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The Transition Generation

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We are members of the transition generation.
(Before I begin, I know i'm going to get flak for talking about the CPU in a not so positive light. It always seems to happen..)

Every-day I'm on cadet-world I hear the argument; "The CPU sucks." Every-time I hear about a new CATO getting changed/revamped/updated -> "CPU Sucks!" . Whenever we're tagging , and we hear stories from an "old-timer" who was a cadet "back in the day (90's, early 2000's)"->After a godly recollection from the tagee, We YELL "CPU Sucks!" (In the back of our mind of course).

After all this, The inner scientist in me of-course wanted to know why. Why..Why do we hate the CPU so much? Well, I suppose it's normal, as humans we thrive on routine. A set way of doing things, we like it because we know how to "play it" well, and thus in how to teach the future how to play it well, as well.. Having joined in 06' , we hate the CPU, because To (most of ) us, it feels like The very morals, traditions and fabrics of the program that we joinedand grew up with, is being changed and ( in some cases) extinguished.

Being told and reminded every night both verbally and implied that

"you've got to work HARD to earn your rank. You have to show exceptional motivation, dedication. Attendance isn't enough" was enough to instill that sense of drive and pride to all of us little 12 year old tomcruiserambowithouttheactualdanger wannabe's. [Tangent] Knowing that we were going to have to rely on blood, sweat, tears and even a little bit of luck to get us to those godly 2 chevrons was an exciting feeling, and a quest that made achieving that sacred gas-station-logo-on-a-piece-of-fabric that much sweeter. I remember as an AC, sitting in my living-room one night after cadets looking at my tunic thinking:

"I want those two chevrons, and I'm going to get it"

Once again, I start asking myself "why". Why did i feel like that?

Well back in the day, it was because I admired my corporals. They COMMANDED our respect and we KNEW that when they were around; we have our game faces on or else... At the same time, we knew that they were our "go-to's" , as much as they seemed like they "loved to yell" , they genuinely cared for us.
-- after asking myself why, I realize that there was a different reason, one that my unbloomed 12 year old mind didn't realize back then.
I realized I wanted corporal, because I thought of it as my platform to lead. ( Yes, that totally goes against the motto we teach where we say that " a rank doesn't make a leader" but hear me out ). When I joined cadets, I was a shy kid. I was oh-so afraid of peoples perception(s) of me that I tried to be neutral as much as possible and thus was "quiet". --BUT; when those 2 chevrons were on your sleeve ( or my shoulder) that gave me the "feeling". That feeling where it give you this voice repeating in the back of your head " You are CORPORAL ______. You are an NCO of ______ Squadron. Cadets look up to you, and it is your job to lead them ".

[/Tangent] Okay, finishing off on my tangent; Here we go: Knowing that I'd worked hard to achieve my rank made wanna work that much harder WITH my new rank. Tell me that you're gonna hear the same thing from the newly promoted corporals or Flight corporals you see today.

Also, I liked the whole "working for your rank" aspect of cadets because it actually "mirrored" real life. You tell me; in what workplace or job do you get promoted just for attendance?

My second major beef , is with the extinction of most of the "National Courses". SLC and AIC to be exact ( and before I get stuck with the stereotype " SLC4EverStuckUpDreamer" hear me out. ) The two biggest things I loved about SLC was; The Traditions (Which I won't be talking about because "the love for traditions" has been beat to death ) and 2: Meeting with and bonding with cadets from other parts of the country. It greatly increased my perception of the rest of the country and sure-as-hell raised my level of nationalism within.

SO: back to my intro statement. "We are members of a transition generation".
The reason that we are not fond of the CPU, is because it changes what we were enstilled as the values of this program.

When we joined:
-We were told that we had to "work" for our "promotions"
-National courses were THE epiphany of cadet achievement for some of us.
-The Traditions of "National" courses were so holy, not only because we got to become an exclusive group of people in the world that got to know and experience them, but its also because we realized we were part of a bigger picture. I can't imagine how joyous it would've been to see Kids doing the shuffle when I'm an officer.

Those are all gone ( yes there are new different things don't get me wrong)

We hate the CPU, because as members of the "Transition generation" , we are at an awkward and dis-advantaged stage in teaching our cadets. Back in the day, our instructors would take pride in saying " Yeah I went to AIC *bla bla bla* ' and " you gotta work hard to get _____", and we would look in awe because we could see living proof of it infront of us. But; for us, we can't do that.

