Let me introduce you to the leaders in the CMC. (you can also view this under the Roster and Organization link on our homepage). The CAG leads all the CMC along with the Air Boss. Next come the 2 SLs (Squadron Leaders) and 6 Flight leaders. The overall structure looks like this:
There is a rank system also in the CMC. New CMC members start off as Cadets. Cadets are required to attend 4-5 op nights before they become full Cutthroats. From there they are promoted to 2 Lt. status. Promotions are then received by evaluation of performance, attendance, participation within the CMC, and overall attitude. In the CMC, everybody is a part of the squad. In major decisions, everyone has a voice. Rank is only truly important during Official Ops where a solid chain of command is crucial. The rank system was meant to give a realistic feel to the CMC, not to make anyone feel inferior. Besides, if there is no rank, how will all those potatoes get peeled? And whew! Those latrines! Uhhh....I'll use the woods, thank you very much <ggg>
S4(crew chief and maint)
TO (training officer)
The reason for this staff is to help the CAG and AirBoss with the overall job of running the CMC. If you look around you, you will see that being a leader also means being part of a structure. Look at the Military. Look in an office. Look at the Government (be nice!). The CAG and Air Boss, have the final word on what goes on in the squad but they can't do it without their Staff.
S1 (Personnel) is responsible for the information on CMC members, such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, interests, shoe size <ggg>, etc... S1 keeps attendance for squad night, letting S3(operations) know whom will not be available for certain squad night. S1 also Recommends pilots for awards and promotions. Most importantly, S1 is responsible for promoting the CMC and for recruiting.
S2 (Intelligence) is responsible for providing information on targets (what to hit, how to hit it etc..), providing maps of targets & bases, and gathering of any other information that will help S3 plan and execute operations.
S3 (Operations) has the responsibility of planning the CMC operations for squad night. Detailed plans are provided each week for review by other staff, after acceptance CAG or Air Boss posts these for all to read.
S4 (Crew Chief and Maint) is responsible for providing info about A/C, especially fuel and weapon loadouts for each mission. Also, S4 provides non-game related perks such as hats and patches.
TO (Training Officer) is responsible for setting up training sessions and meeting the demands of the personnel as to what they need training for. Either the TO does the training himself, or he will invite someone to share their knowledge in a particular area.
The staff is in consistent communication each other. The reason for the staff is not to exclude the rest of the CMC, but to improve the CMC. At the beginning, there were only a small number of members so the CAG/CO's job wasn't as complicated.. As the CMC expanded, bringing in more members, the CAG/CO's job expanded also. This is why first the Wing structure, then the Command Staff structure, and finally the 2 squadron 6 flight structure (as shown above) was brought in. This structure works to make the CMC one of the most organized teams, all working towards the same goal. Making the CMC the best it can be!
If there is an Operation, know all the details. Study the plan, study the target(s). If there are any maps available, look at them, know them. If you are unfamiliar with a certain target, fly the Operation off line a few times. Get to know your target. If the plan requires the use of a plane that you're not familiar with, practice in that plane, both off-line and on-line.
Once you are prepared, you can help your troops prepare. Share with them any tips or strategies you know about or learned from doing in the above paragraph. Make sure you know they understand the Operation. Ask them if they have any questions. If possible, get together with them and run thru the Operation once or twice. Make sure they are aware of what communications channels to tune into, what to do if they don't make it to target, etc...
What if you're not in a squad? Or, some night you're up flying, and some are looking to you for direction? This is where quick thinking comes into play. Take a look at the whole situation first. Are any bases being pounded especially hard? Where is the majority of enemy? How many enemy is there? Are any within threatening range? Plan accordingly. You don't have to get complex. Keep it as simple as possible and be clear in your directions. I can't tell you here what exactly to plan, use your head. Sometimes a simple plan can be the most effective plan. Just don't ever go up without a plan.
First, try getting the person(s) involved to calm down. Nobody thinks clearly when angry and frustrated. Take the person(s) to a place away from other people and play referee. sounds funny, playing referee, but sometimes people need to work out their own situations. If that doesn't seem to get anywhere, step in. Be firm. If the situation still isn't cleared up, let the person(s) know that this isn't getting anywhere at this point. Tell them they both need to take time to cool off, and try and resume the discussion at a later time. Don't wait to long however. The faster the situation is taken care of, the better it will be. Usually after the person(s) have had time to cool their heals and think about what happen, the second attempt to resolve the problem should go smoother.
