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blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« on: October 13, 2018, 04:51:27 PM »

Vanguard has these listed for 32.80 each; I find that to be a bit extreme.. even for vanguard standards that are normally 2x the price of the Exchange.

https://www.vanguardmil.com/products/civil-air-patrol-cadet-officer-shoulder-board-for-service-coat

If any of your squadrons have spares send me a message I'd be happy to buy them from you for a more reasonable price.  We're going to have to buy a couple now for the cadets who promoted but I'd like a more affordable source to get 2 or four spares in my inventory.

Thanks.



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Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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MSG Mac
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,939
Unit: MER-MD-071

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 09:39:16 PM »

If you've been to a Uniform store. $32.80 is reasonable. Military Officers can pay up $40-80 for a pair of boards with embroidered grade. Cadet shoulder boards do cost a lot. I wouldn't be disappointed if CAP changed to cadet hard rank worn on the epaulet.
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,354

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 10:46:07 PM »

If you've been to a Uniform store. $32.80 is reasonable. Military Officers can pay up $40-80 for a pair of boards with embroidered grade. Cadet shoulder boards do cost a lot. I wouldn't be disappointed if CAP changed to cadet hard rank worn on the epaulet.

Well, considering that you only need the shoulder boards for the Service Dress Jacket, they're not exactly mandatory.
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blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 02:45:04 AM »

The cadets who have earned these - have been involved in the squadron for over 3 years and have put in a lot of work and effort... They rarely ask for much and I'm going to be sure to buy them; we have a group conference soon and they will be wearing their jackets - plus they are both in color guard and are wearing their full uniforms on average 3 times a month.

I did just look up the prices for the military versions on the Exchange site.. was quite surprised to see they cost between 30 and 60.00 each; Seems the market for this is pretty niche' and they can command a premium.

-This posting I'm sure will be valid for quite a long time until I find a source for used shoulder boards... 

I expect this is a rare item that not many would have extra of to sell.


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Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,354

« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 10:34:17 AM »

Why do you have cadet officers on your color guard? That's a position for Cadet Airmen and NCO's.
By the time one of your color guard members makes C/CMSgt they need to be actively training their replacement.
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blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 01:43:45 PM »

We have 15 cadets of which 6 to 10 actively show up each week; two have not made curry yet, three of them have recently earned their first rank and do not even have blues yet; our inventory is tiny and our budget is minuscule.

We have 10 senior members of which 3 actively show up each week. (the others are working full time, in college or deployed so they only attend once each quarter at best)

Our recruitment efforts - with having such limited staff - are not sufficient and we are lucky to get 2 guests per month checking us out. 

Aka - the struggles of a tiny squadron that doesn't have enough support to do everything.  We focus on the important things and try to do them well.

Our squadron sometimes relies on the support of other squadrons around us to staff community events - including color guard activities.

I don't want to take this off topic; I'm just finishing the act of shoring up all of our senior level duty requirements including logistics and inventory so that I will be able to reapply my efforts to recruitment.

Must have our program in order from the management side before I seek to bring more people in.

That said - our squadron performs admirably in the community - our cadets generally want for nothing *these shoulder boards being an exception) and we cover all the required aspects of the program and go above and beyond with activities ...

/back on topic -- anyone with inventory solutions please offer me your suggestions.


I'm actually organizing a conversation in my wing to start using a Software solution for Expendable inventory that would solve our squadons problems; and improve things across the board for others as well.

Any of you that are curious feel free to click here for a survey:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdLrqRyYufHgVXqQ-x7AdrE_qmn--dQCb1FGuCSavHHze3V2Q/viewform?usp=sf_link


and Here for the results and planning Sheet :

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VvJEAhvpUEyCJyl80H5FI_lekxhpqHcyLp4f3wgQ-ZE/edit?usp=sharing






« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 01:50:24 PM by blombardo » Logged
Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,313

« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 02:14:50 PM »

On the topic of cadet shoulder boards and cost. Other units probably paid the full amount for them and would not be willing to give you a discount that would end up costing them money.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 03:01:27 PM »

You're simply showing the same challenges the majority of CAP units have, along
with the same mistakes they make.

Officers don't belong on color guards.

Senior members, on the whole, should not be shouldering expenses for cadets who are not their children.

