In the late 1960s, Christopher N. Reichow and Gregory J. Fouquet, senior members with Torrance Cadet Squadron 95 in Southern California, began drafting a leadership program to develop the leaders in their squadron. In November of 1969, the first Cadet Non- Commissioned Officer School was held at the squadron’s headquarters, an Army Nike Missile Facility in Palos Verdes. The curriculum of the school consisted primarily of drill, classes in NCO leadership techniques, and inspections. Approximately twenty-five cadets graduated from the school. A second course was conducted in the spring of 1970 in Santa Monica, sponsored at the Group level.
Establishment of the ILP
In 1974, Capt Christopher N. Reichow was appointed Director of Cadet Programs for California Wing. Based on the experiences with supplementary leadership training at the squadron and group level, Capt Reichow saw an opportunity to share this concept with cadets throughout California. At Cadet Conference in 1974, he presented the concept of a program to help local units in their leadership training: the Integrated Leadership Program (ILP).
Basic Cadet School (BCS)
The ILP was designed to augment local training in leadership for cadets in all phases of the cadet program. It consisted of a series of schools and courses in which cadets could participate as they progressed in the CAP cadet program. The initial course offered was the Basic Cadet School (BCS), a program for cadets who had completed only one or two achievements. This program was intended to be conducted by several squadrons within a Group, or by the Group itself. It offered a curriculum of drill, discussions of CAP structure, basic uniform classes, attitude and discipline, and the Cadet Honor Code. The first (and for many years only) Basic Cadet School was conducted in January 1976, under the command of WO Edward Kettler of
Squadron 93, at what is now the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. After the first BCS, few changes occurred until 1984 when the program was re-energized by Maj Marjorie Besemer and Capt Glenn Wiggins.
Non-Commissioned Officer’s School (NCOS)
The second school in the ILP plan was Non- Commissioned Officer School (NCOS), an enhanced, revitalized version of the program originally conducted in 1969 as a precursor to the ILP. 1stLt Michael Kathriner undertook responsibility for Non-Commissioned Officer School, and the first school conducted was in 1981 at Squadron 68 headquarters in Costa Mesa. Since then, Cadet Programs has conducted one to four NCOSs each year. The NCOS curriculum includes drill and ceremonies, uniform and inspection techniques, instructional techniques, and the Cadet Honor Code.
Cadet Officer’s Basic Course (COBC)
The oldest ILP school, Cadet Officers Basic Course, was the third school in the ILP, the first school conducted as part of the ILP, and was first held in conjunction with the 1974 California Wing Encampment at Vandenberg AFB. COBC was a “detached” flight, operating independently from the rest of the encampment. The first COBC, commanded by Capt Christopher N. Reichow and assisted by WO Glenn Osaka, was an experiment, like most of the early ILP courses. Only two of the twenty-four students in the Class of 1974 actually applied to attend COBC as students; the remainder were cadets who were unsuccessful in their bids for staff positions at encampment. C/Maj Scott E. Bartel, the first Cadet Commander of COBC, was faced with a significant challenge: to implement a successful program by motivating students who didn’t really want to be there. C/Maj Bartel took one of the basic principles of COBC, that students would be treated like officers … 24 hours a day, and used that to develop pride and a positive self-image in each of the students. His strategy worked. By the end of the week, the Class of 1974 was a class of 24 cadet officers: in image, bearing, and information, ready to temper their new found skills with experience in their home units.
Advanced Cadet Staff Seminar (ACSS)
The fourth school in the ILP was designated Advanced Cadet Staff Seminar (ACSS). ACSS was intended as a Wing-level equivalent to the National Advanced Cadet Leadership Symposium held in the early seventies. ACSS was intended for senior grade cadets, captains and above, to convene to address real problems facing cadets in the Wing, and propose solutions to them. The intent was they would learn from problem solving and personal interaction, as well as produce something of value to the Wing. The first ACSS was an accident. At the 1980 encampment, far fewer basic cadets than expected arrived to attend. The cadet staff was reduced from three squadrons and nine flights to one squadron and four flights. The displaced staff members chose to attend ACSS, which was formulated as an experiment under the leadership of Capt Edward F. Lee and Maj Marjorie Besemer. C/Col Tom Wade led the cadets in this activity.