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Author Topic: "Misc. Category" Seniors in a Composite Squadron  (Read 5082 times)
O-Rex
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« on: May 12, 2008, 09:55:40 PM »

In a Composite Squadron, your seniors generally fall into two categories: your Cadet Cadre, and your 'flyers.'

What typically goes on during a squadron meeting is your cadet-centric seniors are busy with cadets, and (in a perfect world) your Ops-oriented seniors are off in a classroom somewhere doing flight-related classroom training, or actually flying.

On a somewhat regular basis, the two world collide when we have o-rides: lots of synergy and togetherness-it's a beautiful thing . . .

I have a unit with handful of seniors that are in the misc specialty tracks, i.e., admin, finance etc. who are Ground-team oriented, and not really interested in the Cadet Program, nor do they want to fly.

On occasion we ask the non-cadet program seniors to pitch in with a presentation or class of some sort, just to stay in the mix, but it's not really their thing, and keeping these 'none-of-the-above' category seniors productive, occupied & fulfilled while maintaining order and focus in the rest of the house has been a challenge.

Anyone have this issue and if so, how are you tackling it?
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RiverAux
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 10:05:16 PM »

Well, why not have ground-team oriented training in the "senior" session more often?  Quite a lot of it could be of use to the flyers if you put it into the context of being post-crash survival. 
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Tubacap
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 10:09:56 PM »

Cross coordination is always great between air and ground assets.

Anyone interested in the Mission Base stuff?  How about having them plan some of the squadron activities (Cadet/ES), kind of like a full time Planning Section.
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William Schlosser, Major CAP
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 10:26:57 PM »

 How about having your misc. Senior members interested in ES do ES stuff with your cadets. ES is available for cadets to.
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O-Rex
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 10:28:16 PM »

Well, why not have ground-team oriented training in the "senior" session more often?  Quite a lot of it could be of use to the flyers if you put it into the context of being post-crash survival. 

The unit conducts Ground Team training on the first weekend of every month, and it usually only takes one meeting per month to keep up with their functional areas, so there's 2-3 weeks per month with slack time to keep them occupied.

I also suggested getting them scanner/obsverver qualified (even if they don't really pursue it later) just so that they can get a better understanding of what the aircrew side is like, so that they can really get the feel for air/ground coordination (I did just the opposite, and became a UDF semi-regular in my group.)

They didn't bite. . .

We also tried to get all seniors to have a PD day, where the ECI-13, SOS and ACSC folks could get together, but the reaction was "we can do that at home...."  (Later I get the panic phone call because their 12-18 months is almost up, and they are not finished, but that's another story.)

I was not an active cadet-person when I joined, but as a CC, I now have a keen appreciation for the fact that the cadet program is pretty much 'plug & play,' while non cadet-program Seniors take a little more imagination to keep engaged.

Ironic, isn't it?
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RiverAux
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 10:41:09 PM »

You know there are a certain percentage of people in CAP who are actually happy with just doing some of the administrative work to support the others participating in the more active programs.  Nothing wrong with that either. 
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DNall
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 11:43:43 PM »

That's not a misc category, it's a GT category. In fact I'd question your break down of the unit into just cadet cadre & aircrew. That's unusual in my experience. The first unit I was in broke down as cadet cadre & GT. I've been in two others that were straight cadet cadre, but with some additional skill for GT or aircrew. I know of some units with that are all aircrew (one sr Sq), or maybe have a dedicated aircrew section aside from the rest of Sq ops, but I don't think I've ever seen a situation where the majority of the (non-cadet focused) adult side was mostly aircrew.

If that's your situation, then you probably need to diversify. You shouldn't be looking at your adult side as aircrew, and aircrew shouldn't define your ops section. What I would do is this...

One flight/section for aircrew under an air ops officer, assisted by a training officer.

One flight/section for GT under a ground ops officer, assisted by a training officer.

