
(Having a great time at COS)
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abdsp51
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« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2018, 06:23:40 PM »

Also you do know that CAP-USAF does have someone look over things right?  The last encampment I was at had  USAF Maj there.

Not as much as we would like.  There are no man days allocated for CAP RAP officers to visit encampments these days.  While it is possible for a liaison region to make that happen occasionally, or even a points only reservist to visit, our AF colleagues no longer require AF evaluation or even a presence at encampments.  It is primarily a resourcing issue.

Perhaps someday that may change.  More AF presence at encampment is always welcome.

Ned Lee
(Having a great time at COS)

Maybe something can be coordinated with CAP-USAF to allow SM's who are also USAF members to potentially dual hat?  Give them a checklist to run and see where it goes?  I know that encampment is one thing that we can go on permissive TDY status for. 
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2018, 10:57:29 AM »

I think there is an element of "yelling" at Encampment that is reasonable and justified in being used as a training tool. I'm talking about an outdoor command voice, not screaming and scratching vocals. Nobody should be, what we called, "ballistic."

A lot of people forget that intensity can be manipulated with the objective. Give an end state and a deadline. I just got off of a week of Encampment this past Saturday. You tell a bunch of students to take off their blouses, neatly fold them, and make the letter of their respective training flight in an orderly shape on the grass outside of the chow hall, and you give them 60 seconds to do it, I guarantee you the stress and intensity goes up. A simple "Let's go, Foxtrot Flight. You're wasting time" will go a long way in keeping them in the hustle of 'boot camp.'

It's absolutely crucial, under every circumstance though, to respect the fact that our opinions of what should be do not always coincide with the regulations and restrictions we operate under. I personally don't think it's unreasonable to say "You took too long. Get on your face and start pushing, all of you. Now get up and fix it." But that's something our regulations specifically prohibit. Therefore, you don't ever do it.

It's one thing to complain about why we don't like something. It's another thing to say "Well, I'm doing it anyway" or "this is how I think it should be done so this is how I intend to do it." I'm willing to counsel someone who does that one time. The next time, I want you off my team...even if I agree with your methodology. It's out of compliance and wrong.
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RiChArD7032
Recruit

Posts: 37
Unit: MER-DE-025

« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2018, 09:50:17 PM »

This has been very interesting to read.  For me, I am a former cadet from Utah Wing in the 90's and recently rejoined CAP in January.  I'm also an active duty SNCO in the AF.  And I just returned home today from participating as a TAC Officer at my Wing's encampment. 

All week I've been "reliving" and trying to remember how things were when I attended my first encampment in 1991.  Old jodies would come back to me as I watched the cadets march.  I remembered old pictures of my flight posing with our guidon and being excited about being there with my peers.  I honestly don't remember being "yelled at" hardly as much as I witnessed this past week with several Squadrons I observed.  I was actually taken back as I watched the intensity level beginning on day zero and lasting well thru day 4. 

I will say, my BMT experience was not as intense.  I say this because it was a different kind of intensity for me.  Sure there was yelling and the unconfirmed threat of bodily harm, but my MTI was a master of being intense without the constant use of yelling.  His pressence was commanding and when he spoke, everyone listened.  He had a voice that boomed and demanded respect.  When we heard the tap of his shoes as he walked, we knew to lock it up and be ready for anything. How can we have that kind of pressence from each Cadre member at encampment? 

Everyone has had some great points for both sides of the issue.  Another post mentioned reading CAPP 60-15 and it remined me that we need to find a balance.  "Problems can arise when there is a mismatch between the intensity level and the training to be accomplished.  Too high an intensity level results in unnecessary stress and means the cadets cannot learn." When do you "yell" and when do you "mentor" the flight member?  Is there an expectation that the cadet knows how to drill and wear their uniform and thus, yelling is ok because they should already know it?  What purpose does yelling at the cadet to walk on a certain side of a line duct taped in the middle of the bay?  Why did I have to fold my underwear at BMT to a very specific size?  It was to teach a keen skill of attention to detail in myself and my fellow peers.  We are required to learn how to work as a team and that requires a fair amount of stress.  Stress that in my opinion doesn't need to be in the form of yelling or the level of intensity I witness throughout the week.  Can encampment be just as successful without the excessive intensity or do encampments that don't yell really produce "weak" cadets?

Well, just some things that came to mind as I read this thread.  I'm tired...7 days of less than 5 hours sleep has caught up with me and I must catch up on that missed sleep.   


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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,190

« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2018, 10:17:48 AM »

This has been very interesting to read.  For me, I am a former cadet from Utah Wing in the 90's and recently rejoined CAP in January.  I'm also an active duty SNCO in the AF.  And I just returned home today from participating as a TAC Officer at my Wing's encampment. 

All week I've been "reliving" and trying to remember how things were when I attended my first encampment in 1991.  Old jodies would come back to me as I watched the cadets march.  I remembered old pictures of my flight posing with our guidon and being excited about being there with my peers.  I honestly don't remember being "yelled at" hardly as much as I witnessed this past week with several Squadrons I observed.  I was actually taken back as I watched the intensity level beginning on day zero and lasting well thru day 4. 

I will say, my BMT experience was not as intense.  I say this because it was a different kind of intensity for me.  Sure there was yelling and the unconfirmed threat of bodily harm, but my MTI was a master of being intense without the constant use of yelling.  His pressence was commanding and when he spoke, everyone listened.  He had a voice that boomed and demanded respect.  When we heard the tap of his shoes as he walked, we knew to lock it up and be ready for anything. How can we have that kind of pressence from each Cadre member at encampment? 

Everyone has had some great points for both sides of the issue.  Another post mentioned reading CAPP 60-15 and it remined me that we need to find a balance.  "Problems can arise when there is a mismatch between the intensity level and the training to be accomplished.  Too high an intensity level results in unnecessary stress and means the cadets cannot learn." When do you "yell" and when do you "mentor" the flight member?  Is there an expectation that the cadet knows how to drill and wear their uniform and thus, yelling is ok because they should already know it?  What purpose does yelling at the cadet to walk on a certain side of a line duct taped in the middle of the bay?  Why did I have to fold my underwear at BMT to a very specific size?  It was to teach a keen skill of attention to detail in myself and my fellow peers.  We are required to learn how to work as a team and that requires a fair amount of stress.  Stress that in my opinion doesn't need to be in the form of yelling or the level of intensity I witness throughout the week.  Can encampment be just as successful without the excessive intensity or do encampments that don't yell really produce "weak" cadets?

Well, just some things that came to mind as I read this thread.  I'm tired...7 days of less than 5 hours sleep has caught up with me and I must catch up on that missed sleep.

To those who doubted me on this....there you have it. As I said, I was averaging about 4 hours a night.

Anyway, there is a point to be made about this post. I think it rings true that intensity is not always yelling. Yelling has its time and place, but even under that circumstance, you have to ask: What is the training purpose of this exercise?

Everything we did over my week at Encampment was encompassed by that question. If your cadets fail to identify the purpose of their method of instruction, then it's no longer training; it's nonstandard operating procedure.
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: Encampment Intensity Split-Off Thread Attempt
 


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