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RiverAux
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« on: December 02, 2009, 02:39:26 AM »

As I received very little support for my proposal requiring command experience for advancement to Level III, lets take another stab at trying to ensure that people demonstrate some significant leadership ability before being promoted to the upper levels of CAP. 

Anyone that takes the time to glance through all the CAPPs for the various senior member specialty tracks will probably quickly come to the conclusion that not all tracks are created equal in that the requirements for some are almost non-existent while others have extremely low standards in order to meet the threshold to achieve the rating.  Despite these inequalities, all are treated the same when promotion time comes around.  Achieving the tech rating in the easiest specialty is treated exactly the same as some of the more demanding specialties.  This makes it possible for people to really coast up the CAP rank system if they so choose. 

Now, every now and again we have talked on this board about the need to update the specialty track pamphlets and to standardize them to some extent so that a tech in one track has about the same level of knowledge and ability in their field as a tech in another track does in their's.  That should be done, but it isn't really what I am suggesting, which I'm sure many will view as radical and unfair. 

Now, I will first divide the specialty tracks into "simple" and "complex" categories.  This will be based on my own subjective views on what a person in the equivalent staff position for that specialty is tasked with doing as well as the specific requirements to move up in that track.  I'm sure some will disagree with where I put one specialty or another (I'm a little iffy on a few of them myself), but that is really going to be a side issue so lets not focus on that. 

"Simple Tracks"  A "simple" specialty is one where the staff officer is primarily tasked with paperwork tasks where very little personal initiative or innovation is expected or required.  Such positions will generally be those that provide support so that our primary tasks can be carried out.  Rarely will such officers head up a team or need to demonstrate much leadership ability to successfully complete their duties. 
  • Professional Development
  • Chaplain
  • Administration
  • Personnel
  • Finance
  • Historian
  • Information Technology
  • Flight Operations
  • Stan/Eval
  • Logistics
  • Moral Leadership
  • DDR
  • Communications
  • Safety
  • Recruiting & Retention
"Complex Tracks":  A complex track is one that focuses on one of CAP's primary missions; requires that persons working in that track display a significant amount of innovation, personal initiative, and leadership, for example by developing and carrying out events or activities or developing original materials for use in CAP programs; or require extensive knowledge of a very broad range of knowledge about CAP.
  • Aerospace Education
  • Emergency Services
  • Cadet Programs
  • Public Affairs
  • Operations
  • Inspector General
  • Plans and Programs
  • Organizational Excellence
My proposal:  For completion of Level IV (and promotion to Lt. Col.) the member must earn a Master rating in one of the complex specialty tracks. 

Honestly, I think it would be better to make this a requirement for Level III (with a senior rating), but given the unfounded (I think) beliefs expressed in the other thread, I suspect the same folks would say that there would be too great a chance of there being logjams where there wouldn't be open positions or assistant positions in these tracks so people wouldn't get a chance to earn the rating, so I pre-compromised and set it at Level IV and Lt. Col. 

This also attempt to answer those that said that some people will make great staff officers but not great commanders.  Under this proposal, a great staff officer will still have their chance to shine, but they will have to shine pretty brightly in one of the more difficult specialties to make it all the way to the top. 

Yes, this will be seen as unfair to those in the simple specialties, but the converse argument is that it is unfair now that they can get promoted for doing easier jobs than those in the complex specialties.  I believe this proposal will balance things out a bit. 

Keep in mind that CAP members are not restricted to working on just one track at a time, so just because you start in one of the simple tracks doesn't mean you can't work in one of the more complex ones later.  Heck, given the relatively short internship times for many of these tracks, you would probably have time to master a couple before you had the time-in-grade to get to Lt. Col. anyway. 
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NC Hokie
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 03:01:01 AM »

Here's a simplified version of RiverAux's proposal...

CAP has three missions (Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services), so why not require a master rating in one of those to complete Level IV?  IMHO, it's very reasonable to expect high-ranking members of CAP to be experts in one (or more) of our three missions.
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NC Hokie, Lt Col, CAP

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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 03:37:49 AM »

CAP has three missions (Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services), so why not require a master rating in one of those to complete Level IV?  IMHO, it's very reasonable to expect high-ranking members of CAP to be experts in one (or more) of our three missions.
100% concur.  Those three specialty tracks (mission areas) are the operational functions of CAP.  Everything else is a support function.  I would expect that someone who is a career... say communications guy for example, would be willing to accept that in order to be a measurable benefit to the program at a strategic (read: Level IV & V) level, they must be able to make a direct contribution a core mission of the program.
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Nicholas McLarty, Lt Col, CAP
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 03:52:17 AM »

River I concur with your proposal, to a point. Some of the Specialty Tracks that are listed as simple are the farthest thing from it in some squadrons. NCWG has instituted specialty track SQTR's for all of the specialty tracks, and requires mentors to be assigned. Your idea is a huge step in the right direction.
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Joseph Myers Maj. CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 05:08:43 AM »

Keep in mind that when I was categorizing the specialties I was also taking into account the duties of the relevant staff officer.  So, even if we "toughened" up some of the specific requirements to achieve a particular rating in the PD track, I still think the actual duties of the different positions have some radical differences. 

And I do realize that even with that said, you can get some real go-getters every now and again who might take a relatively simple job like squadron historian which for most people consists of writing an annual squadron history (which most don't do) and go absolutely crazy on it by writing a 200 page squadron history from its founding to the current day, digitizing 60 years of squadron photographs, setting up a display in a local museum, conducting 3 dozen oral history interviews, etc, etc.  Unfortunately, those folks are so outside the norm for that sort of position, that they can't really figure into the overall scheme. We've got medals to give to those outliers. 

