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flyguy06
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,195

« on: March 09, 2009, 11:53:12 AM »

The other day I attended a TLC session and we got to discussing topics such as Senior Members seriously knowing how and when to salute. And it made me think of the seriousness of CAP.

My unit has a new Senior member. He is an older gentleman but really gung ho. He is also a member of the SDF. We were talking about the comparison between the two organizations.

He tells me he likes CAP better as far as the mission. But he says as far as the military protocal and discipline, SDF is more. I remember the first meeting he came to. He was calling me sir and the Commander sir and everything. He was serious. Then as he realized CAP (or maybe its just our unit) is a lot more laxed than the normal military unit.

Now, getting back to the TLC session. The question arose why dont we salute each other, or come to attention when the Commander comes into the room. I asked the question would they know what to do if the Region Commander walked into the room. Heck, I asked how many of them even recognize the Region CC if he walked into the room? Not many raised their hands.

So, my question to this body is why arent we like the SDF in terms of military protocal and procedures? I know we all go through Level I and learn what to do, but how many of us actually apply that in our CAP lives?


One difference my new SM told me about this; In CAP a member can join do level I and NEVER do anything else in CAP. As long as they pay their dues every year they will remain a member of CAP. In the SDF if you dont do your job or do it substandardly, you can be reassigned or put out of the SDF. In CAP, their are no penalities for not doing your job. Or if there are penalties, they are not enforced.

I may be just talking about my area. But In my squadron, people have the attitude this is a "volunteer " organization and they do do as much or as little as they please. I dont think the SDF or the CG Aux has that same mentality. My question is why?

On another thread they asked about the CAP culture. I wonder about that myself. Again, at the TLC, the issue came up about cadets and how we train them. A lot of parents want to put their kids in a program tat teaches discpline and good manners and how to be a productgive citizen. Now that what what the brochures  say. In reality a lot of parents want to put theirs kids in a program that will whip them in shape. Well, CAP is not that program. The comment was made if you want your kids ina program like that, go see the Young Marines. So, my other question is why? Why isnt the CAP cadet program like the young marines? they have a good program.


SO, that is esentially my quetion. I hope I have worded it well, and I hope Ihave minimized the spelling errors. I always get called out on my spelling but I type fast and dont spellcheck. Sorry.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 11:44:58 PM by flyguy06 » Logged
capchiro
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 577

« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 12:07:36 PM »

For one thing, if the SDF is activated, they are paid at their grade level.  That brings a different level of professionalism to the table.  For another, they are Army based and we are Air Force based and there is a difference in the "militaryism" between the two.  Also, the SDF uses the Marine Corps materials for their OCS training and they do have an organized OCS program versus our Level 1, six months in.  We are a lot less formal beast than they are.  However, our professionalism is not secondary to theirs when it comes to missions and our accomplishments.  I do question having Majors and Lt. Col.s doing police calls and picking up trash and cigarette butts during week-end drill.  I have participated in such with the SDF and don't consider that to be the pinnacle of professionalism  As usual, JMHO.
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Lt. Col. Harry E. Siegrist III, CAP
Commander
Sweetwater Comp. Sqdn.
GA154
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,232

« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 12:08:55 PM »

The thing is, were are like the SDF, its just not taught and enforced properly.

We're supposed to salute, use "Sir" liberally, bring a room to attention when a commander or superior officer enters a room, and we're supposed to make an issue of it when these things don't happen.

The discipline, respect, and attitude of seriousness (i.e. this isn't a condo board meeting, or the PTA) is important to recognizing the chain and the authority of superiors during other operational aspects.

We've allowed this attitude of "you're lucky I showed up at all" to permeate the very culture of the organization, and then we wonder why we have issues with respect from other services, big brother blue, etc.

If its not being done, it should be corrected, positively, professionally and immediately.
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JoeTomasone
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,661

« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 12:11:39 PM »

This is one of my pet peeves.    As a cadet, I did have consequences for failure to wear my uniform properly, obey proper authority, observe customs and courtesies, and to conduct myself in as much of a professional manner as you can expect of a cadet.  

