5th Company

5th Company Commander: Camryn Roberts-Capak

Read below for an update from the Company Commander daily and scroll down for photos.

Day 1

The first day of orientation started with a noon meal then shortly after, inprocessing began for the candidates. They were mustered up, given hair cuts if needed, and distributed their uniforms. A crucial part in becoming a part of The Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Youngies were then marched over to Pande Hall (the mess deck) where they received their evening meal and began to learn proper manners that will allow them to succeed here at the academy and for their future lives. Cadet candidates then were directed over to Admirals hall where they received lectures in Fire safety in the dormitory as well as the role of health services here on campus. Our senior staff can truly see the inherent skills that these young men and women possess.

Day 2

The Cadet Candidates of Fifth Company started Sunday off long before the sun had even crest over the horizon. Each cadet candidate proved their mettle in one of the most demanding physical fitness tests devised for any school in the Commonwealth, with extraordinarily impressive results for the majority of them. Several meetings followed detailing the importance of the traditions, practices, and customs of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The day concluded with “Meet the Cadre” where the Cadet Candidates were formally introduced to their company staff who provided them with meaningful insight on just what it meant to be a part of the best company in the regiment.

DAY 3

As a new day dawned, the sunrise was greeted with the ferocious and motivated shouts of Cadet Candidates conquering their first regimental physical training session. No sooner had they finished spouting running cadences than they began calling cadences in Monomoy lifeboats as they learned how to master the seas in an emergency situation. During their team building session, the entire company learned the true value of camaraderie and trust, leaving behind their individualism and coming together to perform an assigned task that would otherwise be next to impossible. 5th Company later moved on to dominate intramurals in a company versus company kickball battle. The day was challenging to say the least but as the Cadet

Candidates know only stormy seas yield strong sailors.  

DAY 4

This morning as 5th Company arose to wipe the sleep from their eyes they were met with brisk and refreshing gusts sweeping over the surface of Buttermilk Bay, dimly lit by the faint illumination of twilight. With orientation now on its fourth day, the demanding nature of the program has begun to test the cadet candidates. They have begun to discover just how much they are capable of accomplishing in the face of physical and mental adversity, the likes of which they have never met before.  Following a motivating performance by 5 Company in morning PT, the company honed in on their marching before facing Sixth Company in kickball. After an intense game, Fifth attended presentations delivered by Army ROTC, USMC, and USCG explaining their programs to the aspiring cadets. The Cadet Candidates, reflecting on their day, understand they have taken yet another large step in deciding which road to take guiding them into their future.

Day 5

Clouds shrowded what little light managed to seep through the inky veil of the night as Fifth Company arose to confront another session of morning PT. Needless to say they delivered, with incredible energy and outstanding participation. The cadet candidates were surprised by a special trip to Great Herring Pond. They relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company while participating in sailing and rowing, among other activities which allowed them to familiarize themselves not only with one another but with aspects of water survival. The day was made even better by a victory in the intramurals dodge ball match against Second Company. The Cadet Candidates dominated yet another day, and look forward to doing so again tomorrow. 

Day 6

Red sky at morning sailor’s warning, or so the old saying goes. With this in mind, the Cadet Candidates stared up at the ominous skies with bated breath as morning formation was about to begin. The clouds which only a few hours ago draped themselves over Taylor’s Point and painted the landscape in a faint sepia hue only served to mask a glorious red sunrise which warned of the weather to come. Luckily, the Cadet Candidates endured as the majority of the weather was staved off by fair winds. Today, 5th Company was taught about our own T.S. Kennedy and how to remain safe while aboard the vessel. Then, it was off to what proved to be a ferocious game of water polo where cadet candidates from both Fifth Company and Fourth Company battled for supremacy over the pool. Today also marked the beginning of the Cadet Candidate Platoon Leader (CCPL) program, where Squad Leaders of 5th Company choose a Cadet Candidate whose exemplary conduct and effort stands out amongst their peers.

Day 7

The morning was silent and peaceful, waves gently lapping the shores and shells dancing in the surf, never once alluding to the inclement weather expected in the coming days. The Youngies left the field covered in sweat and turf, the evidence of their hard work that morning, work that impressed RADM McDonald, who joined Fifth for PT this morning as well! Once they were back to the dormitories, each Cadet Candidate donned their swimsuit and headed to the pool where crucial water survival strategies were taught. Each Youngie displayed mastery over righting a liferaft, emergency water formations, and ship evacuation procedures and received the highest praise from their instructors. Their success in the pool spurred them on to later dominate an intramural dodgeball game against First Company. Another day has gone by, and another step toward Fifth Company making Academy history as the first to win Admirals Cup four years in a row.