If those cadets want / need the boards, then the expense is on them.  Covering these types of costs
generally instills an inappropriate level of "ownership" of situations, which can manifest itself negatively
when decisions have to be made that don't agree with the "banker's" ideas.

You indicate you want to get the management house in order, then one of the first things to do is adhere to
the precepts of the program - namely, staff your color guards appropriately, which then solves your issue
about the service coats.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 03:09:34 PM by Eclipse » Logged


Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 03:08:43 PM »

Tangential to this - the fact that cadets can't just wear the cadet epaulet sleeves on service coats is ridiculous
and a wholly unnecessary expense which conflicts with the rhetoric from NHQ about keeping costs for members,
especially cadets, down.

One could certainly ask the question as to why CAP needs custom items when there are any number of other
cadet organizations. including the USAFA that have perfectly acceptable similar items.
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blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 01:26:18 AM »


Senior members, on the whole, should not be shouldering expenses for cadets who are not their children.

staff your color guards appropriately, which then solves your issue
about the service coats.

--Senior members have to pay for everything -- then request reimbursement.. at least that's how it works here in PA...  I generally float between 500 and a thousand bucks at a time for squadron inventory purchases.  This past year alone I must have gone through quite a few thousand getting various inventory items to get our squadron up and running better.

And the cadets staff fundraising events through the year - and they visit local VFW's and other places to seek funding for things.  so the money in our squadron account goes to them...  Any uniform items they get are returned to our squadron if/when they leave so the squadron purchases items and in time will recycle them to the next cadet.  We park cars at two Giant Fairs (week long events) during the summer and our cadets camp out the entire week - earning quite a "fair" profit in the end.

At the moment we have three new 2nd lt cadets - who are our highest ranking (and only) cadet officers.  So as a squadron - we need to acquire these things - because all the other cadet officers in our group will be wearing them at our group conference in a few weeks...

I would certainly like it if NHQ would change the requirements for these over priced things.. but until they do - the cadets need to be in the proper uniform especially when our wing commander will be there - with local news media and so on at a conference.

- I'm guessing that there is no 'alternative' to Vanguard?  No competitor?  I've googled around but I'm only finding references to the financial company; not the uniform supply one.

-I did browse facebook 'the craigslist of GLR CAP ' or something to that effect. - I wonder how many other marketplace groups like that exist...?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/167295749978519/

There are various things listed but not what I need.


--Talk about expensive shoulder boards..  English Royal Navy Admiral is 180 Euros...  crazy.  Tghats $207.00 US
https://www.ecsnaith.com/rank-marking/shoulder-boards/rn-admiral-ceremonial-shoulder-boards.html
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 01:37:04 AM by blombardo » Logged
Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,354

« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 02:14:08 AM »

Those Royal Navy shoulder boards have gold wire embroidery. That tends to raise the cost just a little bit.
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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 861
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 04:22:19 AM »

Tangential to this - the fact that cadets can't just wear the cadet epaulet sleeves on service coats is ridiculous
and a wholly unnecessary expense which conflicts with the rhetoric from NHQ about keeping costs for members,
especially cadets, down.

One could certainly ask the question as to why CAP needs custom items when there are any number of other
cadet organizations. including the USAFA that have perfectly acceptable similar items.

You’ve made this argument in the past. My counter is the same as it has always been:

If you never wore cadet officer shoulder boards, then you will never know what it means to wear them.


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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,660

« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 01:25:00 PM »


Senior members, on the whole, should not be shouldering expenses for cadets who are not their children.

staff your color guards appropriately, which then solves your issue
about the service coats.

--Senior members have to pay for everything -- then request reimbursement.. at least that's how it works here in PA...  I generally float between 500 and a thousand bucks at a time for squadron inventory purchases.  This past year alone I must have gone through quite a few thousand getting various inventory items to get our squadron up and running better.

And the cadets staff fundraising events through the year - and they visit local VFW's and other places to seek funding for things.  so the money in our squadron account goes to them...  Any uniform items they get are returned to our squadron if/when they leave so the squadron purchases items and in time will recycle them to the next cadet.  We park cars at two Giant Fairs (week long events) during the summer and our cadets camp out the entire week - earning quite a "fair" profit in the end.