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arajca
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 05:25:24 AM »

I can argue that at the unit level, most of your "complex" tracks are simple. Likewise, at higher levels, many of your "simple" tracks are quite complex and time consuming, just to do the job, let alone excel at it. Ask any of your wing comm folks how "simple" their job has been ove the past couple of years.

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Dracosbane
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 05:30:18 AM »

Without actually drinking the safety kool-aid, as someone serving as a safety officer and doing what I can in my safety specialty track, I'd have to say that safety is probably one of the complex ones and not a simple one.  Both it and comm are sub-sections of ES, and while safety has a lot of b.s. attached to it, it's a pretty important function in certain areas.

Granted, this is also compared to the admin and personnel tracks I'm in too.  I guess I agree, partially, that having training in several tracks is a good idea, and instead of having one track to promote to Maj. or Lt. Col, if you had training in several, perhaps including at least a tech or senior in one "complex" along with whatever in the "simple" list.

It could possibly get really confusing that way, but when you look at the specialty track info, it says that you should be enrolled in a specialty track that matches your job in your unit, as needed and recommended by your unit commander.  I'm probably not going to serve in several of the "complex" jobs in your list, due to current staff assignments  (I'll defer to the experience of the other staff at my unit, it's worth it).  I'll probably look into getting ratings in other tracks that I'm not staffing right now, but that will probably wait until I at least get what I'm going for now done.

However, by the time I get anywhere near Maj. or Lt. Col, I'd could easily get master in more than one area.   I've got 5 years to Maj. and 9 to Lt. Col.  I think I can accomplish that.
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High Speed Low Drag
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 07:07:34 AM »

With some tweaking, I concur with RiverAux.  (Of course my three specialty tracks are Cadet Programs (tech rated), Public Affairs, & ES) 
 
RiverAux - I am impressed.  And here I had thought you were only a pessimist about everything. :D
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 10:21:37 AM »

Non-concur with chaplains.  Chaplains are only chaplains and need to stay that way.  In the RM, they're "parenthetical" officers example: Chaplain (Major) and are given no authority.  As an ecclesiastical organization, there's no need for them to gather any expertise in anything except the chaplaincy.  Yes, they need good familiarity with the other specialties, but that's why they're attending PD courses.

BTW, I agree with the rest of it. 
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DogCollar
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 11:28:30 AM »

I must have awoke on the wrong side of the bed this morning because I find this thread to be, well...ridiculous.  Why don't you go ahead and name the divided specialty track catagories "irrelavent" and "super important?"

It seems to me that you are saying, "Those in the simple specialty tracks....we are delighted to have your dues and your warm bodies on our roles, but please stay out of the way when we important members do important work!"

This attitude is exactly why the positions, represented here by"simple" specialty tracks, are often the most difficult to fill.  Just remember, what doesn't get done by the "peon" positions is done by the unit commander.
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Ch. Maj. Bill Boldin, CAP
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 01:02:42 PM »

I can argue that at the unit level, most of your "complex" tracks are simple. Likewise, at higher levels, many of your "simple" tracks are quite complex and time consuming, just to do the job, let alone excel at it. Ask any of your wing comm folks how "simple" their job has been ove the past couple of years.
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 01:31:21 PM »

I think alot of this is going to have to do with the individual. If your strengths are in one area than it is going to be easier to progress. The specialty tracks are guidelines for progression. Each one also has a different purpose. I see the complexity of each track as individual based. Those listed as simple seem to be the ones that do not require alot of "individual human interaction" with a few exceptions. The other have more to do with working with large groups of people in various situations.

This makes me think of the Organizational Excellence Speciatly track. I feel that any CAP member who wants to be in a command position should have experience in all three areas of CAP missions.
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 02:06:43 PM »

I like this.  I think CAP does a bad job with Specialty Tracks.   I see to many members work on specialty tracks cause its required for the Levels.  After they Level, they stop working on them and move from job to job.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 04:47:21 PM »

This is another one of those solutions looking for a problem.

What is the problem you are trying to fix?
Quote
....ensure that people demonstrate some significant leadership ability before being promoted to the upper levels of CAP.

You don't teach leadership at tech school.  Specialty tracks are there to teach specific skills related to completing CAP's missions.

ECI-13/SLS/CLC/RSL/NSC are SUPPOSED to be there to help develop leadership ability.

Dorking with specialty tracks and promotions is not the way to go.  We need to teach our squadron/group/wing commanders on how to evaluate individuals and mentor them to develop their leadership potential.  We need to hold the promotion authorties accountable when they promote some slacker just because he has filled in all the squares.

Your proposal will only mean that there "good" jobs and "bad" jobs.....and that is not the way to go.

Another hole in your thinking is that by requiring "good" Specialty Tracks to get higher promotions will somehow mean we will get good officers.  Well if a commander is willing to pencil whip a promotion 2a.....what makes you think he would blink twice about pencil whipping a Master Specialty Track?

There is nothing really all that hard in any of the big three AE/ES/CP.  Being a master in them does not necessarily mean that you have any leadership ability.

So....again IMHO you are presenting a solution that does not really address the root cause of the overall problem.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2009, 05:02:30 PM »

Ever been an ITO at the Wing Level? My wife would beg to differ on the "Simple" and I have just gotten started...

So those in "Simple Tracks" are second class members and do not deserve consideration for PD advancement?  >:D

I think you discount the importance of "support" functions to the success of CAP missions in your proposal.

The only way a good commander can lead is to have excellent "simple track" seniors behind them.

