Brick and mortar - be careful what you ask for.

Started by Eclipse, July 27, 2020, 05:49:38 pm

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JohhnyD

Quote from: PHall on July 29, 2020, 11:31:32 pmStaff is still going to need some training. How many of your local squadrons can put together a 15 or 16 member flight?  C/SSgt Bagadonuts is probably going to need a bit of instruction before we turn them loose on the unsuspecting students.
We have almost 70 cadets, Alpha Flight, Bravo Flight, Tango (Training) Flight and a robust staff. Just saying!

Eclipse

July 30, 2020, 03:56:11 am #21 Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 04:00:40 am by Eclipse
Quote from: NIN on July 30, 2020, 01:07:24 amThe encampment model and the encampment mindset might have to change a little bit. Instead of building encampment to be like encampment, why don't we work to build units to be more like encampment? Or build units and the cadet program to have the kinds of leadership skills so that you don't need additional training just to handle a flight at encampment.

For discussions sake, CAP already does, however few units have the scale, proper progression,
properly trained and experienced adult leaders, and lack of "well this is how >we< do it"
to properly prepare cadet leaders for what encampment (is supposed to) expect(s) of them.

That would also move the needle on the model somewhat from a learning lab for all to
a more pure training environment for the students.

One of the more fun and gratifying experiences for those involved in the encampment
program is seeing wide-eyed new cadre who come from the typical 30-cadet, 2-flight
squadron and think they "got this", find they aren't even sure how to herd the other cadre,
let alone 85-100+ students (many with wet Currys and no clue), turn into good managers and
often excellent leaders.

That goes for the adults involved as well.

You got 70?  Great, you're 1/3rd there, but they all know each other, which makes it different.

You're never going to consistently crank out trained cadets from the units in the way you are discussing.

The Region-level encampment is an interesting idea, but the necessary scale is never going to happen.
It's hard enough (and I hazard it's going to be WAY worse in 2021) to find venues that can support hots, cots,
activities and personnel now for "just" 150, you move things to Region-level and now you need a venue that can
support 500-800 easy, in some Regions more. 

That causes havoc with activity cycle times, cohesion of the training, and worse it reduces the
cadet opportunities for the higher jobs from 45ish (s/b 52) to 8.

Like the idea at 50k, fails at ground level.

As a unit CC I have always looked to the cadet programs that have required summer training
because I would think it cranks out more consistency among the ranks, however those programs
don't have an operational component, cadets aren't going to NESA (etc.), and the adults are
all focused on the cadets, not their own thing as well.



TheSkyHornet

Just to really stir up debate here:

What with the Cadet Program look like if it was based on a semester-to-semester type curriculum as opposed to a personal progression program?

Rather than Little Jimmy joining in March and Little Johnny joining in May, and Little Savannah joining in August, and running three Great Starts (I know of some units that run them consecutively throughout the year), what if you had a hard start date where everyone in that class pushed through at the same pace? At the end of the time period, everyone moves up to the next phase.

I'm saying that with a complete rework of the entire program model, and this is purely conversational (not a "let's go do it!" chant).

jeders

Then it would look exactly like a school squadron, which we already have.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: jeders on July 30, 2020, 01:27:34 pmThen it would look exactly like a school squadron, which we already have.

Do cadets at school squadrons advance at their own rate?

JohhnyD

Quote from: jeders on July 30, 2020, 01:27:34 pmThen it would look exactly like a school squadron, which we already have.
We need more of these!

Eclipse

Quote from: JohhnyD on July 30, 2020, 02:39:20 pm
Quote from: jeders on July 30, 2020, 01:27:34 pmThen it would look exactly like a school squadron, which we already have.
We need more of these!

No, CAP absolutely DOES NOT.



JohhnyD

Quote from: Eclipse on July 30, 2020, 02:40:21 pm
Quote from: JohhnyD on July 30, 2020, 02:39:20 pm
Quote from: jeders on July 30, 2020, 01:27:34 pmThen it would look exactly like a school squadron, which we already have.
We need more of these!

No, CAP absolutely DOES NOT.
Why not? We are talking about this with local schools. What are the issues that we ought to be aware of?

