We pride ourselves in with having the best training experience for our cadets. This can only be accomplished by having adult escort staff. We expect 160 cadets and the more staff we have the better the training is for them and you. Please contact me if you are interested in joining our team.
Planning meetings for these training's begin in January each year, and we have tried to improve in meaningful ways from last year’s training based on feedback from staff and cadets, as well as from service members in our after action debriefs.
If you have never staffed training before, you have picked an excellent first training; if you have staffed at other training you will find that we do things a little differently at Fort Custer due to the number of training offered. Questions at appropriate times are always welcome, but if given advice or an order you don’t understand, please comply with it and follow up away from the cadets for explanations.
Most of you have served with me for many years and can attest to the importance we place on constructive feedback, and building and maintaining relationships. Each year, we do a debrief with all officers to solicit feedback for improvements; ask any officer who has staffed with us before whether we take that feedback seriously, and whether we implement recommended changes.
For others, this is your first year serving as an officer at this command, or indeed perhaps your first time serving at any training. I would like to take this opportunity to pass along our command philosophy. It’s very simple, and consists of four items: 1) LEAD BY EXAMPLE. 2) USE THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. 3) ACCOMPLISH YOUR MISSION. 4) TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE.
We lead by example in the Sea Cadet Corps and at Fort Custer in particular. We cannot expect our cadets to behave any differently from how we ourselves behave. Learn and follow the rules at FCCT, and consistently abide by them. Adult staff berths in the barracks with the cadets, although in a cadre room. Keep your personal space clean, neat, and as an example for the cadets to follow.
Our shared mission is to make this a real military experience for the cadets, and to provide meaningful training opportunities for them in a safe, fun environment. While you are on base, you are to wear your uniform. In this way we will be consistent in the way we model ourselves to cadets. Please remember also that we as officers are in the fishbowl with respect to the cadets, where we will be scrutinized constantly by cadets, Army, and base personnel.
This is a medically friendly training. During sea bag inspections, all medications (officers keep their meds and self-medicate, please make sure you have an updated medical history in your service record in the event you need treatment of any kind) will be confiscated. This includes staff cadets. Sick call runs twice per day. Medications (both prescription and over the counter) will be treated as controlled substances and will be dispensed by an assigned adult only during the training. It is the cadet’s responsibility to show up at assigned sick call for meds; we won’t come looking for them.
Show your fellow officers and instructors the courtesy you would expect from them. Wherever possible, officers and instructors should issue orders through their chain of command. The idea is to make this training as much as possible run by the cadets themselves.
If you have problem with a peer, resolve the issue away from the cadets. If issue(s) cannot be resolved, use the chain of command and contact the XO to discuss the matter. We will resolve any issues professionally, out of sight of the cadets.
Always remember the two adult rule for counseling cadets; do not allow yourselves to be compromised by counseling a cadet behind closed doors without another adult present. When counseling a female cadet behind closed doors, a female officer must be present.
Officers are requested to report to Fort Custer Training Center on 23 June at 1000 but may under special circumstances arrive no later than 2000. Check in building is to be determined. There is no problem with you bringing cadets with you to ease transportation. However, to speed up the early check-in process you must notify the COTC no later then 16 June the cadet names, officer names and which training they are attending, and approximate time of arrival. You may travel in civilian attire.
Graduation will be at 1000 on Saturday 02 July 2022. Please do not plan on leaving before 1400 in order to assist with shutdown of the training. Officers do not depart until all cadets are accounted for and all spaces are secured.
I recommend you bring PT gear to sleep in. The base does not provide bedding. You may bring sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag. Bring whatever comfort items you feel you need. The barracks are air conditioned but they still get warm. You may bring a small personal fan.
Shower shoes are a must. Please set the example by maintaining your berthing space neatly and cleanly.
If you have a digital camera, please bring it (don’t forget the chargers). I will collect photos daily each evening. If your camera has a date stamp feature, please disable it. We’re looking for good photos of action shots during the training for NHQ, for the website, for the Annual Report.
Please bring a laptop if you have one, although be aware there is no internet access on the base. We will have access in Admin. If you’re driving, and have a printer you can bring, please do so.
You are part of a handpicked team with a significant amount of experience. I believe your service at these trainings will be a benefit not only to you but to your unit and, most importantly, to the cadets who will be under our command. We have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for our cadets and it will require our constant teamwork to do so.
It takes a lot of effort to make something look effortless. I thank you again in advance for the service you are about to render to these cadets. I look forward to serving with each of you very shortly.
I know you will likely have many questions that are not addressed in this already lengthy letter. On evening, Friday evening will have an officer’s call where you will receive additional information.
LCDR Lisa Stoyanovich, NSCC
COTC, Fort Custer Training