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Oklahoma Wing Conducts a Training Leaders of Cadets Course

February 29, 2020

Top: (L-R) TLC Instructor 1st Lt. David Barbee explains to senior members the critical aspects of cadet retention and recruiting program. (Photos: 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw)

by 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw, CAP, Oklahoma Wing

JENKS, Okla. – On Jan. 25, 2020, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members from units around the state met in Jenks to attend the Oklahoma Wing presentation of Training Leaders of Cadets (TLC). This is the premiere training venue for cadet program officers to learn how to better mentor cadets and be more effective managers of cadet squadrons. The course is part of a 3-course program and a component of the Cadet Program Officers Specialty Track. All adult members are encouraged to receive this training so as to gain a better understanding of the cadet program and how to retain and recruit youth.

The 20 members in attendance learned to articulate the cadet program vision, which includes referencing the key traits of cadet life, the program elements, and the outcomes each produces, as well as an explanation of the cadet promotion process.

Lecture, discussion and practical exercises included explaining the roles and responsibilities of cadet program officers serving at the squadron level, with special emphasis on leadership dynamics. Members learned that the adult’s role changes when the cadet staff’s readiness changes. Among other subjects, attendees learned the operating principles for the squadron-level cadet program, including Cadet Great Start, weekly meetings, cadet activities, and using the Quality Cadet Unit Award as a self-assessment and managerial tool.

Enid Composite Squadron’s 1st Lt. Doug Griffith said that the course was beneficial on highlighting the need in composite squadrons to integrate senior members and cadets in its activities, and to make it enjoyable for both cadets and senior members. Griffith, who has risen through the ranks as a cadet, now serves as an officer in the program.

“We need to meld cadets and senior members in emergency services and flying programs, and use it as a squadron recruiting and retention tool,” Griffith said. “It is vital to recruiting to get the whole unit involved. I have seen units fail and lose members by not instilling this principle,” he added.

Assistant Instructor 1st Lt. David Barbee said, “This class is critical for building a foundation for adult leaders to get involved in the cadet program. I was highly encouraged by class participation and the willingness of class members to get involved in the cadet program.”

Course Director Maj. Tina Nazarian, a member of the Broken Arrow Composite Squadron, said that she was happy about how many squadrons from around the state had participated in the training.

“I felt the seven instructors involved did an excellent job at presenting the material. The interaction and feedback from the attendees, sharing their experiences, benefited the entire class,” said Nazarian.

Oklahoma Wing encourages unit commanders to send adult members to TLC training (units with cadets are required to have at least two TLC graduates on their roster). Oklahoma Wing provides the course at least once yearly.

Below: (L-R) SM Mike Williams, Capt. Benny Davis, Lt. Col. Scott McCarty, Capt. Robert Platner, 2d Lt. Ted Chapman and 1st Lt. Doug Griffith discuss options during one of the many practical scenarios during the TLC course.


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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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