Judge Steverson offers a unique perspective as one of the first Black cadets at the Coast Guard academy and a retired Coast Guard officer.
It is not new or surprising that cadets do not trust Company Officers. That is old news. Before the female cadets came, the Company Officers were not fully trusted, but they were revered. They were respected and they had a close working relationship with the Cadet Company Officers. We even had dinner at their homes on occasion. That chemistry changed when the female cadets arrived. If there was only a little trust before the Webster Smith Case, it is no wonder that even that pecuniary amount has been severely eroded after the cadets witnessed how vulnerable they were if they stepped forward and became involved. Cadets went to school on the Webster Smith case and its aftermath. They saw exactly how the system worked. They saw the most senior officers exhibiting character traits that were far outside of the Honor Code. The learned what kind of reprehensible behavior was allowed and was geared to help you survive when the chips are down.For anyone interested in the history, the Coast Guard, and race in America, I strongly recommend Judge Steverson's blog.