Sda Achievement 9

Staff Duty AnalysisAchievement 9 – Flight Commander

Part A: Overview of Requirements

CAP Publications Applicable to Cadet Flight Commander


No CAP regulations are listed for this OPR


No CAP pamphlets are listed for this OPR


No CAP forms are listed for this OPR

Suspense’s Required of Flight Commander

The Flight Commander has no suspense’s of his or her own, but must manage his or her staff suspense’s. They must monitor the Flight Sergeant, as well as the Element Leaders to make sure that they are performing their duties. This information must be then reported to the Cadet Commander, as per the Squadron Chain of Command.

Performance Requirements for this SDA

Interview any leader on the subject of “taking charge.” Report what you learned from the interview in the SDA report and in a 3-5 minute speech to cadets in your unit. (See Attachment 1) List five common uniform discrepancies and explain what the correct standard actually is. Reference the appropriate CAP regulation and paragraph. (See Attachment 2)

Part B: Narrative

What are the essential duties of the Flight Commander? The Flight Commander is one of the core units in a larger Squadron Chain of Command. They operate the most basic CAP unit, the flight. The Flight Commander takes some of the duties of command off of the Cadet Commander’s shoulders.

How does the Flight Commander help the squadron fulfill its mission? Without the Flight Commander, the Flights could not operate. The cadet corps would possibly fail. Or, the Cadet Commander would be forced to take on all of the responsibilities that would have been shared. How does this position affect cadets or the overall Cadet Program? This is the basic unit for cadet leadership. It is often the first command position held by a cadet officer. Without the flight commander, cadets would not have someone to report to, and the Cadet Commander would be without the assistance provided.

What Leadership skills do Flight Commanders need most to succeed? The Flight Commanders must hold all of the Leadership Skills dictated in Leadership: 2000. Communication, knowledge, planning, customs & courtesies, and teaching are all important skills that Flight Commanders need to have.

Attachment 1:

I interviewed Insert Name about his long and distinguished CAP Cadet career. He has been awarded the Spaatz Achievement, the grade of Cadet Colonel. He also served as Cadet Encampment Commander for Insert Wing Encampment in Insert Year . Insert Name has also received the cadet of the year award the same year. I had no doubt that Insert Name knows how important “taking charge” is.

On the subject of taking charge, Insert Name said:

Taking charge is especially critical for leaders as being a leader means being in charge. If you passively allow problems to develop, where a solution could have been successfully implemented, you have failed in this duty. A leader must be able to say “follow me” or he isn’t one. By taking charge, you become intimately aware of the problem and its solutions, whilst increasing the respect of your men for your leadership abilities, presuming you actually know what you are doing. This seems the best advice I have come upon in my Civil Air Patrol career. It is absolutely right that a leader must have followers.

This information ties back into the beginning units of the Leadership manuals, the differences between followers and leaders. Leaders must have followers, and to get these followers, leaders must be able to take charge and say “follow me”. As stated, this also helps with problem solving, where by taking charge, you become closer to the problem, and able to study it from every angle. A weak leader will garner little respect; one who takes charge and makes active decisions will be respected by his troops.

Attachment 2:

Civil Air Patrol cadets often believe myths found on the internet when it comes to preparing their uniforms. There are many common discrepancies that I have found when inspecting the cadet corps. However, these five are the most often discovered failures:

Misaligned BDU grade insigniaIt is common to see cadets with their grade insignia aligned with the long edge of their BDU collar, this is incorrect. Proper placement (1 inch from and parallel to the short edge of the collar) is shown in the CAPM 39-1 in Figure 6-2. Misaligned Blues grade insignia.

As with BDUs, cadets often place blues grade insignia 90 degrees off, with the short edges of the chevrons facing up and down. Proper placement (Horizontal across the collar) is shown in the CAPM 39-1 in Figure 6-6 Unpolished boots and dress shoes.

This is often an issue because cadets do not know how to properly polish their shoes. CAPM 39-1 states in Table 2-1 on line 7 and Table 2-2 on line 8 that Combat Boots and Low Quarter Foot wear must be “Highly polished, high gloss, or patent leather” Improper ribbon order

Cadets often believe that the ribbons they wear need not be in any order, this is incorrect. Proper order is given in CAPM 39-1 Table 5-1 for cadets, CAPM 39-1 Table 5-2 for seniors Multiple shoulder cords

I have seen cadets wearing two shoulder cords, this is incorrect. “Not more than one shoulder cord will be worn at one time, and it will be worn on the left shoulder” CAPM 39-1 paragraph 5-5.