Capt Thompson

Quote from: PHall on July 29, 2020, 11:31:32 pmStaff is still going to need some training. How many of your local squadrons can put together a 15 or 16 member flight?  C/SSgt Bagadonuts is probably going to need a bit of instruction before we turn them loose on the unsuspecting students.

Not really, a Flight Sergeant who can command a 10 person flight should be able to lead a 40 person flight just the same, in the two years I went to JROTC summer camp I never saw an issue, and the amount of Cadets involved far surpassed any numbers I've ever seen at one of our Encampments, which was really cool at pass in review marching in battalion formation with more than 800 Cadets.

The key was the Tac officers were very well trained and knew the program, they didn't just push C/SSgt Bagadonuts out on his own, they were there coaching the whole way, and each platoon had a good mix of experience, since the basics during summer camp could very well be Captains, Majors or Lt Col's back home, it wasn't necessarily up to C/SSgt Bagadonuts to worry about C/Amn Smith, when Smith was bunked next to C/Capt Jones and C/Lt Col O'Brien, who were also basics at that summer camp and had C/Amn Smith's back all week.

It's not necessarily a bad thing for an Earhart or Eaker Cadet to step back and be a Basic for a week, and help pass along their knowledge at the ground level to other Basics, while allowing some Junior NCO's a chance to learn to lead a larger group than they're used to.
Capt Matt Thompson
Historian, Public Affairs Officer

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 1 OCT 00 (#11401)

TheSkyHornet

We have a real struggle with seniors who are not only experienced at cadet mentoring but actually want to get involved in a proactive manner.

I've seen way too many seniors show up at cadet activities, and when they're asked to hold feedback sessions or talk with a cadet on his/her performance, they hesitate and even sometimes flat out say "Nope; I'm just here to supervise." Individuals like that not only have no role at the activity, but they're essentially useless in our mission to develop leaders.

If units (and activity directors) got into the habit of rejecting that sort of opinion/attitude, you'd see less senior members attending activities where they have no ability to get their hands dirty when it comes to mentoring and coaching.

If you, as a unit commander, has a senior who has never demonstrated themselves as anything other than a chaperon, please don't send them to Encampment.

Eclipse

Quote from: Capt Thompson on July 30, 2020, 05:51:56 pmNot really, a Flight Sergeant who can command a 10 person flight should be able to lead a 40 person flight just the same

CAP doesn't have all that many units who have flights with 10 cadets, and 40 is well outside reasonable span of control.


Quote from: Capt Thompson on July 30, 2020, 05:51:56 pmIt's not necessarily a bad thing for an Earhart or Eaker Cadet to step back and be a Basic for a week, and help pass along their knowledge at the ground level to other Basics, while allowing some Junior NCO's a chance to learn to lead a larger group than they're used to.

[petty nitpick]
In CAP they are students, not basics.
[/petty nitpick]

Within the existing paradigm where an encampment is not BCT, but more akin to A-School, this doesn't
work.  Putting a Phase III or IV cadet in ranks robs the cadres of their mentoring ability, robs the
C/Officers of learning anything, and the number of pips and diamonds who would ever be interested in the
idea would be statistically zero.  As it is we can't get cadets to step up when their plum job is taken but
someone else, let alone put them back in flight.

I know this thread has moved to discussing a revamp of encampments, but this idea would literally require
a full-reboot, and move away from the direction of STEM career exploration that the encampments have been
pushing towards in the last ten years.

You'd also run afoul of all sorts of CPT policies and issues in regards to berthing and hygiene
with mixing ages that much.



Phil Hirons, Jr.

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on July 30, 2020, 07:18:47 pmIf units (and activity directors) got into the habit of rejecting that sort of opinion/attitude, you'd see less senior members attending activities where they have no ability to get their hands dirty when it comes to mentoring and coaching.

At least not in TAC or similar cadet supervisory roles. Cooks, medical, drivers, etc are needed at Encampment too.

Capt Thompson

Quote from: Eclipse on July 30, 2020, 07:34:59 pmCAP doesn't have all that many units who have flights with 10 cadets, and 40 is well outside reasonable span of control.