Non Concur
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Chaplaindon
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2009, 05:03:25 PM »

As a now-retired CAP chaplain (who prior to becoming a "'parenthetical' officer'" and "primarily tasked with paperwork tasks where very little personal initiative or innovation is expected or required" served a Deputy Commander for Cadets, Deputy Commander for Seniors, Squadron Commander of 2 squadrons, and Wing DOS, IC, GTM1, GTL, and who held 4 master ratings and the GRW) I must echo Chaplain Boldin's ridicule of RiverAux's proposal and his, however intentional or not, denigration of the chaplaincy.

And, contrary to GunnerC's "RM" reference, CAP ... for the "umpteenth" time ISN'T THE REAL MILITARY. If it were, most of our pilots wouldn't be eligible to fly (for most aren't UPT grad's nor possess civilian-equivilent commercial certificates), all of CAP's NON-"parenthetical" officers couldn't lead or command for they haven't ALL received an actual commission, and a number of CAP's missions would evaporate because if CAP WAS the RM, posse commitatus would prevent us from doing them.

While it is true that both in CAP and the RM, chaplains may not serve in command roles, they DO serve in leadership roles in both. Perhaps --somewhere in CAP and/or the RM-- chaplains primarily push paper and do a job not requiring "personal initiative or innovation," but I don't see that in the chaplains I've met, I've led as a Deputy Region Chaplain, and taught at Chaplain Service Staff Colleges.

While it is inconsistent with the RM, as are CAP's uniforms, height and weight standards, civilian non-combat roles, etc. so too CAP chaplains are not constrained to JUST a chaplain's role (albeit that alone, if done effectively and with proper initiative is a BIG job).

Chaplains are GTM's, GTL's, IC's, SAR/DR mission pilots, radio operators, aerospace educationinstructors, and so forth. Chaplains provide many vital services to CAP, not just paperwork. Similarly, too, do Professional Development, Administration, Personnel, Finance, Historians, Information Technology, Flight Operations, Stan/Eval, Logistics, Moral Leadership, DDR, Communications, Safety, Recruiting & Retention officers. All do vital, respectable, missions for our Nation through CAP.

A CAP chaplain's grade, likewise, is no more "parenthetical" --when compared with the RM-- than any other CAP officer's. CAP officer grade ISN'T RM grade.

Also, don't forget that chaplains are also professional clergypersons. I can tell you unequivocally that as a full-time clergyperson myself, it requires far more than good handwriting.

I suggest that we work to build a cohesive team in CAP and cease and desist from needless membership baiting. We are all CAP, whether active or retired. We all serve or have served. Everyone's service is needed and normatively appreciated.

If anyone thinks him/herself to be better than another, or more valuable to CAP or our Nation than another, perhaps it's time for you to innovate, go have a chat with your chaplain.
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2009, 08:11:45 PM »

Without actually drinking the safety kool-aid, as someone serving as a safety officer and doing what I can in my safety specialty track, I'd have to say that safety is probably one of the complex ones and not a simple one. 

I might agree if I ever saw a safety officer who did more than read NSTB initial accident reports or the Sentinal at the meetings.  It would also help if the accident reports being read actually discussed the causes of the accidents and we got advice on how to avoid that type of accident.    ;)
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Wilson #2640
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 10:11:03 PM »

Quote
You don't teach leadership at tech school.  Specialty tracks are thereto teach specific skills related to completing CAP's missions.
You're absolutely right about that.  However, in order to progress in the specialty track you have to spend a certain amount of time in an applicable staff position.  In order to be really successful in those positions designated as "complex" you have to demonstrate leadership or at least advanced organizational abilities.  So, its not about teaching leadership, but about showing it. 

I freely admit that this proposal is dependent on the commanders to not pencil whip people through the internships required by the specialty tracks.  If some guys signs on as Assistant ES officer and doesn't do a darn thing in their internship, they shouldn't be receiving credit for that time. 
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Short Field
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2009, 10:34:34 PM »

In order to be really successful in those positions designated as "complex" you have to demonstrate leadership or at least advanced organizational abilities.  So, its not about teaching leadership, but about showing it. 

I freely admit that this proposal is dependent on the commanders to not pencil whip people through the internships required by the specialty tracks.  If some guys signs on as Assistant ES officer and doesn't do a darn thing in their internship, they shouldn't be receiving credit for that time.

Several of the non-complex specialty tracks require a fair degree of organziational skills - more so than serveral of your "complex" tracks.  If you want to progress to Master in ES, you need to spend THREE years on wing staff.  Very few of our wing ops offiers (what the wing ESO really is) do anything except "monitor" things.  No planning, no execution, nothing.   The most they do is look for someone else to volunteer to do a SAREX.   But they are accruing time....  Our squadron admin officer shows more leadership in a week than these guys do in a year.
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Wilson #2640
RiverAux
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2009, 11:26:43 PM »

Its not my proposal's fault that your Wing ES officer isn't really doing their job (refer to capm 20-1). 
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lordmonar
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2009, 11:54:23 PM »

Its not my proposal's fault that your Wing ES officer isn't really doing their job (refer to capm 20-1).
No....but it invalidates your premis that having a Master Rating in one of the "good" specialties equates to being a promotable leader.

Bottom line.

No system change will get the results you desire if commanders do not hold their people to the standards you think they need to have.

That is the real problem......"why do commanders promote people who can't lead?"
None of your last three proposals address this basic issue.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
RiverAux
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2009, 12:04:18 AM »

I already said that this proposal will depend on commanders that will hold their subordinate staff officers accountable for doing (or not doing) their jobs.  But, the same is true of our current system -- people should not be getting credit for their internship time if they're not doing the job.  So, really this particular concern doesn't fly. 

Quote
That is the real problem......"why do commanders promote people who can't lead?"
You're right that I've been working around the edges of this problem, and thats for the simple reason that CAP will never really implement a promotion system that leaves that much open to subjective interpretation of the commander.  We've talked about that issue many times and while I'm open to it, the GOB charges would just fly if we had something like that, and in many cases those charges could very well be accurate. 

