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Author Topic: What is the Problem with CAP  (Read 3917 times)
BillB
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,987

« on: April 11, 2006, 12:38:51 AM »

In many threads, people are complaining about problems with CAP on the Squadron or Wing or even National level. So let me ask, what can the average CAP member do to resolve problems? Unless you are a Wing Commander or higher, you have no voice in the operation of CAP. And the chain of command effectively blocks going to higher headquarters with problems other than through the IG program, or to a lesser extent through the Cadet Advisory council which has its' own chain of command. So how can CAP members take any action to resolve problems?
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
Nathan
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Posts: 685

« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 12:42:36 AM »

Post on forums such as these. We know that NHQ peruses these forums. ;D
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
Major_Chuck
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Posts: 554

« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 01:09:39 AM »

Become involved.  Encourage others to become involved in the daily affairs of their squadrons, wings, region, etc.

I am offering this advice having served as a squadron commander and from having served on both wing and region staffs so please don't take it as critical of any one person, wing, or region.

A lot of times people complain about a decision but never come forward prior to the decision to offer an alternative.  How many people actually take time to attend a commanders call?  How many people seek out their wing level counterpart for an answer rather than just accepting things as the status quo.

The people that have the most direct impact on the Civil Air Patrol are not the National Board Members who draw up policy but those in the field that have to implement those decisions. 

Look at a successful active squadron and see what they are doing and copy it.  If something works don't be afraid to try it.  Get your people involved.   

You are correct, unless you are a Wing King or Region Guru you will not have a large amount of direction over CAP affairs.  However, operationally you control your squadron.  You decide if you are going to support or attend an activity.  You make the decisions that are going to impact your cadets or senior members.

How do you resolve problems.  Through communication.  If on one hand all you do is complain about an issue or problem that a higher headquarters created go the extra mile and find out why they made such a decision.  Often there is a whole set of circumstances  in play that brought about the decision.

Ask questions.  Participate in the process and work to overcome the obstacles.  At some point you may find yourself sitting in a staff or command position and you will be able to make the changes that you feel are necessary for a successful CAP.



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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
mikeylikey
Banned

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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 12:44:28 PM »

Just do what you are asked, even if you do not agree with it or it looks or seems to be a bad idea.  If it really is a bad idea it will FAIL ON ITS OWN!  In the end you can say you did all you could do to support it, but it really was a bad idea. 
  There are too many people who don't go along with something because it either was an idea from someone they do not like, or they believed the idea bad before even giving it a chance?

On a side note, you can go to the Wing Commander if you believe something is not right.  This is not the military, we are all volunteers, and the bottom line is, it is as much your organization as it is the Wing Commanders.  Just make sure you don't look like an idiot when you present your comments.
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What's up monkeys?
Major_Chuck
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Posts: 554

« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2006, 01:06:19 PM »

Good followership is just as important as good leadership.  That is the first step.  I agree with the comment above, even though the task may fail miserably do all you can to support it. 

When going to the Wing King (just as in the non-CAP world) have your facts and be prepared to offer constructive ideas to improve the situation. 

Take the high moral ground.  Don't resort to degrading a fellow CAP Officer or Cadet in the process.  Professionalism at all levels goes further than slamming someone in the process.  Leave the "I told you so's" to the private conversations.

Never commit something to email that you don't want to come back to haunt you.  Inadvertantly something or someone will be copied or forwarded on.

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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
Earhart1971
Seasoned Member

Posts: 397

« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 04:30:13 AM »

In a nut shell whats wrong with CAP?

There are National, Region and, Wing Staff that put in long hours trying to find ways through, paperwork, and Regs to complicate and make harder the job of a Unit (Squadron Commander and his staff), or so it seems.

Has a Group, Wing, or Region Commander ever addressed burn out, and how to simplify things, and help the Local Unit Commanders keep their Squadrons active.

How about this, " Hey I notice you are late on such and such report, let me ask you, do I need to send some help from Wing or Group down to help you out, what can we do?

Burn out comes and nobody is stupid enough to take the job of Squadron Commander anymore.

Let the Flames begin!

