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Commendables & Best Practices

A major component of the Subordinate Unit Compliance Inspection program is the identification of best practices that can be shared throughout the organization. 

For the past several years, in order to be identified as a "Commendable" during an inspection the activity or process needs to save time, money, or otherwise be so successful in pursuit of the goals of the Civil Air Patrol that is should be replicated. Some of the items identified as commendable prior to this definition may fall short of this threshold, or may just be successful accomplishment of the unit staff's job as described in regulations. In the latter case, consider this best practice as a description of a successful program that may be build-upon. 

If anyone has a recommendation for an additional best-practice to share, outside of those identified during an SUI, please don't hesitate to share.

A-1: Aerospace Education

  • (OR-007, 2014)  Unit provides a weekly community AE activity by hosting tours of a C97 aircraft on display at Medford Airport. This is a repeatable way of engaging the community and the relationship has been ongoing for several years.

  • (OR-016, 2014)  The AE program has grown to incorporate lessons and activities beyond the AEX program. The former and current AEO have brought in activities and presenters from outside to enhance the AE program with fun experiments, science projects, and engineering lessons including Arduino circuits and basic robotics design.

  • (OR-034, 2015)  The unit has AE activities that includes both seniors and cadets in such activities as quad copter building. They also work with the EAA at a monthly activity to promote AE and CAP in the community.

  • (OR-034, 2015)  The AEO teaches aerospace at other wings within the region and AE schools.

  • (OR-034, 2015)  The unit has many activities for the members to participate in such as manning a recruiting booth at the Hillsboro Air Show, tour of Air National Guard bases, and assisting at a monthly EAA fly-in.

  • (OR-037, 2021)  The unit has an excellent relationship with home-school and private school groups, with consistent opportunity to pursue the external Aerospace Education mission with these parties.

  • (OR-042, 2020)  The current unit Aerospace Education Officer is leveraging their ongoing relationships as Trustee of the Valley Inquiry Charter School, as a previous educator in the charter school community, and as a professional in after-school programming to expand the use of CAP AE resources in the community.

  • (OR-050, 2013)  The unit has a very active radio controlled model program, and the cadets have built several flying models as an AE project. Three unit cadets have pursued flight training, with one completing his sport pilot rating, and one cadet training for his glider pilot rating.

  • (OR-050, 2013)  The PDO has organized and maintained a variety of training opportunities, including a “Yeager-meister” pizza party, where members work on the AEPSM (Yeager) award. He has also organized training events for the ICS 300 and ICS 400 courses, first aid courses, a new member jump start program, and a “Mission Pilot Pathway” guiding potential CAP mission pilots through the steps to complete their mission pilot training. The PDO has taken the responsibility to organize a wing wide Squadron Leadership School and Corporate Learning Course.

  • (OR-050, 2015)  Strong and proactive AE program both for Cadets and outreach to local model clubs. Unit has very strong internal and external AE programs, with many hands-on activities (RC models, construction of an experimental a/c, quadcopters, etc) and outreach to local groups. Unit CC works in a hobby store, so discounts are available to unit members on many RC and model materials.

  • (OR-065, 2019) The unit has created a computer program called Aerospace Challenge. This is a quiz-show style tool for engaging AE students that can be deployed to other units, saving them time and improving the effectiveness and interest of their AE programs.

  • (OR-042, 2020)  The current unit Aerospace Education Officer is leveraging their ongoing relationships as Trustee of the Valley Inquiry Charter School, as a previous educator in the charter school community, and as a professional in after-school programming to expand the use of CAP AE resources in the community.  

B-1: Cadet Programs

  • (OR-034, 2013) The unit has an online tracking system for attendance, advancement, requests for promotions boards and an activities calendar that can be accessed by members at any time.

  • (OR-037, 2015)  This squadron employs a Cadet promotion chart that takes up a whole wall. It tracks the Cadets in the same manner as the Cadet Super Chart. Ideally, this would be a good idea for all squadrons in ORWG to produce locally.

  • (OR-042, 2014)  The CDC sends a welcoming letter to all new cadet members with a list of activities and operations to complete in eServices. Each cadet member is also given a Standard Operations Procedure handout to familiarize them with CAP procedures and protocols.

  • (OR-055, 2013)  This squadron has an SOP pamphlet/handbook for all cadets to keep track of their progress and activities/ accomplishments.

  • (OR-065, 2015)  Unit has cyber patriot team, color guard team, many AE opportunities including flight simulator, and drones.

