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Author Topic: Starting Anew -- How Should CAP Be Governed?  (Read 14192 times)
Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,214

« on: December 20, 2009, 07:25:46 PM »

See, here's the thing:

CAP is strange animal when it comes to governance.  There is simply nothing like it, even among the Congressionally chartered corporations.  AFAIK, only the Red Cross shares our "occasional instrumentality" status, and they have certainly had their own governance issues.  (Check out this report on their own reboot.)

I don't think anyone would dispute that our current governance structure is the primarily the result of historical forces leavened with a fair amount of compromise and sprinkled with the "fix" of the BoG added by our Congressional stakeholders. (Historically, we are a government agency spun off as an AF-governed corporation; later largely abandoned by the AF in terms of governance; and currently controlled by a mixture of internal boards (NB & NEC) ultimately responsible to the BoG (which itself is a compromise mixture of stakeholders and CAP).)

Similarly, there is widespread agreement that we have "governance issues."  Although descriptions of the nature of the problem tend to vary by the perspective of the observer.

Almost everyone has an idea that might very well help - members might elect some corporate officers / selection of corporate officers by outside selectors like our AF stakeholders / eliminate the NB allowing the NEC to run the show / eliminate the NEC and allow the NB to run the show / etc. etc. etc.

And it is certainly part of the problem that the very folks who would need to study and approve any significant changes are the very people who have benefitted from the current structure - our current corporate officers / colonels.  And human nature being what it is, these same experienced CAP officers are fairly sure that - at least as a group - they know what is best for CAP.  At least when evaluating suggestions from outside groups of members like, say, members of CAPTalk for instance.

And even we tend to look at the problem through the lens of our own experiences.  Which is why most of the discussions in other governance threads pretty much amounts to Titanic deck chair re-arranging.  (Relatively minor tweaks on our current structure about who gets to vote for whom.)

So here is my proposal for a CAPTalk experiment - let's "clean-slate" this and start with a clean sheet of paper.  There are academically recognized "best practices" when it comes to non-profit corporate governance.  As just one example, check out the Hauser Center at Harvard University.  Anybody know someone there?

So, Starting from scratch, how should CAP organize and govern itself?
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bosshawk
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,585

« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 07:33:21 PM »

Ned: outstanding explanation of how CAP is "governed".  I have a feeling that I don't have enough years left on earth to even consider tackling your challenge.  Like most other things that I have experienced in 16 years of CAP service, this is incredibly challenging.
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Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
Wilson #2777
High Speed Low Drag
Seasoned Member

Posts: 310
Unit: SWR-AR-001

« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 08:11:03 PM »

Ned - Excellent idea.  I clicked your link to the Hauser Center and found this article, which I think sums up the angst of our problems.
 
http://www.nsba.org/sbot/toolkit/GovMgmt.html
 
This may be one of those threads that will start slowly, but take off once everybody has a chance to write their thoughts.  I look forwad to participating.

A couple of little questions:  Does anybody know what training all AF Officers receive regarding CAP, both at the company grade and at the field grade?  What type of training do Wing Kings, Base CCs, get regarding CAP?  Feel free to PM me so we don't hi-jack the thread.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 08:14:32 PM by High Speed Low Drag » Report to moderator   Logged
G. St. Pierre                             

"WIWAC, we marched 5 miles every meeting, uphill both ways!!"
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,978

« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 08:32:33 PM »

Ned,
 I think the first thing to consider is whether or not CAP should be a nonprofit corporation semi-independent of the AF or an organization over which the AF ultimately has control (as is the case between CG and CG Aux).

I'm guessing that your assumption is that CAP will remain a semi-independent corporation....
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Pumbaa
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Posts: 729

« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2009, 09:44:12 PM »

How about electing 2 representatives from each wing to represent the higher officers.. (Col and above)

Then elect a certain number of regular members ( Lt Col and Down) based on the number of members in the wing. Minimum representation is one for the smaller wings.