For that reason my latest suggestions still retain some of the cookie cutter mentality enshrined in our current system but are meant to give those that show some leadership abilities some advantages that they lack under our current system where the gems are hidden amongst the herd. 

Basically, I'm looking for something that moves us that direction even though it isn't perfect. 
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2009, 03:35:32 AM »

I already said that this proposal will depend on commanders that will hold their subordinate staff officers accountable for doing (or not doing) their jobs.  .......
For that reason my latest suggestions still retain some of the cookie cutter mentality enshrined in our current system but are meant to give those that show some leadership abilities some advantages that they lack under our current system where the gems are hidden amongst the herd. 

If the commanders were doing their job, there wouldn't be a problem.  Unless the commanders are doing their job, nothing you propose will make a difference.    Your proposal is flawed because it assumes that unless you are in one of the "critical" specialities, you can't display any leadership abilities. 

ES progression toward IC has NOTHING to do with any speciality track and I would contend that Incident Commanders have displayed at least some small token of leadership abilities.  So why not link promotions and PD progression to ES? 
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Wilson #2640
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2009, 04:04:51 AM »

Quote
Your proposal is flawed because it assumes that unless you are in oneof the "critical" specialities, you can't display any leadershipabilities.
No, I didn't say you can't display leadership in one of the simple specialties, just that it isn't as integral a part of the job as it is in the other specialties. 

Quote
ES progression toward IC has NOTHING to do with any speciality trackand I would contend that Incident Commanders have displayed at leastsome small token of leadership abilities.  So why not link promotionsand PD progression to ES?
I don't disagree and in the past I have proposed linking rank with ES qualifications, but that met with pretty universal disdain. 
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High Speed Low Drag
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2009, 04:11:10 AM »

Quote
Your proposal is flawed because it assumes that unless you are in oneof the "critical" specialities, you can't display any leadershipabilities.
No, I didn't say you can't display leadership in one of the simple specialties, just that it isn't as integral a part of the job as it is in the other specialties. 

Quote
ES progression toward IC has NOTHING to do with any speciality trackand I would contend that Incident Commanders have displayed at leastsome small token of leadership abilities.  So why not link promotionsand PD progression to ES?
I don't disagree and in the past I have proposed linking rank with ES qualifications, but that met with pretty universal disdain.
But, not everyone is doing ES.  I have put off my personal qualifications while I have been getting the cadet program back on track.  If I have 30 minutes to do CAP, I work on the cadet program, not my personal ES quals.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2009, 04:23:30 AM »

Thats why I didn't propose it in this thread.  There is a special thread on just that topic if you'd like to comment on it. 
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2009, 05:13:33 AM »

Quote
Your proposal is flawed because it assumes that unless you are in oneof the "critical" specialities, you can't display any leadershipabilities.
No, I didn't say you can't display leadership in one of the simple specialties, just that it isn't as integral a part of the job as it is in the other specialties. 

Quote
ES progression toward IC has NOTHING to do with any speciality trackand I would contend that Incident Commanders have displayed at leastsome small token of leadership abilities.  So why not link promotionsand PD progression to ES?
I don't disagree and in the past I have proposed linking rank with ES qualifications, but that met with pretty universal disdain.
But, not everyone is doing ES.  I have put off my personal qualifications while I have been getting the cadet program back on track.  If I have 30 minutes to do CAP, I work on the cadet program, not my personal ES quals.

My progress through the Public Affairs Specialty Track has effectively been on hold as the result of commanding my unit (although Command has enhanced my Public Affairs output considerably).

Unit staff is key, you need people you can trust to succeed in the Functional Specialty; your Safety Officer needs to be on the job keeping things safe and executing the program, your Maintenance Officer needs to concentrate on insuring the Aircraft is having its issues mitigated, Stan Eval needs to be monitoring pilot "quality control" which involves, to a degree, the Safety and Maintenance officers roles as well as airmanship en re Unit aviators.

The idea of Functional Specialties is to insure that the unit is working.  There are no "simple" or "difficult" Functional Specialties,it is more about working as a team.

This was commented on above; I am a trained historian and certified teacher in my career.  Some have also said I am a skilled musician.  I've done "grassroots" journalism.  I guess this would make Historian, Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs and Public Affairs "simple" for me based on my skills sets.  However, if someone wanted me to be a Maintenance Officer, Safety Officer, Fiance or the like; these woudl be "challenging" to be because those sets are not my forte.  Now an AP mechanic, Human Resources Professional, Certified Public Accountant or the like (respectively) would likely find their "simplicity" to be completely at odds with mine.

That is why I find the idea of "difficult" and "Simple" specialty tracks to be suspect.  There is too much "subjective" element to it to use such monikers.  This compounded more by the fact that these things function best when everyone "works as a team."
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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2009, 12:23:21 PM »

This was commented on above; I am a trained historian and certified teacher in my career.  Some have also said I am a skilled musician.  I've done "grassroots" journalism.  I guess this would make Historian, Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs and Public Affairs "simple" for me based on my skills sets.  However, if someone wanted me to be a Maintenance Officer, Safety Officer, Fiance or the like; these woudl be "challenging" to be because those sets are not my forte.  Now an AP mechanic, Human Resources Professional, Certified Public Accountant or the like (respectively) would likely find their "simplicity" to be completely at odds with mine.

That is why I find the idea of "difficult" and "Simple" specialty tracks to be suspect.  There is too much "subjective" element to it to use such monikers.  This compounded more by the fact that these things function best when everyone "works as a team."

I agree 100% with this. Same thing I said but with better sample.  :clap: :clap: :clap:
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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2009, 01:56:51 AM »

Here's a simplified version of RiverAux's proposal...

