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ZigZag911
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« on: June 26, 2006, 04:26:52 AM »

According to the minutes of the May NEC meeting, the brass have decided to ask the Board of Governors to qpprove changes to the CAP Consitution that would permit:

1) National Commander to run for a second 3 year term

2) wing commanders to have their terms extended by as much as 3 years

With reference to the first point, I would note that most national organizations with elected volunteer membership permit only a single term for their CEO or president.

Also, most of these organizations use the lower national offices, at least their vice president position, as an understudy position for the next top national leader....which leads to a question, why our national vice commander needs to be elected annually??  A term in concert with the national CC would make more sense ...and, in the normal course of events, the CV ought to succeed the CC.

Of course, we don't follow this sensible practice at any level, from squadrons on up...CAP tells deputies that they are training for command, but far more often the replacement is whomever is 'in' at the moment.

A single term as national CC seems more than sufficient....if 3 years is not enough to make an impact, make it a single 4 or 5 year term

Concerning item #2, four years as wing CC is long enough for anyone --  far too long for some, but that is another issue!

We need to start paying attention to developing talent and mentoring dedicated individuals up through the ranks.

A single group of people, an unvarying perspective, an absence of the influx of new leadership.....these are the formula for organizational stagnation.

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lordmonar
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 09:38:26 AM »

On the other hand....if the individual is willing, able and competent at his job....why force him/her out just because?

While some national organizations only limit a single term does not mean that all do.  I know the Boy Scouts do not.

Having said that...and seeing the fall out from the "letter" that was posted...I would be wary about supporting this intuitive.  Maybe add a clause to make the NEXT national commander eligible for multiple terms.  That way we get the benefit of keeping a good leader with out having to deal with the political issue of the current commander.

I want to say...that the above is not a statement about whether I believe the allegations in the letter or not.  I am only saying is that if we really see a need for longer/multiple terms for our leaders than this is a way we can get that without having to go through a political fight.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2006, 02:03:07 PM »

I don't see a reason to force any comander out of the position just becuase of the amount of time they have already been in.  I would make it so they have one 3 year term, but if no one else is wanting the job after the 3 years, they can then take an additional term. 
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C/1st Lt Chris Jacobs
Columbia Comp. Squadron
dwb
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2006, 04:28:43 PM »

As a general rule, I'm wary of anyone going out of their way to extend their own term as the head cheese.  Amending the Constitution is, in my mind, going out of one's way.

The system as it exists now seems to be working just fine.  At the top level, getting a rotation of new leadership is beneficial for a lot of reasons.

Get fresh blood in there every few years, I say.
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BillB
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2006, 04:36:48 PM »

I can see why General Pineda wants the term extended. It makes sense since the three year term only mean he is able to further the goals of CAP at only six National Board metings over the three year period.
Even though he recntly screwed me over, I still support him in the direction he's looking for the organization to go.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
arajca
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 05:08:17 PM »

OT:
What is the direction he wants to take the organization in?
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 10:21:32 PM »

On the other hand....if the individual is willing, able and competent at his job....why force him/her out just because?

While some national organizations only limit a single term does not mean that all do.  I know the Boy Scouts do not.

I want to say...that the above is not a statement about whether I believe the allegations in the letter or not. 

If you perceive any allegations in my original post, then I failed to express myself well.

I accept that the corporate leaders who proposed this initiative did so from the best of motives.

However, as a philosophical matter, I firmly believe that limits on power are good for those who lead, as well as for those who are led.....that, ultimately, it is in the organization's best interests to develop a solid corps of competent, experienced leaders who can work on CAP's behalf even after their terms of corporate office end, in many areas....relationships with state, local and county governments, forging partnerships with business and civic groups, and so forth.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2006, 11:44:42 AM »

I'm sorry...the allegations were not your but Gen Glasglow's.

I agree...we do need to have good checks and balances on our leaders....the question being asked here is.....it the one term check on the National Commander's power a good thing or a bad thing.

By extention...limiting wing and regional commanders to one term may or may not be the best thing for the program.

I am not proposing open ended terms....I am just looking at whether increasing the term length or allowing a second term would help the program.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
BillB
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2006, 11:53:29 AM »

To continue to add fuel to the fire. What would be the results if the Board of Governors changed the Constitution of CAP to require that Wing Commanders be elected by members of the Wing, for a one year term at the Wings annual conference? Included in the change would be a provision to allow reelection for X number of terms.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
ZigZag911
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2006, 04:29:31 PM »

To continue to add fuel to the fire. What would be the results if the Board of Governors changed the Constitution of CAP to require that Wing Commanders be elected by members of the Wing, for a one year term at the Wings annual conference? Included in the change would be a provision to allow reelection for X number of terms.

