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i_am_a_politician
Recruit

Posts: 20

« on: November 28, 2018, 04:05:08 PM »

I noticed that CAP is the only youth military like program (except for JROTC programs) with a Cadet Officer structure.  Upon review of the Sea Cadets and Young Marines, I noticed all their cadet grades are enlisted.  Is there a reason for this or is it just a choice of CAP to do this?
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C/2d Lt Politician
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,573

« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2018, 04:47:50 PM »

Well, I think it's important to not waive off JROTC, because, really, that's what the CAP Cadet Program is in its overall purpose. The opportunities may differ in CAP than in, say, Army JROTC; but the general gist is the same.

CAP/CP, as in JROTC, and collegiate ROTC for comparison, employs a structure in which cadets serve as staffs to build a regular training cycle and periodic activity planning. The structure supports more than just drill and ceremonies instruction to the broad nature of cadet learning (i.e., leadership fundamentals, aerospace, emergency services, etc.) that requires that structure to adequately function (that is, if the seniors weren't to plan everything for them).

CAP/CP is also focused toward the teenage member group, whereas Young Marines and Sea Cadets have a much wider age range:
- Young Marines from 8 and up
- 10-13 for the "League Cadets," and 14+ for the "Sea Cadets"

Sea Cadet training is heavily influenced by their adult members providing a large amount of technical instruction, whereas CAP encourages cadets to become the instructions at virtually all levels...such as using cadets to provide ground team training or instruction in the classroom on aerospace subject matter (and I'm solely referring to training and qualifications, not actual mission service). This puts CAP in a span well beyond that of just drill being taught by cadets.

Organizations like Sea Cadets are also very technical-based, which is generally more applicable to the enlisted level than strategic planning at the officer level. What they'll do is much similar to what enlisted line personnel would learn versus the varying administrative roles that officers may often have, which CAP uses to provide that foundation for cadets in "running their own program."

Basically, our programs run different, and that requires different levels of staffing.

The CAP Cadet Program is VERY heavily geared as a pure leadership training program with activities as the backbone for both morale (fun) and experience (lessons learned). If we wanted to put a lesser emphasis on the leadership development---and accept lesser leadership development by our cadet members---in trade for technical proficiency, we would shift our structure to be less advancement-focused and more on subject matter expertise in the classroom (i.e., adults with first-hand backgrounds in the field).
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2018, 05:22:06 PM »

The CAP Cadet Program is VERY heavily geared as a pure leadership training program with activities as the backbone for both morale (fun) and experience (lessons learned). If we wanted to put a lesser emphasis on the leadership development---and accept lesser leadership development by our cadet members---in trade for technical proficiency, we would shift our structure to be less advancement-focused and more on subject matter expertise in the classroom (i.e., adults with first-hand backgrounds in the field).

Well put, and I think CAP's biggest strength and also biggest weakness.

As a C/NCO, you learn how to be a "cadet".

As a C/Officer, you learn how to manage other C/Officers and C/NCOs to build more "cadets".

A CAP cadet who doesn't participate in extracurriculars and NCSAs, isn't going to have many tangible
skills useful outside a military or corporate middle-management environment.

I'm not knocking the CP for this, there are only so many hours and that's the tac its chosen.
Looking at an org like the BSA, it's almost all life-skills with most "leadership" left to the adults.

Just the nature of different organizations.

It is interesting though, that while one could surmise the extended length CAP cadets get
to become C/Officers is intended to really grow those skills, the majority leave CAP,
at least from a practical perspective, around the same time as the other orgs cut off membership (18).
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GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 193
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 07:09:26 PM »

An interesting question. JROTC was started in 1916 but was very small until 1964 when it started expanding. The CAP cadet program began in 1942. According to this website: http://www.capchistoryproject.org/grade-insignia.html, cadet officers were authorized in 1945 and rank insignia which resembles the current insignia was introduced in 1949.
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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 861
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 08:23:21 PM »

An interesting question. JROTC was started in 1916 but was very small until 1964 when it started expanding.

Drifting off topic for a bit...

The (supposedly) first JROTC Unit West of the Mississippi (and mentioned as being possibly the first in the US to have a formation) was the Riverside Polytechnic High School Battalion in Riverside, CA. I was a member of that Battalion from 1969-1971 and got to meet with a lot of graduates from the 20’s and 30’s. Fascinating, as most of them were commissioned during WWII - a HS diploma and three years of JROTC made them eligible for Reserve commissions when they turned 21.