CAP has three missions (Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services), so why not require a master rating in one of those to complete Level IV?  IMHO, it's very reasonable to expect high-ranking members of CAP to be experts in one (or more) of our three missions.

I like your proposal.
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2009, 03:30:29 AM »

Pick Aerospace Education!  You can get the Master rating a lot faster.  ES requires 3 years on Wing Staff for the Master rating.  The time starts after earning your Senior rating.
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2009, 04:04:17 AM »

CAP is modeled after the Air Force, correct?

Most Air Force officers never hold command or required to hold command to promoted to a field grade rank.  The Air Force treats officers as technical experts in their fields.  Medical Officers depending on their specialty can be initially commissioned up to Colonel.  I have a classmate who is a surgeon, that was his initial commissioning grade.  The Air Force officer structure is based upon college education and technical/functional skills at the specialized level.  "Exceptional" or officers "who didn't duck fast enough" usually become Squadron Commanders.  The Air Force doesn't expect all officers to hold command authority at a Squadron level.  There aren't enough squadrons to satisfy a command requirement unlike the Army whose core command level is a company where a Captain is the commander.  The Air Force doesn't enforce Flight Commander positions because section chiefs take on that responsibility of leading their officers and enlisted personnel.  A Section Admin Officer takes care of the personnel and administrative actions for the Squadron Commander alleviating the need for Fight Commanders.

As an alternative, my suggestion would be to have a development track called "Command" where a PD program is put in place to requiring training/task certification in Logistics, Finance, Personnel, Administration, Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs. 

Then, those of us who desire a command position will be better prepared if they want to be a Squadron Commander. 

The bottom line is the Air Force trains its officers to be leaders, not necessarily commanders.  CAP trains it Senior Members to be leaders, not necessarily commanders.
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2009, 05:54:17 AM »

As an alternative, my suggestion would be to have a development track called "Command"...
Got one already....it's called Organisational Excellance.
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2009, 06:18:42 AM »

Got one already....it's called Organisational Excellance.

Problem solved?
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2009, 06:47:47 AM »

Got one already....it's called Organisational Excellance.

Problem solved?
Sort of.....while the CAPP is out...they still have not launched it.  There was a call for mentors (I volunteered) but they still have not called for applicants for the Specialty Track.
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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2009, 07:04:37 PM »

There used to be a "command track" however, there was no guidance except for: "have fun".
The Organizational Excellance track is supposed to be the guidance for all leadership positions in CAP. 

Col Pearson is still working with the commander for "finishing touches"  before initiating the program.  I know there are region OE officers but, I don't know if the rest of the infrastructure is complete.  Maybe we'll hear something soon?
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« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2009, 06:26:52 PM »

You think Flight Operations is a simple specialty track? All the flight ops officers I have seen in CAP are very intense an always busy keeping track of aircraft, scheduling, maintenance, and locations. Looks like a very demanding job to me
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« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2009, 07:27:39 PM »

You think Flight Operations is a simple specialty track? All the flight ops officers I have seen in CAP are very intense an always busy keeping track of aircraft, scheduling, maintenance, and locations. Looks like a very demanding job to me

I agree, and I will state it again.  Words like "difficult" and "easy" are so subjective in variance from person to person that they have no meaning in CAP parlance.
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« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2009, 07:40:35 PM »

As I said in my original post, exactly which specialties to place in each category is certainly debatable and I'm sure that there would never be 100% agreement about where any particular track would be placed. 
 
However, it is indisputable that the level of difficulty and level of leadership required for the different staff positions varies greatly.  All staff jobs and specialty tracks are not equal.  I am suggesting that we recognize this fact in the senior member PD program. 
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« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2009, 09:58:40 PM »

As I said in my original post, exactly which specialties to place in each category is certainly debatable and I'm sure that there would never be 100% agreement about where any particular track would be placed. 
 
However, it is indisputable that the level of difficulty and level of leadership required for the different staff positions varies greatly.  All staff jobs and specialty tracks are not equal.  I am suggesting that we recognize this fact in the senior member PD program.

Categorizing things as "difficult" or "easy" or the like prejudices new membership against it a creates and promotes "factionalism."

Could it be that "he level of difficulty and level of leadership required for the different staff positions varies" because of the inherent difference in what these entail?  I should say so.  Additionally, the good old phrase "to each his own" applies in that some people might be well qualified in their specialty track and excel, whereas they would be lost an in a difficult situation if they were a "fish out of water."

I would not recommend any compartmentalizing and labeling of Specialty Tracks as anything more than being necessary for the running of a squadron.  ES is different and has its various SQTRs to illustrate that fact. 

....and while some "cross pollination" might be necessary (as in ES Officer) for some between Operational and Functional specialties, they are very different in scope and mission.
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« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2009, 11:21:06 PM »

I would not recommend any compartmentalizing and labeling of Specialty Tracks as anything more than being necessary for the running of a squadron.

+1  Identifing some Speciality Tracks "for Leaders" and others "for Followers" is just going to make filling the "for Followers" tracks that much harder.  I am really sure all the squadrons need everyone signed up in the Flight Ops and ES tracks instead of something "easy" and doesn't require leadership skills like Personnel, Professional Development, Admin, etc.

 
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« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2009, 11:32:06 PM »

I don't really think this proposal would provide enough of an incentive to drive people away from the other jobs. 
 
Keep in mind it would have absolutely no impact on anyone's advancement until they were ready to become a Lt. Col. and that the percentage of senior members that get to that rank through the PD system is pretty low anyway. 
 
I really don't think that there are many CAP members looking that far ahead into their CAP careers such that they will not do a particular staff job because it may limit their promotion 10 years in the future. 
 
