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Levi Lockling
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Posts: 357

« on: July 09, 2019, 06:30:23 AM »

10-year CAP member here...

Wish I could say this was a question about getting someone else back, but it is unfortunately about myself. For some background, I am an almost 10 year member, of which 6 were as a cadet where I eventually reached C/Capt. Upon enlisting in the Air Force, I then set out to be the best 1stLt I could be wherever I went. My Air Force Career PCS'd me a couple times for tech school, but have been largely stable(No TDYs until March, and now June of this year) in Tucson Arizona where I found a composite squadron to join. I excelled and was soon promoted to CDS. Things were fairly stable for about 3 years. However, in March, just before a TDY, I was informed by the incoming commander that I would be dropped from all of my duty positions except for 1-2. He also expressed concern that all my time put towards CAP as a 23 year old would be better used outside of CAP, which was part of his decision. This knocked me down. I spent almost all of my 3 week TDY to Key West thinking about what this would mean.

As it sits, I have not attended a meeting since early March. I am currently in a long term TDY to Monterey until October, so am away from a lot of the personnel issues that existed at the time. I would just like to get back to enjoying the program that I have loved dearly, and giving back to the community as I have for so long.
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Capt Levi H. Lockling
SSgt, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 06:34:18 AM »

It appears to me that there are at least 3 squadrons in the Tuscon area.  If your current Commander doesn't appreciate you and what you have to offer, I'd highly suggest transferring to another squadron.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 12:05:52 PM »

Is this the CAP CC or your AF CC?
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Ozzy
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 12:41:32 PM »

10-year CAP member here...

Wish I could say this was a question about getting someone else back, but it is unfortunately about myself. For some background, I am an almost 10 year member, of which 6 were as a cadet where I eventually reached C/Capt. Upon enlisting in the Air Force, I then set out to be the best 1stLt I could be wherever I went. My Air Force Career PCS'd me a couple times for tech school, but have been largely stable(No TDYs until March, and now June of this year) in Tucson Arizona where I found a composite squadron to join. I excelled and was soon promoted to CDS. Things were fairly stable for about 3 years. However, in March, just before a TDY, I was informed by the incoming commander that I would be dropped from all of my duty positions except for 1-2. He also expressed concern that all my time put towards CAP as a 23 year old would be better used outside of CAP, which was part of his decision. This knocked me down. I spent almost all of my 3 week TDY to Key West thinking about what this would mean.

As it sits, I have not attended a meeting since early March. I am currently in a long term TDY to Monterey until October, so am away from a lot of the personnel issues that existed at the time. I would just like to get back to enjoying the program that I have loved dearly, and giving back to the community as I have for so long.

Unless you ask, there is no way of truely knowing why your CAP Commander asked you to reduce the duties you perform.

From my experience however (And what you said he said) he may see that you have been doing and giving too much to CAP and is trying to get you to slow your roll a bit. Which could be sound advice although it depends on a lot of factors.

You and I are similar in that I was a cadet before turning senior and joined the Army but wanted to stay involved deeply in the program. I however ended up taking about a five year break while I focused on fulfilling my oath and grew a lot more as a person then I would have if I stayed involved in the program.

That being said, my advice would be to take a break from CAP and use that energy on being the best Airman in the Air Force. CAP will still be around when you decide to come back and you'll have a lot more to offer to the program at that time. CAP has a way of slowly taking over one's life until all they think about is CAP and it's always a good idea to periodically take a step back, reorient your compass, and then charlie mike.

Perhaps that is what your commander wanted you to do.
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Spam
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 03:06:50 PM »


Gotta say, those are some outstanding TDYs.  I've done Key West NAS a couple of times (Navy dets to fly out to the boat) and Monterey as well. If you ask me, I would not waste the fun of the experience there brooding on Civil Air Patrol.  Go be an outstanding cyber linguist or whatever (I remember you told us a couple of years ago when you were enlisting that was what you were headed for, right?) and relax. Get into that norcal groovy vibe. Go bark at the harbor seals after a long hot day sweating over cyber language school or whatever!


… and afterwards, having had a break to focus on your career, pivot off that excellence to pick CAP up again.


My Commanders Guidance to my cadets and officers for decades now that you have to have higher priorities than CAP:  your faith, your family, and your job/school. He might be on that same wavelength also, and may need a full time, non deployed guy as his Deputy for Seniors, given his plans for the unit.


Best of luck,
Spam

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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 03:15:38 PM »

BLUF: If the work isn't being completed, or it's not being performed to an acceptable level of quality, than the work needs to be reduced/reassigned to someone that can tackle it.

