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Wing-Wide Cadet Training Weekend

Cadet Training Weekend
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Airman-Cadets in the Airman School doing a team building exercise (click image to view full size)
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Basic to Advanced Cadet Training

NC-Cadets and senior members from across the wing traveled to North Carolina Wing Headquarters (Nov. 24, 2013) in order to participate in the wing’s first Cadet Training Weekend (CTW). The event was organized by C/Lt Col Jared Mohler from OH-139 and Maj Michael Staples from NC-022. 

So what is CTW you may ask? CTW is an amazing opportunity for brand new basic cadets all the way to up to cadet colonels to advance their education, not only in CAP, but in leadership skills that will benefit them beyond their careers in CAP.

Cadets attended either the Airman School, Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) School, or as staff for the event. Col “Tink” Schaffer, former cadet, Squadron Commander of the Winston-Salem Composite Squadron, North Carolina Wing Commander, and Middle East Region Vice Commander, made a guest appearance to interact with the cadets. He told cadets, “You can be what you want in life, but being in CAP gives you a leg up in life.” He also talked about how his experiences in CAP provided him the leadership foundation for his education and career. CTW is designed to help establish and strengthen that foundation. 

Cadets that attended the Airman School participated in a variety of classes, from shoe-shining and pressing their uniforms, to team building exercises, to developing personal goals. In the Tips on Encampmen" Class, cadets learned that encampment is not only a great experience, but a way to jump-start their CAP career. Some cadets have trouble spending a week away from home, and that stress can take a toll on them. Capt Michel advised cadets, “Just take it one day at a time.”

In the Customs and Courtesies class cadets learned how to call the room to attention, proper saluting etiquette, and how to respect the uniform they wear. These young cadets are able to take this information back to their home squadrons and begin to share their knowledge with other new cadets.           

While new cadets were learning the ropes in the Airman School, other cadets were learning how to make the transition from followership to leadership in the NCO School. C/Maj Jonathan Knapp, the Flt/CC for the NCO School said, “It is our goal to train these NCOs to be our replacement in the future.” Instead of learning to “participate,” they learned how to lead activities such as PT, drill, and classroom instruction. In the Speech Presentation class, cadets showed their ability to write and present a seven to ten minute speech on a given topic, after being given about 45 minutes to plan.

C/TSgt Luke Muma had this to say in his speech about motivation: “Motivation not only gets things done, but it can inspire everyone to rise above the duty, or status quo.” They also learned that there will be times they are confronted with obstacles, but they still have to handle themselves in a professional way, while still getting the job done.          

Comprised of an incredible group of young people, the cadet staff organized, planned, and taught 95% of the classes for the CTW. They left senior members with very little to do. Even though they may not have realized it, the cadet staff learned as well. They learned the importance of planning, what worked well, and what they might need to change for the future. As they led, their leadership skills were strengthened.

Maj Michael Staples, Commander of the event stated, “I am proud to report we have successfully provided the foundation we were hoping for. I couldn’t be more proud with the success of the students and the wealth of knowledge they have absorbed.”  There may be another CTW offered this spring, so be on the lookout. If you missed it this time, you want to make sure you attend the next time around!


Photography by:  C/SMSgt Gravley NC-082