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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Cadet Duty Assignments & Appropriate Grades
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Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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« on: March 27, 2019, 07:12:08 PM »

Consider this perhaps more of an awareness post than a question for the masses---

Just a reminder to the fellow Cadet Programs community, to include both Cadet Programs Officers (senior members) and cadet staffs (cadets):

CAPR 60-1 is the go-to regulation for the "must follow" items of the CAP Cadet Program, to include the requirements for cadets to advance through the program, both in their grade (C/Amn, C/SSgt, C/2d Lt...) and duties (Element Leader, Flight Sergeant, Flight Commander...).

CAP puts out minimum standards for cadet grades to hold various levels of duty and responsibility in their units (e.g., the Cadet Commander must, at a minimum, be a cadet officer). If entered into the eServices Cadet Duty Assignment module, you'll see that eServices will annotate the appropriate grade for the position, and will even disallow inappropriate grades (e.g., a C/SSgt cannot be appointed as a Flight Commander in eServices).

The intent for having grade-based duty assignments is to ensure that we are maximizing the potential for success of cadets to advancement, at an appropriate pace commensurate with their level of knowledge and experience, in the program.

We do a disservice to our cadets when we feel like they've done a great job and worked so hard to promote and then slap them into a completely inappropriate post for assignment.

For those who work with cadets but have not taken the Training Leaders of Cadets (TLC) Basic Course, let's jump forward to the "Service Learning" module which includes a review of the anatomy of the cadet staff structure in cadet/composite squadrons...

Let's remember that these positions can be modified for the needs of the unit's training outline. The staff structure should reflect both size of the unit, the intended opportunities for leadership and skill development, and the available (able to be assigned) grades of the cadet corps for that unit.

For example:
Note that the role of Cadet Commander requires (per CAPR 60-1) a minimum grade of C/2d Lt.
CAP recommends that a cadet be at least a C/Capt to serve in this role.

...holding the grade of C/MSgt means this cadet should not be a Cadet Commander for the unit's cadet corps.

Appendix 2 of the Cadet Staff Handbook (CAPP 60-31) includes examples of organizational charts for various sizes and available grades for cadet units.

For small units, when every cadet is still an airman
Perhaps C/A1Cs and C/SrAs should be element leaders, and the other cadets will be assigned in the subordinate elements.
*Don't worry! If you grow your unit, and retain your cadets, you'll see those grades increase and be able to assign your cadets to higher levels of responsibility.

For small units that have at least one cadet non-commissioned officer
Perhaps you assign a C/SSgt as your Flight Sergeant, with subordinate element leaders.

For small units that have one cadet officer and a few cadet NCOs
Maybe make your C/2d Lt the Flight Commander, assign a Flight Sergeant, and build up your elements.
Maybe make your C/Capt the Cadet Commander, and have the Flight Sergeant directly report to the Cadet Commander, with a couple of support staff roles (such as Cadet Activities NCO).

...the examples go on. I'll cut that short.

The key is to assign cadets to duties that reflect their grade so that they can exercise the lessons learned from both hands-on training experiences as well as what they have studied in their Learn to Lead chapters. If you choose to design some unique positions for your unit, try and point yourself to what the closest equivalent of that would be out of CAPR 60-1 or CAPP 60-31, and set the equivalent minimum grade (feel free to make your preferred grades higher). Please remember to provide job descriptions to your cadet staff so that they know the expectations of them.

You don't have to fill every position!

If you unit lacks a Cadet Commander:
"But we always had one" is a horrible answer.
Instead try, "We would love to have a Cadet Commander, so let's work on building up our core staff to earn the grade for that position."

Also, set term limits. You have a Cadet Commander; great. But they've been in that role for two years now. Are they still learning?
"But then we won't have a Cadet Commander..."
So what? No, seriously...so what? Maybe it's time for your Cadet Commander to serve as the Cadet Activities Officer to help social events, field trips, etc...and let the flight have a little more autonomy.

Something I learned early on in my adult life: A man can work for 30 years in a machine shop, on the same machine. He's a master at it. But he gets upset when a 30-year-old comes in and becomes his new manager. He's upset because this new guy never touched the machine. --- But the manager doesn't have to; he needs to know the basics of the job, and how to manage everyone in the shop, not just that single machine. The machinist never learned anything else.

This may have been a bit of a rant, although its intent was to be educational.

To recap and add some emphasis items:
  • Duty assignments should reflect cadets' grades
  • Maintain compliance with CAPR 60-1 for standards
  • Tailor your cadet staff structure to your unit (don't try to check the boxes)
  • Training classes are invaluable. Take TLC. Go to recurrent training if you've already taken it.
  • Read the book! Learn what the rules are. Learn what the guidance says.
  • Your job is to mentor young leaders and provide them with opportunities for success; not to solely do what seems nice at the time
  • Cadets who are challenged at their appropriate grade and duty assignment will do better
  • Cadets who are put into positions they aren't ready for will suffer, and feel entitled to constantly move up without question
  • You don't need to reinvent the wheel. But if you do, do your homework and take the appropriate steps.

....I'll get off the soap box now.
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Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
Posts: 30,119

« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 07:40:01 PM »

This should be mandatory reading >before< a Unit CC can accept appointment and / or part of TLC.
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Cadet Duty Assignments & Appropriate Grades

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