This is true in all aspects of life, not just CAP. It's very difficult for someone to work on multiple projects at once. Being a Deputy Commander is a lot of work, not just in physical/objective-based tasks, but also in managing people and taking care of them. If people don't appear to be adequately managed, and their performance starts to diminish as well, it affects everyone. That's an obvious sign that a leader's priorities may be elsewhere (to no fault of their own).

In working at the squadron level as a Deputy Commander, I face a lot of responsibilities that I mine to burden and mine to carry. If they fall short (and they do at times), I have to answer to my Commander about it (regardless of what excuse I may offer, reasonable or unreasonable). That's the nature of the world in which we live and conduct ourselves.

In working at the wing level as an Activities Officer, I have a lot of communication traffic with people who volunteer their time to assist in managing activities but don't put in the full effort it takes. This results in activities being less organized than preferred, or often unplanned well beyond deadlines to where they have to be scrubbed. It's quite common. I don't think people realize what it means to volunteer your time and efforts, and what it means to accept the responsibility of their shortcomings, especially when the conversation starts to turn into questions of "Is this going to get done or not? Are we going to meet these deadlines?"

Sometimes, you just have to make a call for the betterment of the organization, the unit, or the process/program. You have to pull the weight off of people because if you don't, you'll watch it fall apart and you'll watch someone get absolutely burned out along the way.

I have an awesome Leadership Education Officer who I wouldn't trade for anyone else. But he has a tendency to jump into raising his hand for "Who's willing to help on this?" projects, and I have to go "Whoa, dude, no. I need you to stay focused." Enthusiasm is great. But it's only great to the point where you know that you're balancing motivation with capability. And this requires leaders to know their personnel and know what they're capable of, where they can learn and grow, and when their limitations are approaching (knowing when you need to step in and pull them back to the Safe Zone).

This might be a case of needing a do-over. You might need to start at the bottom and work yourself back up, working on smaller duty positions and projects before taking command-level assignments. If you can sense that you can handle more, and you aren't nervous about taking more on, then you should be okay to take on that additional load. If you sense that you can handle more, but you feel a bit nervous about it, you really need to look at why you feel nervous—is it because you're concerned about what the workload can turn into, or you're uncertain about your schedule availability, or you're unsure of what the job actually is? That's a perfect time to pause and reflect on where you're headed if you go down that path.

Nobody gets better by doing the same thing for 10 years. You get better by mastering one area while learning how it ties into other areas, then learning new areas to hone in crossover skills that can be applied in any environment.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 04:03:01 PM »

You're either there or you aren't.  Why (military, job, kids, whatever) is irrelevant.

Most good new CC's will clean house, make changes, set their own tone and ask for everyone's
resignation as a matter of course.  This cleans out the dead-weight and shakes out the dust,
while keeping the hurt feelings to a minimum.

Also, most good CC's discourage members from taking on more then one CAP staff assignment,
I know I do.  It leads to burn out, not to mention too much risk in consolidating unit operations
around a single personality.

Take it for what it is, don't read into it what it isn't and move on both in CAP and with the extra time
you'll now have

And if you find you are just burning for more CAP, look to supporting outside activities like encampments,
SARexs, etc., or even moving to another echelon or unit.  There is no end to the need for competent people.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 05:10:42 PM »

AZWG is a very unique critter in how they go about doing things. 
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coudano
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Posts: 1,157

« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 07:51:05 PM »

My personal 'rule' (of thumb) for senior members is
minimum 1 duty (everybody does SOMETHING), maximum 2 (nobody does EVERYTHING) --that includes me, and i'm a squadron commander!!!

I want to serve in CAP with you for 15 years, not burn you out in 15 months.


Now, I get it... When I was 23, I was doing too much of CAP too.
I was a dork. i still am

Do CAP.  Do some other things, too.
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Levi Lockling
Seasoned Member

Posts: 357

« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 07:01:39 AM »

Is this the CAP CC or your AF CC?
CAP CC. My AF CC was actually in my unit once upon a time as a young AF Captain, and fully encourages me.
10-year CAP member here...