Agreed, there aren't that many units currently that big, which is why Encampment provides a unique opportunity to experience leadership at a higher level. I wouldn't say 40 is outside of a reasonable span of control for a Flight Sergeant, when the Flight is broken up into smaller Elements with Element Leaders. I would argue that our Leadership training far surpasses the JROTC curriculum, and there it wasn't at all unheard of for a Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant to have 40+ cadets underneath them, broken up into 5 or 6 Squads with Squad Leaders and Assistant Squad Leaders.

Quote from: undefinedWithin the existing paradigm where an encampment is not BCT, but more akin to A-School, this doesn't
work.  Putting a Phase III or IV cadet in ranks robs the cadres of their mentoring ability, robs the
C/Officers of learning anything, and the number of pips and diamonds who would ever be interested in the
idea would be statistically zero.
As it is we can't get cadets to step up when their plum job is taken but
someone else, let alone put them back in flight.


This is the only reason it wouldn't work, because you wouldn't get the buy in from Cadets who are used to the way we've always done things, but that doesn't mean the idea couldn't work. You have NCSA's where Cadets in charge may not outrank the Cadets they are in charge of, it's just never been done at an Encampment.

QuoteYou'd also run afoul of all sorts of CPT policies and issues in regards to berthing and hygiene
with mixing ages that much.

In fairness, JROTC ended at 18, and a Cadet couldn't go to summer camp the summer after graduation, so the age ranges were much closer.
Capt Matt Thompson
Historian, Public Affairs Officer

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 1 OCT 00 (#11401)

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Phil Hirons, Jr. on July 30, 2020, 07:46:51 pm
Quote from: TheSkyHornet on July 30, 2020, 07:18:47 pmIf units (and activity directors) got into the habit of rejecting that sort of opinion/attitude, you'd see less senior members attending activities where they have no ability to get their hands dirty when it comes to mentoring and coaching.

At least not in TAC or similar cadet supervisory roles. Cooks, medical, drivers, etc are needed at Encampment too.

"TACs" haven't been a thing for years.
There isn't a "Medical" at Encampment.
Many Encampments don't employ cooks, and drivers are often interchangeable with Training Officer duties.

Like any cadet role we offer, if you're a senior member at the Encampment, you should be prepared to be able to step into a mentoring role at any time, whether for cadets or other subordinate seniors. It's not uncommon for a Flight Sergeant or First Sergeant to leave or be pulled out of a role during the Encampment; and we have to resort to taking someone from Logistics or other support role.

Encampment doesn't need more supervisors. It needs trainers: people who can take time out of the day to sit with their respective cadre and discuss the dos/don'ts/sustains/improves.

Really, this should be the expectation of any senior member that bears the titular stamp of "Cadet Programs Officer." If you want to work with cadets, but don't want to learn anything about it or actually do that pesky mentoring bit, go away. I have enough issues to deal with without needing to combat someone who constantly shows up and never helps, or constantly opines and gets in the way of the learning objectives.

JohhnyD

July 31, 2020, 12:52:24 am #34 Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 02:17:31 am by SarDragon Reason: Poor proofreading or nonsense wording
Quote from: Eclipse on July 30, 2020, 07:34:59 pmCAP doesn't have all that many units who have flights with 10 cadets, and 40 is well outside reasonable span of control.
Why?

A flight of 4 3l3m3nts elements of 10 is totally inside of the "span of control", no?

[let's try proofreading next time]

SarDragon

Actually, no. Proper span of control would dictate 5-7 person elements, which is what I always saw in units big enough to have two or more flights. Six also works very for doing drill.
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
50 Year Member
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret

Eclipse

No - 10 cadets is far too much for an element leader, who is also presumably not an NCO, and therefore new
themselves, to deal with. Also, some encampments use element leaders and others don't.

The encampment flight ratio is 18:1 to the TO, and experience shows that as you move towards
13+, they can get unwieldy, because for starters the odds are everyone involved is doing whatever job
they have, from student to the C/xCC, and even the EXE Cadre as well, for the first (and maybe only time).

C/xCCs & C/CCFs from typical squadrons learn very quickly how different it is to get cadets they have never met
and who have disparate experience and proficiency, to just all look in the same direction, let alone
accomplish the mission of the activity.