Well, the politicking would probably stay about the same, but at least it would be more open, and the membership would have some input.

I know the Coast Guard Auxiliary elects officers, but whether each individual has a ballot to cast all the way up to voting for their national officers, I don't know....I tend to doubt that it goes to that extent, seems unduly cumbersome.

For a start, it would probably be a really good thing if CAP simply adhered to the "guidelines" for wing commander appointments: at least Major, earned Garber, 3 years command/staff service, 5 years total CAP membership, of which at least 3 should be continuous immediately prior to appointment (CAPR 35-9)

To me it seems reasonable, even sensible, but as usual the brass leave themselves  a loophole by saying "ultimate decision is the region commanders".

I have yet to see someone so incredibly talented and such a charismatic leader that, though lacking the suggested qualifications, he or she is the obvious candidate to take over a wing.

I have, however, seen plenty of instances of 'jobs (or should I say eagles?!?) for the boys.

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BillB
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2006, 11:15:44 PM »

I was only saying the Wing Commander be elected by members of the Wing. The Normal selection of the Regio Commander would be by vote of the Wing Commanders. And the National Commander would be elected by the National Board. A system like this would end the Good-Old-Boy system that seems to exist is some Wings or Regions. In the majority of cases the Region Commanders usually select the right person for Wing Commander, but to often politics raises it's head and someone with their own agenda is selected. Members of a Wing are more knowledgable of qualified people in their Wing than a Region Commander several hundred miles away.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2006, 12:08:00 AM »

I agree with you that the members probably know the person better than some one that is hundreds of miles away.  But doesn't that allow for there to be even more of a good old boy mentality as you put it.  By having some one further away look at it and help make the decision you might get a slightly less biased oppinion. 

How about letting the members decide who the region commander can chose to be the next wing commander.  or let the region commander submit a name of who he wants as the next region commander and then let the members of the wing approve it.
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C/1st Lt Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2006, 01:50:26 AM »

I agree with you that the members probably know the person better than some one that is hundreds of miles away.  But doesn't that allow for there to be even more of a good old boy mentality as you put it.  By having some one further away look at it and help make the decision you might get a slightly less biased oppinion. 

How about letting the members decide who the region commander can chose to be the next wing commander.  or let the region commander submit a name of who he wants as the next region commander and then let the members of the wing approve it.

two words: popularity contest.

Have a peek at any local High School's student council.
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Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2006, 04:10:15 AM »

I know that one way to well.  I lost to some people this last year that i am not sure if they can even count to ten, but mommy and daddy can buy them anything so they are cool.

Popularity is going to have a say in it no matter how we choose our leaders.  If candidate 'A' is the best choice but he/she has no one that likes them, they will never win.  A leader must be somewhat popular.
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C/1st Lt Chris Jacobs
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dwb
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 12:41:15 PM »

I know it's comforting to talk about "politics" and how things need to change, but ultimately, a Region Commander is choosing a Wing Commander based on who he would work with best, and who best fits his own personal qualification criteria.

And why shouldn't someone get to choose their immediate subordinates using this criteria?  It certainly sounds innocent enough.

I'm not sure popular elections of Wing/Region Commanders would really fix anything.  Most members "in the weeds" don't really know what is required to operate a Wing and be a CAP corporate official.  Even I'm not sure of all the details, and I've been in a long time.

Poorly qualified Wing/Region Commanders are an unfortunate side effect of allowing the senior leadership some flexibility in who they work with.  They probably don't want to lose that flexibility, and honestly, if I were wearing stars, I wouldn't want to lose it, either.
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2006, 07:52:28 PM »

I know it's comforting to talk about "politics" and how things need to change, but ultimately, a Region Commander is choosing a Wing Commander based on who he would work with best, and who best fits his own personal qualification criteria.

And why shouldn't someone get to choose their immediate subordinates using this criteria?  It certainly sounds innocent enough.

I'm not sure popular elections of Wing/Region Commanders would really fix anything.  Most members "in the weeds" don't really know what is required to operate a Wing and be a CAP corporate official.  Even I'm not sure of all the details, and I've been in a long time.

Poorly qualified Wing/Region Commanders are an unfortunate side effect of allowing the senior leadership some flexibility in who they work with.  They probably don't want to lose that flexibility, and honestly, if I were wearing stars, I wouldn't want to lose it, either.

Elections may indeed be a poor answer, for the reasons you stated....but there needs to be some better checks & balances than we presently enjoy.

