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Author Topic: The CAP Culture  (Read 14414 times)
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #100 on: March 15, 2009, 01:28:54 AM »

Realistically speaking, a fair percentage of CAP personnel were too young, too old, or medically unfit for military service -- but, as Sparky says, still sought to serve their country.

Might be good to remember that this applies equally today.

Well said.  The intent of 1940s CAP was service in a time of Great Crisis.  Those that served in CAP, be they who they were, did so because they wanted to do the right thing for the times.  That an old person, woman, medically unfit or other reasons (maybe even, dare I say it, including elements of race) did not matter as much as defening the coasts, doing their part and training new pilots via the earliest of Cadet Programs.
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
Nathan
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 685

« Reply #101 on: March 15, 2009, 01:50:11 AM »

Sorry.  Now that I understand you consider historical facts to be nearly irrelevant details and are therefore unable to comprehend the clear and straight forward language of the recorded events of yore, your post makes perfect sense.

Give me break. The accuracy of the details you provide are irrelevant to the point I was making. Completely irrelevant. They don't change my argument, and serve only to pull this further off course than it is. It seems like you were debating just to debate.

So, if you have a point to make against my initial assertion, feel free to do so. Otherwise, I fail to see how your assertion in any way relates to the overall message my post conveys (since you did point out the importance in the overall message of YOUR point).
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
Hawk200
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,629

« Reply #102 on: March 15, 2009, 05:44:33 AM »

Basically, it was a simple excuse for general aviation to get around fuel rationing.


Now I wasn't around back then myself, but I suspect Gill Robb Wilson and Fiorello La Guardia would both find this statement surprising and rather cynical.

I would hope that it wouldn't be viewed with such negativity. It wasn't intended as a cynical statement. Most of General Aviation was grounded for that reason. That they found a justifiable reason to fly was rather inventive, and worked. Patriotism was a big part of it too.

As to today's culture, patriotism is looked on as "quaint" and outdated. Most people are "in it for themselves" in today's culture. (A fact which could be looked at as cynicism, but fairly accurate for most people today).
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BillB
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,987

« Reply #103 on: March 15, 2009, 07:44:46 AM »

I notice through this thread, that CAP Historians have not jumped in with historical facts. An exception may be Sparky who is very well informed on CAP history. The history that defined todays CAP Culture. There are several threads in CAPTalk on subjects concerning historical items such as the Cadet COP ribbon as an example. One mentioned only 600 C/COP were awarded. That's not 100% true on that cadets that previously earned the red-white and blue training ribbons in 1954 were authorized to wear the C/COP ribbon, so you could add another thousand or so to that figure.
Another thread compares the cadet program of the 40's and 50's to the existing program comparing the CP with three clasps to the Spaatz. Show a Spaatz cadet the material in CAP Manual 1, volumes and and two to a Spaatz cadet and he/she will admit the old program was harder in most, but not all areas.
But the theme of this post is the average CAP member has little or no concept of the history of CAP, it's early membership and reasons for existing during World War II and the immediate post-war period.  And this includes the current Corporate Officers.Perhaps a history needs to be included in the course for Wing/Region Commanders, commonly called the "Charm School".
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
Grumpy
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 896

« Reply #104 on: March 15, 2009, 11:13:36 AM »

I was a cadet from 1959 to 1963 and we were still wearing the red, white and blue ribbons.  The encampment ribbon was different too.
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aveighter
Forum Regular

Posts: 197

« Reply #105 on: March 15, 2009, 11:22:20 AM »

But the theme of this post is the average CAP member has little or no concept of the history of CAP, it's early membership and reasons for existing during World War II and the immediate post-war period. 

An excellent observation.

Give me break. The accuracy of the details you provide are irrelevant to the point I was making. Completely irrelevant. They don't change my argument, and serve only to pull this further off course than it is. It seems like you were debating just to debate.

So, if you have a point to make against my initial assertion, feel free to do so. Otherwise, I fail to see how your assertion in any way relates to the overall message my post conveys (since you did point out the importance in the overall message of YOUR point).

Lets see.... A) Your initial point was factually incorrect.    B) You consider the facts irrelevant to your argument and C) Fail to see how it all fits together anyway.

Yes, yes! I understand.  Makes perfect sense!  Consider yourself broke.

I am forwarding your name to the US Treasury for immediate consideration.  Mr. Tim needs the help and that sort of logic will be a stunning match in sorting out the current conundrum!
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Nathan
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 685

« Reply #106 on: March 15, 2009, 12:17:35 PM »

I really didn't want to have to explain myself in detail. I was hoping you could pick it up by actually reading the posts. But what the hey.

Lets see.... A) Your initial point was factually incorrect.

