12:40 PM

New Guidelines Stress Senior Member Character, Leadership

Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
National Marketing and Communications Team

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith was loud and clear on the importance he placed on the organization’s core values shortly after becoming Civil Air Patrol’s national commander and CEO.

“Civil Air Patrol’s core values comprise the ethical fabric that holds our organization together,” Smith said in his command philosophy, issued Sept. 2, 2017. “Our high standard of ethics set us apart from other organizations and garners trust from those with whom we interact, whether locally or at the national level.

“Every member of Civil Air Patrol must embrace our core values and put them to practice continuously.”

The drive to reinforce and teach those core values – Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence and Respect – was the impetus for developing CAP Pamphlet 80-3, recently approved and released by the organization.

Titled Character and Leadership, the pamphlet is intended to be a training and teaching resource for senior members.

It was created to help “engage senior members in a meaningful learning experience through the use of case studies to apply the core values of Civil Air Patrol to both their personal and professional lives,” the introduction to CAPP 80-3 reads.

The pamphlet includes 20 case studies that simulate real-life CAP membership scenarios, which training participants are encouraged to evaluate through the “Six Steps to Ethical Decision-Making” and “PLUS” models.

The Six Step model calls for members to:

  • Define the problem;
  • Identify available alternate solutions to the problem;
  • Evaluate the identified alternatives;
  • Make the decision;
  • Implement the decision; and
  • Evaluate the decision‚Äč

The PLUS model calls for members to use these filters in making decisions:

  •  Policies: Is it consistent with CAP policies, procedures and guidelines?
  • Legal: Is it acceptable under applicable laws and regulations?
  • Universal: Does the action conform to universal principles and values adopted by CAP?
  • Self: Does it satisfy my personal definition of right, good and fair?

Col. Joe Smith, commander of CAP’s Southwest Region, was asked by Gen. Smith in 2018 to lead a working group to develop the pamphlet. The goal, he said, was to help members handle varied situations with a consistently high level of ethical behavior.

“CAP has an outstanding character development program for our cadets, helping to instill in them the ethical underpinnings that will help them to be successful in their adult lives,” Col. Smith said. “However, for our senior members, we assume that everyone embraces and understands our core values. This may not be the case.”

The working group included commanders, senior staff members, chaplains and squadron-level members, Col. Smith said. At its core were materials provided by CAP’s Chaplain Corps, which he said “had already been working on this project for several years.”

Col. Smith said, “The team reviewed this product, made some edits and added some material. We also reviewed it with the idea of incorporating this process in the senior member professional development program.”

In addition to the pamphlet, he said, several team members made curriculum contributions to Col. Regena Aye’s Leadership Development Working Group. Aye is commander of CAP’s North Central Region.

CAPF 80-3 was turned over to Chaplain (Col.) Charles Sattgast, then chief of the CAP Chaplain Corps and now assistant chief, to champion it through the approval process with National Headquarters.

In addition to Col. Smith and Sattgast, the working group included:

  • Cols. Curtis Boehmer of the Michigan Wing; Eugene Egry of the Mid-Atlantic Region; Mike Lee, commander of the New Mexico Wing; and David Roberts, commander of the Oklahoma Wing.
  • Lt. Cols. Alisha Cope of the Rocky Mountain Region, Roger Eaton of the Kansas Wing, Corey Hamilton and Larry Julian of the Southeast Region and Harriet Smith of the Southwest Region.
  • Maj. Wilma Gerena of the Nebraska Wing.
  • Chaplain (Lt. Cols.) Nancy Smalley of the Southwest Region and Ronny Whitt of National Headquarters.
  • Former Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Paul Ward.

Col. Smith said a quote from Chaplain Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin, chief of the U.S. Air Force's Chaplain Corps, helped guide the group: “Ethics is not a problem to be solved, it is a mission to be accomplished.”