Wish I could say this was a question about getting someone else back, but it is unfortunately about myself. For some background, I am an almost 10 year member, of which 6 were as a cadet where I eventually reached C/Capt. Upon enlisting in the Air Force, I then set out to be the best 1stLt I could be wherever I went. My Air Force Career PCS'd me a couple times for tech school, but have been largely stable(No TDYs until March, and now June of this year) in Tucson Arizona where I found a composite squadron to join. I excelled and was soon promoted to CDS. Things were fairly stable for about 3 years. However, in March, just before a TDY, I was informed by the incoming commander that I would be dropped from all of my duty positions except for 1-2. He also expressed concern that all my time put towards CAP as a 23 year old would be better used outside of CAP, which was part of his decision. This knocked me down. I spent almost all of my 3 week TDY to Key West thinking about what this would mean.

As it sits, I have not attended a meeting since early March. I am currently in a long term TDY to Monterey until October, so am away from a lot of the personnel issues that existed at the time. I would just like to get back to enjoying the program that I have loved dearly, and giving back to the community as I have for so long.

Unless you ask, there is no way of truely knowing why your CAP Commander asked you to reduce the duties you perform.

From my experience however (And what you said he said) he may see that you have been doing and giving too much to CAP and is trying to get you to slow your roll a bit. Which could be sound advice although it depends on a lot of factors.

You and I are similar in that I was a cadet before turning senior and joined the Army but wanted to stay involved deeply in the program. I however ended up taking about a five year break while I focused on fulfilling my oath and grew a lot more as a person then I would have if I stayed involved in the program.

That being said, my advice would be to take a break from CAP and use that energy on being the best Airman in the Air Force. CAP will still be around when you decide to come back and you'll have a lot more to offer to the program at that time. CAP has a way of slowly taking over one's life until all they think about is CAP and it's always a good idea to periodically take a step back, reorient your compass, and then charlie mike.

Perhaps that is what your commander wanted you to do.
We had a little pow-wow right after a meeting(Knowing I was leaving the next day for my first TDY in 2-3 years) where it was mostly him outlining why he wanted me out of all these positions. Regardless of his reasoning, I'd pretty much have to say that it's no one's place to forcibly dictate/alter how much time one spends in CAP. What am I gonna do when I'd normally be taking care of my duties? There are only so many seats to be sat in and boogers to be picked. Though I know what you mean, it really doesn't make sense for anyone to say what others should do with their time.

In the meantime, I have been enjoying my weekends and these nice few TDYs that have sprung up.


Gotta say, those are some outstanding TDYs.  I've done Key West NAS a couple of times (Navy dets to fly out to the boat) and Monterey as well. If you ask me, I would not waste the fun of the experience there brooding on Civil Air Patrol.  Go be an outstanding cyber linguist or whatever (I remember you told us a couple of years ago when you were enlisting that was what you were headed for, right?) and relax. Get into that norcal groovy vibe. Go bark at the harbor seals after a long hot day sweating over cyber language school or whatever!


… and afterwards, having had a break to focus on your career, pivot off that excellence to pick CAP up again.


My Commanders Guidance to my cadets and officers for decades now that you have to have higher priorities than CAP:  your faith, your family, and your job/school. He might be on that same wavelength also, and may need a full time, non deployed guy as his Deputy for Seniors, given his plans for the unit.


Best of luck,
Spam



Oh man, Key West was a blast. Our 60 year old plane broke down in Puerto Rico with the other crew members, so all the E's and a LtCol were marooned in Key West with nothing to do for 5-6 days but drink rum. Not a complaint to be had. This Monterey one has been great too, and it's much better coming here as prior service the second time around(Your memory is impressive, considering that there's not enough room for a brain in those little SPAM containers).  ;)

I have noticed an empty feeling since my last meeting though. I've been volunteering, in some way shape or form, for almost 10 years now. This sudden and traumatic removal of my volunteerism has taken a toll, however much I've enjoyed the free time.

As I noted above, it really shouldn't be anyone's place to forcibly remove duties because of how someone perceives I spend my time. I have no faith, no family(Except my cat!), and my job has not suffered due to CAP involvement. Prior to my NAS TDY, I had not left the local area for my job since my arrival in June/July of 2016. I'd say that was pretty stable.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 07:25:12 AM by Levi Lockling » Report to moderator   Logged
Capt Levi H. Lockling
SSgt, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013
Levi Lockling
Seasoned Member

Posts: 357

« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 07:22:27 AM »

BLUF: If the work isn't being completed, or it's not being performed to an acceptable level of quality, than the work needs to be reduced/reassigned to someone that can tackle it.

This is true in all aspects of life, not just CAP. It's very difficult for someone to work on multiple projects at once. Being a Deputy Commander is a lot of work, not just in physical/objective-based tasks, but also in managing people and taking care of them. If people don't appear to be adequately managed, and their performance starts to diminish as well, it affects everyone. That's an obvious sign that a leader's priorities may be elsewhere (to no fault of their own).