At the moment we have three new 2nd lt cadets - who are our highest ranking (and only) cadet officers.  So as a squadron - we need to acquire these things - because all the other cadet officers in our group will be wearing them at our group conference in a few weeks...

I would certainly like it if NHQ would change the requirements for these over priced things.. but until they do - the cadets need to be in the proper uniform especially when our wing commander will be there - with local news media and so on at a conference.

- I'm guessing that there is no 'alternative' to Vanguard?  No competitor?  I've googled around but I'm only finding references to the financial company; not the uniform supply one.

-I did browse facebook 'the craigslist of GLR CAP ' or something to that effect. - I wonder how many other marketplace groups like that exist...?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/167295749978519/

There are various things listed but not what I need.


--Talk about expensive shoulder boards..  English Royal Navy Admiral is 180 Euros...  crazy.  Tghats $207.00 US
https://www.ecsnaith.com/rank-marking/shoulder-boards/rn-admiral-ceremonial-shoulder-boards.html

Good grief what kind of inventory orders are you placing that cost $500-$1k a pop?

It’s funny, one of my deputy commanders and I were talking about these just the other night. We’ve decided to stop keeping them around - we don’t have a huge number of cadets in service coats and if they do want to get a service coat it’s not hard for the member to get them from VG.


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The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,512
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 03:03:48 PM »


- I'm guessing that there is no 'alternative' to Vanguard?  No competitor?  I've googled around but I'm only finding references to the financial company; not the uniform supply one.


That is correct. Vanguard has an exclusive contract with CAP to supply CAP branded items. In return, Vanguard returns a certain percentage of the profit to CAP.

I think that having more than one company provide insignia items would actually make them more expensive, due to economy of scale. Simply put, the higher the volume, the less expensive they get.


The volume on most CAP insignia items is already so low, in comparison to the military services, that they are operating on a slim profit margin. "Spreading the wealth" among multiple suppliers would make the items closer to unprofitability for all, and possibly lessen quality in an attempt to compete.

Do an advanced search on "economy", and my user name, to see other discussion on the subject.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 03:17:36 PM »

With the monthly ~10% coupon, shipping would probably be a wash, or maybe even free for cadets
who have to order the boards plus a full promotion "kit".

If the unit wants to cover the cost, great - cadet places order, submits receipt to unit, WBP issues
a check.  No inventory, no one fronting hundred of dollars.

I ended the practice of hoarding insignia items as well.  It's a terrible use of squadron funds - locking them
up in a file cabinet or tackle box in "hopes" they will be needed. 

My last unit had hundreds of dollars of insignia that will never be used.  We would still take one / leave one
for the things still there, but no more pre-orders.
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blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 09:37:50 PM »

Thats a pretty good idea; we should do that more often.. making individual cadets submit the reimbursements... Of course most of the big purchase being done by me are things that are for the squadron - much of it is recruitment and activity related- Tents, tables, chairs, table cloths, banners, flags (color guard stuff) cones, safety vests, parking wands, shelving electrical lighting and extension cords, various aerospace kits, drones, storage boxes, etc...


-10% coupons?  Where did you ever find that ?  I've never seen one from vanguard! 

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Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 09:57:39 PM »

There's generally one a month on the Twitter page:



All you hep cats are meeting there these days!
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MSG Mac
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,939
Unit: MER-MD-071

« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 11:44:43 PM »

There are also Discount codes for: Facebook FB; Google GP: and Instagram IN: Month and last 4 numbers remain the same:

FBOCT1018

GPOCT1018
INOCT1018
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 05:43:19 PM »

wow if there was a reputation button on this forum I'd be spamming it right now.... That's going to save us a lot of money... Great info to know...

Wish someone would have mentioned this to me before... I'll be  sure to let everyone that I speak with know about this trick; they probably have no clue... I'm going to get it added to our group website as well... lol

Thanks for all the tips and replies.    Really valuable conversation here.  Thanks to all the contributors...

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Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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PaulPaul
Newbie

Posts: 1
Unit: GLR-MI-655

« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 08:01:21 PM »

 :clap:
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CFToaster
Recruit

Posts: 14
Unit: SER-FL-116

« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 01:33:32 PM »

If you never wore cadet officer shoulder boards, then you will never know what it means to wear them.