But you assumed my point is that we created an organization exclusively to cater to those who were unfit for military service. That is NOT what I said. I said that the program was created so that those who were not in the military (civilians, in your citation) could still serve their country. I did NOT imply that this meant the program was consisted entirely of "leg-dragging porkers." I'm sure there were many people fit for military service in the program, as there are now. But keep in mind that during the war, it was not too hard for those who WERE able to join the military to serve their country IN the military. Since CAP was doing combat missions anyway, anyone who joined either organization had to be ready to face enemy fire anyway. Those who could not could join the military could join CAP and do a similar mission instead.

So my point was factually incorrect only as you chose to interpret it, and you interpreted it incorrectly. As I said, a straw man argument.

B) You consider the facts irrelevant to your argument

In the same vein as above, the argument you chose to extract from my post is not the same argument I was making, and it was based entirely off of your either accidental or intentional misinterpretation of what I wrote. So yes, the facts that you present are completely irrelevant to my argument.

It's like if I were to make the argument that blue is a primary color, and you decide to pull something from that argument that in an obscure world can be interpreted as me saying yellow is NOT a primary color. And then you decide to argue with me as to whether or not yellow is a primary color, when I was originally talking about blue. Whatever you decide to say about yellow is completely irrelevant to what I was saying about blue.

C) Fail to see how it all fits together anyway.

Indeed. Perhaps you can better strengthen the connection between yellow and blue for me. I AM colorblind, after all.
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,974

« Reply #107 on: March 15, 2009, 01:52:39 PM »

I happen to have access to a WWII era photograph of the wing leadership of my Wing and of many 20 odd people who you can see well, only maybe one or two of them was overweight.  None had beards.  Most looked to be in their 30s and 40s and maybe a few in their 50s.   If you've ever looked at the online photos of the Bar Harbor CAP patrol base, most of the people in the photos are actually pretty thin (with a few exceptions) and again most look like they're in the 30s and 40s. 

Just anecdotal evidence.  I'm not aware of any actual stats on this and we'll probably never have them. 

So, defeintely older than what was seen in the military (though my grandfather was drafted when he was in his 30s), but not nearly as old as we see in CAP today.  When you think about it, this isn't too surprising.  During WWII, the "old" pilots probably wouldn't be older than the 40s since the plane hadn't really been around that long.  Today, we have people that learned to fly in their 20s and are now in the 60s,70s,80s and are in CAP.

The one thing that seems to have stayed constant is the inability to get a formation of seniors with everyone in the same uniform.  Several photos of the Bar Harbor base show formations with at least 5 different uniform combinations being worn. 

 
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aveighter
Forum Regular

Posts: 197

« Reply #108 on: March 15, 2009, 05:21:35 PM »

So you initially said;

"CAP was formed FOR THE REASON of keeping people who couldn't join the military in the air. Those who were handicapped, overweight, women, medically unable, or whatever were still able to assist their country while in uniform, while doing something that was actually important."

Now I get it!  When you specifically emphasized that CAP was formed FOR THE REASON blah blah, specifically identifying the sub-types of non-military joiners, you REALLY meant that CAP was NOT formed for the aforementioned reasons.

You're going to fit right in up there in DC!  Tell the truth now, are you a political speech writer in real life?
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Nathan
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 685

« Reply #109 on: March 15, 2009, 07:38:51 PM »

You aren't making the connection that those who wanted to fight who COULD join the military generally joined the military, so "civilian" in your case would imply "those who wanted to fight but could NOT join the military." Let's look at the big picture. War has a tendency of separating those two groups out. It shouldn't take even a smart person to see that the lack of one leaves a majority of the other.

And that wasn't even my point. It's just the point you decided to nitpick about.

Regardless, I'm done arguing this with you. It's not lending further to any debate but your own. If you want to argue for the sake of arguing, feel free to do so on someone else's time.
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
Short Field
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,003

« Reply #110 on: March 15, 2009, 10:13:21 PM »

20 odd people who you can see well, only maybe one or two of them was overweight.  None had beards.  Most looked to be in their 30s and 40s and maybe a few in their 50s.    

Society has changed.  Our population is older, obesity is endemic, and grooming standards are set by individuals, not society.
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SAR/DR MP, ARCHOP, AOBD, GTM1, GBD, LSC, FASC, LO, PIO, MSO(T), & IC2
Wilson #2640
aveighter
Forum Regular

Posts: 197

« Reply #111 on: March 15, 2009, 11:40:36 PM »

Regardless, I'm done arguing this with you.

Surrender accepted.  Now go learn from whence this organization came.  It will make you proud and motivated.  It is a glorious story. 

It is said the WWII generation was the greatest generation and this is arguably true.   The men who flew out to sea in small airplanes to seek out and confront the enemy did so with the full knowledge of magnitude and risk of their missions.  They could have stayed home, they could have stayed safe and far from the fight.  Many were veterans and had done their time owing nothing more.  Many were for other reasons considered "unqualified" for military service.  Too old, too young, flat feet or inadequate vision.  They had no fear of the draft, they wouldn't be taken to a conflict not of their choosing in a place they never heard of.  If the WWII generation was great, these people were the greatest of them all.