In working at the squadron level as a Deputy Commander, I face a lot of responsibilities that I mine to burden and mine to carry. If they fall short (and they do at times), I have to answer to my Commander about it (regardless of what excuse I may offer, reasonable or unreasonable). That's the nature of the world in which we live and conduct ourselves.

In working at the wing level as an Activities Officer, I have a lot of communication traffic with people who volunteer their time to assist in managing activities but don't put in the full effort it takes. This results in activities being less organized than preferred, or often unplanned well beyond deadlines to where they have to be scrubbed. It's quite common. I don't think people realize what it means to volunteer your time and efforts, and what it means to accept the responsibility of their shortcomings, especially when the conversation starts to turn into questions of "Is this going to get done or not? Are we going to meet these deadlines?"

Sometimes, you just have to make a call for the betterment of the organization, the unit, or the process/program. You have to pull the weight off of people because if you don't, you'll watch it fall apart and you'll watch someone get absolutely burned out along the way.

I have an awesome Leadership Education Officer who I wouldn't trade for anyone else. But he has a tendency to jump into raising his hand for "Who's willing to help on this?" projects, and I have to go "Whoa, dude, no. I need you to stay focused." Enthusiasm is great. But it's only great to the point where you know that you're balancing motivation with capability. And this requires leaders to know their personnel and know what they're capable of, where they can learn and grow, and when their limitations are approaching (knowing when you need to step in and pull them back to the Safe Zone).

This might be a case of needing a do-over. You might need to start at the bottom and work yourself back up, working on smaller duty positions and projects before taking command-level assignments. If you can sense that you can handle more, and you aren't nervous about taking more on, then you should be okay to take on that additional load. If you sense that you can handle more, but you feel a bit nervous about it, you really need to look at why you feel nervous—is it because you're concerned about what the workload can turn into, or you're uncertain about your schedule availability, or you're unsure of what the job actually is? That's a perfect time to pause and reflect on where you're headed if you go down that path.

Nobody gets better by doing the same thing for 10 years. You get better by mastering one area while learning how it ties into other areas, then learning new areas to hone in crossover skills that can be applied in any environment.
I know what you mean here. Work was getting accomplished, slowly but surely. As one of the few with a full time job in my unit(Others were mostly retired), I generally made sure to pass off time-critical issues to them though would help them out if they needed it. It was a small, but growing unit, so many things unfortunately fell on me so that I could avoid burning out someone who was new to CAP or didn't know his limits. Although I can't say I was burned out, this little vacation has been nice. However, I do have this sense of emptiness inside that I would attribute to lack of volunteer work.

I will keep trying to better myself in a similar manner as what you've suggested. It's looking like I'll be starting at the bottom no matter where I go now.
You're either there or you aren't.  Why (military, job, kids, whatever) is irrelevant.

Most good new CC's will clean house, make changes, set their own tone and ask for everyone's
resignation as a matter of course.  This cleans out the dead-weight and shakes out the dust,
while keeping the hurt feelings to a minimum.

Also, most good CC's discourage members from taking on more then one CAP staff assignment,
I know I do.  It leads to burn out, not to mention too much risk in consolidating unit operations
around a single personality.

Take it for what it is, don't read into it what it isn't and move on both in CAP and with the extra time
you'll now have

And if you find you are just burning for more CAP, look to supporting outside activities like encampments,
SARexs, etc., or even moving to another echelon or unit.  There is no end to the need for competent people.
I was there. On the rare occasion I wasn't, my expectations were known and my jobs taken care of. As noted, this was my first TDY in the 2-3 years I'd been at the CAP unit, so there was no logistical basis to remove me.

This CC ended up being a Sector CC and stopgap measure to ensure a clean merger of two units(Mine and another). I ended up being the only member cut down to such a drastic degree. As for why I had so many in the first place: The unit was minimally manned, though growing. I already had plans in place to pass off jobs once new members were settled/comfortable.

I've taken it as well as I can, though I doubt I'll be returning to that unit. The free time, though nice, has been driving me nuts. Maybe I can find someone in search of a competent 1stLt? Surely that'll go better than my dating life!  :angel:

AZWG is a very unique critter in how they go about doing things. 
Preaching to the choir there, buddy. It's ridiculous how many times I've had to remind myself that some things are "AZWG specific," and not to mind it!