Basically you're saying that CAP members won't do something unless there is a chance of promotion in it.  Wasn't I just castigated in another thread for suggesting the use of a similar incentive to get people interested in being a commander? 
 
 
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« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2009, 11:49:19 PM »

Basically you're saying that CAP members won't do something unless there is a chance of promotion in it.  Wasn't I just castigated in another thread for suggesting the use of a similar incentive to get people interested in being a commander?

Your mistaken premise that that these things need to be changed.  People need to be interested in being commander because they desire to do it, not as a "check off box," for some promotion to Lt Col.

If we promote a culture of service in our units where 1) people take staff positions that end up two people deep (i.e. Maintenance Officer and assistant) 2) there is mentor-ship in the positions (be it from a high echelon with true mentor-ship not merely sending people blindly to the regulations and supplements) and 3) if we promote the idea that a commander needs assistance from the staff and that anyone in "active participation" be prepared to assume leadership (be it as the full time commander, or temporary) if necessary we will have solid units.

People in staff positions, I will contend, are at least as important as a person in Command.  One might even say that the success of the commander is based on effective staffing.  The Commander alone doing it all and everyone flying happily does not a squadron make.  Thus, your premise that the specialty tracks somehow lead to promotion is not commiserate to the notion that staffers be dedicated to running a program at their level. 


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« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2009, 01:04:35 AM »

Guys, maybe I'm a bit slow today but, what is the correlation between specialty track and PD advancement?   Even though I have a Master rating in a"simple" track, I still ended up in numerous leadership positions, mentor at the "executive" OE track level and, still, play an active part in CAP. Oh yeah, I do have a Wilson Cert (2085).    Why would I need a Master rating in a "complex" specialty track?  I think leadership skills are learned over and above a technical track.
Many members bring a complex set of skills to the table before they join.  Picking a specialty track is more of an interest.  I don't think it should be a limiting factor in promotion; especially when advancing thru the PD program.  To me, promotion should be based on current requirements and the talent and desire to hold any leadership position. 
It is my opinion we should only promote those willing to take on certain positions(not just command); no matter what PD level you have finished.  It's not like we get paid any differently now, is it....    ;D
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« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2009, 01:31:43 AM »

FW, I am trying to more explicitly link high-level CAP rank to some demonstration of leadership capabilities.  The basic building block of obtaining CAP rank is progression through the senior member PD program which requires progression in a specialty track.  It is my contention that some tracks require more leadership and organizational ability than others and that should be recognized.
 
Quote
If we promote a culture of service in our units where 1) people take staff positions that end up two people deep (i.e. Maintenance Officer and assistant) 2) there is mentor-ship in the positions (be it from a high echelon with true mentor-ship not merely sending people blindly to the regulations and supplements) and 3) if we promote the idea that a commander needs assistance from the staff and that anyone in "active participation" be prepared to assume leadership (be it as the full time commander, or temporary) if necessary we will have solid units.

Then you should join the CG Aux.  They get their staff positions filled in just this way.  They have absolutely no professional development program at all and even less of an incentive to do these jobs.  Yep, you will get office insignia that look like rank, but no titles.  Actually, in my experience, most CG Aux staff officers at the local unit level actually do more than most CAP squadron staff officers since most CG Aux staff officers are actually running operational programs of some kind or another rather than just trying to keep the unit functional. 
 
But that is not the way CAP has chosen to operate and some seem to have the mistaken impression that the CAP PD program is anything other than an incentive based system to get CAP members to do certain things.  The senior member PD program rewards CAP members for doing things that CAP wants done and that reward is a Level award and a promotion and is not a generic leadership development program for the sake of the members as is the cadet program.  This is why you have to spend time in certain staff jobs to complete a track level and get a promotion.
 
Now, given the CG Aux experience, I think it quite possible that CAP could function just as well if we dumped the entire PD program.  I don't really see any noticable difference in the qualities or abilities of CAP or CG Aux staff officers at any level.  But, I don't see that happening, so I've been looking at ways to at least make what we have somewhat meaningful. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2009, 01:40:44 AM »

In an ideal world, where every unit has enough people to full staff the org chart, with assistants/deputies, your idea might be feasible. In the world we deal with where members wear multiple hats, it isn't.

Once a good system is set up, anyone can maintain it with little or no leadership ability (that includes ES and AE). Straightening out an inherited mess, even in something as 'simple' as admin, shows strong leadership. Someone who knows their job makes it look easy. Someone who doesn't may think it's extremely difficult and complex.

I have a tech rating in ES. It was not complex, nor did it require any leadeship experience or ability.
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« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2009, 02:21:22 AM »

Squadron is spelled S-Q-U-A-D-R-O-N and flotilla is spelled F-L-O-T-I-L-L-A, and that is where the similarity ends.  All matter off folly befalls us all when people try applying CAP policy models on the USCGAux and USCGAux policy models to CAP.  They are two different organizations born of different needs and focus.

Here is the thing River, you are trying to solve "social" ills with "political/policy" changes.  While our government continues to try that (trying to address problems of everything from education to unemployment; economy and society, with political solutions via new laws and programs which end up spending millions and doing little), it should be mentioned that the limiting factors are the "social" cultures that sometime manifest themselves.

If your squadron is a true Composite Squadron where everyone is working in a Whole CAP approach (meaning cadets get good attention from everyone, flying is done and supported by everyone from the cadet folks to the ground team and where ground assets and aviation assets work together in fraternity), squadron command is not a drag.

If you are in a Senior or Cadet Squadron, is everyone pulling together to get the job done?  Or is it on or two "guys" doing it all?

I'll tell you this...no one would want to command if they were doing it all and everyone else was just following the primrose path.  Fix that and there will be lots of folks seeking commands.

