VicNaz1, thanks for your reply.
One of the things that intrigues me about Auxiliary membership (and this kind of applies to boating overall) is that there is a tendency for people to (i) want to be genuinely helpful (yea!) and (ii) assume everyone else is...a moron (ughh...not so "yea").
In the Auxiliary, this effect is compounded when the person offering advice isn't qualified in the program area which happens A LOT. You see it on the military.com boards and AUXCoI... members (frequently very new ones) who consider themselves experts offering advice and opinions about program areas in which they are have no qualifications. I get it that they are trying to be helpful. But mostly I think they'd be better off listening more.
Rightly or wrongly, I compare this experience with my experience as a GA pilot.
On the flightline at XYZ airport, you could be a student pilot preflighting an aircraft and be happened-upon by a more experienced pilot. The more experienced pilot tends to ask a question rather than make a statement.
"Hey, I noticed that you took a pretty big fuel sample there. What's your thinking on that?"
Not, "You're wasting fuel, let me show you how to do that."
(A plausible answer to the question may be, "because that's what my CFI taught me to do. He/she said that for this particular aircraft, I should lean toward filling the sample cup, not filling it minimally.")
Point: the assumption on the flight line is that whoever is there is at least somewhat knowledgeable. You tend to assume everyone is more experienced than you or has something to offer that you don't. Instead of making statements, aviators (at least at the airfields I frequent) tend ask questions before making judgments or making statements...unless there is a real safety of flight issue at hand or they are an a$$hat.
OK, that might not be the best example but...let me try to translate it to the boat ramp:
Scenario: launching my boat at a private boat ramp.
Who: (i) me, someone in his 60s who has been boating since grammar school and (ii) an 18 year-old stranger.
I've been doing the ramp-launch thing for a while...got it pretty down.
Kid walks up and says "your bunk carpet is kind of scuzzy...don't replace it at West Marine, just use regular indoor/outdoor carpet."
Well meaning...twerp. Little does he know that I've probably rehabbed more boat trailers that he's had cars. To assume I have no idea what I'm doing based on one view of one launch. How arrogant.
How might/should he have handled it? Maybe "Hey, that trailer looks like it's seen some action. Is that your next project?" And then if I said, "ugghhh...I dunno" or otherwise indicated cluelessness, he could have offered some advice.
That's just one of scores of examples where new boaters try to offer their expertise to boaters who are actually quite experienced.
What is it about boating (and the Auxiliary, at least on message boards) that makes people who are either new to it or barely qualified and have a lot to learn feel so empowered to give advice?
Boating (and the Auxiliary) are full of that. People are so eager to show how much they know that they don't stop and consider that "Hey, there may be a good reason why someone is doing what they are doing. And the greater the tendency to offer unsolicited advice, the more likely that the person offering it isn't even qualified to do so.
I am a long-time AUXOP coxswain & watchstander so I'm not uninformed about training. My OP was prompted by a cordial debate I'm having with some shipmates. I've trained a lot of crew and know I don't know it all, which is why my OP was in the form of a question.
So VicNaz, I don't really mind that your response included a discourse on training path but it shined a light on this interesting phenomenon I see in boating--and the Auxiliary--where people make assumptions and tend to try and educate rather than ask questions, listen, and try to understand what they are commenting upon before hitting the keyboard.