Saturday, February 04, 2006


This morning my Civil Air Patrol squadron had it's "subordinate unit inspection (SUI)," in which a team from the Wing's Inspector General's Office comes to the squadron and begins tearing through our records (or, more precisely, ordering us to tear through our records while they watch). The intent is to ensure that we are following all of the Air Force's regulations -- and believe me, there are a huge, huge number of them. We've been preparing for about three weeks, but we just had a change of command and most of us were appointed to the jobs we would have to "defend" to the IG folks at that time. That's not a lot of time to read and understand 500-600 pages of regulations! And, as reported earlier, I'm a sucker and agreed to take on two jobs to help out the squadron.

Overall, we did well. Our administration officer was pretty screwed up, sorting all of his big pile of records on the table 15 minutes before the inspection started (and in full view of all the inspectors). Needless to say, that didn't make us look very good from the start. My first review was with my communications officer hat on, but since we don't yet really have a communications program, that mostly consisted of telling the inspector what I would do once we get assigned a radio. This inspector was a friend of mine too, as it turned out, so that went pretty smoothly. For the professional development officer review, however, I drew the assistant IG for the entire Wing. He was ... thorough. We went page by page through records that I had reconstructed from web searches (in theory, these records should have been maintained over the years, but weren't). He compared them to a list he had and had me explain the discrepancies (there were a few). I showed him the organization system I had come up with, along with the training library (in hard copy and on a USB stick) I had put together. Most of this was done from scratch over the past week -- I literally had nothing to go on. After keeping me on the hot plate (with the burner on "high") for half an hour, he finally finished up some notes and said, "Lieutenant, you've certainly got your act together." He said as much to the squadron commander, too, which was gratifying, since I don't thing the commander realized just how much work had to go into to getting all this stuff ready.

So overall, it was a good event, and I definitely appreciated the "attaboy." We don't get enough of those as adults, I don't think. I'm still not sure I like being part of the Air Force, though. Okay, I am CERTAIN I don't want to be part of the Air Force, what I'm not sure about is whether the hassle is worth the benefits of CAP. Something for me to think about. I'm not sure CAP is really doing much for me, in spite of the fact that I'm pouring a lot of effort into it. We'll just have to see. No more inspections for two years, though! Whew!

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