What is needed is an atmosphere that alters the culture of a unit, not provides more policy and regulation.
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« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2009, 02:47:30 AM »

Iíve never noticed any correlation between a memberís specialty track and their leadership ability. Adult volunteers bring their life experiences into the squadron, which will prepare them for leadership more than anything written in a CAP pamphlet.
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« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2009, 03:11:53 AM »

In an ideal world, where every unit has enough people to full staff the org chart, with assistants/deputies, your idea might be feasible. In the world we deal with where members wear multiple hats, it isn't.

In most cases people wear multiple hats because...

1) There are not enough members in the squadron for the important roles to be spread around.

2) The commander is incapable of delegating workload properly.

Either is a fairly easy fix if the parties involved are willing.
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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2009, 04:32:22 AM »

Squadron is spelled S-Q-U-A-D-R-O-N and flotilla is spelled F-L-O-T-I-L-L-A, and that is where the similarity ends.  All matter off folly befalls us all when people try applying CAP policy models on the USCGAux and USCGAux policy models to CAP.  They are two different organizations born of different needs and focus.
Whether your knew it or not, your idealistic view of the way things should work in CAP is much more simillar to what the CG Aux uses than the real world of CAP -- I was just pointing that out. 
 
Quote

 What is needed is an atmosphere that alters the culture of a unit, not provides more policy and regulation.
Okay, if policy issues should not be addressed through policy, please start a thread describing how we should be doing things and in particular how to do it without changing a policy or regulation. 
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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2009, 04:45:32 AM »

Okay, if policy issues should not be addressed through policy, please start a thread describing how we should be doing things and in particular how to do it without changing a policy or regulation.

Ho-hummm... The idea is that pages of new regulation and pamphlets will not solve the matters you discuss.  You are proposing adding layer upon layer of new policy where none is warranted using the mantra that we need more leadership or something. 

You also demean and suggest that some Spec Tracks are somehow too easy and others are somehow more difficult using nothing more than your own subjective opinion on the matter.

The true answer lies in each unit.  When people join a unit what do they see?  How are they "brought it?"  Is it into an environment of professional service to ones community, state and Nation or is it into an environment lax in its operation?  Do new people come to a nexus of something special, or is there some level of "self-loathing?"  Do the people have energy to pass on, or is there lethargy?

These things have to be faced and corrected from "below," not from stacks of new regulations.  Leadership cannot be legislated, it must come from individuals.

Also, stop talking about the USCGAux as some sort of "paradise," they have their problems as well.  The main issue here is that some of you think that CAP is some sort of basket case and everything is falling apart.  Fact is, we are in pretty good shape.
 
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« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2009, 10:35:43 PM »

Quote
Also, stop talking about the USCGAux as some sort of "paradise," they have their problems as well.
I wasn't.  You were the one who was saying that we should do things the way CG Aux does -- you just didn't know it. 

On a broader scale we have things that we can learn from them and they have things they can learn from us.  I don't see either one as having any significant overall advantage over the other.  Just like the Army and Marines have some important differences, they also have a lot of similarities in what they're trying to do and each can learn from the other. 
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« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2009, 12:56:19 AM »

  You were the one who was saying that we should do things the way CG Aux does -- you just didn't know it. 

Who agrees that is what I said?  Let's hear a shout out!!!
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« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2009, 02:42:47 AM »

I just say "cool it."
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« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2009, 12:35:02 AM »

River,
     The fix for the problem that you have mentioned is a very simple one. A Commitment to Excellence in whatever your specialty track is. You can show leadership in that way, by doing the absolute best that you can do.
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2009, 01:05:12 AM »

River,
     The fix for the problem that you have mentioned is a very simple one. A Commitment to Excellence in whatever your specialty track is. You can show leadership in that way, by doing the absolute best that you can do.

+100

And Commander do their job to ensure that you are in fact ready to accept the responsibilities that go with the Specialty Rateing, PD Level and/or promotion.

Making things "harder" and still allow people to pencile whip it or take short cuts just means more short cuts and pencile whipping.
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2009, 01:15:20 AM »

Making things "harder" and still allow people to pencile whip it or take short cuts just means more short cuts and pencile whipping.

+1 - Which results in what you see today - some members taking things organically, working the program, and taking the long road, watching others pass by them because of shortcuts and relationships with someone who has a golden pen.

In the end its really the "man in the mirror", but in the meantime, that's not really a way to motivate volunteers or build an informed leadership.
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« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2009, 03:47:47 AM »

River,
     The fix for the problem that you have mentioned is a very simple one. A Commitment to Excellence in whatever your specialty track is. You can show leadership in that way, by doing the absolute best that you can do.
A fine statement and it is what everyone should be doing.  However, the fact that those who take this tact are rewarded exactly the same as those who choose easier roles cheapens the efforts of everyone.  What you are doing is ensuring equal outcomes, not equal opportunities. 
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« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2009, 04:54:58 AM »

River,
     The fix for the problem that you have mentioned is a very simple one. A Commitment to Excellence in whatever your specialty track is. You can show leadership in that way, by doing the absolute best that you can do.
A fine statement and it is what everyone should be doing.  However, the fact that those who take this tact are rewarded exactly the same as those who choose easier roles cheapens the efforts of everyone.  What you are doing is ensuring equal outcomes, not equal opportunities.
Of course the fact that your "easy" roles are required to keep units functioning, while most of your "hard" ones are not plays no role whatsoever, does it?
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« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2009, 10:46:39 PM »

Sure, it does.  Paperwork shuffling positions are very important to any organization, but notice that most of the time those in the more "operational" roles (whatever that may be in a particular organization) are generally recognized with higher pay and faster promotions because there are some essential differences in the difficulty of their jobs and their direct relationship to the purpose of the organization.

