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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Senior motivation and retention
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Poll
Question: Does your squadron invest more time in Cadets than in Adult Recruitment?
About the same, they promote it to the whole public   -7 (36.8%)
Less Adults/Seniors more focused on Cadet recruitment   -1 (5.3%)
Less Kids/Cadets, more focused on Adult recruitment   -0 (0%)
There is no active Adult Recruitment what so ever   -6 (31.6%)
Our Squadron is not a composite squadron   -5 (26.3%)
Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Senior motivation and retention  (Read 3382 times)
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,319
Unit: GA-090

« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2019, 12:15:48 AM »

topic drift


"Semper Topic Mutatione (et Vestium Scholarium)"



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AndyA60
Recruit

Posts: 18

« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2019, 09:42:55 PM »

As a senior who doesn't have a cadet in the program...I'm not interested in ES.
I have another senior on staff who never had a cadet in the program.
Neither of us are former cadets.

It's not just about keeping it interesting and busy. The things you do need to make you feel like you have a sense of purpose and belonging...that what you do accounts for something.

Talk to yours seniors and ask them "Why did you join? Why are you still here? What do you think would continue to keep you here?"

Here is my question still. I am seeing this program be more about getting the KIDS to join, to get them into the JrROTC mind set, so the military can have fresh picking. Seems the whole program , specially within the composite squadrons is about the "kids"...which is fine, but those of us, like you have to buy into that. I also notice that yes, S&R is more the adult thing but if they are not wooing adults, then its looking like CAP is mostly just a military recruitment tool of kids. Correct me if I am wrong, but that seems to be the heavy of it. I wish they would be honest with adults who join thinking they will make a difference, in that is NOT the main focus anymore apparently. I see they use methods of keeping the kids excited and wanting to join, but do NONE of that with perspective adults.


[fixed quote tag]
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 02:14:28 AM by SarDragon » Report to moderator   Logged
CAP9907
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Posts: 242

« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2019, 02:41:38 AM »

Sadly, the last 2 Composite Squadrons that I was a Member of (5 yrs ago) had no Senior program whatsoever. The Unit served the Cadet program, and only the Cadets. Every meeting was Cadet-centered and all were expected to 'pitch in' to 'help' the Cadets. Seniors showed up once a week to have coffee and had nothing to look forward to.

Fast-forward 2 years: 80% of seniors had not renewed, moved to another unit, or moved onto Group/Wing staff. Those 6 that stayed were 100% devoted to the Cadet program... in a Composite Unit.
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etodd
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2019, 03:12:31 AM »


Fast-forward 2 years: 80% of seniors had not renewed, moved to another unit, or moved onto Group/Wing staff. Those 6 that stayed were 100% devoted to the Cadet program... in a Composite Unit.

No pilots? No airplane? Makes it more difficult to train any of the ES routes.
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CAP9907
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2019, 03:13:43 AM »

pilots left and Wing took the plane shortly thereafter as it wasn't being flown
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20 yrs of service

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AndyA60
Recruit

Posts: 18

« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2019, 05:12:33 PM »

Sadly I too will probably be bailing only after a short while. Already I have seen other seniors say "never mind" or "I am not a baby sitter of other peoples kids" It has clearly just evolved into a YOUTH recruitment tool to build the military. (change my mind). I do not see a search and rescue program with adults running it, it will go by way of the horse and buggy too. I do not even see a large number of parents wanting to be involved. Yes, I am seeing this whole thing just turn into a jrROTC program.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2019, 05:21:19 PM »

CAP is decidedly local.

If you don't see a senior program, and you want one, make one.
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2019, 06:18:13 PM »

Sadly I too will probably be bailing only after a short while. Already I have seen other seniors say "never mind" or "I am not a baby sitter of other peoples kids" It has clearly just evolved into a YOUTH recruitment tool to build the military. (change my mind). I do not see a search and rescue program with adults running it, it will go by way of the horse and buggy too. I do not even see a large number of parents wanting to be involved. Yes, I am seeing this whole thing just turn into a jrROTC program.

