Awards presented to Squadron Commanders

Started by imposter87, April 11, 2019, 02:19:27 pm

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imposter87

So, I ask this because I have heard or seen all the below and wanted everyone's opinion or what they have seen.

Squadron Commanders at the end of the their 4 year run receive Wing ComComs, OR MSA's.

Squadron CC's receiving Wing ComComs after serving only a few years and resigning, or receiving an Achievement Ribbon.

What has everyone else seen? Is there an unwritten rule that says a "Commander at this level receives X Y Z".

Whats the "Rule" for what Group Commanders receive?

Eclipse

There are no rules other then what is published regarding the scope of the awards.

It's very common for a successful Unit CC to receive either an Achievement or Comm-Comm.

MSA for the average Unit CC would be inappropriate based on scope of the award.

Exceptions are made to all of this based on who has the pen or the mouse.



TheSkyHornet

April 11, 2019, 03:01:51 pm #2 Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 07:27:15 pm by TheSkyHornet
I don't think it would be inappropriate to award an Achievement to Squadron Commanders; although, they do have the Command Insignia Pin anyway.

I, personally, wouldn't award anything further than that. While you may have "contributed" as a Squadron Commander, it's still a post. Outstanding accomplishments should stand on their own, not necessarily related to the duty position.

If I had a Recruiting Officer that brought in 20 new seniors members a year and retained all of them over a four-year period, sure, I'd push for a higher award. If I saw a really tight-ship unit that had great leadership and made great improvements for themselves and the Wing, we'll talk about more recognition.

But running a unit to the extent of the Squadron Commander's responsibilities (i.e., par), no; absolutely not. I can't support a meritorious commendation. That may also result in the squadron's members having a level of resentment where you start hearing "I did far more than my Commander did, yet he gets the credit?!"

imposter87

The reason I posted this is because I know of a few wings who give comcoms to Squadron CC for a job well done. Other wings I have witnessed give MSA's for a 4 year tenure job well done. MSA's at some wings are so common place to Sq. CC's that they were curious how only comcoms were awarded by other wings.

Interesting reads.

If MSA's are so held with high regard, what in plain english outside the regs would say would constitute an MSA?

Ex. I know of a Squadron CC who received one because he held the position for a long time (6+ years) at the discretion of the wing, due to inability to find a replacement, before regs limited the duty to four years.

Eclipse




SimpleCM

I've always been a proponent of MSAs for outgoing unit CCs who serve a full-term and do a good job. Justifications need to be well-written and document the commander's accomplishments. I have attached a brief guide I originally wrote several years ago (pre-dating the "Awards Made Easy" pamphlet) that has helped members create strong justifications and a higher approval rate. Attached for anyone's use.

However, the prevailing command sentiment at region is the deciding factor here. I have encountered region commanders who's philosophy about MSAs and ESAs for service below (or sometimes, even at) Wing level never meet the bar for those awards. Other region CC's I've known had a more liberal attitude.

As with everything in CAP, YMMV.
Lt Col Bob Jennings, CAP
Vice Commander - Operations
HQ, NJ Wing

TheSkyHornet

Why is it meritorious for someone to "do a good job?" A good job is what you're expected to do in your assigned role.

You receive praise when you exceed minimums.

Let's review the MSA expectations in CAPR 39-3:

Meritorious Service Award:
QuoteOutstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of CAP. Superior performance of normal duties does not, in itself, constitute automatic justification for the Meritorious Service Award. Awards should be restricted to the recognition of achievements and services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and accomplishments of personnel of like rank
and responsibilities. In instances where many individuals are affiliated with an exceptionally successful program, project or mission, the Meritorious Service Award should be awarded to the relatively few individuals whose contributions clearly stand out from the others and who have contributed most to the success of the program.


If you rotated ten squadron commanders in the same month, and all ten of them received MSAs, then that's literally going against the concept of "services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and accomplishments of personnel of like rank and responsibilities."

Eclipse

April 11, 2019, 08:38:24 pm #7 Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 08:57:07 pm by Eclipse
To be fair, being a Unit CC in a successful squadron is no small fete, nor small commitment,
that's why it's worthy of Commendation, but I agree, more then that, absent special circumstances
is too much.

In Wings with Groups ACH is appropriate.  In either case it's an "attaboy" from your direct Commander.

The problem with ACH's is that they are handed out like candy as consolation prizes by Group CC's who
either couldn't get more approved, or didn't want to bother trying.

I have literally seen cadets with a couple years in sporting two ACH ribbons.  Not 2 awards,
two ribbons. 

In a wing that allows that, as a unit CC putting in 20+ hours a week, it would be less than dynamic to receive that after being relieved.



GaryVC

For awards above the CAP Achievement Award, it's all a matter of what you can sell in your wing and region. Our last squadron commander was awarded the Meritorious Service Award. She had been Commander of the Year, the Squadron had been Squadron of the Year and received the Squadron of Merit, the QCUA three years running and most recently the Squadron of Distinction Award.

Don't forget that CAP members are at least in part paid in decorations and promotions.

Eclipse

Quote from: GaryVC on April 11, 2019, 08:46:40 pm
Don't forget that CAP members are at least in part paid in decorations and promotions.


True enough, and missed on many at Levels above reality", but you also don't want to wind up
devaluing that currency and becoming Venezuela.



PHall

Even in the "Real Military" there is no standard on what you get at the end of a "successful" squadron command tour.
I've seen everything from an Air Force Commendation Medal to a Legion of Merit awarded.
Just depends on who's awarding it and how successful your tour was perceived by your boss.

Just like CAP! >:D

lordmonar

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on April 11, 2019, 07:31:07 pm
Why is it meritorious for someone to "do a good job?" A good job is what you're expected to do in your assigned role.

You receive praise when you exceed minimums.

Let's review the MSA expectations in CAPR 39-3:

Meritorious Service Award:
QuoteOutstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of CAP. Superior performance of normal duties does not, in itself, constitute automatic justification for the Meritorious Service Award. Awards should be restricted to the recognition of achievements and services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and accomplishments of personnel of like rank
and responsibilities. In instances where many individuals are affiliated with an exceptionally successful program, project or mission, the Meritorious Service Award should be awarded to the relatively few individuals whose contributions clearly stand out from the others and who have contributed most to the success of the program.


If you rotated ten squadron commanders in the same month, and all ten of them received MSAs, then that's literally going against the concept of "services which are clearly outstanding and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and accomplishments of personnel of like rank and responsibilities."


Okay.....so let's compare apples to apple and oranges to oranges here.

Your 10 hypothetical squadron commanders compared to "similar achievement and accomplishment of personnel of like rank and responsibilities" .    So are you comparing those 10 commanders with only among themselves?  Or are you comparing them to all other commanders past and present? or are you comparing them to all other personnel of like rank?

That's the rub.

Sure.....comparing the commander's is one thing....but all commanders by definition are above and beyond the average senior member....because the stood up and took a swing at one of the most thankless jobs in CAP.     I've argued this before.   Being stingy with awards and decorations does not really benefit anyone.
PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP

lordmonar

Quote from: PHall on April 12, 2019, 01:39:57 am
Even in the "Real Military" there is no standard on what you get at the end of a "successful" squadron command tour.
I've seen everything from an Air Force Commendation Medal to a Legion of Merit awarded.
Just depends on who's awarding it and how successful your tour was perceived by your boss.

Just like CAP! >:D
Well......there is no WRITTEN standard....but there is a corporate understanding of who gets what award.

Mostly based on "rank" of the duty/job/title.

Of course.....as with most things of this nature....there are always exception....but they are often exceptions that prove the rule.
PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP

TheSkyHornet

I stand by it. A squadron commander duty, in itself, isn't a supremely meritorious accomplishment. Most CAP units seem to operate somewhere around par; that is, hitting the "must do" boxes and doing a seemingly decent job at functioning. But that's the expectation of every unit---to function decently without discrepancies, maintaining compliance, and fulfilling its mission.

A squadron that maintains a roster of 20 cadets...doesn't really grow or diminish, maybe a couple of cadet officer promotions over the year, QCUA...is that really a commander of distinguished, exemplary service? I don't think so.

This is where I, again, say perhaps an Achievement Award is appropriate; maybe even a Commander's Commendation. I wouldn't start issuing MSAs to the entire Wing's command lineage.

If Unit A is the unit described above, and Unit B went from being a deadbeat squadron of 10 active members each week to 40, QCUA, AEX, honorable mentions at Wing activities, commendable advancements in professional development...that's a pretty dynamic shift for that unit.

In the hierarchy of individual service decorations awarded for performance, we're saying that serving as a squadron commander automatically puts you in receipt of the second-highest award? This would mean that a squadron commander might automatically receive: Meritorious Service Award, Command Service Ribbon, Red Service Ribbon (for longevity), and Commander's Insignia Pin.

Stand out, and ye shall receive accolades.