Day 8

An orange sky triumphantly reigned over the Cape Cod Canal this morning. The only opponents to its glorious light were the sable silhouettes of two bridges spanning the canal and a thick, rolling fog seeping its way from the Cape to the mainland. One could tell from a glance, today offered a chance at redemption. 5th Company is proud to report that following the second PT test of orientation, almost every Cadet Candidate passed, most exceeding expectations. Several of the Cadet Candidates actually exceeded the maximum score for each category of exercise! The day was off to a good start and there was no slowing down. After yet another intramural victory in water polo, this time against Sixth Company. 5th Company is now 5 for 6, a great achievement which shows the dedication, passion, and teamwork of these Cadet Candidates is something the likes of which the Massachusetts Maritime Academy has yet to behold until now. The potential and promise of these young Cadet Candidates are readily apparent as is their commitment to bettering themselves as members of the MMA community. As a great man once said, “Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes.” -Carl Jung

Day 9

With a storm brewing not all that far from where we are now, it became clear that for the well-being of all Cadet Candidates, Cadet Officers, and Academy Staff today was a day to batten down the hatches and remain indoors. Although this meant the delay of a multitude of activities planned for the day, it did not mean a day off. Cadet Candidates spent most of their day ensuring that their rooms and uniforms were in pristine condition, in anticipation of their next room inspection. Inspections are one of the most challenging aspects of the Regiment of Cadets here at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and yet also the most rewarding. While passing an inspection does take work, the payoff is worth it. Each student is able to structure their room in a manner that is neat, sensible, and easily navigable to them should they ever need to find something in a hurry. A Cadet who is clean and orderly automatically has a competitive advantage over their peers who did not attend such a rigorously regimented school. “There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.” – Michael Phelps

Day 10

Although the inclement weather didn’t quite turn out as expected, it still resulted in a late start to today, after all better safe than sorry. With the majority of today’s work taken up by meetings, the Cadet Candidates were extremely excited when the day finished off with a surprise evening PT session. Today was a special day for the Cadet Candidates. Along with getting a little extra sleep, something uncommon in orientation, they were given ample time to bond and develop themselves into the cohesive team that the Regiment and Fifth Company expects them to be!

Day 11

A peaceful sunrise graced the amber skies over Buzzard’s Bay and the morning haze slowly gave way to the periodic cloud. Amidst all this peace, came a disruption, the ground began to quake with the striking of feet against pavement, and the air trembled in weak opposition to the ferocious cries of running cadences. Fifth company was ready to start their day. Morning PT has interestingly enough become almost second nature to the Cadet Candidates of Fifth Co. Each and everyone of the Cadet Candidates finds that today they are able to push harder, last longer, and achieve more than they were the day before. The daily Morning Formations have improved as well, with the Company performing flawlessly each time. Although today was another day in which the Cadet Candidates attended meeting after meeting, their retention of the crucial information presented to them is something they are adept at not only remembering but actually learning. The future is bright for these Cadet Candidates, but the journey is far from over. There will be adversity, challenge, and hardship on their road to becoming the young leaders the Massachusetts Maritime Academy trains them to be. But as a great man once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome.” -Booker T. Washington

Day 12

An oppressive heat hung in the air, even before the sun rose over the bridges, and as the sun transited the sky the heat only intensified. Today was another fun yet serious day for the Cadet Candidates who have started to understand that fun and serious are not necessarily mutually exclusive terms. Firefighting training is always enjoyable for the Cadet Candidates, while teaching them the essential skills to stop a fire. While underway on a ship, especially far off the coast, a fire is among a long list of worst-case scenarios that a sailor must always be prepared for. Fires can get so hot and intense that they even ignite the steel hulls of the ships, and once that happens sailors will likely abandon the ship. This is why the Massachusetts Maritime Academy invests innumerable amounts of resources, work hours, teaching, and supplies into the successful training of each incoming freshman should things go wrong. In Fifth Company, knowledge retention has been impressive. While quizzing the Cadet Candidates on their firefighting knowledge and shipboard emergency signals, it is clear that not only are they paying attention and retaining what they are taught, but they will be able to execute their training in the event of an emergency, and that is what matters most.

Day 13

A thick fog encased our campus this morning, shrouding all but the pathway in front of Fifth Company in ominous mystery. Tomorrow is the most important day of Orientation, the day where it all comes together, the day where all the Cadet Candidates’ hard work bears fruit. After lunch, the school welcomed the T.S. Kennedy back home. Fifth Company got to experience their first maritime voyage (although it was brief) aboard the Ranger. During the roughly ten mile voyage, the Cadet Candidates toured both the deck of the vessel and the engine room.  The day concluded with a rigorous firefighting exam which we have faith went well for the Cadet Candidates. Tomorrow is where it all comes together. Tomorrow is where everything pays off!