CAP Cadet of the Month Awards

Started by Luis R. Ramos, October 10, 2020, 04:25:15 pm

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Luis R. Ramos

Gocivilairpatrol mentions the CAP Cadet of the Month Awards. See

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/programs/cadets/stripes-to-diamonds/special-cadet-program-awards

Is there a real CAP award, like a ribbon, attached? Anything we can give a cadet? Or is it only recording and awarding points as stated? Is that "it?"
Squadron Safety Officer
Squadron Communication Officer
Squadron Emergency Services Officer

Eclipse

It is a local award with no award elements.

Over the years I have seen everything from preferred parking spaces to (properly approved)
worn-at-the-unit-only shoulder cords, coins, certs, gift cards, etc., etc.

The idea tends to run out of steam the first or second time local leadership
realizes that the same cadets keep getting the award (especially a problem with
smaller squadrons).

Cadet of the quarter is probably a better idea as it allows for less repeats
and longer intervals.



Spam

Quote from: Eclipse on October 10, 2020, 05:15:50 pmIt is a local award with no award elements.

Over the years I have seen everything from preferred parking spaces to (properly approved)
worn-at-the-unit-only shoulder cords, coins, certs, gift cards, etc., etc.

The idea tends to run out of steam the first or second time local leadership
realizes that the same cadets keep getting the award (especially a problem with
smaller squadrons).

Cadet of the quarter is probably a better idea as it allows for less repeats
and longer intervals.

Second those recommendations...

Remember, units cannot "decide" to award shoulder cords any more than they can just decide to start wearing black berets (seen both... sigh). Unless there is an approved Supplement to the uniform regs posted on the NHQ pubs web page, it can't happen.

My suggestion in the case of local awards, just as with personnel selection actions, is to decide on the behavior you want to collectively reward/recognize (operant conditioning) and set down some objective criteria for cadet of the quarter rather than risk the perception that "its all favoritism". Eclipse isn't alone in seeing repeat winners: the great thing is to set up a fair contest, publicize the judging criteria (percent or number of meetings, activities, missions attended, promotions made, percent scores on advancement tests, people recruited, presentations given, that sort of thing). Then... let the chips fall where they may!  If done right, this can be a fantastic motivational tool to spur a "race to the top".

When I've had a naturally occurring situation where all the cadet officers graduated, I've often announced the same sort of selective criteria for Flight/CC or Cadet/CC, leaving those officer billets open for x months and picking the winning cadet at the end of the rating period. Works great.

The challenge these days in the pandemic, however, is to tune the criteria so as to not penalize members who cannot attend face to face, where their units may be in limited reopening status. We cannot afford to treat people as second class based on their familys health situation. After this is over, tune it back.

R/s
Spam

Capt Thompson

Agree that Cadet of the Month is a bit much unless it's a large Squadron, Cadet of the Quarter would work for most.

We also do a monthly honor flight, now that we have enough Cadets to have two flights. I have a spreadsheet in Google Drive broken down by flights and elements, with each Cadet's name and point columns for things like Leadership and Aerospace tests, drill tests, inspection scores, attendance, activities etc, and they are given opportunities to earn bonus points throughout the month. Each Cadet knows the criteria, everyone has an equal chance to earn points for their flight, and flight sergeants and above have view only access to the sheet so they can see where their flight is at. Flight sergeants are both very competitive, and this pushes them to teach and develop their subordinates, as doing so will ultimately earn more points for their flights.

At the end of the quarter, I could easily add in an equation to total up each Cadet's 3 month point score, and use that as one of the factors for determining Cadet of the Quarter.
Capt Matt Thompson
Deputy Commander for Cadets, Historian, Public Affairs Officer

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

arajca

When I was at the unit level, we ran a Cadet of the Quarter program. Very few repeats and used entirely objective data (test scores, attendance, awards, etc). Only 1 time in 5 years did we have a tie. The younger cadet, who had a 90%+ attendance was chosen as the other had better test scores, but only a 60% attendance. The decision was made by the CC, CDC, and C/CC.

The CoQ received a certificate and a burgundy shoulder cord to wear for the following quarter - properly approved by the wing commander.

If interested, I'll try to dig up the spreadsheet we used.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Eclipse on October 10, 2020, 05:15:50 pmThe idea tends to run out of steam the first or second time local leadership
realizes that the same cadets keep getting the award (especially a problem with
smaller squadrons).

Cadet of the quarter is probably a better idea as it allows for less repeats
and longer intervals.

We had this issue at my squadron. The same cadet continued to win the award.

We run it on a point-merit system. Participation, promoting, etc. receives weighted points. But we recently modified it after a third-time consecutive winner (who was appointed First Sergeant during the last quarter) received it, again. We had a chat with our cadet staff about eligibility criteria, and we unanimously agreed that the command staff should not be eligible for the award. The staff would then review the top three point-earners to decide who was the most deserving based on subjective performance in addition to the objective point system.

We'll see how it goes. Honestly, this is more about having the staff step up and recognize their subordinates and newcomers than it is about handing out awards from the cadre level.