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mikeylikey
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2006, 01:15:17 PM »

In a nut shell whats wrong with CAP?

There are National, Region and, Wing Staff that put in long hours trying to find ways through, paperwork, and Regs to complicate and make harder the job of a Unit (Squadron Commander and his staff), or so it seems.

Has a Group, Wing, or Region Commander ever addressed burn out, and how to simplify things, and help the Local Unit Commanders keep their Squadrons active.

How about this, " ?

Burn out comes and nobody is stupid enough to take the job of Squadron Commander anymore.

Let the Flames begin!



OK, so if I am the Wing King, and the same Squadron Commander fails to report on his vehicle every single month and I am taking heat from the Region Commander, I should say "Hey I notice you are late on such and such report, let me ask you, do I need to send some help from Wing or Group down to help you out, what can we do".  NO,  I would say take 5 minutes out of your day and report on the vehicle.  If I wanted to get tough, I would say "Group Commander, get your Squadrons in line"  These reports that we have to do are not some Doctoral Thesis paper from "Blow University", they are simple, and straight forward.  If you did the report the right way and submitted it on time, there would be no reporting problems.  You think that these reports are tedious and complicated, look at them from 30 years ago, when you had to type triplicate copies, and actually take time on preparing them.  WING level staff does most of the reports for Squadron Commanders anyway, all you have to do is pick up the paper that was sent to you, verify the information is correct, sign it and fax it or mail it back!!!
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What's up monkeys?
ZigZag911
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Posts: 1,987

« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2006, 05:25:25 PM »

In a nut shell whats wrong with CAP?

There are National, Region and, Wing Staff that put in long hours trying to find ways through, paperwork, and Regs to complicate and make harder the job of a Unit (Squadron Commander and his staff), or so it seems.

Has a Group, Wing, or Region Commander ever addressed burn out, and how to simplify things, and help the Local Unit Commanders keep their Squadrons active.

How about this, " Hey I notice you are late on such and such report, let me ask you, do I need to send some help from Wing or Group down to help you out, what can we do?

Burn out comes and nobody is stupid enough to take the job of Squadron Commander anymore.

Let the Flames begin!



Our former  Group Commander (and his staff) constantly offered assistance with reporting, especially the more complex ones, like the annual finance report. In addition to 'one on one' availability (by phone, email, or live and in person at the unit), the Group offered periodic seminars for each staff position....participation by the squadron officers was usually good

Most of these reports are fulfilling legal, congressional or USAF requirements....a big part of the reason for squadron commander burn out is lack of support and assistance by the squadron staff....and that goes back to training, as well as honesty in our recruiting -- telling people that part of the job is, in fact, administrative work!

I realize experiences vary from wing to wing and group to group....please don't view this as criticism, I'm just offering one positive example of what you inquired about.
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Earhart1971
Seasoned Member

Posts: 397

« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 11:03:01 PM »

I agree with both of you and your view points.

Now let me take you down this path.



If there is any kind of problem going on in the Squadron, it follows an easily recognizable trend.

1. Reports stop coming in or they are late.

2. The Squadron roster starts to shrink.

3. The Squadron has been commanded for 3 years by the same Commander.

4. Lack of other Seniors to help at the Squadron, Less than 5 is suicide!

It all follows a trend that you can check a calender and see almost to the month when a Squadron will start going into a grave yard spiral.

I suggest a trained a "rescue team" at Group and Wing level to come in and help a unit that is showing signs of going South.

A rescue takes place, experienced Seniors come in, stay and get everything in order, and let the Commander make some choices on who might be the person to lead on for the next 3 year stint.

Its easy to gripe about reports not coming in, Group Commander orders, Group Staff down there, not to reem somebody, but get down there and save the unit from deactivation that is coming.

My start as a Squadron Commander last time was this kind of intervention, and the Squadron survived!

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ZigZag911
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Posts: 1,987

« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 05:00:29 AM »

Sounds like a good approach....I've seen something like it done kind of informally; I like the checklist , your criteria are pretty accurate.....not all squadron commanders need to give up the command at 3 years, but the transition plan should be started then, with an absolute limit of five years except in the most extraordinary circumstances (for instances, a remote unit)

The other piece is for Group or Wing to work with the unit commander, form a personal development plan, to hold the commander's interest when the command tenure finishes. We want to develop members for other leadership and staff roles, and also to retain their experience.

