Squadron HealthBy 1st Lt. Mark Silver, CAP Reno Composite Squadron
We are volunteers. We are benevolent people who are making our communities better by engaging our cadets to leaders. The communities we serve are better with the emergency services we provide. Our Aviation community is better by introducing aerospace education that will continue to create job opportunities and further the education of the cadet program. The squadrons in our great state of Nevada are the background of what Civil Air Patrol can do for our communities. So the health of the squadron is paramount in achieving our goals.
The squadron is a living, breathing, hungry entity that we need to take care of. The air it breathes is our enthusiasm to get all the jobs done. It craves sustenance from us in the form of sweat equity in filing the papers and following procedures. It grows with inclusiveness of every member. It thrives when we all do our part to make a success no matter how small. It matures with our members advancing in their respective specialty tracks. Professionalism is what we achieve when all this comes together.
Conversely, if we do not "feed" it, if we don't supply the "air" for it to breathe, if we allow just a few parts to carry the entire load the squadron is open to disease in the form of burnout, resentment, lack of cooperation, and apathy. The results are a poorly functioning unit that is unable to meet its goals and training. It puts people in danger by overloading individuals to the point where to the point where important items can be missed. When the squadron "body" grows fatigued it is prone to mistakes or begins to neglect vital areas the need support. There are things we can do to prevent the illness from taking hold in our squadrons.
Speak up. We have regular squadron meetings. Attendance by the members allows us to communicate face to faIf, in your position in the squadron, you are overloaded or just need a break you have the chance in a meeting to throw out a lifeline. Someone needs to grab the other end. They may not need you to submerse yourself in their duties, but sometimes a break or sharing the load makes all the difference. Little things matter. Who picks up after a meeting? Who cleans up the coffee pot? Spirits can be lifted by those little words: "What can I do to help?" Not every job takes a professional pilot. New members, do be afraid to say, "I don't know anything about what you do, but what can I do to help?" It is a great way to get started and find your niche in the program. We all can do our part to make squadrons healthy.
Just like the aircraft and vans, the squadron needs maintenance. If a squadron has a "cold", do not let it get worse. Let's step up and nurse it back to health with some understanding and can do attitude. Likewise, if your squadron is healthy do not get complacent thinking it does not need anything to keep going. We are the blood of the squadron. We bring it to life. We are responsible to keep it alive. With healthy squadrons we can keep the "ecosystem" of the Nevada Wing moving forward and making it the best in the west!