New Smartphone Look and Feel for MVCS Site

New smartphone appearance for MVCS web site.  Photo by 2d Lt Mark Patrick.
New smartphone appearance for MVCS web site. Photo (screen capture) by 2d Lt Mark Patrick.

Are you a smartphone user?  Do you access the squadron’s web site from your phone?  As our web hosting environment adds improvements, we can pass them on to our members. [Note:  Based on a comment received to this post, this look does not appear when accessing the site via tablet so we did not describe it as a “mobile” look.  Will work toward an improved configuration that carries across all types of mobile devices and will update this post once improvements are complete.]

This change will queue up the most recent news update to the cover page of our site when accessed from your smartphone, with navigation to the usual menus via the icon in the upper right corner of the screen.  This user interface resembles more modern web design as adopted in popular online magazine applications like Flipboard.

The use of smartphones has increased dramatically in parallel to the increase in the use of social media across the planet and across our membership.  For example, our wing’s Facebook page now has over 2,773 followers.  The NatCap Twitter page has 2,100 followers.

The use of social media is a growth area for CAP as discussed by our Chief Operating Officer Mr. Don Rowland in the October-December issue of Volunteer.  Details of how cadets and senior members can participate in this evolution are detailed in CAP’s Brand Resource Guide.  As technology and our membership’s demographics evolve, we must change with them to remain relevant.

According to the Brand Resource Guide, “Branding is the craft and discipline of creating emotional attachments and intellectual associations with our organization. Deliberately shaping these attachments and associations, and then delivering them consistently through every point of contact we have — both internally and externally — will allow Civil Air Patrol (CAP) to build greater brand value.”  As we continue to learn about new technology, techniques, and procedures across our three mission areas, we must also learn how to use social media to create enthusiasm and interest in CAP.  Your public affairs officer will talk to you about social media policy in the near future, but the focus should not be on restricting the use of this technology, but leveraging it to the benefit of our membership, and to attract the best and the brightest to join us in service — and fun.

Enjoy the increased user friendliness that this smartphone user interface provides, but also review the Brand Resource Guide and use this information as you engage your friends and colleagues with social media.  If you have questions or suggestions to improve our online resources, please contact the squadron public affairs officer.

1st Lt Joseph Gruber’s Photo of the Lunar Eclipse Goes Viral

Photo by 1st Lt Joseph Gruber
Lunar eclipse over the U.S. Air Force Memorial on 8 October 2014.
Photo by 1st Lt Joseph Gruber

Our own 1st Lt Joseph Gruber didn’t set out to do anything other than take a cool photo on 8 October 2014, but his handiwork has certainly gained attention.

Gruber’s social media posting led to the Air Force Times picking up the photo along with its parent Military Times.  Click to see the article there.  It was then picked up by CAP’s Volunteer Now.  It certainly helped that the photo was set over the Air Force Memorial.

As the importance of photography increases as part of CAP’s Emergency Services mission, it’s encouraging to see members honing their skills!  You can find plenty of information on CAP’s web site about this part of our mission.  For example, this set of training slides, or this Checklist and Operations Manual for the Nikon D90 Camerat Kit.


Soaring with Cadets

In addition to the recent soaring MVCS cadets have done, other regions across the country have been gliding through the skies as well.  The October-December issue of Volunteer has a feature article covering all of the fun and learning.  It also discusses the relationship between CAP and the Soaring Society of America (SSA).

The online issue features a superb video about the glider academy conducted by Southeast Region-Georgia Wing-Group III.  You’ll want to read the entire article, but check out the video below for a little inspiration!  (Note:  the volume may be muted at first.  Be sure to turn up the sound for complete enjoyment.)