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Author Topic: 12 Year Old C/CC  (Read 22806 times)
Schmidty06
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« on: March 01, 2005, 01:22:34 AM »

In the March issue of CAP News in the Highlights section, there is a blurb on a cadet in Ohio who is 12 years old, a C/CC, and a C/1st Lt.  After reading this story and finding out about his track record as a cadet (all in the story, if you read it).  Something definately doesn't seem right about this.  Nothing against him, since it seems like he is pretty squared away, but this is one of the reason that there should, perhaps be some age restrictions on cadet ranks. 
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2005, 01:53:19 AM »

I respectfully disagree.
 
I think that everyone develops differently.  There are 12 year olds who are much more mature than some 18 year olds I know.

Each promotion is not just a checklist, contrary to popular belief.  The squadron commander or deputy commander for cadets must attest to the fact that the cadet is ready for that promotion.  If the cadet is very young and just not ready for that grade, then the CC or DCC should not promote him or her.  That is why the requirement of approval is part of the things needed to get promoted.  It is specifically meant to restrict cadets who are immature, unready, or just generally not suited for higher grade and responsibility.  Putting age restrictions on cadet grades is unfair to cadets who may be younger but are more prepared and able than their older counterparts.
 
Obviously, this 12-year-old is squared away enough that his or her CC deemed them ready to accept the responsibility of their grade.  To question whether or not they are in fact capable is to also question the discretion and judgement of the cadet's squadron commander or DCC.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
Horn229
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 02:20:05 AM »

Well, even if the cadet is mature enough to handle the position, I think he's being cheated out of a true Cadet Career. If he's 12 and a C/1st Lt, he may not be able to get any good leadership position at Encampment simply for the fact that he's 12. Also, if he continues to promote at such a young age, when Encampment comes around, his grade will be to high for the position.

I really think his Commander is hurting his cadet career, 'cause he'll probably be done the protions by the time he's 14, he'll have at least 4 years to sit around and do nothing. He'll have finished the promotions, held the highest cadet position within the squadron, he's got nothing to do but sit around.
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NICHOLAS A. HORN, Senior Member, CAP
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 02:35:31 AM »

Obviously, this 12-year-old is squared away enough that his or her CC deemed them ready to accept the responsibility of their grade.  To question whether or not they are in fact capable is to also question the discretion and judgement of the cadet's squadron commander or DCC.
or, the Squadron Commander is of the "boy scout" mentality and paper-whips all promotions, and lets some things slide to ensure that everybody is promoted as often as possible. And has the Cadet Commander position simply because he has the highest grade out of the 10 cadets in the unit.  I've seen cadets go from C/AB to C/A1C in one night, while wearing an uncomplete (and sloppy) Blues uniform.

But, without knowing more about the cadet and unit, we have to assume that he's ready for the grade and position.
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Jerry Horn
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 02:47:26 AM »

The squadron commander or deputy commander for cadets must attest to the fact that the cadet is ready for that promotion.  If the cadet is very young and just not ready for that grade, then the CC or DCC should not promote him or her.  That is why the requirement of approval is part of the things needed to get promoted.  It is specifically meant to restrict cadets who are immature, unready, or just generally not suited for higher grade and responsibility.  Putting age restrictions on cadet grades is unfair to cadets who may be younger but are more prepared and able than their older counterparts.

Emphasis added.

But it doesn't because it is entirely dependent on what the CC or CDC define as acceptable within one specific unit and in no way reflects any kind of "standard" for each achievement signed off on.

IMO... The Cadet promotion process is far too compartmentalized... Commanders determine at will what they see as acceptable with little to direction from higher headquarters.  Why not standardize some training for Commanders and CDC's on what they should be looking for when they promote a cadet?  As it is now commanders can and do promote cadets once all the boxes are checked.

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Mike Johnston
Schmidty06
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 04:35:34 AM »

I suggest reading the article for some clarification.  What I noticed is that he's 12 as of the time of print, but he was in the Honor Flight in OHWG's encampment... held in 2003.  As far as I know, someone has to be 12 to join CAP, or currently attending the 6th grade, right?  Numbers wise, this doesn't quite seem right to me and that there should be a more strictly enforced bottom line age wise.  Also, since there are the pencil-whipping commanders out there, we need to find a more stringent means of making sure that each cadet gets a full, meaningful cadet experience instead of rocketing straight to the top.
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whatevah
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2005, 04:38:48 AM »

A couple years ago, there used to be a loophole that removed the minimum age. It simply listed "in 6th Grade" as the requirement.  The kid is probably a homeschooler.  A lot of homeschooled kids are way ahead of regular-schooled kids.  At one point, I know there was a 10 year old cadet somewhere in the organization.