The reason why it is murky as to which unit was first is that the first one East of the Mississippi was disbanded long ago when the HS closed and all records from the CA unit were destroyed in a basement flooding in the early 60’s and the records were in cardboard boxes stacked up in the basement.  Also lost were Army sabers dating back to before WW1.  Lesson applicable to -  CAP - digitize squadron records and store artifacts securely.


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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.
OldGuy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 513
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 11:47:17 PM »

Interesting. I was a cadet in both CAP and JROTC, very similar in many way - very different in other ways. Rank/grades very similar, military science/leadership courses, very similar. Nothing like AE or Moral Leadership in JROTC (I was Army JROTC, and we did get more weapons training, including a great match rifle team!)

Both offered E3 rights after a certain level (Mitchell in CAP, 3 years JROTC), iirc 2 years JROTC enabled an E2.

Both valuable, would not trade one for the other.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,573

« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 11:32:27 AM »

Interesting. I was a cadet in both CAP and JROTC, very similar in many way - very different in other ways. Rank/grades very similar, military science/leadership courses, very similar. Nothing like AE or Moral Leadership in JROTC (I was Army JROTC, and we did get more weapons training, including a great match rifle team!)

Both offered E3 rights after a certain level (Mitchell in CAP, 3 years JROTC), iirc 2 years JROTC enabled an E2.

Both valuable, would not trade one for the other.

Army JROTC most definitely differs from AF JROTC. But let's be clear: like in CAP, the activities you conduct as a cadet in any organization are only as good as those that your local level puts out there for you to get involved in, whether that means conducting them locally or enticing you to do them at a higher, broader level.

Army JROTC is going to have a higher emphasis on Army-like operations. Air Force JROTC is going to have a higher emphasis on Air Force-like operations, much like CAP will. Remember, the bottom line of any Army training is to produce a basic rifleman as the least-level training expertise, and then build up your assigned duties from there (i.e., Infantryman, Engineer Branch, etc.). Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard will obviously differ in that regard because of the 'typical' role of those branches. This is often why you see Army-style programs with higher enrollments than other organizations; and I'll include military schools in that regard (youth level only)---it's more exciting overall for the age group.

Not every cadet wants to go into the military, although there is a good percentage that does. But let's get that out of the way. Those that do... not everyone wants to carry a rifle in the muck. Those folks definitely don't get excited over the Army career path, even though most people in the Army don't walk around the Golden Triangle slinging an M60 like Jack Black pumping themselves full of jellybeans. Most people who want to be pilots are enthused over fighter jets, and they don't generally go toward the sea warfare route.

CAP has a niche in its cadet program with Air Force-like career exploration...although we do have a semi-weird mix of SAR, but that can entice the pararescue junkies. Sea Cadets aren't in that same niche; they're going to focus more on maritime operations than they are land-based SAR.

But, overall, CAP has a much stronger leadership-based philosophy than some other youth organizations, with, what I would call, moderate technical exposure in the curriculum more so through AE/STEM. Then there are some fairly advanced technical learning opportunities in the voluntary training programs.

Where I think we tend to fall short sometimes is in being consistent and procedurally-developed in our training curricula for cadets---specifically in the "things are the things that get taught in a classroom and activities your unit WILL conduct throughout the calendar year." You'll always have some units better than others in any organization; that comes with the people you have at your fingertips to employ. But CAP units are vastly different in a 20-mile gap: one unit might be doing water foam airplanes for AE while another is running a robotics lab simulating space exploration; one unit is doing purely ES ground team training while another is doing weekly hip-pocket speeches and drill. --- I'm not familiar enough with JROTC to know how different neighboring units may be; I assume it's out there just as it is in CAP, but that's purely an assumption.


I don't think anyone disputes how tough it can be to run a youth cadet organization regardless of what your curriculum is because of the time it requires to be dedicated...and the fact that often times, if not every time, the return is watching the cadets develop and grow versus the cadre achieving productivity and recognition. And I think that applies to cadet officers and seniors just as well.
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Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,204

« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 01:19:40 PM »

I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time working with the leaders of both the (Army) JROTC and AFJROTC while we explored possible synergies and other topics of mutual concern.