Also prob a comm section, even if it's only one or two folks.

Ops sections answering to the ops officer, who answers to the Sq CC. Also need SaR, DR, & HLS officers to coordinate & conduct training in their subject areas tailored for each seperate ops section.

And of course your cadet flight answering thru the DCC to Sq CC.

You most likely have a few members who still fall into none of those categories. They should be under the DCS working member development. That's PD for themselves of course, but also supporting everyone else.

I would organize my meeting structure on the adult side so half is about Sq admin & member development, and the other half is break out to your designated ES section. And I would have my one mtg a month where you put the air/grd/comm sections all together to cross-train.

I know some of that sounds complicated, but it's actually very easy to set up & run that way.

I also know a lot of people look at GT as a couple cadet cadre driving cadets around to do GT. That's fine for UDF. It's not fine for real serious redcap or disaster missions where cadets either have a more limited role or cannot be used. We really do need a lot bigger force of ground focused adult members that can do the heavy lifting w/o cadets.
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Pylon
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 12:12:54 AM »

Wouldn't the support people fall under the XO (Executive Officer)?  They shouldn't be "dangling in the wind" while the pilots go into one corner and do their thing, and the cadet programs people into another.  They have plenty to discuss, learn, do, plan, think about and share.

I wouldn't also automatically lump the administrative/support people with GT work.  A pilot can just as easily fill your PAO slot, as a GTM or GTL can be your ESO or Leadership Officer.  ES Quals are not directly tied to duty positions within the squadron.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
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DNall
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 12:25:08 AM »

Wouldn't the support people fall under the XO (Executive Officer)? 
Is XO (actually the AF abbreviation is CCE) on the 20-1 task org list? I don't seem to recall that being the case. Typically the DCS fills that role.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 01:04:52 AM »

My experience similar to what was described here -- in a composite squadron with mostly aircrew and then a few senior members working with the cadets.  Only know 1 or 2 GT people who aren't involved with cadets.
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jb512
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 10:12:09 AM »

We just had to deal with that situation too.  We are a composite squadron with an aircraft, ground team members, and a good cadet program.  We were having all of the members meet together, but it ended up that the cadets went off and did their own thing with the CP seniors and the rest just kinda milled around.

The flying club seniors started to get discouraged and we had a few quit, and others who were talking about it.

Our solution was to have everyone meet together when they had to, like required safety meetings and such, but then let the aircrew members go to their own classroom for flight related things.  If we had an aerospace meeting where they could help, then we'd have them instruct.

It seems to be working and it gives the aviators something to do.
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LittleIronPilot
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 03:07:11 PM »

I will say this...the whole aircrew/ground crew thing in CAP is one area that chaps my behind.

Air-to-ground coordination in SAR is a HUGE asset that CAP brings to the table, yet far to many see GT as simply "a senior leading some cadets".

GT is HUGELY important in CAP, period.

I am a private pilot, MS/MO qualified, and working on GT. I want to be valuable to the MISSION!

So lets say a plane really does go down, you get the call, but a little too late and the bird is full, but they need GT members to head to the hills to help. If you are an aircrew member that would say "umm, no thanks, call me if someone bails on the bird" than I, as a fellow pilot, would call you a complete arse.

A broken plane and bleeding pilot and passengers needs your help, you should HELP!

I love flying (which is why I own my own aircraft) but flying is NOT the end-all-be-all of CAP and I really wish we could get that mentality scrubbed from CAP.

As for non-AC, non-GT personnel, even the sharpest point of the spear cannot operate with the support elements. I am HAPPY for those that work to ensure the unit is humming along and can do its job when called to do it.
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jimmydeanno
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 03:17:57 PM »

If it's any consolation, the 30 missions I've been on have never had any air support.

You mention that the aircrew guys do some sort of aircrew training or even flying during the meeting - why doesn't the GT crew do the same thing? Do some training and have a specific skill that they want to hone that night.  Take the van out and work with the guys in the air.

