November 29, 2020, 01:31:14 am

The 90's

Started by exarmyguard, August 13, 2020, 06:47:17 pm

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exarmyguard

Forgive the question. I first came into CAP in the 90's, left, and returned. There was talk of the AF taking over CAP at that time. What triggerer it and was the AF plan to do with CAP? Where would CAP be now if that had happened? Thanks.

dwb

I think what you heard in the '90s were largely unsubstantiated rumors and not-fully-formed thoughts. I don't think USAF wanted to administer the day-to-day business of CAP. It's why CAP, Inc. is its own thing. I too heard grumblings of dissatisfaction but none of us were "in the room" to speak definitively about it.

That said, I have been involved continuously since the early '90s, and I don't think our relationship with USAF has ever been as solid as it is right now (at least during my tenure). A lot of work has gone into building that trust and we need to make sure we reaffirm it with each change of command.

exarmyguard

What prompted the maroon epaulettes?

Eclipse

Seriously, search is your friend and it's not September yet.



dwb

Quote from: exarmyguard on August 13, 2020, 08:07:01 pmWhat prompted the maroon epaulettes?
Delusions of grandeur

MSG Mac

The Maroon epaulets and the accompanying red rings were brought out in the 80's, not the 90's. A National Commander, got the National Board to authorize a 2nd star for himself and a star for the Vice. Crap hit the Air Force fan, spewed all over CAP.
Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
50 Year Member

NIN

Quote from: MSG Mac on August 13, 2020, 10:56:56 pmThe Maroon epaulets and the accompanying red rings were brought out in the 80's, not the 90's. A National Commander, got the National Board to authorize a 2nd star for himself and a star for the Vice. Crap hit the Air Force fan, spewed all over CAP.

1990s.

When I returned from active duty in 1989, we were still in hard rank, CAP cutouts and blue shoulder marks.

That didn't change until sometime in 1990 or 1991.  (Long enough ago that I've forgotten exactly when)

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
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Eclipse

August 14, 2020, 01:18:36 am #7 Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 02:26:48 am by Eclipse
((*sigh*)) OK...

Most of this is conjecture, rumor and wives tales that you won't be able to verify, but
here's the campfire story.

Brig Gen Eugene E. Harwell, CC/NHQ (86-90) was accused of self-promoting to Maj Gen without authorization. The scuttle is that the A/SECAF had approved it, and the SECAF had signed off, but no one bothered to tell the CSAF who was royally smoked.  Since the move had already been approved above his pay grade, he took other steps to "put CAP in its place" and replaced metal grade insignia first with 2-part maroon epaulet "circlets" and then later full epaulet sleeves.


Source: Worthpoint

Technically the grade was not rescinded, and his successor Brig Gen Warren J. Barry (90-93) could have worn the second star but chose discretion over valor.  The grade was officially disapproved in 1992, and there would not be another CAP 2-Star until 2003 (Gen Bowling).

Unfortunately, due to the timing, Gen Barry bore the brunt of the ridicule for the uniform changes thus the term "Berry Boards".

The maroon insignia was worn from 1992 to 1995, at which point it was changed to the gray epaulet sleeves CAP has today.

The relationship with the USAF during this time was somewhat "strained", with CAP leaders openly criticizing the way the USAF operated in regards to CAP, even at one point espousing full separation.

This eventually lead to accusations of malfeasance and an unfortunate, and very public, FBI investigation of NHQ and the National Command and paid staff in mid 1999. At one point it even appeared that CAP had agreed to disband the National Board and allow more direct USAF control.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GAOREPORTS-NSIAD-00-136/html/GAOREPORTS-NSIAD-00-136.htm

The result of that was Public Law 398 (10/2000), which "emphasized CAP's auxiliary status", plus a new governance structure and statement of work (SOW) published in 2001, which were updated again in 2012 and most recently in 2018.

The rest is a story for another day...



etodd

So ... you're saying that someone self-promoting ... was the impetus of us eventually being made "aux status" via the law books.

That's just too funny.
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

Eclipse

Quote from: etodd on August 14, 2020, 02:02:03 amSo ... you're saying that someone self-promoting ... was the impetus of us eventually being made "aux status" via the law books.

No, that is not what happened, nor is that what I said.



exarmyguard

Great story. Thank you for taking the time to share. Hypothetical question. Where would CAP be had the AF 'taken over' and how could have that looked?
I remember when the (false) rumour started, some members wanted the AF to 'take over'. So as to 'square things away', I recall.

Eclipse

August 14, 2020, 03:32:04 am #11 Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 03:58:07 am by Eclipse
Quote from: exarmyguard on August 14, 2020, 03:07:04 amWhere would CAP be had the AF 'taken over' and how could have that looked?

FSM knows, but it would not likely have been pretty, nor sustainable.

At the same time as all this CAP drama, the Clinton Administration was in full BRAC mode, reducing
bases, manpower and resources all across the military.  I joined in 99, when each Wing still had
both a Liaison Officer and NCO assigned as full-time AD positions, and by 03(?) these were combined / reduced
to one civilian GS-12 position, to then spend the next 15 or so years with nearly annual RIFs,
reduced RAP budgets, and an overall significant reduction of the program. To the point now where I think there
are only eight full time LR-ADO slots, and not even all of those are filled.

One would have to assume that an increase of USAF authority would have required significant
additional personnel right at a time when the US was in a draw-down.  I would imagine that would
require at least a Lt Col, if not a Col for each state, and possibly additional for the Regions.
Those people have people, require facilities, etc., etc. That's probably a couple hundred O-5 & 6's,
plus some 7's, and probably Chiefs (or other Senior NCOs) with their assistants and related staffs.

Probably one of the reasons it didn't happen.

In fact the Wing Admins are basically a direct response to the lack of FTEs in most wings
to even answer the phones during the day.

It would also probably incur significant attrition and loss of institutional knowledge, with
people who were "in charge" leaving in a huff.  Even as it was I personally witnessed inexplicable
disdain and dismissal of CAP-USAF by CAP Commanders who REALLY needed the guidance and perhaps
a heavier hand of experienced USAF officers.  I never understood that.

There is also the non-trivial issue of military personnel really having no real authority
or way to compel volunteers to action beyond termination, which is ultimately self-defeating.

Further, it breaks the model and ROI of a volunteer force, and would also have muddied the
role and position of a civilian auxiliary if they are reporting to and commanded directly by
the military.

There are also likely complex legal, tax, and reimbursement issues that, while not insurmountable,
would likely change the nature of the organizaiton in unintended ways.

Ironically, due to budget cuts and program changes, CAP-USAF has been all but exercised
from the program, and while they certainly maintain their appropriation oversight and some approval of
expenditures and mission operations, (as well as conducting Compliance Inspections), they are rarely seen by rank-and-file members below Wing level.



exarmyguard

Eclipse, your thoughts, and those of other contributors, are very much appreciated and valued. I thank you all.

Mitchell 1969

Quote from: etodd on August 14, 2020, 02:02:03 amSo ... you're saying that someone self-promoting ... was the impetus of us eventually being made "aux status" via the law books.

That's just too funny.
It's only funny because that is neither what happened, nor what Eclipse said.


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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.

SarDragon

Quote from: etodd on August 14, 2020, 02:02:03 amSo ... you're saying that someone self-promoting ... was the impetus of us eventually being made "aux status" via the law books.

That's just too funny.


CAP has always been an Air Force Auxiliary. The new public law just redefined the terms of that status.

This thread give a decent breakdown of the current law. Doing a search for "AUX ON/AUX OFF", in quotes, will give you other threads about it.
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
50 Year Member
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret