Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A "Kennedy Cadet" weighs in on the Academy task force report

Judge London Steverson has some interesting insight about the recently released study about the Coast Guard Academy posted at his blog, The Full Story. Setting the Record straight.

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.

1 comment:

  1. In the 60's Coast Guard Academy company officers were called Tact Officers. I think it was short for Tactical Officers, but they were very professional. We thought that they were almost gods. Every one wanted to be just like them. They were our idols and the model of a perfect officer. We could hardly believe that at the end of our cadet training we would be a close approximation of them. We trusted them implicidly. Even today, their names give me goose pimples: Beef Caldwell, Joe Sipes, Fred Kelly, Joe Finelli, Greg Pennington, Dave Worth, Duke Wellington, Ikens, Tuneski, Sproat, and Flanagan. Even our professors were greatly admired and trusted; Paul Foye, Ellis Perry, Ted Leland, Bob DeMichiell, Rivard, McKew, Haas Sandell, Anderson, Ira Jacobson, Yanaway, Kollmeyer, Ian Cruickshank, and others. They were all white males and they did a great job. We trusted them more than we did the other cadets, that's for sure. These were men of integrity. They led us through the wilderness and into the promised land. What has happened to erode that trust and respect, I have no idea; but, the cadets lost the best friend they ever had outside of mom and dad.