Both are outstanding youth development programs offered by our colleagues in the DoD.  Interestingly, both define themselves as citizenship and life-skills program and specifically disavow any sort of recruiting / accession missions.  Together they have nearly a half-million cadets enrolled in something like 4,000 high schools nationwide, supported by approximately 6,000 paid instructors.  Who are, in turn, supported by fairly large headquarters units in the Army Cadet Command and at the Air University.  I have close friends who work as instructors in the programs.

There are a lot of comparisons to be made between CAP and the JROTC programs.  Obviously, they are much larger than we, and accordingly train far more cadets than we do.  Like CAP, they are funded through appropriated funds channeled through the DoD, but their budgets and supporting infrastructure are things we can only dream about.  On the other hand, they are restricted to operating in high schools (which means a maximum of four years in their program), while CAP is (largely) a community-based program in which a cadet can participate for nearly twice as long.  JROTC budgets wax and wane with the priorities of the DoD and Congress, but for at least the last 15 years, at least,  CAP offers far more summer activities for our cadets, including things like COS, IACE, and the career exploration activities.  Both JROTC and CAP cadets may receive advanced placement / pay for those cadets who later choose to serve in the armed forces. 

Although I'm at work and don't have my numbers handy, it is interesting to note that the military calculates cost factors in a lot of different ways.  One interesting factoid is that the Air Force believes that CAP is far more efficient -- dollar for dollar -- per accession than JROTC; and that former CAP cadets, on average, graduate BMT at higher rates than former JROTC cadets.  (And yes, neither CAP nor JROTC have a purpose or mission to recruit for the military.  But I find it interesting that they track the data and run the numbers anyway.)

And getting back to the OP, CAP has had a progression program from "enlisted" through officer grades for cadets essentially from the start.  We believe that the followership and direct supervisor leadership training given to PI and PII cadets are important for every American.  And in contrast to some of the youth military-based youth development programs, we also believe that the indirect leadership training given in PIII and PIV are vital skills for future leaders in the community, state, and nation.

I have also worked extensively with the leadership of the other military-based youth programs, and those programs appear to be excellent choices for their members.  America's youth has a number of great alternatives from which to select.

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

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francisderosa16
Member

Posts: 79
Unit: NER-MA-022

« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 08:43:18 PM »

I was a sea cadet petty officer first class, and USNSCC had cadet officers, it was really competition to become one. However, in my unit, cadets were not allowed to become adult members without joining some form of armed forces, [merchant marine, marine corps, navy, etc.]. But that was just my unit. Other units have adult officers which was an honorary grade. That's just my expierience. CAP, on the other hand, preferably, I liked better, due to the reason you can serve missions, [SAR and Disaster Relief.]

Hope this gives insight!

DeRosa
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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 861
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 02:20:08 AM »

I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time working with the leaders of both the (Army) JROTC and AFJROTC while we explored possible synergies and other topics of mutual concern.

Both are outstanding youth development programs offered by our colleagues in the DoD.  Interestingly, both define themselves as citizenship and life-skills program and specifically disavow any sort of recruiting / accession missions.  Together they have nearly a half-million cadets enrolled in something like 4,000 high schools nationwide, supported by approximately 6,000 paid instructors.  Who are, in turn, supported by fairly large headquarters units in the Army Cadet Command and at the Air University.  I have close friends who work as instructors in the programs.
 [SNIP]
Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

In the 20’s 30’s and perhaps early 40’s, JROTC, as in the HIGH SCHOOL version, was not only an acquisition source for enlisted soldiers, it was an accession source for commissioned officers. HS diploma plus a three year JROTC certificate could qualify for a USAR commission. Perhaps one of the best known to go that route was Ronald Spears, the longest serving C. O. Of “Easy Company” of “Band of Brothers”  fame who eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Yes, he was commissioned a second lieutenant based on completing JROTC. 

In the 50’s through mid 70’s, the officer accession part was eliminated, but enlisted accession was still a big thing. We (JROTC cadets) were constantly visited by recruiters from all services, but especially Army. A fourth year certificate was offered for completing four years, either grades 9-12 or 10-12, with the latter attending field training over two Spring breaks plus some weekend extra training yo make up the fourth year. A four year JROTC certificate was good for E-4 upon enlistment with results running from great success to horrible disaster - E-3 seems to be the sweet spot for that sort of thing). The program was supposed to be branch generic, but honestly it was heavily infantry oriented.

