3rd Company Commander: James Dignan
Read below for an update from the Company Commander daily and scroll down for photos.
Hello parents, family, and friends of 3rd Company Cadet Candidates. My name is 1/C James Dignan, the 3rd Company Commander. My staff has been relentlessly preparing for the arrival of your Youngies for almost five months now. I can’t tell you how excited we are to have them join the 3rd Company family here at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Today, your Cadet Candidates started out their morning at 0445 with a motivating session of physical training, which will occur every morning for the duration of Orientation. After PT, the squad leaders taught your Youngies the basics of marching before bringing them to get fitted for the rest of their uniforms. Afternoon meal, they attended several meetings before the Meet the Cadre Ceremony, where the 3rd Company Staff was formally introduced to them. I and my staff are looking forward to the success they will find over the next two weeks.
This morning, the Cadet Candidates performed well at PT and showed great enthusiasm the entire time. After the morning meal, they spent several hours at water survival training to complete their Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) requirements. They then lost a tough battle against the 2nd Company in Water Polo 5-4. They finished off their day with a strong performance at patio demonstrating their Youngie knowledge to the Regimental Staff and a fire fighting lecture in Admirals Hall.
Tuesday morning started off with the Cadet Candidates’ first introduction to morning formation, an Academy tradition that takes place every day during the academic year. This was immediately followed by an inspiring team-building activity where the Youngies worked as a cohesive unit to accomplish different objectives. They then learned how to operate the Monomoy boats, a 26ft long rowboat, which will be used at the pond day later in orientation. The night was capped off by lectures showing the Cadet Candidates the various military ROTC programs on campus.
Today, the 3rd Company Cadet Candidates had hands-on fire fighting training with the Barnstable Fire Academy. The training was split into three stations consisting of SCBAs (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus), dry chemical fire extinguishers, and 2 ½ inch hoses. The company had an exciting victory in water polo over 6th Company, 3-0. The day concluded with a lecture from the 3rd Company Senior staff discussing the important traits of a successful Cadet at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
On this cloudy Thursday morning, your Cadet Candidates were able to rest and relax at Herring Pond after completing their daily PT session. Pond day is always a memorable experience during orientation where the Youngies learn how to sail and row without the Cadre. Today also gave The Cadet Candidates an opportunity to spend time with each other and build relationships that will last a lifetime. The enthusiasm and motivation we have seen from The Cadet Candidate throughout orientation continues to impress us more each day. We cannot wait to see what they accomplish in the coming weeks.
The beautiful sunrise this morning was met with the sound of cadences while the Cadet Candidates attacked their daily run with great motivation. Following PT, they attended their second Morning Formation as they continue to acclimate to the traditions here at the Academy. Today was focused heavily on studying their Youngie Knowledge and drill. While at drill the 3rd Company staff began to teach more complex and difficult marching movements which the Cadet Candidates caught onto very quickly. Before the end of the night, the Youngies were given an opportunity to discuss the traits of a good leader and present their thoughts to the Squad Leaders. To say we are proud of how far they have come in this short week is an understatement. After only six days, they have already distinguished themselves as future leaders at the Academy and in the workforce.
The 3rd Company staff are very pleased to say that all your Cadet Candidates continue to improve every single day here at the Academy. After morning meal, we continued to drill the Cadet Candidates, adding more difficult marching movements to their drill card. With the guidance of the Squad Leaders and Senior Staff, they’re becoming disciplined Cadet Candidates who will make up the future of the Regimental leadership. They attended several meetings today covering familiarization of the T.S. Kennedy, shipboard safety and hygiene, along with various other topics which will ensure their safety while out at sea. We are at the halfway point of Orientation 2021 and have made great leaps with your Cadet Candidates. However, they still have a lot to learn before they can start daily life here at the Academy.
As the Academy hunkered down for the arrival of Hurricane Henri, your Cadet Candidates still rose before the sun to begin preparing their rooms for Regimental Inspections. With all outside activity secured for the day, the Squad Leaders taught the Youngies how to pass a regimental inspection. Inspections occur every morning during the academic year and passing them is a critical part of their daily routine. After inspections, they studied Youngie knowledge in their rooms to prepare them for Patio sessions tomorrow. Before the end of the night, the Squad Leaders had a Q&A session about academic majors and administrative procedures used in everyday life here. Even with a hurricane bearing down on Taylor’s Point, the Cadet Candidates continued to train and improve their skills, making the most out of their day in the dorms.
Today started with the Cadet Candidates and Cadre being given a welcomed late wake up at 0600. After morning meal and formation, your Cadet Candidates attended two presentations demonstrating how to properly care for the American flag and walking them through Reminetal Watch standing procedures during the semester. The afternoon was filled with presentations as well, with an address by the VP-Student Services and Commandant of Cadets. This was followed by training on diversity, equity and inclusion, with the night rounded off by a late PT session. Due to the weather this morning, PT was postponed until 2000 under the lights at Clean Harbor Stadium. After their busy day, the Youngies were sent to bed with their nightly snack and words of encouragement for tomorrow from the squad leaders. We have watched your cadet candidates grow over the last 10 days into a cohesive team, forming bonds along the way which will last a lifetime.
Tuesday morning marked the anticipated return of morning PT at 0445. After morning formation, your Cadet Candidates attended a presentation with Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Murray, the Regimental Commander and Regimental Executive Officer, discussing the importance of work ethic and time management here at the Academy. This was followed up by a medical brief covering the danger of alcohol and how to drink responsibly once the Cadet Candidates come of age. The afternoon was met with presentations on the discipline system and a presentation on how to have healthy relationships with their shipmates both inside and outside of the classroom. The remainder of the night was filled with drill and we could not be happier with how quickly your Cadet Candidates have learned many of the more difficult marching movements. With only three days left of Orientation, we cannot wait to give you back the newly molded Cadet Candidates we have trained for the last two weeks.
With only two days left in Orientation 2021, your Cadet Candidates continue to work hard from the beautiful sunrise over the Cape Cod Canal, until long after the sun has set over Buttermilk Bay. The Youngies were introduced to the Regimental Manual today, learning more about the standards and expectations that will be set upon them once the semester begins. In the afternoon the company was split in half as they were given tours and a ride on board the coastal training vessel T/V Ranger. While the T.S. Kennedy is at sea with Texas Maritime, this was their first look at the sea going aspect of the Academy. With temperatures reaching 88 degrees today, your Cadet Candidates were treated to a water balloon fight organized by the SGA to cool down and let loose before a night filled with more drill to prepare for the Marching Competition on Friday. The anticipation for the end of Orientation continues to grow, however there is still a lot of work to be done before they start their first semester here at the Academy.
On the final full day before Orientation graduation, your Cadet Candidates continued to push their limits at PT this morning. With the finish line finally within sight, the anticipation continues to grow amongst 3rd Company. After morning meal they attended a meeting on the history of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, learning about the alumni who laid the foundation for their success here over the Academy’s 130 year history. The rest of the day was filled with drilling for the marching competition and studying their fire fighting knowledge. Each Cadet Candidate must pass a fire fighting and Youngie Knowledge exam to successfully graduate from Orientation. Every single Youngie in 3rd Company has worked harder than they ever have before over the last two weeks and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.