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Goosman
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: MER-VA-108

« on: October 12, 2018, 08:12:31 AM »

As an Assistant Testing Officer for my Squadron (among other roles), I have noticed certain drill maneuvers that a majority of cadets struggle with and am seeking to correct the issue. My current strategy is to hold a one-hour instructional class with the assistance of our First Sergeant and three Flight Sergeants to demonstrate certain commands for the entire Squadron.

I was curious if any other Squadrons had noticed a trend with their cadets as well and what commands they struggle with. Based on testing feedback, chats with cadet command staff, and research online, I believe I have narrowed down my list to less than 10 commands that are the most troublesome:

-Eyes, Right (lost count of how many times I've told Element Leaders that there's nothing to look at, since we do not have a guide)
-Close/Extend (number of steps, especially when halted)
-Change Step (skipping)
-Column of Files (first cadet usually calls Forward before the prepatory command is given, whcih causes trouble since Ach 3 has a Column Right instead)

Are there any additional commands that you all have seen consistent struggles with? I am trying to focus on basic drill commands that they should know by the time they take the Wright Brothers, as NCOs should be capable of researching and asking questions (they all should, but I can be merciful until their fourth stripe). Basically, I do not want to waste my class time on complex maneuvers that they are less likely to use before Sergeant ranks, such as Column of Twos, Column Half Left/Right, and Counter March. Any feedback is greatly appreciated as I hope to have the class sometime in November (need time to practice with demonstrators first).
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MSG Mac
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,931
Unit: MER-MD-071

« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 09:40:43 AM »

Dress Right Dress: Flight Sergeants/Leaders don’t check guide and cover after giving the order.
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
NIN
Super Moderator

Posts: 4,980
Unit: of issue

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 09:54:10 AM »

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)

Last night one of my NCOs gave "Column Right from the Halt, MARCH," and then immediately looked at me. The pressure regulator busted on my 3000psi stare.

Later, he says "Well, thats how we do it at.."

"Don't say 'encampment'. I might actually kill you."

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 09:56:19 AM »

So as the Assistant Testing Officer---with no knowledge of what the other roles are in the unit---while I find it commendable that you're looking to help, but that's not the role of the Testing Officer.

This should be something that is coordinated with the Deputy Commander for Cadets and, if one is assigned, the Leadership Officer, who can further discuss training methods with the cadet staff (Cadet Commander, First Sergeant, etc.).

While testing is obviously essential for the cadets to advance, it is imperative that the cadet staff has the opportunity to address the issue and problem solve the issue of lower testing scores. A senior member should be working with the cadet staff who should, in turn, be working with the cadets in the flight. Senior members stepping in to teach the flight drill oversteps the roles of First Sergeants, Flight Commanders, and Flight Sergeants to train their cadets.

You shouldn't be teaching a class on drill.

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)

You mean CAPP 60-33?
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NIN
Super Moderator

Posts: 4,980
Unit: of issue

« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 09:57:01 AM »

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)
You mean CAPP 60-33?

No, I mean AFMAN 36-2203.

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 10:06:58 AM »

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)
You mean CAPP 60-33?

No, I mean AFMAN 36-2203.

As you were.

I didn't realize the CAP regs still referred us to the AFMAN. I stand corrected upon research of R60-1.

Carry on, gents.
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Goosman
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: MER-VA-108

« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 10:20:32 AM »

This should be something that is coordinated with the Deputy Commander for Cadets and, if one is assigned, the Leadership Officer, who can further discuss training methods with the cadet staff (Cadet Commander, First Sergeant, etc.).

I have been working with the Squadron Commander and Cadet Commander to set this up as we believe part of the issue is a lack of knowledge/experience in the NCOs due to multiple sources giving different information (such as the infamous Encampment excuse). It will likely be handled as a Leadership class in a joint effort between myself and the Flight Sergeants/First Sergeant. Iam in charge of the presentation and am just data mining other ideas to include as we work on the presentation. While I would normally prefer to have the Flight Sergeants handle the matter themselves, we felt that a one-time class would serve as a good starting point to realign everyone and then shift to ensuring the Flight Sergeants receive additional NCO training so they can better equip the cadets. I am having the Flight Sergeants work with me on this effort specifically because I want them to be the driving force in the future.

