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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Cadet vs Composite Squadron listing
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captrncap
Forum Regular

Posts: 181

« on: September 19, 2006, 01:10:19 PM »

Can anyone tell me the benefits of keeping a squadron listed as a Cadet squadron as opposed to listing it as a Composite squadron (cadets (40) /seniors (25))?
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MIKE
Super Moderator

Posts: 5,471
Unit: LANTAREA

« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 01:52:41 PM »

Unity of command.
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Mike Johnston
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,398
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 02:18:26 PM »

What are all the seniors doing? Do they all function in staff positions, or are they essentially patrons supporting the Cadet program? Which staff positions do they fill?

Is there a viable ES program? Is the unit a candidate for a/c assignment? If either/both of those are yes, then changing to Composite is a good idea - recommended for the first, and pretty much required for the second.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
ncc1912
Member

Posts: 51

« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 09:00:26 AM »

Unity of command.

I'm not sure what unit of command has to do with it, as in every situation a subordinate should have one and only one person that he/she reports to if the unit is organized properly and people adhere to the chain of command.

Sadly, in "today's CAP" the terms cadet and composite have become so diluted in their applied definition (which differs from the regulatory definition) that they are essentially interchangeable regardless for the role the seniors (or should I say 'officers') play in the unit, unless, of course, the unit has an aircraft and their are primarily pilots assigned to the unit.

The term composite, on one hand, is misleading.  The reason I say this is rarely are the cadets 100% intigrated into the chain of command and working side by side with the officers.  The cadets, for the most part, whether cadet or composite, operate as a completely separate and independent unit from the officers.  The only major difference is who the top cadet (cadet commander) reports to.

If the cadets are not completely behind the name change from cadet to composite, you are liable to get some resentment on their part, as the apparent change will appear to diminish their importance in the unit.  If you are a commander or officer, it may be worth it to discuss it with your top cadets.  If you are a cadet, it may be worth it to bring your concerns to the commander using your chain of command.

  • BIAS DISCLAIMER:  I must admit openly that I am not a fan of composite units.  In most cases these units are poorly managed.  The drastic mission differences between the officer component and the cadet component cause a natural division of interest that, more often than not, cannot be avoided.  In my opinion it is better to separate mission focus into two separate units with independent chains of command (maybe this is just my AF influence coming out).  I believe that there is no sense in having two deputies who essentially act as commanders of two separate units.  More of my insights on this in another posting.   ::)

If you want to organize as a composite unit I would seek permission to stray from the 20-1 slightly and organize as a composite unit with two separate operational (un-chartered) flights.  Keep your support staff (DP, DA, PA, LG, FM, etc.) above the flight organization in an executive staff function and assign your primary leadership officers to the cadet flight.

Example:
Cadet Flight          [Senior] Flight

If you don't want to conform to a restricting flight structure that places cadets exclusively in one flight and officers in another then define your flight missions differently and assign your leadership and professional development persons to one flight.  Then you will truly become a composite unit.

Example:
Training Flight          Operational Flight

Essentially, it all boils down to what SarDragon stated, "Mission Focus." 

I can't say with any assurance that there are/are not any "benefits" either way.  The only thing that I would see is a change in perseption from other units.
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JUSTIN B. BAIER, Major, CAP
"Dislocated Member"
Civil Air Patrol - United States Air Force Auxiliary
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Posts: 28,920

« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2006, 01:17:17 PM »

The designation is an indication of the program expectation (and IMHO the word "expectation" should be changed to "requirement"):

Officer (we're not Seniors anymore) unit:
Requires Officer programs, cadets could join, but no program will be mounted for them.  Likely end-of-career cadets getting ready to convert.

Cadet unit:
Requires only a cadet program, no expectation of an Officer program.
Officers can still be fully engaged in all facets, but would need to be self-directed and/or seek it out at other units / echelons.

Composite:
Expectation of a full program for both sides.  Requires more staff, command direction and planning.
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,278

« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2006, 05:14:50 PM »

From my experience, the difference between a cadet and a composite squadron is the number of seniors. Most composite squadrons seem to run as cadet squadron with a bunch adults (well, age-wise they're adults) hanging around. Everything revolves around the cadets, and not much is done to help the seniors.
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,398
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2006, 10:18:15 PM »

My experience is different. The cadet side folks did CP, the remaining SMs did mostly ES, and the staffers did staff stuff.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
capchiro
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 577

« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2006, 09:33:32 AM »

Much of the differences in the way composite squadrons operate depends on the squadron commanders experience and emphasis.  I used to be a deputy commander for seniors at another squadron.  Therefore, our composite has a cadet program and a senior program and I expect my commanders to emphasize both programs.  I like to think that the composite squadron is the best of all worlds in that we have a lot of opportunities that senior squadrons get but we also have the fun and excitement of the cadet squadrons.  The biggest obstacle is to have a good commander that has a good working knowledge of both programs and two good deputy commanders that will each emphasize their own program.  If I had my druthers, all squadrons would be composite squadrons as I feel that everyone benefits if done properly.  This would also get rid of the idea of a flying club senior squadron that hogs the aircraft.. As usual, JMHO
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Lt. Col. Harry E. Siegrist III, CAP
Commander
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GA154
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,278

« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2006, 10:23:42 AM »

I've decided to change my focus from CP to PD and will be stepping down as CDC at the end of the month.
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ZigZag911
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,985

« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2006, 01:36:35 PM »

Much of the differences in the way composite squadrons operate depends on the squadron commanders experience and emphasis.  I used to be a deputy commander for seniors at another squadron.  Therefore, our composite has a cadet program and a senior program and I expect my commanders to emphasize both programs.  I like to think that the composite squadron is the best of all worlds in that we have a lot of opportunities that senior squadrons get but we also have the fun and excitement of the cadet squadrons.  The biggest obstacle is to have a good commander that has a good working knowledge of both programs and two good deputy commanders that will each emphasize their own program.  If I had my druthers, all squadrons would be composite squadrons as I feel that everyone benefits if done properly.  This would also get rid of the idea of a flying club senior squadron that hogs the aircraft.. As usual, JMHO

The Good Colonel has hit the nail squarely on the head here.

Unfortunately we seem to be experiencing one of those periodic pendulum swings in which the ability to pilot an aircraft (a true and complex skill, worthy of respect) is equated with the  qualification to command.

Pilots are uniquely qualified to serve as pilot in command of an aircraft.

Once we start talking units (at all levels, right up to National), the organization is best served when we have commanders who ar CAP officers first, and anything else (whther that be pilot, CP expert, IC, or aerospace educator) after.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,920

« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2006, 10:47:47 AM »

Once we start talking units (at all levels, right up to National), the organization is best served when we have commanders who ar CAP officers first, and anything else (whther that be pilot, CP expert, IC, or aerospace educator) after.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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