They each do their job, and new rules and regs are voted on in their respective thingies, then the passed rules are reconciled and sent to the Elected Major General for signature or veto.

Simple

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Spike
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Posts: 1,257
Unit: Top Secret

« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2009, 09:50:37 PM »

This is easy;

Go back to 1950.  Take out everything written into the CAP constitution and bylaws between January 1, 1950 and December 20, 2009.

Air Force controls its auxiliary.  Seemed to work out fine back then. 
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Thom
Seasoned Member

Posts: 255
Unit: SWR-LA-010

Louisiana Wing Website
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2009, 10:12:13 PM »

This is easy;

Go back to 1950.  Take out everything written into the CAP constitution and bylaws between January 1, 1950 and December 20, 2009.

Air Force controls its auxiliary.  Seemed to work out fine back then.

The only problem with this answer is the underlying supposition:  The Air Force WANTS its Auxiliary, AND has the time/money/manpower to invest in controlling it. 

These days, if we turned around and told the USAF that they suddenly had full control (AND RESPONSIBILITY!!!) for CAP, my gut instinct is they would either beg Congress to end CAP completely, or pigeonhole it with a completely inadequate staff in a deadend office at Minot.

Not that they 'hate' us, they simply don't have the time and energy to devote to us when we are so far removed from their core day-to-day warfighting responsibilities.

I'd be very pleased to be proven wrong in my assessment, but...

Thom
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C-150
Recruit

Posts: 41

« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2009, 10:13:38 PM »

When I joined in the late 70s USAF controlled it. It had some drawbacks, but most went fine. No uniform bickering....no flying club mentality....today we seem have to much of the club thought....too much rebelism toward the system. Not to say all are that way....but it does exist. Then we all wore the USAF uniform and we wore it proudly and properly fopr the most part. Of course there were some violations here and there, but the AF didn't get upset until some idiot pushed to far. Like the General that tried to push his way around an AFB. Hence the maroon epaulets. We almost had that same situation with the last National Commander. For the most the AF would include us in their missions more. Now they stand off somewhat because we try to do our own thing too much. Back then they considered us part of the total force. It was stated by 4 AF Chief's of Staff during that period that CAP is an imprtant player in the AF mission and is part of the AF Total Force.
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Gunner C
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 10:20:52 PM »

This is easy;

Go back to 1950.  Take out everything written into the CAP constitution and bylaws between January 1, 1950 and December 20, 2009.

Air Force controls its auxiliary.  Seemed to work out fine back then.
I think you're right.  WIWAC, the national commander was an AF 2-star.  When Brig Gen Wilcox retired, the AF recalled Maj Gen Walter B. Putnam.  He was a fire cracker and was great for the organization.  The top CAP officer was the chairman of the national board who had recently been authorized a star.  We screwed up when we jettisoned the AF officer and supplied our own.  CAP had a stake in the AF and they had a stake in CAP.

Do we need a national board?  No.  There was coordination enough back then, even when most communication was done by telephone, HF radio, and snail mail.  The commander sets the mission, the subordinates ask for the resources to make it happen.  The commander gets the resources from higher.  When the resources aren't forthcoming, the subordinate (region/wing) tells the commander that the mission isn't possible.  Simple.  All of this political posturing, elections, deal making, and general baloney is just that.  We don't need a NB or NEC, we need leadership and sanity checks. YMMV 
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C-150
Recruit

Posts: 41

« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 10:37:03 PM »

Well said Gunner C. Somethings need to move forward....somethings need to go back to what works best. CAP is one of those. I even remember driving onto an AFB by showing ID card and Pic ID at gate. No jumping thru hoops   no State Director's approval....just show up and the SP's had you sign in and you were on your way. That is the kind of relationship we should have stuck to.
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FW
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Posts: 2,186

« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 10:47:32 PM »

Guys, I think it's a good idea to remove those rose colored glasses when looking at the past.