My personal 'rule' (of thumb) for senior members is
minimum 1 duty (everybody does SOMETHING), maximum 2 (nobody does EVERYTHING) --that includes me, and i'm a squadron commander!!!

I want to serve in CAP with you for 15 years, not burn you out in 15 months.


Now, I get it... When I was 23, I was doing too much of CAP too.
I was a dork. i still am

Do CAP.  Do some other things, too.
I would have loved to have that, and it's ultimately what we were working towards. As a composite unit, however, many SM members were just on the Cadet Programs side of the house to support their children. At one point, in a unit of 7-8 SMs, I had probably 3-4 who were dedicated to CP and would quit otherwise(One was a cadet sponsor... Good way to ensure they were on the CP side).

I'm already 2 thirds of the way to 15, what do I get when we get there? You're buying the beer! I've been here for a hot minute, and enjoy giving my time. I wouldn't get burned out over this sort of thing.

We're all dorks in some way or another.
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Capt Levi H. Lockling
SSgt, USAF, 1A851J, 41ECS
Charlie flight, NBB 2013
Cliff_Chambliss
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Posts: 419

« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 01:42:30 PM »

At one point in time I had a full time plus job as the Controller for a rather large engineering firm and 10-12 hour days were the norm.  When not at work, I was a part time Flight Instructor, Assistant Chief Instructor for a part 141 flight school, raising, training, and showing dogs, and holding three staff positions in CAP as well as CFI, MP, etc.  My plate was full.
Then I realized that I was busy, things were happening, but I was not happy.   I scaled back my 60-80 hour work week to 36 hours, resigned from the aero club, let my CAP membership die, and we and the dogs now just play.  Life is so much more fun and enjoyable.  Sold my 150 and my 172, and have an Aeronca Champ sitting on a private grass field for just fun flying, and a couple months ago we purchased an RV and are starting to explore, and looking forward to full retirement in a few months as soon as I can find and train a replacement.   Two years ago I was busy, so very busy but I was not happy.  Now, I am not busy, it is a big and beautiful world and we, my wife, our dogs, and me, can honestly say yes, we are happy.   Being busy does not always equal being happy.
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Flying Pig
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Posts: 5,083

« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 01:52:09 PM »

The new SqCC is limiting you to 1 or 2 staff roles.  Thats not unreasonable at all.   Maybe the commander thought he was giving you a break.  This commander probably knows you right?  Id take the break, focus on the 1-2 jobs you have been assigned and pop open a frosty pop.   People have said "It appears your commander doesnt appreciate you."   I think its quite the opposite from what Im reading.  Nobody can tell you how to enjoy your time off.  Its up to you to decide how you like spending your free time.  I really enjoyed CAP.  But the idea that limiting you to a couple of staff jobs "knocking you down" seems to be a bit of a red flag.  Not to mention, "I spent almost all of my 3 week TDY to Key West thinking about what this would mean."    Bro..... you spent 3 weeks in Key West and thought about being limited to 2 CAP staff roles the whole time?   Ive been there several times.  I wasnt thinking about CAP staff duties!    Ill reiterate what I said, only you know what makes you happy.  But sometimes it takes someone on the outside of the perimeter making suggestions you dont see standing inside. 
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AndyA60
Recruit

Posts: 18

« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2019, 11:22:31 PM »

Actually...I want to type so much here but its hard to paraphrase everything I want to state, I will approach this as a Membership/Retention comment then, and see if any applies to even parts of your dilemma even partially or maybe not at all.

 I am a firm believer that none of this is like a train station, we shouldn't have to announce our leaving, only because if they really want to know why we leave after we are knocked down, then an exit interview should be given, to determine where things can go better next time (so no bad things happen to future members), if the person is so beat up or jaded by something happening to them in CAP.

I also am somewhat beat up now, I wont mention the exact instance...but....lets just say sometimes in getting excited and wanting to make sure I get training and understanding I tend to throw myself into something so much, that I burn out FAST and Hard. Instead of taking my time. I finish tasks quickly and cover allot of territory in a short amount of time.

In doing so, I tend to knock "myself" out and do my own damage on myself physically and mentally.
Because of that, I am now in my cross roads of deciding whether I want to continue in CAP as well. I know its all personal and what happens to us is 1% what happens and 99% what happens to us, so I think everything, in any issue involving being knocked down, should be approached as a "act, don't reacct", stop, look, wait, see if you can distance yourself for a while, then come back with fresh eyes.

Anyway, hope you can rectify your feelings of being knocked down and hopefully go on to prosper in CAP.
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