You seem to be fixated on CAP being a “...recruitment tool to build the military.” Yet, USAF does not consider that to be so and the number of cadets NOT joining the military far exceeds those who do. (FWIW, JROTC is no longer considered as a recruitment source).

Sadly, you appear to be categorizing all things in CAP, a nation-wide organization, based on your limited exposure to what goes on at the local level. You should get out more.


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

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FW
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2019, 09:39:15 PM »

I haven't been a member of a squadron in about 30 years, however I know that interest lies in giving a member something of value; what ever that may be.  Opportunities for learning, relating, and performing lead to a successful program.  Yes, it is that simple.  The hard part is actually doing it.   ;D
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Stonewall
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2019, 01:21:48 AM »

It has clearly just evolved into a YOUTH recruitment tool to build the military. (change my mind). I do not see a search and rescue program with adults running it, it will go by way of the horse and buggy too. I do not even see a large number of parents wanting to be involved. Yes, I am seeing this whole thing just turn into a jrROTC program.

I can't change your mind because I'm not in your squadron (or in your area), at least I don't think am. I have been in CAP for a very long time, just reached 32 years this year. While many of the hundreds of cadets that have come through my squadrons joined the military, I would say maybe (a big MAYBE) only half have.  Here's the thing, I'm a military guy...been in for 25 years and in two branches, and yet, I have never been a commander, deputy commander for cadets, or in any position for that matter, where I or my staff have focused on being a recruiting tool for the military. Is it a tool, sure. I've known more people in the military that were Boy Scouts than were in CAP, probably a 5 to 1 ratio (just a WAG, here).

I've been in five squadrons and four wings, and have served at Wing HQ, and EVERYWHERE I've been, to include squadrons where I held a significant leadership role, have mostly been equally balanced between the three missions of CAP. Sure, some may lean toward one area than the other, but I've known a lot (too many, in fact) of squadrons who are "drill team squadrons" or "ES only squadrons." 

Currently, we have 58 cadets in our squadron and we meet on an Air Force base. Without taking a formal poll of our cadets, my guess would be that maybe, another BIG MAYBE, 1/3 of our cadets see themselves joining the military. We are working on strengthening our ES (ground ops, we don't have planes) capabilities and have about 15 cadets actively working towards their GTM-3 rating. We have two Cadet GTLs, and one in training to be a GBD. On the senior side, we have a few GTLs and one GBD (I'm in training to re-qualify as a GBD).  We have about five senior member aircrew members as well (only one pilot, a recent transfer).

We have a good AE program, but it could be stronger. But it's better than most I've seen. We have 12 cadets working toward their Model Rocketry badge, too.

Our cadet program is as strong as I've seen in three decades. In fact, I'd say it's more organized than most I've seen. We have cadet public affairs officers, cadet ES NCOs, a Model Rocketry NCOIC, Great Start Flight Commander and Flight Sergeant (just got 16 new cadets in Great Start, too).

So, while I can't speak to your squadron turning into a JROTC program, our large-ish squadron (72 members) is far from that. I'm not bragging on my squadron, we have room for improvement, but I'm here to say that ours does not serve solely as a recruiting tool for the military. We encourage our cadets to look into and consider all options after high school. We have two cadets who are also in AF ROTC (college level - one sophomore, one junior), and a couple other cadets in college or taking college courses while in high school. In the 13 months I've been in this squadron, we've had ONE, ONLY ONE, cadet join the military (Air Force, as an air traffic controller).

Clearly, your mileage may vary.
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JohhnyD
Recruit

Posts: 34

« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2019, 03:36:39 AM »

We split the program, cadets on one day, Seniors on a different day. Cadet program tracked SMs and admins attend the cadet day, everyone else attends the senior day.