I've been a member long enough to recall those days.  We were living strictly on govt. surplus, hand me downs and trash discarded by others.  Funding at the wing and lower levels were non existant.  Members knew what "come and pay" really meant back then.  Yes, the Air Force was "in control" BUT, wing commanders were fired on whims, there were no "resources" except for airlift (after all we were "part of" Continental Air Command back when).  Besides, as was said before, the Air Force no longer has the money, manpower nor will to go back.

If we want to start "clean" we need to look in a completely different direction.  First of all, I think we need a leadership structure which is really accountable to all stakeholders, including the dues paying membership.  Secondly, we need leaders who can make decisions without worrying about arbitrary dismissal.  Thirdly, we need true internal measures to hold all members accountable for their actions while performing CAP's missions.  After that, we need to really engage in a dialog  with the Air Force and Congress to determine if CAP's place in the universe needs to change. 

YMMV however, I think it is time to really think about our future.  Living in the past is no help and hoping for change gets us nowhere. 
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Big_Ed
Member

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Unit: NER-PA-001

« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 11:21:10 PM »

"accountable to all" -  :clap:
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Edgar R. Flick, Lt. Colonel, CAP
Emergency Services Training Officer,
Pennsylvania Wing/NERPA001
Member since 1977
Nick
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Unit: SWR-TX-001

« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 11:22:36 PM »

What about instead of assigning active duty personnel (that we can all probably agree the AF doesn't have the resources to be tasking warfighters to these type of assignments nowadays), we roll back to the 70's when certain leadership positions were active duty AF officers, but steal a combination example from the liaison office model and AFJROTC instructors: active duty officers fixin' to retire apply for this duty assignment, retire into the position, and continue to be paid active duty pay by receiving their retirement pay with the difference paid for out of the CAP budget.  Plug them into CAP-USAF, and eliminate the "volunteer" National Headquarters.  You could probably free up a majority of the active duty CAP-USAF billets, putting active duty members back into their career fields.

I'd have to do some more research on the exact CAP/CAP-USAF organization of the day to see how it could work here, but it's an idea.
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Nicholas McLarty, Lt Col, CAP
Texas Wing Staff Guy
National Cadet Team Guy
davidsinn
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 01:04:32 AM »

I even remember driving onto an AFB by showing ID card and Pic ID at gate. No jumping thru hoops   no State Director's approval....just show up and the SP's had you sign in and you were on your way. That is the kind of relationship we should have stuck to.

I just did that two days ago. I actually didn't even need to sign in. Just show ID and off I go.
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Former CAP Captain
David Sinn
C-150
Recruit

Posts: 41

« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 03:22:00 AM »

I have heard of several bases doing that. Some are familiar with CAP as some units meet on bases. I would suppose it would depend on the Wing Commander and the SP on the gate at the time on individual access in other situations. I used to visit Pope with no problem at all....but Seymour Johnson had a few hoops to jump thru ..like the signing in. But then the bases have two completely different missions. Which with all of that in mind I think we still have a very good relationship with the AF. There is always of course room for improvement.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 03:43:59 AM »

I even remember driving onto an AFB by showing ID card and Pic ID at gate. No jumping thru hoops   no State Director's approval....just show up and the SP's had you sign in and you were on your way. That is the kind of relationship we should have stuck to.

I just did that two days ago. I actually didn't even need to sign in. Just show ID and off I go.

Yep, base access is covered under AFI's and reciprocal regulations from other services.  SD's only need get involved to grease the wheels
or setup MSA's for large activities that need housing, etc.

Some bases might require you go to a VC for a pass for your vehicle, show DL/Insurance/registration, but then likely that goes for everyone without a sticker.
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PHall
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Posts: 6,470

« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 05:24:01 AM »

I even remember driving onto an AFB by showing ID card and Pic ID at gate. No jumping thru hoops   no State Director's approval....just show up and the SP's had you sign in and you were on your way. That is the kind of relationship we should have stuck to.