NHQ (thankfully) added 12 years old back into the regs not too long ago. About a year ago, maybe?
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Jerry Horn
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Schmidty06
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2005, 06:03:51 AM »

Hmmm, ok.  The massive list of things made my head spin.
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Pylon
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2005, 06:37:53 AM »

So what it appears then, is that we have a system that could work already in place, however it's not being used by some and not properly by others.
 
Why do some commanders simply let everyone who checks off the requirements have the promotion?  Is there a mentality of deservedness that a cadet who checks off the requirements ought to therefore be ready?   
 
Is it more of a problem with our curriculum and requirements for achievements?  If a cadet who is clearly not ready at that level can still pass the requirements, are the requirements not right for the achievement?  Are we even properly challenging our cadets?
 
Or is it more a problem with commander training and understanding of the Cadet Program?  With more understanding of how they should be evaluating cadets and granting promotions only when deserved, do you think Squadron Commanders could change this problem and better administrate cadet progression as appropriate for each cadet?
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2005, 06:57:01 AM »

I think that the written curriculm is fine. The problem is in the human side, with no standardized seniors training.  Yes, theoretically, Level 1 is supposed to be standardized, but you know some people spend more time on some topics and breeze right through others they don't think are important.

One squadron I know, 3 years ago was one of the best in its wing. The commander had been trained by a very good commander who loved the program, and passed on that zeal to the new commander. That commander had the priviledge of working with cadet staff who had been trained by professional cadet officers who also cared about the program.  The staff also had a recently-retired AF Colonel with a son in the unit, and he helped out wherever possible, and added another degree of professionalism.  Together, they worked to meet self-set goals for the unit, in addition to the requirements set by regulations.  Cadets went before promotion boards for every achievement, and they got harder as the grade increased. Some cadets going for senior NCO grades didn't pass the first time, and it was explained to them why they weren't being promoted that month.  The unit was active, held planning meetings every quarter, and scheduled frequent activities in addition to interesting classes during weekly meetings.

However, some time passed, and the current unit commander had to move to wing staff. The new unit commander couldn't stay long, and allowed himself to be overun by a couple seniors with their own agenda (they'd approached the previous commander and cadet staff but had been ignored before).  That commander turned it over to a recently rejoined member with prior unit command experience (15 years prior) who was expected to be a good commander.  Sadly, this commander didn't follow regulations, and things turned downhill.  Now, two years later, the unit is the worst in the wing, and has little professionalism, no real schedule or structure to the meetings, and as a whole, isn't very active.  Why?  Because, one commander didn't care about doing things the right way, and had control of the unit long enough to put it into a downward spiral.  None of the current members have been shown the right way to do things, so they're doing the only things they know.

I think a lot of squadrons across the country have a similar story. And, the only way to fix it is by having senior staff who really care about the program.  This is a volunteer organization, so we don't have enough people to provide proper oversight.
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Jerry Horn
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Greg
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2005, 02:49:33 PM »

I disagree with age limitations, but this guy has GOT to be violating TIG requirements.  Anybody else notice the article was written by his mom?
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C/Maj Greg(ory) Boyajian, CAP
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2005, 03:04:10 PM »

looking at the article for myself, he attended an encampment in 2003. I don't see any mention of school honors, so he's probably a homeschooler. :)
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Jerry Horn
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Greg
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2005, 03:21:55 PM »

looking at the article for myself, he attended an encampment in 2003. I don't see any mention of school honors, so he's probably a homeschooler. :)

Yeah, probably.  I personally don't like it when homeschoolers pull the whole "I'm so smart, i'm only five and in college!" thing  ::).  Yeah i know, major sarcasm, but you get my drift.  Trust me, I'm homeschooled myself- each and every homeschooler is different.  Many of them are mature beyond their years.  However, many of them also sit home playing videogames all day.
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C/Maj Greg(ory) Boyajian, CAP
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Schmidty06
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2005, 11:00:11 PM »

Is there a way that we can make the program more challenging, or will that just make people angry?  Honestly, if we can't up the anty with PT, how do we expect to make the achievements any harder than they are?  What it could come down to is, "We're raising the bar, it's our organization, and if you don't like it, there's the door."  But I don't think that many people woud take very kindly to it.
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Greg
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2005, 11:02:22 PM »

Is there a way that we can make the program more challenging, or will that just make people angry?  Honestly, if we can't up the anty with PT, how do we expect to make the achievements any harder than they are?  What it could come down to is, "We're raising the bar, it's our organization, and if you don't like it, there's the door."  But I don't think that many people woud take very kindly to it.