If things still aren't going well, take them by their heads and smack them together! It might knock some sense into them <ggg> Now , now, I'm joking, of course, but at this point you might feel like really doing that. Try and keep your sense of humor. If you have a superior, let him/her know the situation. Either they will guide you in what the next step should be, or take control of the problem themselves. Remember one thing. It isn't any one else's business, so be as discreet as possible.
There may be times when there are mistakes being made. We all make them! You need to address them also. Never, ever point out someone's mistake to them in front of other people. Imagine how you would feel if someone did that to you. How would you feel? When you are talking with them, don't act like :Hey, what the hell you doing out there?" "Are you stupid or something?" (you get the idea). Try giving them a compliment on something they did that was positive, before pointing out the mistake. Giving something positive first, gives a person the confidence to hear a constructive criticism better. Giving something positive means, maybe they stayed in good formation, or took out the enemy ahead of you, or it could be as simple as they arrived on time . Anything that is positive. People, in general, respond to criticism, or the pointing out of a mistake, better if there is a positive before, rather than if you just start off with a "you were suppose to do this.....but you did this.....why?" Be genuine though when giving the positive praise. Almost anyone can tell the difference between sincerity and insincerity. What does an insincere praise or compliment accomplish? Distrust, and even maybe some animosity. You don't want or need either! You are the leader! You are the one others look to for direction. If they look upon you with distrust and animosity, do you think they are going to do their best for you?
If the situation is a little more serious than a personnel problem, and will effect the whole group, you need to become a good listener. You need to be honest and direct with what the situation is. Know all the options before you open the discussion. Be prepared with all the facts. Discuss ALL the options with the group. Look at the situation from all angles before making a final decision. Sometimes the best way is to list the pro's and con's. After you have covered the pro's & con's, the what if's, take a vote. This is where you get the feedback from the group. If there are objections and concerns, you must work with the person(s) about the objection. Listen to what the person(s) have to say. Explain to them where you are coming from, and what you hope to accomplish. Keep in mind, that as you are working for the benefit of ALL the group, there might be a few who will disagree with what you are trying to accomplish. The thing to do then, is give it your best try to make this person(s) to see what that accomplishment is. If they still object, you must follow thru with the majority of the vote. You are working for the better of the WHOLE group, and THAT has to remain the primary objective.
Get to know your troops. I don't mean, know every single detail of their lives :) But do take the time to learn a little about each of them. It can be difficult if there are a lot of members. Keep notes. If you were to look at the desk where I fly AW, in the one drawer, there are little notes on everyone I fly with. Just little tidbits you pick up in general conversation. Marriage status, kids, ages, what they do for a living, interests. Little things like that can give you a bit of a feel of that persons personality. In AW, there are nights were there is more conversation than flying. Take advantage. Not only can you learn about the people, but you can get some good tips on fighting and buffing and all the wonderful things to be done in our AW world:) Within the Wing I lead, the Yellowbeard's, we all know quite a bit about one another. It makes the people you fly with a bit more than just a name on the computer screen. It also makes you more aware of how you act. It developed trust among us, and that is important when you are leading them. They are trusting you to give them the direction and orders that will get them to their goals and accomplish them the best way possible.
GOOD ATTITUDE = GOOD PERFORMANCE
I realize that there are going to be days when you don't want or have a good attitude. Well I'm sorry, you need to fake your way thru it then! There have been times that I have gotten totally frustrated with one thing or another, (i don't mean just in AW world either, that real world is a toughie too :) ), but I don't let my troops know that. They may notice I am not as talkative as usual, but my attitude is positive. Funny thing, after a while of "faking" it, my attitude becomes a real good attitude. Hmmm......
Try to keep a cool head at all times. I know this can be tough. If you lose it once in awhile, don't dwell on it. Apologize and make amends, and move on. We are human. Humans are not perfect! Don't expect yourself to be either. But look back at what made you lose it and learn from it. Figure out what clicked your button, and work on it never happening again. That's the best any of us can do.
Last updated: 5/23/98 by Boa
©1996, 1997, 1998 Sheila A. Saint aka "Sassy Red"