I reckon there are two kinds of people in this world; those that the bling matters to, and those that it doesn't.
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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 861
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2018, 06:44:14 AM »

If you never wore cadet officer shoulder boards, then you will never know what it means to wear them.

I reckon there are two kinds of people in this world; those that the bling matters to, and those that it doesn't.

Let me guess. Not a cadet or former cadet? But, if you were, then you weren’t a cadet officer?


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_________________
Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
CFToaster
Recruit

Posts: 14
Unit: SER-FL-116

« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2018, 01:12:53 PM »

Let me guess. Not a cadet or former cadet? But, if you were, then you weren’t a cadet officer?

You are correct; you and I did not have the exact same experience. But I did hold a comparable position of trust and responsibility in my youth. I never wore the badge of office, and gladly mailed it back it to NHQ in protest against the organization's unjust practices. The bling doesn't matter to me.

You have your CAP resume in your signature line. It's clearly important to you that others know of your accomplishments.  Those are certainly things to be proud of, and give strangers an idea of where your advice and opinions are coming from. I have no objections.

At the risk of humblebragging, I have earned my share of honors, awards, and certifications both vocationally and avocationally. My diplomas don't hang in my office and I don't wear my professional society pins. My hope is that my words and actions inspire confidence in my capabilities. I want people to conclude, "CFToaster knows what he's talking about," not "CFToaster must know what he's talking about because he's a _________."

I'm just providing some diversity of opinion. Clearly there are some cadets for whom the trappings of office are important, but let's not forget that OP might be putting a significant effort into something that the cadets in question could be quite ambivalent about.

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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 861
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2018, 05:49:43 AM »

Let me guess. Not a cadet or former cadet? But, if you were, then you weren’t a cadet officer?

You are correct; you and I did not have the exact same experience. But I did hold a comparable position of trust and responsibility in my youth. I never wore the badge of office, and gladly mailed it back it to NHQ in protest against the organization's unjust practices. The bling doesn't matter to me.

You have your CAP resume in your signature line. It's clearly important to you that others know of your accomplishments.  Those are certainly things to be proud of, and give strangers an idea of where your advice and opinions are coming from. I have no objections.

At the risk of humblebragging, I have earned my share of honors, awards, and certifications both vocationally and avocationally. My diplomas don't hang in my office and I don't wear my professional society pins. My hope is that my words and actions inspire confidence in my capabilities. I want people to conclude, "CFToaster knows what he's talking about," not "CFToaster must know what he's talking about because he's a _________."

I'm just providing some diversity of opinion. Clearly there are some cadets for whom the trappings of office are important, but let's not forget that OP might be putting a significant effort into something that the cadets in question could be quite ambivalent about.

No, I do not list my “CAP résumé” in my sig line. Theres lots more. I just put those items in there 10 years ago to show I had the benefit/curse of a lot of time reflected in my posts and responses.

This isn’t a matter of cadets liking or not liking “bling.” They have to live with uniform standards and dint have the privilege of not wearing things they do not wish to wear, unless granted by regulations (such as short stacking).  A cadet can say all day and all night “bling isn’t important to me, so I don’t want to wear this” and nobody will care. The cadet will wear it regardless of preference.

I’m trying to figure out what  this even means: <<But I did hold a comparable position of trust and responsibility in my youth. I never wore the badge of office, and gladly mailed it back it to NHQ in protest against the organization's unjust practices. The bling doesn't matter to me.>> I can’t figure out what position of trust and responsibility would be comparable to being a cadet officer without being one and what possible “badge if office“ there was to mail back, unworn. I’m guessing now that the organization wasn’t CAP at all, making the point all the harder to find.


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_________________
Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
blombardo
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: NER-PA-007

Squadron 123 Group 6 PA
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2018, 01:34:37 PM »

I appreciate the replies but  - it seems this topics getting a bit salty...

I think we're good here unless someone else has a good link for discounted shoulderboards lol...   I ordered the three sets we need to look appropriate at our group 6 change of command and they were (finally) shipped out today; got the text notice a few minutes ago...

--Going forward I think I'll try to do a pre purchase order for these large $490.00 inventory /vanguard purchases...  just let our wing cut a check or pay with their credit card through the wing banker program rather than me and other seniors footing the bill each time then waiting 2 weeks for reimbursement
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Sr Member Brian Lombardo, CAP
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