Greetings. My name is Ken McConnell, and I’m the new Boise Composite Squadron Commander. When someone takes over command of an organization, it is traditional and expected that they will set a new course for the unit. In this post, I will lay out the foundations of where I’d like to take this squadron in the coming years. Squadron Commanders tend to serve for four years, so with that in mind, some of these goals will take longer than others. But I hope that together we can get many of them accomplished during my tenure. Here then, is my peek into the future of Boise Composite Squadron!
Before we can move forward, we have to get better organized as a unit. We have the tools that we need to do this, we just need to learn to use them. So one of my first priorities is changing up how we organize ourselves and how we communicate. The heart of our squadron is our calendar. It’s where we schedule events and pass on details about those events to our members. Our calendar is a Google Calendar, and everyone in the squadron with an email account has access to it. Even the general public can see the schedule on our website. What’s Boise Squadron doing next month? Check their calendar or subscribe to it. What’s the uniform next Tuesday? Check the calendar, and if you touch that day, you’ll see what the uniform is and what the schedule is for that night. Someone not able to be at the meeting? Look, there’s a notice on the calendar that SM John Doe is out this week. I’ll have to catch him next week.
The Calendar will be our town square and our guiding light for where we are going and where we have been.
Communication is more than just using a radio or a phone to contact someone. In this modern life we live, communication skills rule. He who can communicate the best, usually gets things done faster and more efficiently. We communicate in many ways, some traditional, like the phone and email, and some non-traditional like Instagram and Slack.
But all forms of communications have their place and their audience. We need to find the tools that best communicate to the audiences we seek. Perhaps Facebook is the best way to get new senior members but if you want to inspire cadet members, post your image on Instagram. Planning a new event and need to chat about it with members on non-meeting nights? Head to a Slack channel. Need to write a formal document on how to do something? Create a GoogleDoc and store it in the squadron file system. Need to make a slideshow for your class on Aerospace? Create one in GoogleDocs.
Our digital tools, both new and old will serve us well as we communicate better with our own members and with other squadrons, the Wing and the General Public.
Before we can head out into the world and do our mission as CAP members, we have to be trained. For every job, for every uniform and for every activity that we do in CAP, there is a regulation. It is every member’s responsibility to ensure that she or he is fully trained before doing their job or going on a mission.
We will organize Flight Training, Squadron Training and then we will begin to become Mission Trained in Air Operations, Ground Team Operations and Communications. Our squadron members will, over time become the best-trained CAP members in Idaho and in the Region. We will do this by getting ourselves trained, and then we will become the trainers and start to train others. Eventually, this squadron will be the training capital of CAP in our state. Need a Cadet Officer’s Course, come to Boise. Need to be Ground Team qualified? You got it, head to Boise.
It sounds a bit far-fetched right now, but this squadron is growing and our hosts, the Air Guard has noticed. Soon we will outgrow our current building, and when we do, we’ll expand into a larger building or perhaps several buildings. Whatever it takes to execute our mission to train the Wing and then the Region!
If we’ve gotten ourselves organized and trained, we’ll automatically become known as the best and most professional squadron in Idaho. Other squadrons will study how we operate, prepare and execute the key CAP missions. And we will reach out whenever possible to lift up all the squadrons of the Wing until other Wings start to emulate Idaho. This fame has already taken off. We’re the biggest squadron in the Wing and in the Region. National knows who we are and they are watching us closely. Our professionalism and our training will earn us a reputation as being the best damn squadron in CAP.
Too much you say? Perhaps. But if the vision is there, we can make it a reality with hard work and dedication. Will all this happen in four years? Maybe. Will it happen in eight years? Without a doubt.
Next post I’ll get into more specifics about the things I want us to focus on in the next few months, and the year ahead.