Yeah, retention is a key word.  IMHO, we don't need to make the requirements harder, we just need to enforce the fact that everybody doesn't deserve a promotion.  If your commander doesn't think you're ready for your next promotion, you can't do anything about that empty signature spot on the CAPF 52.....
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C/Maj Greg(ory) Boyajian, CAP
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2005, 11:08:31 PM »

any suggestions to improve the curriculum?  (and, not by adding in more physical stuff)

When I was a cadet, it wasn't very challenging, but it wasn't super easy, either.  As the lowly Cadet Airman, all I had to do was show up and follow orders.  However, then it started getting challenging, as I progressed and gained duties and was responsible and became a leader.

The Cadet Program is really to shape youth into good leaders with skills that will help them in life, and (the military wishes) instill a love for the military, so they enlist right out of high school. ;)  Anybody who's been on a proper review board will hear the same kind of questions at job interviews.  And, I even asked a lot of those questions as a Cadet Commander, before I had my first job interview.  So, that really prepared me.

Properly managed, the Cadet Program is outstanding.  However, like I say too often, a lot of units aren't run correctly.
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Jerry Horn
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Yoda
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2005, 11:21:26 PM »

Actually, one thing I think that would help the cadet program immensely is all of these cadets that get done being C/CC and say "Oh, I'm done in the program.  There's nothing left for me to do."  Who says?

Honestly, after I'm done being C/CC there's so much more that I want to do in the program I don't think I'll be able to get it done before I'm 21.  Drawing on my experiences, I want to help the C/CC in planning activities and training staff.  I have plans to help reinvigorate the CAC, and just generally help make our squadron better.

Most of this I simply don't have time to do as a C/CC.  Without the weekly tasks that befall me as C/CC, I think I can really help contribute.  I wish all of the cadets who got done with being C/CC took their advisor role as seriously.  There's always more to be done in the Cadet Program.  I have never once seen a perfect squadron that couldn't use help or advice.
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Schmidty06
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2005, 11:23:22 PM »

To slow down each phase, you could require Airman and NCO leadership schools in addition to encampments.  I'd say that requiring attending one Airman Leadership School before being promoted to C/SSgt wouldn't be asking for too much.  Also, attending at least two NCO Leadership Schools before being able to promote to C/2d Lt wouldn't be asking for too much either.  Wings could plan such schools every 3-6 months.  How's that idea?
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arajca
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2005, 11:34:43 PM »

One of the problems - and this is a recurring thread in CAP - is that National has provided a very basic plan (picture a rouch sketch on a cocktail napkin) and lets each unit finish it as they see fit. While this approach may have worked in the past when the US had more of a singular culture, it doesn't work now. There is almost no training provided for seniors that really has any relevance to how a cadet program should be run. Supposedly, National has a "Training Leaders of Cadets" program, but in three years, I have never seen it offered.

There is also very little training available for seniors, period. National still lives in the dreamworld where you have fully qualified members in every specialty readily available to train/mentor new members. I have tech ratings in three specialites, each one I had to figure out how do it. Fortunetely, I think in Militareze and the manuals are easy for me to comprehend. I know of many others who aren't so lucky.

CAP Professional Development - yeah, right.

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arajca
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2005, 11:41:03 PM »

To slow down each phase, you could require Airman and NCO leadership schools in addition to encampments.  I'd say that requiring attending one Airman Leadership School before being promoted to C/SSgt wouldn't be asking for too much.  Also, attending at least two NCO Leadership Schools before being able to promote to C/2d Lt wouldn't be asking for too much either.  Wings could plan such schools every 3-6 months.  How's that idea?

Show me the money.
It is a good idea, but if classes aren't available frequently (2-3 per year is a MINIMUM for EACH), you end up having cadets being stopped due to the failure of higher echelons over which they have no control. Cadets would most likely quit. If cadets aren't promoting because they don't study, or don't take the right tests, it becomes their problem because the thing holding them back is themselves.

WIWAC, cadets had to know which test they needed to take. If you passed the Wright Bros. test six times because you didn't take the time to check which test you needed, well tough luck. Now, I see cadets and hear about them going up to the testing officer and expecting the TO to give them the test they need, even if they have no idea which one it is.
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