We recruit to both sides with vigor and fun. Not as organized yet as we want, but with a 20% increase we are having fun! (100% year over year, the 20% is in the last month!)
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Fester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 312

« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2019, 06:36:09 AM »

Sadly I too will probably be bailing only after a short while. Already I have seen other seniors say "never mind" or "I am not a baby sitter of other peoples kids" It has clearly just evolved into a YOUTH recruitment tool to build the military. (change my mind). I do not see a search and rescue program with adults running it, it will go by way of the horse and buggy too. I do not even see a large number of parents wanting to be involved. Yes, I am seeing this whole thing just turn into a jrROTC program.

I'm sorry nobody here has yet been able to de-program you from your pre-conceived (incorrect) notion that CAP is a "military recruitment tool."  I, too, could quote how few cadets I've known have gone that path.  But judging by your stubborn decision to ignore the others who have tried, I'll refrain from wasting my time.  :)

If you have members bailing without decent cause, your unit needs a reboot.  Run the program well, and people won't bail.  Run the program badly, your unit will end up dead or on the verge of death.  I command a Cadet Squadron with 49 cadets and 21 seniors.  Yes, most of the seniors are parents of cadets, but they ALL have the desire to learn and grow outside of the Cadet Program.  Feeding the desire of both cadet and seniors is part of your Commander's job.  If he is failing at that, he should correct it or step aside.
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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 1,889

« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2019, 02:25:13 PM »

As a senior who doesn't have a cadet in the program...I'm not interested in ES.
I have another senior on staff who never had a cadet in the program.
Neither of us are former cadets.

It's not just about keeping it interesting and busy. The things you do need to make you feel like you have a sense of purpose and belonging...that what you do accounts for something.

Talk to yours seniors and ask them "Why did you join? Why are you still here? What do you think would continue to keep you here?"

Here is my question still. I am seeing this program be more about getting the KIDS to join, to get them into the JrROTC mind set, so the military can have fresh picking. Seems the whole program , specially within the composite squadrons is about the "kids"...which is fine, but those of us, like you have to buy into that. I also notice that yes, S&R is more the adult thing but if they are not wooing adults, then its looking like CAP is mostly just a military recruitment tool of kids. Correct me if I am wrong, but that seems to be the heavy of it. I wish they would be honest with adults who join thinking they will make a difference, in that is NOT the main focus anymore apparently. I see they use methods of keeping the kids excited and wanting to join, but do NONE of that with perspective adults.


[fixed quote tag]

The CAP Cadet Program is a JROTC-like program. That's very basis of the program is to provide a youth leadership development curriculum under an Air Force-style structure in both practical leadership application (i.e., chain of command; at times, subject matter) and conduct (i.e., traditions; courtesies). That's where the "military part" ends. There is no pressure to join the military. There is no paperwork indicating as such. There is no contract.

I literally just presented to new parents 3 days ago—the day before you made this post—how CAP is not a military recruitment program; however, it does come with benefits for those who want to pursue a military career by means of a number of available persons to be able to approach with questions seeking guidance. There are a number of CAP cadets who do wish to go a military route, whether direct enlistment after high school, ROTC in college, service academy, or officer candidate program after college. CAP can help prepare teens to pursue those options by developing them as young professionals, addressing deficiencies in interviewing and essay writing, and other areas that may be graded or evaluated as they undergo various career or scholastic application processes. Many cadets elect not to go into the military and seek similar guidance in becoming aeronautics majors, or studying mechanical engineering, or IT infrastructure management, or automobile maintenance trades (among many other career paths). CAP has a vast amount of resources to turn to in its adult membership and former cadet contacts who can assist in providing information and support so that cadets can enter into higher education, the workforce, or military after high school.

If you're upset with any decline in cadet involvement in Emergency Services—if there is one (I have no clue)—then that's something to address as far as the enthusiasm and promotion of other programs which are not directly linked to the Cadet Program but may be opportunistic.