Perhaps a system would work better in which a Representative group of senior members interviews applicants and submits a list of 3 to 5 persons from which the region CC would make the final selection.
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dwb
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2006, 08:29:37 PM »

I'm paraphrasing a quote has been attributed to a couple different people (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to name two), but I think it fits here:

"If you pick A people, they'll hire A people.  But if you pick B people, they'll hire C people and then it's all over."

That's really what is happening here, isn't it?  Somewhere along the way, a B player is hiring a bunch of C players and ruining it for the rest of us.  It's always a better idea to hire good people and trust them, rather than putting all kinds of controls and restrictions in the process to help prevent against a bad decision.

There really is no way to guard against selecting "bad"[1] corporate officials, but I think one way to help mitigate it (and I know there will be disagreement) is to have USAF approval of the CAP/CC and the Region CCs.  Maybe have the Region CAP/USAF liaison folks (or whatever their title is these days) help in the vetting process.  It won't guarantee a lack of B or C people, but it may be a step in the right direction.

To address your suggestion specifically, I think some Region CCs already use selection committees to help them find new Wing CCs.  For example, I'm pretty sure that there was a committee to vet people for NYWG's most recent change of command.


[1] I'm being totally subjective here.  One member's idea of a great Wing CC is another's nightmare.  That's why I think USAF oversight is important; at the very least, the people at the top will be guaranteed to support enriching the CAP/USAF relationship, rather than inadvertently or intentionally harming it[2].

[2] Then again, we still need a CAP/CC that will stand up to the USAF from time to time, if they try to shove us on the back burner.  In some ways, an independent CAP/CC is very valuable.
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2006, 09:55:22 PM »

I'm paraphrasing a quote has been attributed to a couple different people (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to name two), but I think it fits here:

"If you pick A people, they'll hire A people.  But if you pick B people, they'll hire C people and then it's all over."

That's really what is happening here, isn't it?  Somewhere along the way, a B player is hiring a bunch of C players and ruining it for the rest of us.  It's always a better idea to hire good people and trust them, rather than putting all kinds of controls and restrictions in the process to help prevent against a bad decision.

There really is no way to guard against selecting "bad"[1] corporate officials, but I think one way to help mitigate it (and I know there will be disagreement) is to have USAF approval of the CAP/CC and the Region CCs.  Maybe have the Region CAP/USAF liaison folks (or whatever their title is these days) help in the vetting process.  It won't guarantee a lack of B or C people, but it may be a step in the right direction.

To address your suggestion specifically, I think some Region CCs already use selection committees to help them find new Wing CCs.  For example, I'm pretty sure that there was a committee to vet people for NYWG's most recent change of command.


[1] I'm being totally subjective here.  One member's idea of a great Wing CC is another's nightmare.  That's why I think USAF oversight is important; at the very least, the people at the top will be guaranteed to support enriching the CAP/USAF relationship, rather than inadvertently or intentionally harming it[2].

[2] Then again, we still need a CAP/CC that will stand up to the USAF from time to time, if they try to shove us on the back burner.  In some ways, an independent CAP/CC is very valuable.

There are appearances and realities.....there may have been a selection committee for new NYWG CC, but the odds are the choice was made even before the committee was set up...NER has become notable in the past five years or so for 'going through the motions' --when they even bother to do that

I think the BOG should approve the national officers....this could be done by advance nominations or applications.....unsuitable candidates would be culled from the pack,,,,then the National Board would vote, or National CC make appointments (according to the post), from the list remaining

Region CCs should be selected by Nat CC & CAP-USAF-CC....if they can't agree, decision goes to BOG

Wing CCs should be selected by Region CC & Region Liaison CC....disagreements forwarded to National CC & CAP-USAF CC

And candidates for wing or region commander should be interviewed & vetted by a committee of CAP & USAF personnel....list of finalists forwarded as appropriate for
ultimate choice.
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ZigZag911
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2006, 05:30:13 PM »

Don't know if anyone is still reading this, but it occurred to me that many of the wing CCs who voted for term extensions at their level and above, are the same ones IMPOSING term limits on group and squadron commanders.

They are RIGHT to do it for their suboirdinate commanders -- too long in command, I don't care how good you are, either the unit stagnates, you burn out, or both.