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Duke Dillio
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 03:23:06 PM »

^ No offense, but I don't think you are gonna get the FOWG's out on a ground team.

I do agree that we should diversify however I also understand some of the reality of the situation.  GTM's are generally younger and more energetic.  They don't usually mind carrying a pack 6-8 miles through the rain, mud, sleet, hail, and snow looking for the target.  They eat snakes and will take a whiz on anything that isn't moving.

Your pilots/aircrew generally like to jump in the bird and cruise around.  They enjoy motels over tents any day.  They also like their coffee hot and their donuts with chocolate glaze on them.  The longest walk they generally take is from the briefing room to the bird.

I can't knock either side although I do have a deep seated bias towards the ground teams.  I would love to have the opportunity to get on an aircrew as a scanner or observer.  Perhaps some day I will be able to afford flight school.  The thing is though that in my wing, I can't even get my private pilots trained as scanners.  We don't have a bird.  I think the closest one is in Sacramento.  I've had to play more politics than ever before in my life to get one of my pilots a check ride.  To me, it's just too much effort to go through to take a ride with someone else driving, which always freaks me out anyways.

There are places for aircrews and places for ground teams, and other places for cadets, and other places for the bling warriors, and other places for the admin and commo types, and thousands of other places that I can't mention here.  Getting everyone in the same place at the same time doing one thing is a challenge.  I just do what I need to do and move on.  Why are we categorizing in the first place?
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DNall
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 04:15:54 PM »

Air-to-ground coordination in SAR is a HUGE asset that CAP brings to the table, yet far to many see GT as simply "a senior leading some cadets".

I agree. Visual search from light fixed wing is close to useless in my mind. On the ground, CAP is not going to stack up against a decent fire dept showing up on the scene or forestry service or mountain type responders, or K9 too for that matter. Our comms are good, but not as good as other orgs/agencies that specialize in that area.

What we bring to the table is that cohesive organic combined arms team. That's ALL we bring to the table. If we aren't cohesive or organic (meaning we're thrown together) then we're a waste of time/money & should NOT be deployed on any mission.

Quote
As for non-AC, non-GT personnel, even the sharpest point of the spear cannot operate with the support elements. I am HAPPY for those that work to ensure the unit is humming along and can do its job when called to do it.
absolutely!

GTM's are generally younger and more energetic.  They don't usually mind carrying a pack 6-8 miles through the rain, mud, sleet, hail, and snow looking for the target. They eat snakes and will take a whiz on anything that isn't moving.
I think that's all in the task guide. 6+ miles w/ 72hr gear (ruck) is the advised capability. We need a LOT LOT LOT more people like that. You just try to deploy an all adult GT, try to deploy 50 GT adults on a disaster or serious redcap where you are expecting to line search up on a bad scene. We mostly don't have the personnel for that, and we desperately need them.

Quote
Your pilots/aircrew generally like to jump in the bird and cruise around.  They enjoy motels over tents any day.  They also like their coffee hot and their donuts with chocolate glaze on them.  The longest walk they generally take is from the briefing room to the bird.
I do enough "camping" in the Army, and much prefer hotels, which I also get regularly in the Army. It doesn't take a lot of ruck marching & living in the field with baby wipes to appreciate the comforts you can get your hands on. I greatly prefer a golf cart or van to haul me from briefing to bird by the way. I don't have a lot of appreciation for people that aren't willing to get a little dirty though.

Far as your probs getting people qual'd that's what SaRExs are for right? Pilots should be able to drive down & do 5/91 rides, then they're good to go for SaREx, and performance there equals the call on mission day. You have to do the best you can with what you can pull off.

