Individual Awards from Encampment

Started by Stonewall, August 15, 2019, 01:27:46 am

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Stonewall

Sort of a back burner "project" for me following encampment and thought I'd get some constructive feedback on the subject.

In my opinion, if a cadet or senior was on staff at encampment, whether it be support (logistics, public affairs, etc) or line staff (flight sergeant, training officer, squadron commander), if the individual contributed in a meaningful way and did more good than harm (not real harm, but you get it), I'd be more than happy to award those members with an achievement medal or commanders commendation based on their individual actions/contributions.

Example (senior): Training Officers (read: adults), first, they take vacation time and sometimes LWOP from their jobs to help out. It costs NOTHING to present them with a medal. If they really stepped up, I'd shoot for a commanders commendation.  IMHO, it's the least we can do.

Example (cadet): A C/2d Lt who served as OIC of logistics did a bang up job making sure everyone had their linen, water was plentiful, and responded quickly to the needs of 150 people from start to finish, 18-20 hours a day. Cadet was even named "cadet support officer of encampment."


Eclipse

I would not disagree on the mean, but it's a slippery slope, and one that is fraught with the risk of hard feelings.

IMHO, an ACH is not appropriate for anything related to encampments, since it's a Group-level award, and that goes double
for random Group CC's, unrelated to the actual encampment, who give them to members who staffed the activity.

Anything related to an encampment should be signed by the Wing CC, and be Comm Comm or higher, as encampments
are wing activities with (at least) Regional scope.

As you say, anyone who takes a week off to herd the cats is already executing in excess of their peers, but if you're giving
TOs a Comm Comm, then you need to be looking at MSAs or higher for the big three cadet and adult staff, as they are
putting in 6 months or more of effort.

FWIW, my wing used to present a Comm Comm to cadet and senior staff for every three years of staff participation
as a matter of policy.  I need to look into getting that back in place.

The other part of this is that almost certainly staff who received some encampment related-award most likely already
received appreciation and possibly some level of trinket at the event itself.

You don't want anything to be "automatic", and you're stuck, give out too many, and it cheapens them, don't give out enough,
and people feel unappreciated, which doesn't even account for those who are really in the know and see
"Jimmy the ticket-punching Wing AEO who just got a DSA for a clean CI, while Tim the 2x Commandant got an ACH."

Then there's the non-trivial issue of "doing your job well, isn't in and of itself worthy of decoration"



Ozzy

I don't wear the CAP Achievement Awards I've been given as a matter of principle since they were (At least that I'm aware of) blanket awarded to those seniors who participated at encampment and weren't in the spotlight enough to be given a Comm Comm. Even when I've worked my [4th point of contact] off during each of the 10 encampments I've been to.

I've seen the CAP Achievement Award given the an entire Wing's cadet corps, which was honestly ridiculous, and has IMHO cheapened the award to that of a participation trophy.

Members already get a ribbon for attending the activity (Encampment Ribbon) so why should they, unless they truely went above and beyond, be given a second decoration for doing their duties?
Ozyilmaz, MSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, 17
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
GAWG Encampment 18, 19
FLWG Winter Encampment 19

Eclipse

I have never been able to figure out why Wing CC's (especially with Groups) would ever issue an ACH - they have the
pen for the Comm Comm on their whim, and if you've done something that has his attention,
almost by design the activity it is of a scope greater then Group, and if it's "only" a Group scope,
let the respective Group CC award it.



MSG Mac

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 02:14:22 am
I have never been able to figure out why Wing CC's (especially with Groups) would ever issue an ACH - they have the
pen for the Comm Comm on their whim, and if you've done something that has his attention,
almost by design the activity it is of a scope greater then Group, and if it's "only" a Group scope,
let the respective Group CC award it.


Because there are different levels of effort. Even the Region Commander can award an Achievement Ribbon.
Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
50 Year Member

Eclipse

Quote from: MSG Mac on August 15, 2019, 03:09:10 am
Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 02:14:22 am
I have never been able to figure out why Wing CC's (especially with Groups) would ever issue an ACH - they have the
pen for the Comm Comm on their whim, and if you've done something that has his attention,
almost by design the activity it is of a scope greater then Group, and if it's "only" a Group scope,
let the respective Group CC award it.


Because there are different levels of effort. Even the Region Commander can award an Achievement Ribbon.


Can and should are two different things.