The CPU creates a small temporary rift in the relatibility within the generations.

We can no longer tell our cadets about our Experiences in national courses, because frankly they have no reason to listen as they'll never get to experience it.

Our experiences at camp will be different, I mean you can't even say "so you know the grey pt right? so me and my buddy ------" anymore because there ARE no more grey t-shirts.

But as I said; this is a temporary rift. Just like the transition generation(s) before us that existed, these woes and moans will only be cried for so long. It'll only be a matter of time before all of the "old generation" is gone , and when it changes from being the "cpU" to just the CP (Cadet Program) and great people make that program as great as IT can be. But yes, it's Only a matter of time...only a matter of time before no one new will know what a "shuffle is" , or know about the time when "ribbons were worn on the right". Only a matter of time before you'll ever hear kids saying " Oh man, y'know those grey pt shirts.."

Everybody hates transition, but after all "Change is inevitable" right?


  1. Lt(N) Deck -
    Lt(N) Deck's Avatar

    great blog entry! I have replied with my own thoughts on a blog entry here.

  2. DrillGOD822 -
    DrillGOD822's Avatar
    Wow, man, as if though you read every small bit of my mind regarding this topic. Truly amazing! And I agree.
  3. nielsenk -
    nielsenk's Avatar
    excellent outlook
    totally agree!
  4. the8888 -
    the8888's Avatar
    You've explained what a lot of people felt but could not put into words, the transitional generation say cadets will go downhill, but thats only because we have the ability to compare it to the old program. As disapointing as it is for cadets not to understand instantly how prestigious it is to be a graduate of a national course from the old program is a shame, but the new generation will fit right in to the program. We got snuffed, but hey, C'est la vie
  5. sam.shepherd2379 -
    sam.shepherd2379's Avatar
    I like your post and I understand and agree with quite a bit of what you're saying; however you lost me at the end.

    At the end you admitted that the new generations will like it because they don't know what they'll be missing. If a child lives in isolation and never has the taste of candy, he'll never want candy. But for us it's like having tasted candy and having it taken away.

    When old cadets from 10+ years ago come in to visit my corps I listen to what they have to say, and listen to all the things they did when they were in cadets, and I think to myself, "I'm ****** at these changes, imagine how he would feel!". Cadets in the past got to do so much more than we do, and that got taken away. Now they're taking even more away, and you're opinion (correct me if I'm wrong) is "it's okay the younger cadets won't know what they're missing!". I'm sorry but I just don't feel that way.
  6. Waffle -
    Waffle's Avatar
    You've either mis-interpreted; or I have failed in delivering my thoughts( Probably the latter )

    I share the same opinion as you; as I am deeply upset that so much is/has been taken away, but the .."attitude" I've presented in the last paragraph is one that apparently we must ( and many others seem to be ) adapt (ing) or else; get left behind.. Certainly; thats the attitude I've been getting from many officers , CW and IRL:

    "Yeah you may think change sucks, but deal with it. Hold it close to your heart bla bla bla , because in a few years; no one's going to remember it, so there's no point in trying to fight it."

    I think it was actually Lt(N) Molitor that posted a quote a few weeks (?) ago that sums it up (In was written WRT medal orientation changes, but apply that to the same scenario):

    "In 5 years from now, the disgruntled thoughts of many will be a quiet chatter and usually started with, "back when I was a cadet".

    In 10 years from now, the disgruntled thoughts of many will be a murmur and usually started with, "in the old days".

    15 years from now, no one will remember that the medals were ever worn on the left side.

    Change isn't a bad thing"

    I'm just saying that; some people have taken the stance that " Change is happening, and has happened. So stop talking about the old days because they aren't ever coming back, and what good is it going to do for the new cadets to hear about it? they're never gonna experience it , and are just going to feel resentment about their current program ( as you said you feel when you hear old cadets speak) and that isn't helping anything or anyone" and while that is logically sound; it just feels a little like a slap to the face for some people who hold experiences from before ; dear to their heart.
    Updated 29th December 2011 at 21:24 by Waffle (forgot to add stuff in)