But, they went anyway.  They fought for the privilege of service and they did tremendous things.  And more than a few never came back.  Go to the historical site and look at their photographs.  Those, my friend, are the faces of heros.  Common men with uncommon courage doing uncommon things.

Though I have worn a uniform of the United States (mostly green, occasionally blue and white) I am proud to put on the blue suit (even with the gawdawful grey epaulets) because I think of those fellows as I put it on.  I think of those that have gone before me in service and I try to honor them by my appearance, my bearing and by my small efforts for this organization and the nation.  I am proud to be a very small part of something so much larger than myself.

That is CAP culture.
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Nathan
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 685

« Reply #112 on: March 15, 2009, 11:59:52 PM »

Surrender accepted.

How old are you again? ::)
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
Major Carrales
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,106

« Reply #113 on: March 16, 2009, 12:01:47 AM »

Surrender accepted.

How old are you again? ::)

Nathan, careful...
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"We have been given the power to change CAP, let's keep the momentum going!"

Major Joe Ely "Sparky" Carrales, CAP
Commander
Coastal Bend Cadet Squadron
SWR-TX-454
MajFitzpatrick
Recruit

Posts: 23

« Reply #114 on: March 16, 2009, 06:03:17 AM »

When everyone signed up on that sheet called senior membership, did anyone actually read what it says?

I understand membership in the Civil Air Patrol is a privilege, not a right, and that membership is on a year-to-year basis
subject to recurring renewal by CAP. I further understand failure to meet membership eligibility criteria will result in
automatic termination at any time.
I voluntarily subscribe to the objectives and purposes of the Civil Air Patrol and agree to be guided by CAP Core Values,
Ethics Policies, Constitution & Bylaws, Regulations and all applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws.
I understand only the Civil Air Patrol corporate officers are authorized to obligate funds, equipment, or services.
I understand the Civil Air Patrol is not liable for loss or damage to my personal property when operated for or by the Civil
Air Patrol. I further understand that safety is critical for the protection of all members and protection of CAP resources. I
will at all times follow safe practices and take an active role in safety for myself and others.
I agree to abide by the decisions of those in authority of the Civil Air Patrol.
I certify that all information on this application is presently correct and any false statement may be cause to deny
membership. I understand I am obligated to notify the Civil Air Patrol if there are any changes pertaining to the
information on the front of this form and further understand that failure to report such changes may be grounds for
membership termination.
I fully understand that this Oath of Membership is an integral part of this application for senior membership in the Civil Air
Patrol and that my signature on the form constitutes evidence of that understanding and agreement to comply with all
contents of this Oath of Membership.

Congrats you signed an oath of membership. So Mr Civilian attitudes out there, that don't care about the regs, come see me, your nice DCS, and we can start your 2B paperwork.
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Putting Warheads on foreheads
Short Field
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,003

« Reply #115 on: March 16, 2009, 11:38:12 AM »

^^^ ????
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SAR/DR MP, ARCHOP, AOBD, GTM1, GBD, LSC, FASC, LO, PIO, MSO(T), & IC2
Wilson #2640
BuckeyeDEJ
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,072
Unit: GLR-001

« Reply #116 on: March 17, 2009, 02:21:33 AM »

CAP culture -- do they make penicillin for that?

CAP is an organization of contradictions, and its culture is one of folk tradition and inconsistent adherence to rules and regulations.

The contradictions? Sure, we can think of some, but let's start with the biggest one: We're the Air Force's auxiliary, but we're a civilian nonprofit corporation, and we can play either side of the fence, whether out of convenience or necessity. Conundrums exist, and sometimes don't work themselves out easily.

The folk traditions? Again, you'll think of some, but how about the weird things cadets learn in drill and ceremonies, for starters? Cadets who go on to the military must unlearn/relearn because someone saw something in a war movie and took that to be the way it's done (sheez, how many times have I seen that?). And do we really want to "go there" and talk about all the gray-headed senior members slurping down coffee, trading war stories and giving irrelevant information when asked for guidance? (Yip, cadets notice, and they laugh about it behind seniors' backs -- I know. I'm a former diamonds-wearer. "Leadership by example" needs to be a BIG part of Level I.)

Inconsistency in adhering to rules? It's all over this thread and other CAPTalk discussions. One unit does certain things one way, while another's more lax. And there's little accountability for members' routine actions -- no officer fitness reports, nothing. Cascading goals might help, but, oh, that's right, someone will say "this is a volunteer organization" and out the window that goes. Heck, even at the wing level, one wing may impose loads of extra paperwork, while another doesn't. At least one has its own e-services site, even.