As most of our SMs are non-military and many are very new to the program, there are only a handful that are already comfortable with drill. I was asked to help with Testing specifically due to a need for someone to handle drill testing, but I digress (fancy word for "I make excuses"). I fully agree that the ideal solution would be through other channels, but we are looking more at a one-time corrective move rather than a maintenance one right now.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 10:23:37 AM by Goosman » Logged
Goosman
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: MER-VA-108

« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 10:22:27 AM »

Dress Right Dress: Flight Sergeants/Leaders don’t check guide and cover after giving the order.
Agree that the Flight Sergeants tend to just rely on the cadets to fix themselves instead of verifying, although I will probably reserve that for a smaller class with the Flight Sergeants that we plan to implement on a regular basis (maybe every month or two) as a training session for our NCOs with help from the XO or something. That part is still being ironed out right now.

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)
Just so I make sure I am on the same page, what part specifically of Face in Marching is busted? I was taught to step off and then turn as a cadet, but just assumed I was taught wrong since AFMAN shows the step-turn maneuver instead.

"Don't say 'encampment'. I might actually kill you."
That statement has become a real thorn in my side as well. My typical response is something along the lines of "Then clearly your encampment staff needs to study their drill too!" Kinda figured the issue was not limited to just my Squadron.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 10:27:06 AM »

So to address the logic on some Encampments...

There is a belief out there that Encampment is not there to teach proper drill, despite the fact that cadets are evaluated on proper drill by SET. Some believe that tactical training (drill maneuvers) should be overshadowed by strategic training (building up the leadership and training abilities of the staff and the camaraderie and team cohesion of the students).

There are points to be made for both sides. But I'm just throwing out there that some Encampments will cast aside proper drill for other learning objectives that are not encompassing pure/proper D&C.

^ Let the argument ensure on that one.
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Goosman
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: MER-VA-108

« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 10:39:11 AM »

I tend to subscribe to the school of thought that Encampment is not for teaching Drill and Ceremonies (with the exception of mass drill for the final ceremony, as most Squadrons do not have that kind of capacity or need), but should involve some corrective training when needed. The cadets should be trained by their Squadrons prior to attending (Encampment tips online recommend studying drill before attending). Unfortunately, there are many who attend without proper training and then think that enything they see at Encampment is gospel-truth level. While I get angry at the Encampment excuse, I feel it is more a reflectioon of our failures at the Squadron level. As I discussed with our Cadet Commander after our past meeting (while going over the drill class), our cadets should be confident enough in their training to not only drill properly, but also recognise mistakes in drill and know the difference.

As you said, I'm sure others will disagree with me, but I think most of us can agree that we need to better train our cadets before sending them to Encampment instead of expecting that to do the training for us. After all, Encampment isn't even a requirement until the Mitchell, but we test them on drill well before that.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,246

« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 10:47:19 AM »

I tend to subscribe to the school of thought that Encampment is not for teaching Drill and Ceremonies (with the exception of mass drill for the final ceremony, as most Squadrons do not have that kind of capacity or need), but should involve some corrective training when needed. The cadets should be trained by their Squadrons prior to attending (Encampment tips online recommend studying drill before attending). Unfortunately, there are many who attend without proper training and then think that enything they see at Encampment is gospel-truth level. While I get angry at the Encampment excuse, I feel it is more a reflectioon of our failures at the Squadron level. As I discussed with our Cadet Commander after our past meeting (while going over the drill class), our cadets should be confident enough in their training to not only drill properly, but also recognise mistakes in drill and know the difference.

As you said, I'm sure others will disagree with me, but I think most of us can agree that we need to better train our cadets before sending them to Encampment instead of expecting that to do the training for us. After all, Encampment isn't even a requirement until the Mitchell, but we test them on drill well before that.

+1 - started replying, this says it nicely...
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,314

« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 10:52:31 AM »

Get them to actually stick their noses in AFMAN 36-2203 (which, BTW, has been updated this summer but still has a broken Faces in Marching paragraph, about 20 years after we let them know it was busted...)
You mean CAPP 60-33?

No, I mean AFMAN 36-2203.

As you were.

I didn't realize the CAP regs still referred us to the AFMAN. I stand corrected upon research of R60-1.

Carry on, gents.


RTFM >:D
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 11:27:31 AM »

RTFM >:D

Go stand in the corner...