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JohhnyD
Recruit

Posts: 34

« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2019, 08:19:39 PM »

The CAP Cadet Program is a JROTC-like program. That's very basis of the program is to provide a youth leadership development curriculum under an Air Force-style structure in both practical leadership application (i.e., chain of command; at times, subject matter) and conduct (i.e., traditions; courtesies). That's where the "military part" ends. There is no pressure to join the military. There is no paperwork indicating as such. There is no contract.
Sort of. Having been in both, JROTC was much more recruitment oriented, much less academic in orientation, totally lacking in moral leadership / CD  (as a subject matter). Both great experiences, but CAP is the far, FAR better and more complete program.
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MovingOnToOtherThings
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Posts: 1,324

« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2019, 01:54:59 AM »

What do you do to hold the attention of seniors that may not have an investment of a child in CAP? (Seems allot of the time is invested in the youth) How do you get a new senior excited about serving? When a new prospective senior walks in the door, how do you get them interested in serving? What is your selling point? I guess this segway/segue right into retention?

Commander's can make or break a members participation and membership.

Realize the most valuable thing they give CAP is their time. Treat them with Respect, Do your best to match their desire with the Mission.

If they begin to back off on their support then ask why and not make assumptions.

Recognize their efforts because they don't have to be there. IF CAP doesn't then someone else probably will.

Answer emails, return calls, and know that they are Volunteers who want to make a difference and if they don't feel that way then they will find somewhere else to go.



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Jim Lahaie
Recruit

Posts: 30
Unit: GLR-IN-211

« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2019, 01:35:10 PM »

The Civil Air Patrol hasn't been utilized by the Air Force for recruitment purposes, and we have always had existing specialties for seniors that want to do something that doesn't involve paper pushing. And let's be honest with ourselves, the seniors exist for two things; SAR, and the cadet program.
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Jim Lahaie
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PHall
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Posts: 6,687

« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2019, 03:14:52 PM »

The Civil Air Patrol hasn't been utilized by the Air Force for recruitment purposes, and we have always had existing specialties for seniors that want to do something that doesn't involve paper pushing. And let's be honest with ourselves, the seniors exist for two things; SAR, and the cadet program.

Oh the "Radio Police" are going to be after you! >:D  Don't you know the fourth and most important mission is Communications! :o
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
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« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2019, 03:40:15 PM »

The Civil Air Patrol hasn't been utilized by the Air Force for recruitment purposes, and we have always had existing specialties for seniors that want to do something that doesn't involve paper pushing. And let's be honest with ourselves, the seniors exist for two things; SAR, and the cadet program.

CAP isn't marketed has a primary recruitment source, but there's no question it's a recruiting tool.  Both directly and indirectly.

As to what Seniors do, I don't disagree as shorthand, but just as only ~3% of the USAF flies, the seniors "keep the doors open" on all aspects
of the program.

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Eclipse
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« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2019, 03:40:54 PM »

The Civil Air Patrol hasn't been utilized by the Air Force for recruitment purposes, and we have always had existing specialties for seniors that want to do something that doesn't involve paper pushing. And let's be honest with ourselves, the seniors exist for two things; SAR, and the cadet program.

Oh the "Radio Police" are going to be after you! >:D  Don't you know the fourth and most important mission is Communications! :o

Comms is part of ES in the same way AE is really just a part of of ES and the CP.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2019, 05:40:47 PM »

The Civil Air Patrol hasn't been utilized by the Air Force for recruitment purposes, and we have always had existing specialties for seniors that want to do something that doesn't involve paper pushing. And let's be honest with ourselves, the seniors exist for two things; SAR, and the cadet program.

Oh the "Radio Police" are going to be after you! >:D  Don't you know the fourth and most important mission is Communications! :o

Comms is part of ES in the same way AE is really just a part of of ES and the CP.

AE also includes a community outreach program, which is separate from ES and the CP.
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Senior motivation and retention
 


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