The penicillin? If it exists, it's more direct Air Force control and governance. The new membership oath helps, but it's just a first step. Standardization is the answer, for veracity and consistency, but that only comes top-down.
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CAP since 1984: Lt Col; former C/Lt Col; MO, MRO, MS, IO; former sq CC/CD/PA; group and wing PA, natl cmte mbr, nat'l staff member, at region level now
REAL LIFE: Working journalist in SPG, DTW (News), SRQ, PIT (Trib), 2D1, WVI, W22; editor, desk chief, designer, photog, columnist, reporter, graphics guy, visual editor, but not all at once. Now in marketing.
FW
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,182

« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2009, 07:51:42 AM »

"The penicillin? If it exists, it's more direct Air Force control and governance. The new membership oath helps, but it's just a first step. Standardization is the answer, for veracity and consistency, but that only comes top-down."

I'm not going to disagree with this opinion however, since 2001, we've had "more direct AF control" with the Board of Governors.  There are 4 direct appointments of the SECAF.  One member is the current 1st AF/CC.  More direct control would only be possible with more money.  Something the AF doesn't have and, hasn't had for years (AF CAP employees left the building well over 10 years ago.)  

Standardization has always been the answer however, you must define "the top".
Few at the national level do anything other than help make policy.  They set standards.  At region level, few do anything other than monitor the standards with their wing counterparts.  At wing, everyone is busy planning training events, encampments, getting reports in or filling ADY as squadron/group commanders or staff.  

I'll let you in on a little secret; the standards are in place....

You want veracity and consistency; I would simply suggest following whats already in print, putting in action what everyone already knows and, lighten up.

Many members are forgetting a major part of CAP membership.  That is to enjoy it.
Make new friends, have new experiences and give something of value back to others.  Everything else, IMHO, is secondary.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 09:22:51 AM by MIKE » Logged
BuckeyeDEJ
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,072
Unit: GLR-001

« Reply #118 on: March 17, 2009, 02:39:42 PM »

FW, yes, we have a board of governors now that we didn't have back when the Air Force populated National Headquarters. But it's not the same. This group acts more like a college's board of visitors than a day-to-day, policy-making and policy-enforcing group.

Civilian employees of National Headquarters make policy. Sometimes, they don't know the military way of doing things, or how things work in CAP, and you can't fault them for it.

Heck, those civilian employees are even asked to clarify regulations, which circumvents the chain of command and may undermine the ability to refine and hone those regulations.

A quarter-century ago, CAP's executive director was dual-hatted as the commander of CAP-USAF. On a day-to-day working level, the top of CAP was run differently. I'd dare say that the crises of integrity we saw at the top a few years ago would have been reined in sooner with day-to-day meddling from the mothership. Now, the National Board and the NEC, which has been vulnerable to cronyism, have to police the organization and each other... which leads to a legal-officer corps that answers outside the chain of command, among other things.

Seems there's a better way without dragging Mother Air Force back into the mix, but I'm not sure what it is. It's easier to sit back and crow on an Internet forum than think it through. But that's what the rest of you are here for!  ;D
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CAP since 1984: Lt Col; former C/Lt Col; MO, MRO, MS, IO; former sq CC/CD/PA; group and wing PA, natl cmte mbr, nat'l staff member, at region level now
REAL LIFE: Working journalist in SPG, DTW (News), SRQ, PIT (Trib), 2D1, WVI, W22; editor, desk chief, designer, photog, columnist, reporter, graphics guy, visual editor, but not all at once. Now in marketing.
FW
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,182

« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2009, 03:42:17 PM »

"Heck, those civilian employees are even asked to clarify regulations, which circumvents the chain of command and may undermine the ability to refine and hone those regulations".

That is one of the truest statements I've seen.   But, NHQ employees do not make policy, they carry it out.  Believe it or not, it's the National Board which has that pleasure.  HQ employees are there to assist the membership with information and, as they are "service providers", aim to please.   Do not confuse assistance from the HQ employees with your (members) obligations and responsibilities to the volunteer leadership.  That "confusion" can get us in trouble.  I deal with it on an almost daily  basis.

25 years ago, the National board was  totally controlled by the region commanders.  If a wing commander had a differing opinion, they were routinely "relieved".   There were no protections, no tenure, no search committees. Talk about cronyism...
  
We may like to look back at the "good old days" however, they weren't so good.  
IMHO, things are more professional today than at any time in the past 30 years.  
But, of course, I may be a little close for objective analysis :).  

Forget about closer "oversight" from the Air Force.  Ain't gonna happen in our lifetime.  Money is too short, personell too involved in other matters and, in spite of what most members think, we're doing pretty well with what we have.   ;D
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 04:08:12 PM by FW » Logged
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