Cadet Maj. Aaron Evans makes a point during a strategic planning session.
Officers, family members and a cadet talk during a breakout session.
Maj. Pat Cruze, St. Cloud Composite Squadron commander, thanks members for attending the strategic planning session Saturday.
Photos by Maj. Richard J. Sprouse, Minnesota Wing
Maj. Richard J. Sprouse
Public Affairs Officer
St. Cloud Composite Squadron
MINNESOTA – The St. Cloud Composite Squadron has completed a strategic planning process to help guide the unit over the next few years.
The squadron’s commander, Maj. Pat Cruze, was joined by about 20 cadets, officers and family members Saturday for a discussion session focusing focused on wide-range improvements, including internal and external communications, recruiting and retention, cadet activities and scheduling. Also covered were promotion/review boards and member and family participation, as well as general conversation about other Civil Air Patrol-related topics.
“We feel like we have strong momentum right now and are looking forward to being even better in the future,” Cruze said.
“Any squadron is ‘a work in progress,’” he added, “but our current members and families are ready and able to move forward with a number of initiatives to grow the squadron further.”
The model the squadron followed over three separate meetings was a modified version of the “open space” strategic planning process:
- Step 1, in late July, saw an agenda developed.
- Step 2, conducted Aug. 11, included breakout sessions to discuss agenda items.
- For Step 3, carried out Saturday, a “Book of Proceedings” was provided to squadron members and families outlining the discussion. The book will assist the unit’s leadership team in setting future goals and objectives.
Facilitated by a squadron member, the strategic planning process drew praise from squadron members and families.
“It let the members set the agenda rather than a set of goals, objectives or priorities created purely by the squadron leadership team,” said Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Austen Smith, cadet executive officer.
“There were lots of great ideas and good discussions,” Smith said.
Cadets facilitated discussions or took detailed notes at most of the breakout sessions.
“I was both surprised and proud at how the cadets responded,” Cruze said. “You would expect most young adults to be especially nervous about leading a discussion or taking responsibility about capturing the essence of the discussion, but they were poised and prepared.
“That poise and responsibility says a lot about the strength of the CAP cadet program in developing confident, well-spoken young adults.”
He added, “The strategic plan will provide the squadron with an overall framework for action for the next few years with the intent to supply clarity, inclusivity and relevancy to our overall operation.”