It would also be nice, while I'm developing a wish list, if commanders at all levels had prior CAP experience....a squadron commander should have at least 3 years active membership....a group or wing commander really needs 7-10 years minimum, with prior command experience in CAP
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Earhart1971
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Posts: 397

« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2006, 05:52:56 AM »

I agree on the 3 years, I did 4 years my last stint, and I enjoyed every minute with the Squadron, but the 4th year was hard even though I had about 7 to 10 active Seniors.

And you are right on with experience requirements, but again if you have ex Mitchells and Earharts, they can take on anything.

That's why I think they should raise the Senior advance Rank on Mitchells and Earharts to at least CAPT.

Right now I am working on a possible Middle School launch, the Principal wants a Cadet Corps of 100, LOL, here I go again.

I am already making my cherry pick list of Seniors to draw in, you know the ones that are semi inactive, have rested a few years, and just need someone to say TAG YOUR IT.

And tell your Wife to join CAP if she wants to spend time with you, LOL!
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mikeylikey
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2006, 02:01:37 PM »

I agree on the 3 years, I did 4 years my last stint, and I enjoyed every minute with the Squadron, but the 4th year was hard even though I had about 7 to 10 active Seniors.

And you are right on with experience requirements, but again if you have ex Mitchells and Earharts, they can take on anything.

That's why I think they should raise the Senior advance Rank on Mitchells and Earharts to at least CAPT.

Right now I am working on a possible Middle School launch, the Principal wants a Cadet Corps of 100, LOL, here I go again.

I am already making my cherry pick list of Seniors to draw in, you know the ones that are semi inactive, have rested a few years, and just need someone to say TAG YOUR IT.

And tell your Wife to join CAP if she wants to spend time with you, LOL!

Wow....been through the MSI startup.  Very challenging stuff.  It is very rewarding in the end.  One word of advice, get the parents involved as early as possible.  They can really help to increase the number of cadets in the program, simply because of word of mouth.  Good Luck!
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What's up monkeys?
ZigZag911
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Posts: 1,987

« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2006, 05:04:07 PM »

I agree on the 3 years, I did 4 years my last stint, and I enjoyed every minute with the Squadron, but the 4th year was hard even though I had about 7 to 10 active Seniors.

And you are right on with experience requirements, but again if you have ex Mitchells and Earharts, they can take on anything.

That's why I think they should raise the Senior advance Rank on Mitchells and Earharts to at least CAPT.

Right now I am working on a possible Middle School launch, the Principal wants a Cadet Corps of 100, LOL, here I go again.

I am already making my cherry pick list of Seniors to draw in, you know the ones that are semi inactive, have rested a few years, and just need someone to say TAG YOUR IT.

And tell your Wife to join CAP if she wants to spend time with you, LOL!

First, let me mention that I earned both Mitchell and Earhart Awards (years and years ago!)

While I agree that former cadet officers are undoubtedly well prepared technically & even professionally to command a squadron (and in fact I know of several who have done a creditable job while still in their early 20s) I'm not all that convinced we're doing them any favors giving them advanced grade now; it leaves them no place to move up to!

Before people get all upset with me, I have come to the general conclusion that we've been passing out too much rank, too soon, and too liberally, across the board....it's fine to take account of member's prior military (or CAP cadet) service, professional qualifications, and mission related skills....but perhaps we should do so more judiciously.

I don't think anyone should be promoted to officer grade till they've completed at least one year CAP membership (and I'd apply that to George S Patton, Tooey Spaatz, Chuck Yeager, Colin Powell, James T Kirk or Jean Luc Picard!! much as I admire all mentioned, I don't think asking people to spend 12 months getting acclimated and familiarized with what CAP does and how we do it is unreasonable)

In the case of 'duty performance' promotions, I'd make it two years CAP membership.

Also, anyone becoming a CAP officer should complete the CAP Officer Course (perhaps a modified version for former military, focusing solely on CAP specific material.

