Does your team have a vice captain? What do they do?

  • Yes, we have (1) vice captain
  • We have multiple vice captains
  • No, we do not have vice captains

0 voters

How do you structure your role of Vice Captain?

You missed “we don’t have a captain”.

Our team traditionally has 3 C-level students: CTO, COO, and CMO (marketing officer). During build season there are various build team leaders.


During the last 7 years, 3946 had one student captain six years, and co-captains one year. Our first coach, JWHobson, had some Army history and definitely preferred to have a single chain of command. However, there was one year where we had no one student with all the necessary attributes, so he appointed co-captains with complementary skills who he knew could work together.

On 5987 we have two captains, one for the technical and one for the community side of the team. They are typically seniors who have the most experience and leadership skill. Each of those captains has a vice captain (technically it translates to lieutenant captain), who is a junior slated to become that captain next season. This allows them to gain experience of how to be a good captain before they get tossed into the fire. From there we delegate further into heads of subteams (e.g. mechanical, programming, outreach, media, etc).


How do you define vice captain? Like any title, it means different things to different people. Could you extrapolate and what the vice captain does or would do on your team?

Our setup is essentially identical to yours, but our two co-captains cover the whole team and all activities. They communicate continuously and they’re always discussing something.

We have one overarching captain this year, an electrical/programming, build, and business co-caps. We ( I’m electrical co-cap ) just work on my own things, teach freshies, and do whatever I want. Out team isn’t very hierarchical because all the upperclassmen are close friends.

It’s not as linear as president and vice president. There are too many responsibilities for 1 person to cover everything.

We have:
1 Lead Business Student (who is also the Lead Finance Student)
2 Co-Lead Engineering Students
2 Co-Lead Mechanical Students
2 Co-Lead Electrical Students
2 Co-Lead Design Students
2 Co-Lead Software Students
2 Co-Lead Imagery Students
1 Lead Outreach & Communication Student

Having 2 students/position offers flexibility in terms of individual availability due to HW or other extracurriculars. Splitting up the responsibilities means no one person gets overwhelmed.

So according to your poll, we have 3 “Presidents” and 8 “Vice-Presidents” :smile:

Our head mentor appoints anywhere from 2-5 senior captains every year based on contributions to the team rather than leadership skills usually. Arguments between them isn’t an issue since only 1-2 are ever really strong-willed and they end up becoming unspoken “lead captains”’.

We have 3 captains, and usually try to make sure one is a junior for carryover from year to year. It is very rare that 2 of them are ever absent at the same time, so we always have at least 2 heads in on any decision. The captains may or may not be part of the systems team that consists of:

Design Specialist
Controls/Electrical Specialist
Fabrication Specialist
Programming Specialist
Testing Specialist
Project Leaders

But who needs titles?!

On 4159 we have a President and three Vice Presidents , who are all effectively equal in power and make up an entity we know as “The Board.”

The President is responsible for leading team meetings and makes sure that they have some idea of how all the departments on the team are functioning. This also means that while the President may have a specific department they are most comfortable with (usually mechanical/manufacturing), they have to be able to act as a manager for the other departments when the leadership is unavailable.

The Vice President of Outreach is responsible for the departments pertaining to how our team interacts with the community, other teams, and the school. Outreach events, volunteering at competitions, connecting with other FIRST-based organizations are all within the scope of their role.

The Vice President of Public Relations works in a similar vein to the Vice President of Outreach, but with more focus on team logistics. Effectively, any outreach efforts for the sake of fundraising, gaining resources, mentor recruitment, and the like are all within their job responsibilities.

Lastly, the Vice President of Operations manages all of our internal documentation/coordination (team build/volunteer hours, financial spreadsheets, forms for event signups, parent communication, etc) and works closely with our Treasury/Secretary leadership positions to ensure all information is accessible by the rest of the team.