Why would a Region CC be involved in something that only had a Group-level of scope?  Those types of things
generally involve the cooperation of a couple of units, in which case the decs should come from the respective Group CC.

The inverse is true as well - a Group CC should not be decorating a member doing a Wing or Region
level job, whether as the primary submitter or as a consolation prize (which is far too common).



lordmonar

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 01:42:25 am
I would not disagree on the mean, but it's a slippery slope, and one that is fraught with the risk of hard feelings.

Screw the hard feelings.

Just because "you" didn't get the proper recognition when "you" worked encampment should not mean we should not recognize those putting in the effort now.

We don't have anyway to pay our members for their hard work.   We should not be holding anything back because that's the way it was in the past.

QuoteYou don't want anything to be "automatic", and you're stuck, give out too many, and it cheapens them, don't give out enough,
and people feel unappreciated, which doesn't even account for those who are really in the know and see
"Jimmy the ticket-punching Wing AEO who just got a DSA for a clean CI, while Tim the 2x Commandant got an ACH."

Then there's the non-trivial issue of "doing your job well, isn't in and of itself worthy of decoration"

Nothing is ever automatic.   You may set the bar low....but there is a bar.   As for cheapening.....if we somehow lord forbid cheapen Medal X.....we can just make Medal Y and stick it in there to make sure the reward is worthy.   

As for the "doing your job well, isn't in and of itself worthy of decoration"......I got call BS on that statement.  Mainly because of CAP's current acceptance of too many members who do their jobs adequately, or didn't screw it up too much, or luckily we fixed the problem before we had to call the cops.   We are so undermanned and so stressed for warm bodies.....if you can find someone who is simply "doing their job well"....you need to put a medal on his or her chest!

/Rant
PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP

lordmonar

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 03:20:44 am
Can and should are two different things.

Why would a Region CC be involved in something that only had a Group-level of scope?  Those types of things
generally involve the cooperation of a couple of units, in which case the decs should come from the respective Group CC.

The inverse is true as well - a Group CC should not be decorating a member doing a Wing or Region
level job, whether as the primary submitter or as a consolation prize (which is far too common).

That's because the wrote the bloody regulation wrong.

The award should be based on the individual's involvement with the project in comparison to his/her peers and the scope of impact of that project/event/service on CAP.

So just because you are wing staff......but you do a job that has the scope and duties similar to a squadron staff officer....you should be getting the same medal as that officer.

So...those who volunteer and spend a week to 10 day working staff an Achievement is not off the mark.   Those Key Staff members that put in more hours/days/weeks and those small few of the first category that really stood up and did excellent work get Commanders Comms.   The top dog and maybe one or two of the staff that really made it work.....get MSA's

Nothing is automatic....Top dog drop the ball but his deputy picked it up and made the touchdown....Top Dog gets Commanders Comm and the deputy gets the MSA.  Cadet Easyrider thinks he can just glide through encampment not doing much of anything always out of pocket his staff mates having to pick up his slack.....no Achievement for you. 

But if you just say "well you all go an encampment ribbon, you should be happy"......that's what the Students got.   That's now how you reward someone for putting the extra hours and giving up their free time to put on our program.

/Rant

Sorry for the long rant.......and I know it's not necessarily you.....but this is one of my Hot Button Topics.

Award the Bloody Medals!
It hurts no one.
Costs only time.
It may help us retain people.

If we see that the reward is loosing it's effect......we make a new one.
PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP

Ozzy

Ozyilmaz, MSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, 17
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
GAWG Encampment 18, 19
FLWG Winter Encampment 19

Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Ozzy on August 15, 2019, 02:02:14 am

Members already get a ribbon for attending the activity (Encampment Ribbon) so why should they, unless they truely went above and beyond, be given a second decoration for doing their duties?


If I may:

If someone were to be on staff st an encampment, they would, indeed, receive an Encampment Ribbon (or more likely a clasp).

If that person were also to receive a CommComm, that would be the FIRST decoration for that person, not a "second decoration."

ACH, CommComm, MSA etc are decorations. The Encampment Ribbon is not a decoration. It is an "Activity Ribbon."





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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.

TheSkyHornet

I tend to feel that any unofficial "Most Outstanding _____ Of the Year" recognition warrants some form of formal recognition as well.

