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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Cadet historian and tracking down unit history
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uncrisppotato
Recruit

Posts: 5
Unit: SER-GA-098

« on: October 15, 2018, 02:33:38 PM »

Hey everyone. I'm really interested in tracking down my unit's history and compiling it all since no one has in probably decades but I'm still a cadet so this may prove to be a challenge. Does anyone have any idea on where to start? If I would need to get the historian badge? Would it even be possible? That sort of thing. My unit doesn't currently have a SM historian though and hasn't had one for awhile. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks y'all
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,301

« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 03:51:58 PM »

First, don't worry about the badge for now.

Second, track down previous unit commanders. They should have some idea of what happened during their tenure. Of course, how far back you can go depends on how old your unit is.
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AdAstra
Forum Regular

Posts: 159

« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 06:56:08 PM »

Researching your unit’s history is a challenge that any interested member can undertake without being appointed a “CAP historian”. Yes, cadets can complete the Technician rating for Historian, as outlined in CAPP 223, Historian Specialty Track Study Guide, and wear the Historian badge. However, little of that study would directly help your project.

How long have you been a member? Start by recording the "history" that you've experienced --- people, places, events --- and work backwards in time.

As Arajca suggested, tracking down and interviewing former commanders and long-time members is a logical step. Creating a good timeline of former commanders can be a useful structure around which you can build the history.

Look around your squadron and inventory everything of “historical value”: scrapbooks, records, activity flyers, newsletters, newspaper articles, etc. You’ll be amazed what how much stuff (and junk!) gets squirreled away at the average squadron.

Ask your Personnel Officer for assistance to search 201 files of long-time members. Old personnel authorizations and travel letters, in particular, have lots of good information. Remember that you’ll be dealing with Personally Identifiable Information (PII).                                                                                                   

Contact your Wing Historian, who may have information about your unit’s history.

Search online newspaper archives for articles about your unit. Most archives are free or have cheap one-month subscriptions. Using search functions, it’s easy to target your local area and time period.

Good luck with your research!
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Charles Wiest
ol'fido
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,889
Unit: DOTCOTE.

« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 08:22:42 PM »

Most online newpaper archives will not have the kinds of stories you are looking for. I went to local libraries where many of the newspapers are on microfilm and went through the reels from Jan 1941 on. I found quite a bit. Also, the library may have microfilm copies of newspapers that are no longer published. I viewed and then copied these using the library's OP-10 machine. The copies are of poor quality usually but they can also give you specific dates to search for in online archives where you may be able to print better quality copies. I also looked for articles on CAP in general. It can take a while to get through, but after a while, you will figure out how to breeze through classified ads and sale bills.

It was also interesting to read contemporary reporting of significant historical events as I went through these as well.
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
Historian, Group 1, IL-006
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,142
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 09:39:58 AM »

Hi cadet.

First, make sure that your commander knows what you're doing. Then, ask Lt Col Karabasz to get started. He can turn you on to other local POCs, and I can put you in touch with Lt Col Berry as well from 045 SSCS.

V/r
Spam

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uncrisppotato
Recruit

Posts: 5
Unit: SER-GA-098

« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 08:18:08 PM »

hey everyone, thanks for the advice. Seems like a logical place to start. I'll get working on it lol. Our Squadron's personnel development officer has been deployed for awhile now but I'll be sure to ask him about the records when he gets back. Ohh and to answer someone's question, I've been in the program for roughly 2 and a half years now. I do have a question, if I were to contact the wing historian how would I go about doing that? Just email them directly or have my squadron commander do it? I don't have much communication with wing so I'm not too sure about how to do this. As always, thanks everyone for the help!

I think I've got a long road ahead of me with some great history to come :D
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uncrisppotato
Recruit

Posts: 5
Unit: SER-GA-098

« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 08:21:24 PM »

Hi cadet.

First, make sure that your commander knows what you're doing. Then, ask Lt Col Karabasz to get started. He can turn you on to other local POCs, and I can put you in touch with Lt Col Berry as well from 045 SSCS.

V/r
Spam

You bring up a very good point about letting command know. I can't remember if I've told him or not so I'll make sure to let him know come next meeting. The next time I see Lt Col. Karabasz I'll be sure to ask him about it too.

I'm not too familiar with what 45 SSCS is but any lead I can get at this point I'll take so thanks for that!
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,258

« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 08:29:26 PM »

You bring up a very good point about letting command know. I can't remember if I've told him or not so I'll make sure to let him know come next meeting.

Remember, you're "asking" not "telling".

As a "Freemen on the Land" you can research anything you like, but if you want support or official
connectivity to the unit or CAP broadly, the activities need to be approved.
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uncrisppotato
Recruit

Posts: 5
Unit: SER-GA-098

« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 08:33:37 PM »

You bring up a very good point about letting command know. I can't remember if I've told him or not so I'll make sure to let him know come next meeting.

Remember, you're "asking" not "telling".
Very true. He's a really good commander though so I'm sure he won't mind but I'll be sure to ask and not tell lol
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ol'fido
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,889
Unit: DOTCOTE.

« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2018, 09:19:30 PM »

Oh, BTW, LtCol Karabasz and I attending the IL Wing Flight Encampment together in 1981. I say the IL Wing Flight Encampment because it wasn't the Johnson Flight Academy at the time. I ran into him and a couple of cadets from GA Wing at the gander Mountain in Marion, IL a couple of years ago. They were headed home from JFA. Tell him I said hello.
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
Historian, Group 1, IL-006
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