February 22, 2020, 03:22:54 pm

Anything new to entice rejoining?

Started by Dad2-4, January 20, 2020, 02:42:37 pm

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Dad2-4

I let my membership lapse just over one year ago because of my distance to the nearest squadron, and moreso just not finding myself relavent to the squadron.
The senior die is all about flying, with most meetings filled with "pilot talk". I'm a USAF SF veteran who never flew, and in all my years of trying in CAP I can't seen to get on Scanner/Observer traing flights. When I first joined I was heavily involved in Cadet Programs with my two sons. Since they aged out I have struggled to find a new place for myself.
Scanning through Captalk, it seems like the same chatter that has been going on for the last 15 years or more.
Someone please enlighten me if there is anything new going on.

TheSkyHornet

BLUF:
There are just some things to get over.

So, number one--and take this with no disrespect intended--but I don't think that's a great attitude to walk back in the door with. I've had plenty of "fed up" moments where I was done. And, sometimes, those same annoyances still come up and start pushing me closer to the edge. But I don't spend my time finding a reason to stay. I know why I'm still here. I find a reason to try and avoid those annoyances that get in the way, when possible. Call it "Find the negatives, and do the opposite of that."

Secondly, the chatter on here is much like Reddit. It's like an employee survey. You're going to see way more negative comments than positive. People like to try and fix problems (or have them fixed by someone else). Negatives get talked about more because they fire up discussion and stir emotions. It's just an easier, more natural conversation flow.

Third, Cadet Programs, in particular, is probably going to be more aggravating than anything else because of the dynamics and recurrence of issues. When it comes to mentoring that age group, it's constant learning by non-adults. When it comes to working/dealing with parents, it's the same thing, time and again. It can burn you out, but can also be extremely rewarding. You just have to understand what you're getting into and accept that this is how the program works. It took me a few years to finally get that into my head and really grasp that this is the reality of it. Those frustrations of "How do I just get them to..." don't go away, and I didn't understand back when I started that this is how the program runs.

As for Air Ops, good luck. That's been an extremely unsuccessful area of mine both in time commitment, personality conflicts, and cultural issues that I have in that arena. That's more of a me thing, though. I'm a horrible politician and a horrible diplomat. And I've burned bridges that I would torch again if the opportunity arose. Sure, there are things I'd like to do in CAP that I haven't done or done well, but I'm extremely content with my role at the present time working in my area.

TL/DR:
You need to find out what you can offer, and find someone willing to accept that in a trade-off. Every unit is obviously different. Sometimes, it just is what it is. You have to make the most of it, or stay bitter and let it eat away at you.

NIN

I've seen these "gatekeeper" issues before, and they vary by wing.  You have a problem getting in the plane, I have a problem sometimes getting enough people in the plane so I'm not turning interested and qualified people away. :)

Heck, 20+ years ago, my wing was that way in flying ops with some players from one unit who treated the planes like "theirs." Getting pilots and crews involved from other units was a difficult trick.

It took a lot of leadership on the part of enlightened commanders and staff officers to (slowly) turn the direction of that part of the ship over the course of easily 15 years.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Dwight Dutton

Quote from: NIN on January 20, 2020, 04:13:43 pmI've seen these "gatekeeper" issues before, and they vary by wing.  You have a problem getting in the plane, I have a problem sometimes getting enough people in the plane so I'm not turning interested and qualified people away. :)

Heck, 20+ years ago, my wing was that way in flying ops with some players from one unit who treated the planes like "theirs." Getting pilots and crews involved from other units was a difficult trick.  It took a lot of leadership on the part of enlightened commanders and staff officers to (slowly) turn the direction of that part of the ship over the course of easily 15 years.


I ran into that in CAWG as recently as one decade ago.  With 70 hours I'm not yet flying CAP anything, but by the time I get there I'm happy to say that wing staff is VASTLY superior to what it was at the time, and those problems are gone.

MacGruff

You've been out of the program for a year? Nothing much of substance has changed.

Is there a place for you? Sure is!  However, it depends on you, more than anything else. From your statements, you seem to have tried getting to be an Air Crew and faced some challenges, What else have you tried? I see a Ground Team Leader badge - you finished with that?

I have been with the program about seven years - I managed to become Air Crew certified and have never been called on a mission. My qualifications have slowly decayed. I could cry over that, huff and puff, and point fingers all I want - it would not change anything. Instead, I have found a spot in the staff side of the "house" over the past few years that works well for me - uses my skills pretty well and allows me to move the organization forward - a little. Are there spots like that for you? Probably.

You state that the squadron you used to belong to is far away - has that changed? If not, why do you ask about coming back?

Mind you, the organization can probably use any motivated volunteer, but you need to be exactly that - a motivated volunteer. As someone who is sporting Major oak leafs, you've presumably been around it long enough to know the positive and negatives. I do not know where you are physically located, but many Squadrons / Groups / Wings / Regions are looking for help in various parts to help support the missions.

Holding Pattern

When it comes to ES quals in CAP, I have discovered that it pays to be self-motivated and be "that guy" that emails/calls/texts everyone with a SET within 100 miles of me that is qualified for what I am looking to become.

Eventually, especially if you get 3-5 like-minded people, the training happens.

That said, that doesn't necessarily mean the missions happen, but the training happens.

But it took me 3 years of CAP just to figure out the lay of the land.

Stonewall

My favorite book reference for this type of quandary is "develop your situation."

If you don't follow that link (and scroll down a little), I'm saying, you need to build context to your situation, discover options, and master the information.