When I rejoined as a SM, I was a little taken aback at some of the informality I observed.

When I moved to FLWG, I was in abject shock.  I observe on a continual basis:

Uniform issues:  Cadets at Group/Wing activities with BDUs and nothing on them - no patches, grade insignia, nametapes, nothing -- and no one saying a word.   Cadet officers with metal insignia on BDUs.  Cadets and SMs not stowing their BDU hat in their cargo pockets, even when they KNOW that's what 39-1 requires.    Cutouts wildly off and no senior cadets correcting/helping.     In my cadet days, if you didn't show up with the proper uniform, it was corrected.   If it was uncorrectable (missing patch, say), home you went.   

Customs/Courtesies:  Senior members addressing cadets by first name (and other cadets doing so as well).   Complete lack of "sir/ma'am" from darn near everyone to darn near everyone.     Occasional saluting.    

I actually had one Lt. Col. tell me that he didn't want to be addressed as "sir".   I politely informed him that I would gladly accommodate his request as soon as he removed his oak leaves.  

Now for me, as a Group Staff member, I don't feel that it's my place to correct the members in my Squadrons -- I feel that it is properly the job of the Unit Commanders.  However, they largely don't appear to be doing anything about it.   Every so often I will mention something privately to a member so that I don't go completely mental about it.

I really get annoyed at the implicit peer pressure to relax MY standards to fit in with those who don't share them.    But since I am obviously vastly outnumbered, I'm not sure if it's better to be the lone wolf standard bearer or just say, "screw it" and not give a crap like everyone else.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 12:20:08 PM by MIKE » Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,232

« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 12:17:05 PM »

I prefer being the lone wolf - it also shows people you are paying attention.
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MIKE
Super Moderator

Posts: 5,467
Unit: LANTAREA

« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 12:19:36 PM »

It's kind of hard to take the "false militarism" seriously when you put on the uniform and go meet in a church basement or the tiny FBO of some rural airport.
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Mike Johnston
JoeTomasone
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Posts: 1,661

« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 12:32:23 PM »

It's kind of hard to take the "false militarism" seriously when you put on the uniform and go meet in a church basement or the tiny FBO of some rural airport.


I never had a problem with it.   

As a Cadet, my Squadron meetings were at an American Legion post.   Our Group HQ was a building at a smaller airport (ISP).   

Our current Squadrons meet in a decent cross-section - from USAF bases to airports to schools and churches - and not a one could be said to be much better/worse than any of the others.

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Rotorhead
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 595

« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 12:35:40 PM »

We've allowed this attitude of "you're lucky I showed up at all" to permeate the very culture of the organization, and then we wonder why we have issues with respect from other services, big brother blue, etc.

One of the biggest problems this organizations faces, overall, in my opinion.
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Capt. Scott Orr, CAP
Deputy Commander/Cadets
Prescott Composite Sqdn. 206
Prescott, AZ
Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,202

« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 12:35:49 PM »

You know, it's a small world.

After I retired from the Guard, I elected to continue to participate in the CA SMR.  Mostly to continue to hang with my buds and occasionally do Good Things for the state.

In fact, since my Guard job was working in the G-3 shop at state headquarters as a Training Officer and my new job in the SMR was working in the 3 shop at State Headquarters as a Training Officer, all I had to do was change a single patch.

(And it was velcro.   ;))

But the eerie parallels between CAP and the SMR are amusing.

In CAP we sit around trying to figure out how to get troops to attend skill and leadership training on the weekends, since it costs them time and money to attend.

In the SMR we sit around trying to figure out how to get troops to attend skill and leadership training on the weekends, since it costs them time and money to attend.


In CAP we work very hard to line up quality instructors and training materials for our training.  But when you can't pay the instructors and they have to cover their own travel and lodging (usually), it can be hard.

In the SMR we . . . .


In CAP, we worry about some of our members being large and unfit - to the point that they might not be able to do their jobs during a mission.

In the SMR, we worry about . . . .


Well, you get the idea.


Interestingly, there are some synergies to be had.  We have used SMR folks to help run the rifle range at a CAP encampment, and we have plans to use CAP folks to run a dining hall for an SMR training activity.