I just did that two days ago. I actually didn't even need to sign in. Just show ID and off I go.

Yep, base access is covered under AFI's and reciprocal regulations from other services.  SD's only need get involved to grease the wheels
or setup MSA's for large activities that need housing, etc.

Some bases might require you go to a VC for a pass for your vehicle, show DL/Insurance/registration, but then likely that goes for everyone without a sticker.

The Air Force stopped issuing stickers about two years ago. If you have a military ID, you're good to go, otherwise it's the VC for you.
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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 02:16:02 PM »

- let's "clean-slate" this and start with a clean sheet of paper.  There

First.  Repeal the statute making Civil Air Patrol a private, not-for-profit.  :o

Second. Civil Air Patrol becomes a component just like the Air (or Army - may be more appropriate) National Guard: Commanded at the state level by a General, appointed by that state's governor.  OR, Civil Air Patrol becomes part of the Air National Guard, with a command structure developed under the Air National Guard chain of command.

 >:D

Third. At the national level, an overhead steering or coordinating board appointed by the SECDEF (or SECAF) and DHS to oversee state-to-state coordination of resource response when resources are Federalized. (And when I say "Federalized", I mean activated under a USAF assigned mission, not what 'Federalized' normally means.)  Under this intended reorganization, membership is still all volunteer, but since coming under Air (or Army) National Guard Command, membership dues are no longer required.

More?


Starting from a clean-slate isn't always pretty to start with, but sometimes the finished product comes out much better until the demand for the next 'clean-slate' comes around  ;)


Cheers,
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Donald A. Beckett, Lt Col, CAP
Commander
MER-NC-143
Gill Rob Wilson #1891
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,660

« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 03:04:13 PM »

First.  Repeal the statute making Civil Air Patrol a private, not-for-profit. 

This would have significant tax implications for our members.  Unless your other suggestions come with better expense compensation (i.e. uniform / equipment issue, per diem, etc.), that's an issue (though it could be accommodated in the new charter).

My guess, though, that with all the public emphasis about fund-raising, that would be a non-starter without at least double our current appropriation.
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Al Sayre
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,514
Unit: SER-MS-001

Mississippi Wing
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 03:14:06 PM »

Here are my initial thoughts FWIW


Voting rights limited to SM's & voting via e-services login.  This should minimize any strong arm tactics at the wing level and below.

Requirement for all positions is completion of level 3 + 5 years of membership.  Grade is not a factor.  Appointed to Col upon election to NB or NEC.

1.  WG/CC's elected by wing SM's to 3 yr term, term limited to 2 consecutive terms.
          WG/CC sits on NB.  Can only be removed by:
          a.  Recall election by Wing Membership
          b.  For cause/misconduct  by Nat/CC with BOG Concurrence with reason/investigation presented to wing membership

2.  NEC nominated by NB, and elected by: Plurality of regional membership + Majority of NB members in Region to 5 yr Term,
     1 term only.
         Reg/CC sits on NEC but has no vote on NB  Can only be removed by:
          a.  Recall election by Electorate
          b.  For cause/misconduct by Nat/CC with BOG Concurrence with reason/investigation presented to Nat'l membership

3. Nat/CC & Nat/CV nominated  by NB elected by Plurality of Nat'l membership + Majority of NB to 4 Year term  1 term only. 
    Nat CC & CV sit on NEC and have no vote on NB.  Can only be removed by
          a.  Recall election by Electorate
          b.  For cause/misconduct by BOG with NB Concurrence with reason/investigation presented to Nat'l membership.
   
4.  BOG stays but CAP appointed membership is  3, 1 appointed by NB, 2 elected by Nat'l Membership.
     Up to two 3 year terms, removal same as for Nat/CC &CV
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Lt Col Al Sayre
MS Wing Staff Dude
Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
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