As you said, I'm sure others will disagree with me, but I think most of us can agree that we need to better train our cadets before sending them to Encampment instead of expecting that to do the training for us. After all, Encampment isn't even a requirement until the Mitchell, but we test them on drill well before that.

Absolutely. That's a spot on point.

And I think something also needs to be said that when an Encampment staff is selected, there is a responsibility to ensure that they are properly vetted and corrected before placed into practical applications of instructing others.

I've seen a lot of work going into mass formation but abysmal instruction on marching drill. Yet the very cadets instructing it at Encampment were denied the correction during staff training, and further more, they were advanced at their home units when very obviously are performing movements contrary to the evaluation.

There is also a misconception that "prior service" means knowing drill. Most prior service members rarely performed drill once basic military training ended. They're running on what they recall from boot camp/ROTC followed by years of never having performed it again. I was fortunate to have an Air Force prior enlisted member who performed Honor Guard during his stint as well as another prior service Marine who now performs police Honor Guards (and he'll tell you "In all my days doing aircraft ordnance, I didn't once do drill after Boot Camp until I got involved in police Honor Guard"). So there's a caveat on ensuring that prior service review the drill manual.

But Encampment is a real pet peeve with me in "This is what we were taught." Cite it.
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arajca
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Posts: 4,300

« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 11:51:32 AM »

But Encampment is a real pet peeve with me in "This is what we were taught." Cite it.

In my experience at Encampments, I've seen the opposite. Cadets coming to Encampment do know how to perform BASIC drill, i.e. facing, salute, columns. This is a FAILURE at the unit and encampment becomes where this gets taught. Now, I've been fortunate that the Encampment Commander I've had had committed the D&C manual to memory, but still carried a copy with him throughout Encampment. The cadet line staff also carried a copy. When staff was found doing drill incorrectly, the most common excuse is "This how WE do it at MY unit". Needless to say, the manuals get used quite a bit as the offending cadet staff it then required to show how the manual says the particular drill maneuver is to be performed. A significant amount of cadet staff training is spent on training on how to instruct student cadets on how to perform drill IAW the manual.   
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,246

« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 12:36:11 PM »

A cadet at encampment should have already demonstrated at least Curry-level drill ability,
however in a world where many units are undermanned, have little experience, or are sending
cadets with less then a month in and a temp ID card to encampment, this is not always the case.

Sprinkle in the local "this is how we always do it", and / or literally not knowing the proper way
and there you are.

There's also the non-trivial reality that the Line Staff are also learning themselves.

Using the poor analogy of the RDC / DI / TI, these people have all been successful themselves,
and been trained and demonstrated the proper techniques to the point of excellence.

CAP Cadet NCOs are a product of the same system that produces the student cadets, with no
additional vetting or training.  In most cases Cadet Flight Sergeants are at the edge or their
own bandwidth just being a staff member as a large activity - worried as much about
"where my binder is", and whether I'm "cool with the Flight Commander", as to mentoring
a struggling new student who is "screwing up us getting honor flight".

How much time is, and can be, spent "Training the trainer" varies widely from wing to wing
and has a number of factors - there is also a surprising disparity in regards to the actual
ability of cadet officers as well. Not all pips and diamonds are created equal.

Some wings have activities specific to just training encampment staff, some have a day, some
are "bring your own".
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 02:19:16 PM »

// All //

Definitely this.

How many cadets are graded on a drill test by another cadet under the "supervision" of a senior member who doesn't know D&C? It's not uncommon at all. So you get even senior cadet NCOs who have advanced without proper instruction and proper evaluation, and they're instructing other cadets incorrectly (if that's their role in the unit...generally your C/PANCO isn't teaching drill).

Encampments obviously vary Wing to Wing, to include the differences in cultures that go along with each Wing (or the clique running the Encampment). And as Eclipse said, "not all pips and diamonds are created equal." This is such a true statement. Sometimes, there's a belief and an expectation of the skill level of cadets based on their insignia with little regard to the culture of skill sets of where the cadets come from.

I've visited units at which I'm looking at a cadet asking "How did this kid ever make it to C/CMSgt," to which I'm told "Well, he tries really hard and he means well." No, seriously. That's a legitimate statement I've heard when I'm looking at a C/CMSgt who can't even perform facing movements or even recite the Cadet Oath.

I say it all the time: you have issues of complacency and you have issues of skill. Sometimes they're tough to identify because there are some people who think they're doing things the right way, and then there are others who don't care to learn.

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