But in terms of culture, the biggest differences come from the fact that the majority of SMR folks are former military of one type or another.  So they are used to an Army-type culture (saluting, formations, standing when senior officers come into the room, etc.)  And there are enough retired SMAJs wandering around to please any CAP uniform Nazi.

Like CAP, it is always amusing to watch SMR folks actually do a formation or march.  Sure they are former military (mostly), but some of them haven't marched in decades.

So from my view, the organizations are far more alike culturally than either would like to admit.


Ned Lee
Retired Army Guard Guy
LTC, CSMR
CAP Guy
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Grumpy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 896

« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 12:51:48 PM »

One of the things that help bring down the professionalism is having a 1st Lt as the squadron commander and a Major or Lt Col as his executive officer.  Like, what's wrong with this picture, other then it was the Lt that would step up to the plate and take the CC spot.

And yes, check your spelling.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,232

« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 01:01:14 PM »

One of the things that help bring down the professionalism is having a 1st Lt as the squadron commander and a Major or Lt Col as his executive officer.  Like, what's wrong with this picture, other then it was the Lt that would step up to the plate and take the CC spot.

And yes, check your spelling.

Our messy command structure does not preclude people from using "Sir", saluting, or any of the other things Fly mentions.
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Grumpy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 896

« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 01:12:58 PM »

I agree with you there.  I guess my statement was meant more along the lines of if you're worried about the professionalism in one area you should should bring it up to par in ALL areas.  I merely used my statement about duty positions as an example.  Probably a poor choice.
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JayT
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,338

« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 01:15:44 PM »

SO, that is esentially my quetion. I hope I have worded it well, and I hope Ihave minimized the spelling errors. I always get called out on my spelling but I type fast and dont spellcheck. Sorry.

Why not? It would make the post that much more legitament, and easier to understand.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 02:17:12 PM by MIKE » Logged
"Eagerness and thrill seeking in others' misery is psychologically corrosive, and is also rampant in EMS. It's a natural danger of the job. It will be something to keep under control, something to fight against."
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,232

« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 01:21:18 PM »

Firefox has integrated spell check - it underlines words misspelled as you type - right click and correct.

Tripping over typos or poor grammar does effect a post's impact, especially in longer messages - that's why mine are
usually edited a bunch of times because I noticed a !@#$% typo, etc.
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NCRblues
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,478
Unit: lostiguess

« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2009, 01:53:26 PM »

If officers do not enforce the basic customs and courtesies, than how can you expect them to give orders during a sar mission or any other real world mission. Saluting, sir and ma'am are stepping stones for following basic commands. Everyone should enforce it. The statement at the bottom of my post says it all....
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In god we trust, all others we run through NCIC
ThorntonOL
Seasoned Member

Posts: 254

« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2009, 02:18:20 PM »

One of the things that help bring down the professionalism is having a 1st Lt as the squadron commander and a Major or Lt Col as his executive officer.  Like, what's wrong with this picture, other then it was the Lt that would step up to the plate and take the CC spot.

Well in my squadron's case at the time we had a Major and a LT Col. but they where on the list in name only as they lived out of state or where active duty. So all we had where Lts at the time my dad took over as Squadron commander. The Commander before him had stepped in for the Commander before him as he was moving, so when the current SM's knew more about the program he picked my dad to take over for him.
Which was fine as all we had where Sm, 2nd Lts and 1st Lts then another unit was split so to speak and we ended up with most of their higher ranking staff. At the same time one of our seniors who was formerly navy recieved the equilvalent of his miltary rank makeing him a Lt. Col. So we then ended up having deputy commander's and other staff member's higher ranking than the commander, about two-three years ago the Lt. col took over for the commander who wanted to step down.
So we had a situation like that but only due to the influx from the other squadron.
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Former 1st Lt. Oliver L. Thornton
NY-292
Broome Tioga Composite Squadron
LtCol057
Seasoned Member

Posts: 267

« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 02:20:44 PM »

JoeT, I have to agree with your posting. I'm a former cadet (back in 1970) and a former USAR E-5. I've been a senior member since 1990. When I first joined as a SM, everything was different from now. The members took pride in their uniforms. If there was a problem with a uniform, find a cadet. They knew the uniform regs, forward and back. Customs and Courtesies were never a problem, except for new seniors. My squadron could get a GT or AC ready for a mission in 30 minutes. Regs were followed. If you didn't do your job, you were either asked to not renew or changed to Patron.