A lot of this is how CAP is organized. In the military, there'd be a centralized aviation unit in the area where all the aircrew go, there'd be a centralized GSaR unit, a comm unit, and a cadet unit (multiples of each as appropriate). People would drive 20-50-100 miles once or twice a month to the specialized unit that does what they're here for, and they'd have access to the training, mentors, and expertise they need. We try to be everything to everyone at every unit though, and that's hard to do w/o economies of scale on your side.
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LittleIronPilot
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 07:48:07 PM »


I think that's all in the task guide. 6+ miles w/ 72hr gear (ruck) is the advised capability. We need a LOT LOT LOT more people like that. You just try to deploy an all adult GT, try to deploy 50 GT adults on a disaster or serious redcap where you are expecting to line search up on a bad scene. We mostly don't have the personnel for that, and we desperately need them.


We have someone trying to get together a Rapid Response Team of over-18 GTM's and GTL's ready and willing to respond.

Apparently there is some "resistance" to the idea as it lacks cadets. This is not meant to be exclusionary out of spite but to field adults GTM's that are willing to ruck-and-roll. Not EVERYTHING can, or should, involve cadets.
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mikeylikey
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2008, 07:59:27 PM »

^ Cadets can be "over 18" too. 

I know many Cadets more capable than 90 percent of Adult CAP members. 

This Adult Only thing has been tried off and on over the past 40 years, and always fails.  But, good luck.   
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davidsinn
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2008, 08:33:28 PM »

My team's GTL is an over 18 Cadet. Half the members are seniors and half are cadets. There are 2 seniors halfway thru GTL training. I'm one of them but it's hard to make time to do it when we are still waiting to get an LPER. Hopefully I'll be picking one up from another group this weekend.
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LittleIronPilot
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2008, 09:18:01 PM »

^ Cadets can be "over 18" too. 

I know many Cadets more capable than 90 percent of Adult CAP members. 

This Adult Only thing has been tried off and on over the past 40 years, and always fails.  But, good luck.   

I erred...if you noticed I started with "over 18" and then got into the term Cadet.

It is for ANYONE over 18. Officer or Cadet.

BTW...the failure of "adults only" (by that, over 18) is because the dang adults let it fail. CAP is not a flying club or flying ONLY organization, and my fellow pilots need to get that in their heads.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2008, 10:38:24 PM »

O-Rex,

If you GT types are all up to date in training and they have no squadron related duties.....why do you need to keep them gainfully employed?

If one weekend and 1 meeting a month is keeps them engaged and trained....then so be it.

The Nellis senior squadron has two meetings a month that last 1 hour tops.

The staff meets seperately and on Friday morning to take care of buisness and of course we are always doing training on the week ends.

The cadets need to meet once (if not twice a week)....but the operational personnel do not need to meet that often.....so don't make them.

We as commanders have enough problems doing what we got to do, to go out of our way to "employ" those who are just happy doing their little thing.  If there is no need to meet.....don't meet.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
DNall
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2008, 12:25:18 AM »

^ Cadets can be "over 18" too. 

I know many Cadets more capable than 90 percent of Adult CAP members. 

This Adult Only thing has been tried off and on over the past 40 years, and always fails.  But, good luck.   

I erred...if you noticed I started with "over 18" and then got into the term Cadet.

It is for ANYONE over 18. Officer or Cadet.

BTW...the failure of "adults only" (by that, over 18) is because the dang adults let it fail. CAP is not a flying club or flying ONLY organization, and my fellow pilots need to get that in their heads.

You know, I've seen the flying club, and I avoid being around people like that. But, I've never run into ANY resistance about ground oriented members. It's quite easy to create the same dynamic in an adult GT section as you would have with a room full of aircrew. You should be able to run a mission with one highspeed all 18+ GT, or divide those folks up to lead several cadet staffed UDF or GTM3 level teams.
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TEAM SURGE
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2008, 04:15:47 AM »

Our squadron is good about keeping up with everything for the cadets....but I don't ever get to do any missions...mainly the seniors do..
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O-Rex
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2008, 02:38:34 PM »

^ Cadets can be "over 18" too. 

