Discord as a Cadet Platform

Started by TheSkyHornet, April 03, 2022, 01:21:01 AM

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What are your thoughts on using Discord as a:
  • Recruiting platform to get cadets to sign up for wing-level activities?
  • Staff communications platform for seniors and cadets to use during activities?

Historically, Slack was the big platform for us. But more and more people are suggesting using Discord.

I can't say I'm totally bought in on the idea at this point, especially when it comes to using it to promote CAP activities such a standard social media platform (such as Instagram or Snapchat). I'm skeptical on chat systems being the place to advertise/recruit.

That said, maybe I'm not advancing into the future at the rate of those around me.


Not necessary and asking for trouble.

"That Others May Zoom"

Lt Seidell

If you're familiar with Slack then Discord will make sense almost immediately. Better than email and faster to communicate. Cadet email addresses can change quickly anyway and they're known to ignore or procrastinate reading emails.

These days practically every streamer has a discord server and your cadets are almost guaranteed to be watching streamers. Cadets are probably current members of 5-10 different discord servers, including one they set up for themselves.

When I first joined my composite squadron (~60 cadets), the cadets were already self-organized around a squadron-based discord server. They have channels that handle welcome/orientation, executive staff communication, flight staff communications, special activities, etc. Seniors are in there too coordinating weekend fundraising or Cyber Patriot events. It really hums along and is impressive to see.

Once I started organizing events of my own, I began broadcasting messaging through our sUAS Discord channel. Simply ask for thumbs ups on a post if they're planning on coming, or better yet - set up a poll with yes/maybe/no checkboxes. For Seniors, I send traditional email and point them to an Eventbrite page; trying to get Cadets on that boat too - but Discord has higher conversion rate.

Regarding day-of-event messaging, we had an event at our local RC field where winds precluded F/W flight, but multirotors were good to go. Once we arrived, winds actually died down, so I shot a message through discord saying "F/W back on the menu, winds low". Sure enough, 3 additional cadets came down within 20 minutes.

To CAP this off, you need to secure strong cadet and senior admins who understand Discord and can structure everything to maximize utility and mitigate shenanigans. If you plan on using it, consider using it to its full extent and allow it to become a hub for Cadet-Program coordination at your squadron.
Lt Brett Seidell


Quote from: Eclipse on April 03, 2022, 04:20:11 AMNot necessary and asking for trouble.

We use Discord in my squadron with no problems. So what trouble are we asking for?


Quote from: PHall on April 04, 2022, 12:12:51 AMSo what trouble are we asking for?
Cadet protection issues.

Merging of worlds with bad consequences

Lack of decorum.

Etc., etc.


"That Others May Zoom"


Quote from: Eclipse on April 04, 2022, 12:56:33 AM
Quote from: PHall on April 04, 2022, 12:12:51 AMSo what trouble are we asking for?
Cadet protection issues.

Merging of worlds with bad consequences

Lack of decorum.

Etc., etc.


Ahh if you only knew of what you're talking about...
Ours is a private group where you have to be added by an administrator.
You leave the unit you're out of the group. We don't have problems with "outsiders".


Discord is especially useful for big events with cadets. It provides a central place to organize information instead of getting lost in an endless email chain. The way that discord works is especially helpful for events like virtual RCLS, encampment staff training, and CACs (any echelon). 

Just as others said, when used properly, it is a secure, efficient method of communication and collaboration.


If you are already using Slack, you won't gain anything by switching to Discord, in fact you may lose functionality as Slack can integrate with other apps to increase productivity and communications.

Our squadron uses Slack because we can add everyone (cadet, seniors, and parents) and if they don't want to actually use Slack, they still receive emails of any messages they're tagged in (or a whole channel is tagged in) so they are still able to receive timely information. Since we started using it for our primary communications hub within the squadron, we've seen a huge uptick in timely reporting and everyone getting the correct information.

But whether you stick with Slack or switch to Discord, at least you're not using Teams, and that's a good thing.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse


Okay, so I think we've gotten the gist of using Discord for management purposes. And that's the correlation with Slack that I was referring to. I fully grasp the goods/bads of communications tools at the actual event (to include squadron meetings, large Wing-level events, etc.).

Where I'm very iffy is in using Discord for cadet outreach.

If the Wing does not have a Discord server, and it's not well-moderated, is there a benefit of using it as a means of internal communications and marketing to the member audience?

Here's my example:
A wing maintains an Instagram account. That page posts pictures from activities and also posts images depicting upcoming activities and includes a sign-up link.

Does that function similar when it comes to Discord?

I'm specifically talking about upper echelon engagement with lower echelon members, not within a single squadron.

I will add that I'm personally not keen on direct-level engagement with non-CAP user accounts. Our Wing provides email address for every member. That's clearly not going to be the email address associated with their Discord profile since they'll likely be using their gaming account.


There are better platforms to use for cadet outreach then Discord.
For outreach you need more of a broadcast platform.

Capt Thompson

We've used Discord in our Squadron for several years with great success. Each flight has it's own channel both text and audio, which was used quite a bit when we were in Phase I and running meetings online. I have a channel for ground team training, one for color guard, one for Cadet Staff, and one for general announcements.

We have about 90% of the Cadets on the server, but only a few Seniors, so communication regarding ground team training or other events that involve the Seniors needs to go out on email in addition to Discord.

Not all of the Cadets will get on, and we had a few parents that wouldn't let their children use the service for various reasons, so if Cadet Snuffy's flight sergeant makes an announcement in the Bravo Flight chat, he/she also needs to make sure it goes through text or email to that Cadet to keep them in the loop. Some of my senior NCO's are not allowed to be on Discord per their parents, so no matter what someone isn't getting the message if it goes on Discord only.

If the server is very active, you run the risk of important information getting buried in a thread. You put an announcement and 50 Cadets begin talking back and forth for 15 minutes after, then Cadet Snuffy goes on and gets tired of scrolling and gives up before seeing the announcement.

As with anything it has it's pros and cons. Yes you can absolutely post an event with a signup link, post documents, media etc, moreso that Instagram would allow you to do.
Capt Matt Thompson
Deputy Commander for Cadets, Historian, Public Affairs Officer

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