We had M-1 Garands issued to us, and M-1 carbines, depending  on position. Cadet field grade officers had M-1911A1’s issued (I can’t picture a HS program on high school property issuing .45s to 17 year olds today, even with the firing pins removed as ours were).

The reason for considering JROTC an accession source was simple. The draft. The Army found it advantageous to sprinkle trained ex-JROTC cadets through basic training companies full of draftees. And...the training at HS had been designed to effectively be a “distance learning” version of Army basic training.

All of that was slowly phased out starting in the mid-70s until it was completely supplanted by the current citizenship, leadership and community service model which they use now.

So, as has been mentioned, different organizations developed for different purposes even though each had common areas. I just thought some might find the back story about JROTC to be of some interest.




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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.
OldGuy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 513
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 03:05:43 AM »

CAP offers far more summer activities for our cadets, including things like COS, IACE, and the career exploration activities. 
Indeed, CAP offered a FAR more robust summer training opportunity schedule. Still does.

BTW thank you for your service to the CP, on my behalf (as a cadet from long ago), as the parent of former cadets (from not quite that long ago, but well twenty years have passed) and as a leader of cadets today again. In my opinion, CAP has always - and still - offers the very best youth leadership program anywhere.

Unlike JROTC you and me and the rest of us are volunteers, our entire national paid staff is smaller then the LAUSD JROTC uniformed staff. You should be very, very proud of what you (and all of the CP team) have accomplished and offer. Truly, thank you.

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i_am_a_politician
Recruit

Posts: 20

« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 04:11:21 PM »

I was a sea cadet petty officer first class, and USNSCC had cadet officers, it was really competition to become one. However, in my unit, cadets were not allowed to become adult members without joining some form of armed forces, [merchant marine, marine corps, navy, etc.]. But that was just my unit. Other units have adult officers which was an honorary grade. That's just my expierience. CAP, on the other hand, preferably, I liked better, due to the reason you can serve missions, [SAR and Disaster Relief.]

Hope this gives insight!

DeRosa

That's strange.  I looked into this and the highest grade achievable by a cadet is Cadet Chief Petty Officer (C/NCO grade).  There are adult members who hold officer grades but overall I don't see any Cadet Officer grades.  Can you point me to where it says Cadet Officers exist?
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C/2d Lt Politician
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,347

« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 05:28:44 PM »

I was a sea cadet petty officer first class, and USNSCC had cadet officers, it was really competition to become one.

Wikipedia disagrees:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Naval_Sea_Cadet_Corps#Ranks_and_rates
"Sea cadet rates follow the same path as of the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard enlisted rates from E-1 (Seaman Recruit) through E-7 (chief petty officer)"

However, in my unit, cadets were not allowed to become adult members without joining some form of armed forces, [merchant marine, marine corps, navy, etc.]. But that was just my unit. Other units have adult officers which was an honorary grade. That's just my expierience. CAP, on the other hand, preferably, I liked better, due to the reason you can serve missions, [SAR and Disaster Relief.]

Without speaking to what your unit may, or may not have "allowed", that would not have been in keeping with what is posted as membership requirements for adults:
http://www.seacadets.org/faqs/#BecomingAVolunteer

"WHAT IS THE USNSCC OFFICER CORPS?

The NSCC Officer Corps is made of dedicated volunteers adult leaders, both civilian and military, who provide for the administration of all facets of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This includes the operation of local units to the operation of two-week summer training programs. Officers must be U.S. Citizens and be at least 21 years of age.

WHAT IS AN NSCC MIDSHIPMAN?
NSCC midshipmen are adult leaders in training who are between the ages of 18 and 21. Normally NSCC midshipmen are former cadets who reached the rate of seaman as a cadet, former JROTC cadets, or members of the military who are not old enough to be an NSCC instructor or officer."


Age would appear to be the issue with former cadets, not military service.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 06:47:54 PM by Eclipse » Logged


SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,512
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 06:44:45 PM »

I had a brief adjunct involvement with the Sea Cadets a while back, and several of the adult members were civilians. Others, like myself, were retired Navy.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
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