I know many Cadets more capable than 90 percent of Adult CAP members. 

This Adult Only thing has been tried off and on over the past 40 years, and always fails.  But, good luck.   

I erred...if you noticed I started with "over 18" and then got into the term Cadet.

It is for ANYONE over 18. Officer or Cadet.

BTW...the failure of "adults only" (by that, over 18) is because the dang adults let it fail. CAP is not a flying club or flying ONLY organization, and my fellow pilots need to get that in their heads.

You know, I've seen the flying club, and I avoid being around people like that. But, I've never run into ANY resistance about ground oriented members. It's quite easy to create the same dynamic in an adult GT section as you would have with a room full of aircrew. You should be able to run a mission with one highspeed all 18+ GT, or divide those folks up to lead several cadet staffed UDF or GTM3 level teams.

It's not so much resistance, it's just that a Lion's share of your seniors not involved with Cadets fall inot the 'flying club' category, so your GT folks who don'w work with cadets are kind of out-there
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DNall
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2008, 05:47:04 PM »

Again, that has not been my experience. I realize some units or areas are more reflective than others. What I've seen is two Sr Sqs that are off in the flying club category. I've seen a couple other composite Sqs where there is a dedicated aircrew section. It has absolutely not been my experience that the majority of adults not involved with the cadet program are there for flying. However, I will concede that your situation may be a bit different than my experience, and try to help you solve the problem.

Your unit should NOT be organized into cadet focused group & aircrew focused group. You should put a stop to that instantly.

You need one command section. One cadet section, one aircrew section, one GT section, and one comm/support section. When you break off from opening formation, each of those groups go to separate areas & do their own specialized training/work.

Being involved in GT does NOT mean cadet chaperon or chauffeur. It means adults that need to be training just as much if not more time & intensity as aircrew. That same flying club dynamic that happens on the aircrew side should be present in the GT section, much like you'd expect in a volunteer fire dept or rescue team. It's really not hard at all.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2008, 07:09:32 PM »

Easy enough to check if someone wanted to dig in a wing database.  Compare the percentage of senior members with a GT qual and percent with aircrew quals and I'm pretty sure that in composite squadrons with airplanes most seniors will be aircrew oriented.  Those composite squadrons without airplanes will probably be more ground-oriented. 
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DNall
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2008, 07:37:22 PM »

quals don't really mean anything. especially with how easy they are to get. If I can go to a wknd activity & move from UDF to GTM2 or GTL, and not have to do anything else for 3 years, that's not a good indicator.

I've been in units w/ plane & not. With a plane it broke down as I said... opening formation, cadets off to do their thing. Under 30 mins staff mtg, then break out for 90+ mins. Air to one room, ground to another, specialized training topics. Once a month cross or joint training. End of the meeting back together to do staff jobs & support unit functions.

The paradigm shift here is GT can & should function in its own section just like aircrew does. Neither one is THE adult component of the unit, both are seperate sub-groups.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2008, 09:27:57 PM »

Wasn't disagreeing with what probably ought to be going on, just pointing out what is. 
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DNall
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2008, 01:33:57 AM »

Right, and I'm saying not my experience over 14 odd years in all the Sqs I've been in or worked with. I'm not saying that to tell this person it's not going on in his unit/area. He ought to know that better than me. I'm saying it to point out that the alternative I mentioned is in full successful swing in many other parts of the country & that there is not as much of a flying club mafia dominating the adult side of the org as it may seem in his case. All meaning this is something he can readily overcome.
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gistek
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2008, 05:26:01 PM »

SM's and 2Lt's with nothing else to do usually benefit from attending the same classes the Cadets are taking.

For 1Lt's I suggest running a study group for that AF test needed for Capt. It's a real pain to try to do on your own from the materials the AF sends.

Anyone with Capt or above that can't find something useful to do is just plain lazy.
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: "Misc. Category" Seniors in a Composite Squadron
 


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