Different activities have different requirements/responsibilities for a job. If you do your job, you get the pat on the back, maybe a certificate or a coin. If you do an outstanding job, and go beyond expectations, we're going to talk Achievement Award. If you save the activity from disaster because you busted your butt, we should talk Commander's Commendation.

I don't think volunteering your time in itself begets an award. You get the participation decoration (i.e., ribbon/clasp). Volunteering your time, and performing to the max, is going to get you a greater level of recognition; and you'll stand out above the crowd.

At the 2018 Encampment, there were a number of unofficial Encampment awards, like Training Officer of the Year, Support Officer of the Year, Outstanding Cadet Cadre Member. I believe they were all submitted for Commander's Commendations for making the Wing-level activity as successful as it was despite some significant/serious shortcomings during the planning cycle. So those individuals were recognized for pulling it together--the physical labor and mental fortitude that went with it.

In the case of the C/2d Lt who made sure everyone had their supply items, that's the job. As the "Most Outstanding Cadet Support Officer," does that mean he performed beyond the scope of his duties (or performed them at a higher level than expected), or does that mean he was at par and the other cadet officers were dragging feet? If he went beyond expectations, I'd call that worthy of an Achievement Award. If he took it upon himself to restructure the logistics plan and brought the Encampment to a point where--had he not been there, everything would have crumbled--I'd go for the Commander's Commendation.


My technique for assessing award criteria (Barney-style):

  • Read the job description. Did they do these things? Certificate.

  • Read the job description. Did they go beyond this? Achievement Award.

  • If worthy of at least an Achievement Award, did they go beyond that? Did they "bring it home/go for gold?" Commander's Commendation.



As a reminder, if you feel someone is worthy of an award, you're free to nominate that person. You don't have to get their superior/boss from that activity to do it.

Eclipse

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on August 15, 2019, 02:29:16 pm
As a reminder, if you feel someone is worthy of an award, you're free to nominate that person. You don't have to get their superior/boss from that activity to do it.


"...except that awards concerning commanders must be initiated at a higher command level..."

I've had to bounce a couple for this reason. 

This also causes issues in CAP's circular reporting structure.



Майор Хаткевич

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 01:42:25 am
FWIW, my wing used to present a Comm Comm to cadet and senior staff for every three years of staff participation
as a matter of policy.  I need to look into getting that back in place.



When was this? Certainly never saw anyone get that in 2004-2008, or 2013-2017

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 02:51:01 pm
Quote from: TheSkyHornet on August 15, 2019, 02:29:16 pm
As a reminder, if you feel someone is worthy of an award, you're free to nominate that person. You don't have to get their superior/boss from that activity to do it.


"...except that awards concerning commanders must be initiated at a higher command level..."

I've had to bounce a couple for this reason. 

This also causes issues in CAP's circular reporting structure.


Point noted. But that's not really applicable to this particular conversation about Encampment duties.


Eclipse

Quote from: Майор Хаткевич on August 15, 2019, 03:27:24 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 01:42:25 am
FWIW, my wing used to present a Comm Comm to cadet and senior staff for every three years of staff participation
as a matter of policy.  I need to look into getting that back in place.



When was this? Certainly never saw anyone get that in 2004-2008, or 2013-2017


I personally issued one during the former period, wasn't my call during the latter.  I'd have to look, but reasonably sure it had your name on it.



Майор Хаткевич

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 06:20:04 pm
Quote from: Майор Хаткевич on August 15, 2019, 03:27:24 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 01:42:25 am
FWIW, my wing used to present a Comm Comm to cadet and senior staff for every three years of staff participation
as a matter of policy.  I need to look into getting that back in place.



When was this? Certainly never saw anyone get that in 2004-2008, or 2013-2017


I personally issued one during the former period, wasn't my call during the latter.  I'd have to look, but reasonably sure it had your name on it.



Would be news to me. I remember unrelated com-coms issued at graduation, never heard anyone get one for staffing x amount of years, and I know there were plenty of folks in that time frame that were annual players.

baronet68

Quote from: Eclipse on August 15, 2019, 01:42:25 am
IMHO, an ACH is not appropriate for anything related to encampments, since it's a Group-level award...



Why do you consider the CAP Achievement Award to be only a group-level award?  The CAP Achievement Award is "presented for outstanding service to the unit, group or wing."

While a group commander is the lowest level commander that can approve the award, that doesn't mean it is only to be awarded for activities at the group level.
Michael Moore, Maj, CAP
National Recruiting & Retention Manager