The person filing the paperwork isn't going to make nearly as much money as the salesman at the auto dealership. 
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« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2009, 10:48:33 PM »

Still trying to fix a problem that does not exist.
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« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2009, 10:49:08 PM »

True, but without the person shuffling the paper, the salesman doesn't have a job.
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« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2009, 12:48:02 AM »

Sure, it does.  Paperwork shuffling positions are very important to any organization, but notice that most of the time those in the more "operational" roles (whatever that may be in a particular organization) are generally recognized with higher pay and faster promotions because there are some essential differences in the difficulty of their jobs and their direct relationship to the purpose of the organization.

Have you every stopped to thnk that part of the problem with CAP are the ones in the "operational" roles who have no understanding about what it takes to run a unit, no interest in professional development, and no concern about taking care of any paperwork that does not directly relate to them getting to fly?  I see way too many people who are in Flight Ops, Stand/Eval, and Operations who have almost no interest in anything outside of flying.   They also refuse to get qualifed in any ES qualification that does not directly relate to them being able to fly.   ALL of the effective squadrons I have seen are being led by people who do not have one of your "leadership" speciality tracks.  This goes beyond just the Commanders and includes their effective staffmembers.

Your "papershufflers" are the ones who release the flights, fly and crew the airplanes, and man mission base.   They are also the ones who ensure the squadrons run smoothly and effectively, increase the unit's membership, and take care of our assets.

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« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2009, 01:23:30 AM »

Still trying to fix a problem that does not exist.

Sure, it does.  Paperwork shuffling positions are very important to any organization, but notice that most of the time those in the more "operational" roles (whatever that may be in a particular organization) are generally recognized with higher pay and faster promotions because there are some essential differences in the difficulty of their jobs and their direct relationship to the purpose of the organization.

Have you every stopped to think that part of the problem with CAP are the ones in the "operational" roles who have no understanding about what it takes to run a unit, no interest in professional development, and no concern about taking care of any paperwork that does not directly relate to them getting to fly?  I see way too many people who are in Flight Ops, Stand/Eval, and Operations who have almost no interest in anything outside of flying.   They also refuse to get qualified in any ES qualification that does not directly relate to them being able to fly.   ALL of the effective squadrons I have seen are being led by people who do not have one of your "leadership" speciality tracks.  This goes beyond just the Commanders and includes their effective staffmembers.

Your "papershufflers" are the ones who release the flights, fly and crew the airplanes, and man mission base.   They are also the ones who ensure the squadrons run smoothly and effectively, increase the unit's membership, and take care of our assets.



I have to agree with both of the quotes above.  Rather then having found a problem that needs fixed and then proposing a solution;  you seem to have found a solution and are now looking for a problem you can solve with the solution. 

Most of the successful leaders I have meet in CAP do not have just one specialty track.  What they do all have in common is a desire to help others; are self motivated; have a vision for the unit; possess leadership skills; and have some basic organizational skills.  No one or even several tracks will give you that.

Of all of the traits I mentioned above Leadership training is where CAP falls short. We do a fairly good job of teaching cadets to be leasers and are miserable failures at doing the same for the seniors. So spend sometime figuring out how we can improve leadership training for the seniors and not on developing command tracks.
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« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2009, 04:29:26 AM »

Ah, the argument with no substance --- we can count on someone to say "solution in search of a problem" in response to 100% of proposals put forward by anyone on CAPTalk about any issue.  If I get really bored some day I may just do a statistical study to back this up, but I'm pretty confident its true. 

No, this would not address all leadership issues in CAP and is not meant to.  It is to aid recognition of those that have demonstrated some leadership capability that others have not.  If you want to revamp CAP's senior member leadership development program, feel free to try, but don't expect much.  I'm trying to work within the realm of the remotely feasible. 

I'm not surprised that some are going to be defensive about being told that their supporting roles are actually supportive of our primary purposes for being here.  Especially if they're in a position that is often unfilled in many squadrons, calling into question just how necessary it is in the first place. 




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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,689

« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2009, 05:01:21 AM »

Yea...that's it.  We are all mad that you called us useless drones.

Except that I have a Masters in CP, a tech in ES and a tech in AE and twice held command.

Shortfield is a pilot, a Master in ES, a personnel officer....

Your solution will not fix the problem of officers getting promoted to high rank with no leadership skills.

It will create a two class system of officers.  It will mean that officers who know the system who want to go for high rank will avoid "bad" specialties. 

But I know what this is about

Quote
It is to aid recognition of those that have demonstrated some leadership capability that others have not.
This is all about making your achievements stand out more.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Larry Mangum
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Posts: 686

« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2009, 03:40:43 PM »

Ah, the argument with no substance --- we can count on someone to say "solution in search of a problem" in response to 100% of proposals put forward by anyone on CAPTalk about any issue.  If I get really bored some day I may just do a statistical study to back this up, but I'm pretty confident its true. 

No, this would not address all leadership issues in CAP and is not meant to.  It is to aid recognition of those that have demonstrated some leadership capability that others have not.  If you want to revamp CAP's senior member leadership development program, feel free to try, but don't expect much.  I'm trying to work within the realm of the remotely feasible. 

I'm not surprised that some are going to be defensive about being told that their supporting roles are actually supportive of our primary purposes for being here.  Especially if they're in a position that is often unfilled in many squadrons, calling into question just how necessary it is in the first place.

All yes, I am getting all defensive, with my Master in Admin, Master in ES, Master in IT and lowly Senior rating in Communications. I never said I wanted to redo professional development, simply that we need to do a better job of teaching leadership to our seniors. 
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Larry Mangum, Lt Col CAP
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: "promotable" specialty tracks
 


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