Gowever, the question remains, what happened to leading by personal example?
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Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2006, 08:05:33 PM »

That is a really good observation.  Do we then need a standard for all of our leaders.  for example if the national commander has a maximum of a 3 year term should all squadron comanders be imposed to the same thing.  While i like the idea of turning things over, forcing a turn over is never a good idea.  I think a turn over should only be forced to happen if there is someone else that wants it.
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C/1st Lt Chris Jacobs
Columbia Comp. Squadron
ZigZag911
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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2006, 06:13:55 AM »

That is a really good observation.  Do we then need a standard for all of our leaders.  for example if the national commander has a maximum of a 3 year term should all squadron comanders be imposed to the same thing.  While i like the idea of turning things over, forcing a turn over is never a good idea.  I think a turn over should only be forced to happen if there is someone else that wants it.

There may need to be exceptions....for instance, a unit in a rural area, or one of the overseas squadrons, undoubtedly has a much smaller pool of candidates for command. But this should be the exception, and there ought to be some accountability involved....too much of what we do is on the whim of a corporate officer, who in the final analysis answers to no one.

I respectfully disagree that forcing a turnover is never a good idea....sometimes there is no choice....sometimes the last to recognize burnout is, in fact, the commander ---whose dedication is certainly genuine....but sometimes people need a break.
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capchiro
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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2006, 06:57:12 PM »

It seems like a lot of the people that think a forced turn over in command is a good idea are not or have not been in a position of command.  There are many small cadet or composite squadrons that do not have the depth of leadership to force a turn over to someone else.  A good leader is always trying to train his replacement, but a squadron with a commander with 30 years in CAP that only has a few active seniors that do not have the experience or drive to be in command causes concern.  A lot of seniors in the cadet squadrons or composite squadrons are there because they are parents.  They are happy to help with testing and driving cadets around and supporting the program in general, but have no desire to engage in the senior program to any great depth.  Most also have no military experience.  If your squadron has a lot of experienced and willing seniors, by all means consider rotation in leadership positions, but don't try to force the same on small, understaffed squadrons.  I have seen squadrons close down due to inadequate, untrained, inexperienced (but goodhearted and well-intentioned) commanders.  There is also the problem of a higher headquarters, such as Group or Wing robbing a squadrons best people for their usage, but I digress.   As usual, just my humble opinion.
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Lt. Col. Harry E. Siegrist III, CAP
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Chris Jacobs
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2006, 08:09:32 PM »

It seems like a lot of the people that think a forced turn over in command is a good idea are not or have not been in a position of command.  There are many small cadet or composite squadrons that do not have the depth of leadership to force a turn over to someone else.  A good leader is always trying to train his replacement, but a squadron with a commander with 30 years in CAP that only has a few active seniors that do not have the experience or drive to be in command causes concern.  A lot of seniors in the cadet squadrons or composite squadrons are there because they are parents.  They are happy to help with testing and driving cadets around and supporting the program in general, but have no desire to engage in the senior program to any great depth.  Most also have no military experience.  If your squadron has a lot of experienced and willing seniors, by all means consider rotation in leadership positions, but don't try to force the same on small, understaffed squadrons.  I have seen squadrons close down due to inadequate, untrained, inexperienced (but goodhearted and well-intentioned) commanders.  There is also the problem of a higher headquarters, such as Group or Wing robbing a squadrons best people for their usage, but I digress.   As usual, just my humble opinion.
I think that is what i was trying to say in my last point.  Although you sir said it much better than i could have ever said it.

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C/1st Lt Chris Jacobs
Columbia Comp. Squadron
ZigZag911
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« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2006, 04:23:42 AM »

It seems like a lot of the people that think a forced turn over in command is a good idea are not or have not been in a position of command.  There are many small cadet or composite squadrons that do not have the depth of leadership to force a turn over to someone else.  A good leader is always trying to train his replacement, but a squadron with a commander with 30 years in CAP that only has a few active seniors that do not have the experience or drive to be in command causes concern.  A lot of seniors in the cadet squadrons or composite squadrons are there because they are parents.  They are happy to help with testing and driving cadets around and supporting the program in general, but have no desire to engage in the senior program to any great depth.  Most also have no military experience.  If your squadron has a lot of experienced and willing seniors, by all means consider rotation in leadership positions, but don't try to force the same on small, understaffed squadrons.  I have seen squadrons close down due to inadequate, untrained, inexperienced (but goodhearted and well-intentioned) commanders.  There is also the problem of a higher headquarters, such as Group or Wing robbing a squadrons best people for their usage, but I digress.   As usual, just my humble opinion.

As I said earlier, circumstances vary and allowances need to be made....however, in there needs to be a standard.

Bear in mind, too, that this thread began focusing on terms of office for corporate officers.....if THEY have not trained successors in 3, 4, 5 years (whatever is settled upon), then I seriously question whether they were qualified for the position to begin with.

By the way, for the record, I have held several command positions.....
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