  • (OR-065, 2021)  The unit’s meeting content in the COVID-19 environment has included a variety of compelling guest speakers, including the national commander.

  • (OR-073, 2014)  This unit’s Cadets participate as staff for an event called Camp Rosenbaum.  This is a program for underprivileged and at-risk youth, held annually at Camp Rilea, on the Oregon coast.

  • (OR-099, 2014)  This unit has a highly effective system to monitor hydration during Cadet activities, and local weather is closely monitored to gauge what activities may, or may not, be indicated. This unit also uses a “go kit” of sorts to have all necessary Cadet forms, such as CAPF 161s handy at all activities. This unit also has a physical training kit assembled for fitness activities.

C-2: Communications

  • (OR-042, 2016)  The unit is in the process of building a permanent communications "shack" in their new meeting location. 

  • (OR-055, 2015)  Unit communication officer has done an effective job integrating cadets into the communications program. Cadets are trained and capable in setting up the unit's high frequency radio system, and has been able to increase cadet participation in the communications net activities.

D-1: Education and Training

  • (OR-037, 2015)  Personnel records include an “advancement tracker,” a highly effective concept/technique that exceed(s) mission requirements by encouraging Senior Members to monitor and progress in their professional development.

D-2: Chaplain

  • No best practices shared at this time.

D-3: Finance

  • (OR-034, 2021) The unit has demonstrated exceptional foresight by taking advantage of their fundraising and donations to set aside 10 years' worth of building expenses (i.e., the lease and nominal utility charges from the Port of Portland).

  • (OR-114, 2019)  This unit has a standard template for recording the minutes of Finance Committee Meetings, saving significant time and energy for unit members. This is an innovation that should be shared throughout the Oregon Wing.

D-4: Administration

  • (OR-007, 2018)  This labeling system for hard-copy files includes folder labels with destruction/disposition dates on them. Such labeling is efficient, effective, and saves volunteer hours by making it easy to maintain their files. It is recommended that the ORWG Commander encourage other units to consider adopting this system if they do not have a similar one already.

  • (OR-034 2013)  The unit DA has developed a paperless records and communications system, with all pertinent items stored on computer. Back ups of all data are made quarterly and kept securely and separately from the original files.

  • (OR-085, 2014)  The file plan is color coded for hard copy, electronic copy, not applicable, Calendar Year and Fiscal Year.

  • (OR-085, 2014)  DA has developed a pass-down file for the next DA.

  • (OR-085, 2016)  This unit has implemented a key tracking system so that members must sign out keys for offices, vehicles, lock box, etc., and sign the key back in. If they fail to sign the key back in or lose the key the unit will take appropriate security steps.

D-5: Personnel

  • (OR-034, 2013)  The unit DP has developed a paperless records system for member personnel files, with all pertinent items stored on computer. Back ups of all data are made quarterly and kept securely and separately from the original files.

  • (OR-042, 2016)  Personnel files are color coded. Region and Wing staff members are identified by colored tags. Patron member and inactive member files are separated and colored coded. Inactive member files are dated for destruction.

D-6: Public Affairs

  • (OR-073, 2010)  The PAO utilizes Cadets as assistants. They help with articles on activities and take pictures as well.

D-7: Supply

  • (OR-034, 2021)  The unit does an admirable job of keeping their storage cabinets labelled with tags on shelves, and with pockets on the doors of the cabinets with blank CAPF 37s for immediate completion when items are checked out. The labelled cabinet and shelf position can be input into the “Location” data field in ORMS for equipment management.

  • (OR-037, 2015)  A member of this squadron has developed an inventory control program which helps keep track of items in ORMS. This program allows the user to enter items as they are being issued and keeps tabs of what has been issued, how many are in stock, when an order for an item needs to be made, etc. For squadrons who have similar supply set-ups this program, if the author would agree, would be a tremendous asset for ORWG.

  • (OR-042, 2014)  The LGS maintains an accurate inventory of uniform items, and is able to tell at any time what items and sizes are available. He is also active in retrieving uniform items back from members leaving the unit.

D-8: Transportation

  • No best practices shared at this time.

E-1: Commander

  • No best practices shared at this time.

E-2: Safety

  • (OR-034, 2015)  The Safety Officer divided the squadron into teams that created safety plans around various scenarios using ORM as their guide. They then presented the plans to the rest of the squadron for critique. He also used the team approach to a building safety inspection in which the members found and corrected safety deficiencies. Any problems found that entailed a professional-level correction would be reported and corrected later by commercial vendors. This concept builds a Safety Mentality into all the members of the squadron.

 

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