While I'm being outrageous, I think we ought to bring back enlisted and warrant grades.
There are good, active members (not prior military) who don't want to be officers....why force it on them?? But they do deserve some recognition, and opportunities for advancement and professional development

As for the warrant ranks, I'd use our existing flight officer structure....let it be for those who simply wish to serve as technical experts or specialists (e.g., those who want to do nothing but fly, or nothing but aerospace, or nothing but ground team)

OK, I've rambled long enough!
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Earhart1971
Seasoned Member

Posts: 397

« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2006, 09:30:01 PM »

I agree on the 3 years, I did 4 years my last stint, and I enjoyed every minute with the Squadron, but the 4th year was hard even though I had about 7 to 10 active Seniors.

And you are right on with experience requirements, but again if you have ex Mitchells and Earharts, they can take on anything.

That's why I think they should raise the Senior advance Rank on Mitchells and Earharts to at least CAPT.

Right now I am working on a possible Middle School launch, the Principal wants a Cadet Corps of 100, LOL, here I go again.

I am already making my cherry pick list of Seniors to draw in, you know the ones that are semi inactive, have rested a few years, and just need someone to say TAG YOUR IT.

And tell your Wife to join CAP if she wants to spend time with you, LOL!

Wow....been through the MSI startup.  Very challenging stuff.  It is very rewarding in the end.  One word of advice, get the parents involved as early as possible.  They can really help to increase the number of cadets in the program, simply because of word of mouth.  Good Luck!

Mikey,

I would welcome an email on your adventures with MSI startup.

You and anybody else that currently or has past experience.

email: richmond45@yahoo.com
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Stephanie Allen
Recruit

Posts: 15

« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2006, 04:11:22 PM »

I don't think that the chain of command blocks the ability to go beyond the lower part of the chain of command. When I had a problem that wasn't being resolved properly with in my squadron I skipped over and went straight to the Group Commander and then to the Wing Commander...things got resolved pretty fast. I think it just takes a little knowledge on how to go about doing it.
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C/A1C Allen
Flight Sergeant

Yes, sadly, I'm a Flt Sgt and only an A1C...but hey...its been fun! *tehe* Word of advice from the mouth of my fellow Kenosha cadets: "Cabage...not so good at CADEX!" *tehe*
Matt
Seasoned Member

Posts: 469
Unit: NCR-001

North Central Region
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2006, 06:14:49 PM »

I don't think that the chain of command blocks the ability to go beyond the lower part of the chain of command. When I had a problem that wasn't being resolved properly with in my squadron I skipped over and went straight to the Group Commander and then to the Wing Commander...things got resolved pretty fast. I think it just takes a little knowledge on how to go about doing it.

Actually, this matter was taken care of at squadron level.  Although the Group Commander did know, she was informed be the squadron commander, not by this cadet.

The Chain-of-Command was properly observed.  This issue was not initiated by any cadet.

*The only reason why I am posting this is so that other members do not assume they can jump the CoC as indicated.*

In fact, the Group Legal Officer, as I have been informed, is doing a presentation to squadron commanders because of this incident and incidents like it.
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Matthew Kopp, Maj, CAP
Director of Information Technology
North Central Region
Stephanie Allen
Recruit

Posts: 15

« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2006, 03:10:02 AM »

Actually Kopp, I don't think anything would have happened if the GC wasn't involved, and what incedent are you talking about...I'm confused.  ??? If you are talking about what happened at Mil Ball...then that's a totaly different subject that doesn't even involve me. *eh...so confused*
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C/A1C Allen
Flight Sergeant

Yes, sadly, I'm a Flt Sgt and only an A1C...but hey...its been fun! *tehe* Word of advice from the mouth of my fellow Kenosha cadets: "Cabage...not so good at CADEX!" *tehe*
Matt
Seasoned Member

Posts: 469
Unit: NCR-001

North Central Region
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2006, 01:21:00 PM »

I assure you, it was at the lowest level.  And no, not military ball.
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Matthew Kopp, Maj, CAP
Director of Information Technology
North Central Region
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