I came back in after a few years hiatus in a different wing, but timing worked out for me so I jumped back in with both feet. I wasn't getting what I want in the form of ES training and professional development from my local area so I sought opportunities for training and development outside of the immediate area. I went to two other wing conferences, drove through two other groups to attend some comms training in my wing, and went outside my wing for two different ground team training opportunities. Now that I'm all caught up on my quals and have a better understanding of how things are running these days after my few-years hiatus, I'm back in full swing doing what I want to do and contributing in ways that help CAP at the Wing, Group, and Squadron levels.

DO NOT WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO GRAB YOUR HAND AND GUIDE YOU.  Read up on the regs; find out what YOU need to accomplish your goals, then make them happen. Be patient as it won't happen overnight, or within a couple months. It took me over a year to get where I wanted, and it's still a work in progress.

Don't take no for an answer. Find a way! Be respectful and play by the rules, but you may hear "no" or "we don't do that" more often than you should. You have something to contribute to the program and the program has something for you. It's a two-way street for sure - give and take. You may give more than you take more often than not, but that's how it is.

If you run into a personality conflict, step around that situation and find another way. If not, you'll pull your hair out.

If you really are interested in scanner/observer training and qualification, I strongly urge you, if it's feasible, to attend something like NESA where you can knock out a majority, if not all, of the requirements in a single week. I don't know what wing/region you're in, but I know Mid Atlantic Region has their annual SAR College and I'm sure there are other similar opportunities around the country as well.

Just know there are plenty of options for you and actions to take, but you have to self-initiate most of them. If you don't, well, you'll be here on CAP Talk posting about it.

etodd

Quote from: Dad2-4 on January 20, 2020, 02:42:37 pm

Someone please enlighten me if there is anything new going on.


The new sUAS Program, if you're interested.

https://www.cap.news/suas-program/
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

PhotogPilot

January 25, 2020, 04:59:36 pm #8 Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 01:39:10 am by PhotogPilot
Quote from: Stonewall on January 22, 2020, 02:05:47 am
My favorite book reference for this type of quandary is "develop your situation."

If you don't follow that link (and scroll down a little), I'm saying, you need to build context to your situation, discover options, and master the information.

I came back in after a few years hiatus in a different wing, but timing worked out for me so I jumped back in with both feet. I wasn't getting what I want in the form of ES training and professional development from my local area so I sought opportunities for training and development outside of the immediate area. I went to two other wing conferences, drove through two other groups to attend some comms training in my wing, and went outside my wing for two different ground team training opportunities. Now that I'm all caught up on my quals and have a better understanding of how things are running these days after my few-years hiatus, I'm back in full swing doing what I want to do and contributing in ways that help CAP at the Wing, Group, and Squadron levels.

DO NOT WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO GRAB YOUR HAND AND GUIDE YOU.  Read up on the regs; find out what YOU need to accomplish your goals, then make them happen. Be patient as it won't happen overnight, or within a couple months. It took me over a year to get where I wanted, and it's still a work in progress.

Don't take no for an answer. Find a way! Be respectful and play by the rules, but you may hear "no" or "we don't do that" more often than you should. You have something to contribute to the program and the program has something for you. It's a two-way street for sure - give and take. You may give more than you take more often than not, but that's how it is.

If you run into a personality conflict, step around that situation and find another way. If not, you'll pull your hair out.

If you really are interested in scanner/observer training and qualification, I strongly urge you, if it's feasible, to attend something like NESA where you can knock out a majority, if not all, of the requirements in a single week. I don't know what wing/region you're in, but I know Mid Atlantic Region has their annual SAR College and I'm sure there are other similar opportunities around the country as well.

Just know there are plenty of options for you and actions to take, but you have to self-initiate most of them. If you don't, well, you'll be here on CAP Talk posting about it.


Yes Sir!

In Texas, I was in a very ES heavy Senior Squadron. We had a G1000 182 assigned to us, and the Group Commander would cycle planes into us just to put hours on. When my job brought me to Kansas, I found myself stuck in a little backwater where the closest airplane was a 3 hour drive away. There isn't even anything to rent at any of the local FBOs. I hooked up with a Cadet Squadron, but found very little I could contribute, and my work schedule created an almost impossible situation for me, so I sort of drifted into the Wing Ghost Squadron. But I always paid my dues and kept my membership active.

Now I'm back. Post gastric bypass surgery, down over 100 pounds, below CAP standards for AF Style uniforms (next goal weight is 194 lbs, 15 to go). Blood pressure 115/65 with ZERO meds. Working out 3 days a week, feeling better than I did when I was in my 20's. Not bad for 61 years old.

I already been in contact with a Squadron CC in neighboring Missouri, so I'm joining up with that Squadron. They don't have an aircraft currently, but an additional pilot might help tilt the scales. In any case, this time, Im going all in, and not letting ANYTHING get in my way. If I have to travel halfway across the state for a SAREX, or some training or live mission, I'll do it. If I can I'll go the other way, and hit up opportunities in Kansas, Oklahoma or Arkansas (I'm in SE Kansas, so all are driveable for me). Ive already scheduled flex time from work to make sure I can make at least a couple of meetings pre month through July. After that I'll negotiate time or swap days off when I can.

My first priority is regaining my mission quals. I really want to get Level IV complete before the current PD program gets scrapped, I'm eager to see the new program this summer. RSC is going to be difficult for me, so hopefully I can enroll in AFIADL SOS soon (I meet the requirements including a Bachelor's Degree). 

You get out of CAP what you put in to it, and I plan on giving it everything I've got.