It changed, at least in my squadron, when we got a new commander. He was more lax about some things and stricter about others. Then over the years, we changed commanders every year it seemed. And it got worse. They didn't care about the squadron as long as they got their flight time.  I know for a solid year, our cadets never saw the squadron commander. He never came to a cadet meeting. The then Deputy Commander started letting things slide in the cadet program. Cadets were getting promoted whether they passed all the tests or not. He even gave cadets Commanders Commendations just for going to an encampment and not leaving early.  Nevermind that they weren't legit.  I got tired of my complaints falling on deaf ears so I left and went to Wing staff.

Now, last year, I took over as Commander.  I froze all cadet promotions until I could verify paperwork. I heard some  grumbling about it.  I got a new Deputy Commander Cadets, and he's doing an excellent job. I'm at most cadet meetings, even if just in the background.  

But now my problem is with the seniors. We had 22 seniors on the roster. Some haven't been to a meeting in several years.  I sent them a letter informing them I'm changing them to Patron member or transferring them to the ghost squadron. Most of the flying types quit coming because we lost the plane because of something that happened before I took over. I've told them that I will NOT accept the "I don't have to because I'm a volunteer" excuse. Just recently had my PAO quit because of "technology making him obsolete". But he said he'll still be available to fly. Wrong answer. If he's not helping the squadron by doing a job, he's not going to fly. PERIOD!!!!   I told him that he might want to save his money and not renew this year.

Anyway, to get back on track, I guess I'm at fault too because I don't like to be addressed as "sir" by someone that's older than me. But when the cadets are around, I expect it, from cadets and the senior members.  I think I've paid my dues, no pun intended, but I've worked for my grade of Lt Col.  I didn't come in as a Lt Col. I started as a SM, went thru the professional development training. Still have to do NSC for my GRW. That's the only thing holding me back.

Sorry this has been so long. It's a sore spot for me.  
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jimmydeanno
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Posts: 4,155
Unit: ǝnƃoɹ

« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2009, 02:27:46 PM »

It could very well be the unfamiliarity and awkwardness that people have with military customs and courtesies.  Even once commonly held traditions and protocols like calling everyone "Sir" or "Ma'am" until you were on a first name basis with them have gone to the wayside.

We have a very informal society today and bringing formality into it makes many people uncomfortable, especially if they weren't raised or haven't been exposed to it before.

At work, I call my boss by his first name.  My first day I referred to him as "Mr. Soandso" and he quickly told me not to.  I complied, even though I was raised otherwise.

In the south there's a tradition of calling people in positions of authority, that you are slightly acquainted with "Mr. [First Name]" or "Ms. [First Name]."  I worked at Langley AFB for about two years and was routinely referred to as "Mr. Jason."  Now that was awkward.

So, what we get is a squadron far removed from the reach of everything military and it's more comfortable for people to refer to each other as "Jim" and "Bob."  Everyone knows that "Bob" makes the decisions.

Then you get the 'wannabe' argument where people don't want to be viewed as though they are pretending to be something they're not (BTW, I was called a "Part-time junior birdman" the other day ).

But, long story short, I genuinely think it is because of peoples ignorance in things military.  The less you do something the more foreign and awkward it is when someone actually does it.  Done enough though and it becomes second nature, which is where most seniors don't get.  They get this great idea to 'step up the standards.'  It lasts about a week because people feel awkward and you revert back to the norm.
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If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill
DG
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 502

« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2009, 05:02:52 PM »

F Troop.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 05:24:16 PM by DG » Logged
RogueLeader
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,621
Unit: Of measure

« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2009, 05:17:35 PM »

F Troop

Ha ha ha rotflmao. 

You really just made my day.
 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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GRW 3340
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