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Cadet First Sergeant Guide (1999)

Cadet First Sergeant Guide (1999)

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Published by CAP History Library
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol

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Published by: CAP History Library on May 06, 2011
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CAPM SSS-011 Jan 1999
CadetFirst Sergeant’sGuide
Okay, you've been appointed the squadron First Sergeant. You'vepinned the diamond on above your chevrons. You've been given an in-boxand maybe a drawer in a desk in the Cadet Programs office. And now youstand in front of the formation and report to the Cadet Commander.You are the ‘First Shirt’ or ‘First Skirt’. Tradition says that thisname came about because in the field all company personnel would be inutilities except for the First Sergeant, who would often have to go tobattalion back in garrison to do business. Therefore he would wear anoffice uniform. That difference became his trademark and his nicknamebecame the First Shirt or Skirt. Eventually this was shortened to just ‘TheShirt’ or ‘The Skirt’.So what are you going to do now, First Sergeant? What are yourduties? What should your duties be? How should you interact with theCadet Commander? What should be your relationship with the otherNCOs? How should you be in front of the Cadets? How do you get alongwith the Leadership Officer and Deputy Commander for Cadets?In the military, a First Sergeant will normally have fifteen ortwenty years in the service. This is more than any company commander islikely to have. You, however, will normally have less time and experiencein CAP than your commander will. In most cases, your Cadet Commanderhas held your position at one time or another. But don't worry! Youprobably know what you need to know in order to get your job done! Andwhat you don't know you can learn.This document is not just for the new First Sergeant. It is alsowritten for the Cadet Commander or Deputy Commander for Cadets who’snot quite sure what to do with that new First Sergeant. Hopefully, this willhelp them to utilize the new resource they have to call on.The job of First Sergeant carries a heavy weight of responsibility.The Cadets in the squadron should depend on the First Sergeant more thananyone else they depend on. He is charged with their welfare and chargedwith the day-to-day business of their program. Not even the CadetCommander has as much responsibility to them.This Guide is structured in a way that made sense to me. It iswritten more for reading than for reference. It is supposed to make youthink and consider your methods and behaviors. And, perhaps, to give youhints on how to do your job in a professional and effective manner.Through out the Guide are italicized quotes from participants inthe Cadet First Sergeant’s thread that ran in CAP-Cadet in October of 1997. Most of the commentators are or were First Sergeants. Some inCAP, some in the armed services. I gratefully accepted their wisdom andused it to guide my own hand. My sincere thanks to all the contributorsand participants!So, sit down and read on. I hope this Guide will be as fun andinformative for you to read as it was for me to research and create.Capt Shawn Stanford, CAP

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