6th Company Commander: 1/C Michael Nogueira
Read below for an update from the Company Commander daily and scroll down for photos.
Day One –
Hello, First off, I would like to introduce myself for those following the 6th company blog for Orientation of 2023. My name is 1/C Michael Nogueira from Pembroke, MA, and I have the honor of being the 6th Company Commander for the year. I am entering my Senior year at Massachusetts Maritime Academy studying Energy Systems Engineering. Words cannot begin to express what this academy has done for me. Myself and my staffs goal is to provide the same opportunity, and allow our Cadet Candidates to discover their true and full potential.
Yesterday after you said your goodbyes to your Cadet Candidates, they began the orientation traditions right away. They were escorted by their cadre to the dining hall, and while waiting for their food we’re studying their “youngie knowledge” learning the academy staff, the chain of command, as well as some of the Academy Policies provided in the handbook. After that, they were issued their uniforms which they will learn how to wear, respect, and love within the next nine days. Following the uniform distribution, they began some room prep, which is a series of very specific standards established by the academy. From there, they were issued a medical brief by the Academy medical team and Dr. Cukor. Their spirits were high, as well as their nerves as they began their journey here at MMA.
Today the candidates were awoken slightly before sunrise and marched to the football field to participate in a tradition titled “Meet the Cadre” which is their official introduction to those who are in charge of them and responsible for their well being. Following this, they were taught some facing movements, as well as some basic marching maneuvers to allow the platoon to move swiftly throughout campus. Following their noon meal, 6th company clenched its first victory in Intramural’s in a tight game between 5th company in water polo. Some Cadet Candidates that went above and beyond to secure the victory were as follows: C/C Cates, C/C Hill, and C/C Guimares. Their effort and energy ensured that 6th company got the win, and gave us the first points toward winning Admirals Cup. With this being said, 6th company was not infallible. They had a very rough patio performance, which is where they are quizzed as a company in-front of the regimental staff to prove they know their knowledge. Unfortunately, we had some struggles with knowing the information, our low volume, as well as difficulty with saying it in unison. Following evening meal, the Cadet Candidates were given a Fire Fighting Lecture from the firefighting academy instructors so they are prepared to practice in their trainings in the days to come.
Thus far, I am very impressed with the willingness of the C/C’s to learn, as well as their competitive nature. They respond very well when mentioning competitions against other companies, as well as against each other. The camaraderie within the company has begun today with the win in the pool, and I suspect will only increase with days to come. My Orientation Squad Leaders have been doing a fantastic job with ensuring that the C/C’s are both in physical and mental well being. I am looking forward to getting to know the C/C’s. I am confident that this company has what it takes to be Admirals Cup Champions, as well as unwavering cadets here at this academy for the years to come. I will close with this, “life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all”. Your C/C’s have made the courageous decision to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They have chosen the path less traveled, and it will pay dividends. They have taken the risk that others did not. Although time away from families, friends, and home may be difficult for all of us, it is what is best for them now, and what is right for their future.
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Two –
After the second full day of orientation, it is encouraging to see how much progress our C/C’s are making. Their commitment to the program and their desire to improve is something that is worth noting. It is making the staffs job a lot easier as they are willing to learn and trying their best to improve in every aspect of their lives.
The C/C’s were awoken bright and early today and headed straight to the football field to participate in the baseline Physical Training Test. This is where their first benchmark scores are recorded for the timed mile, as well as their maximum push-ups and sit ups in two minutes. 6th company had outstanding results and effort from everyone involved. It was very motivating to see the C/C’s giving 110%. It was also very good to see them cheering and encouraging one another to push themselves. We had a few standouts in 6th company. Finishing first in the company, as well as first in the entire freshman class was C/C Reese with a 5:13 mile! We also had two C/C’s that had over 100 push-ups. C/C Gaudiano did 108 push-ups and C/C Hill completed 113. 6th company as a whole had some very impressive PT scores, but it is important to keep in mind this is a baseline, and improvement is always a possibility.
Following PT, the C/C’s changed into their “At Sea’s” Uniforms for picture day. It was nice to see some smiling faces. After the photos were finished, they headed over to the gym to get some more uniforms that they did not receive on the first day. Once this was over, they headed to the water front of campus to participate in a “Sea Lab” class. This is where the Youngies learn how to operate the monomoys, which is a mid-size wooden row boat, as well as how to tie basic marine knots and learn tips and tricks of maneuvering the boats.
6th Company had a dominant performance in dodgeball vs. 2nd Company winning 3-1. Some CC’s that stood out today were McQueen, Gaudiano, White, and Mcsharry. I personally loved the energy and the help from the sidelines with encouraging chants. We had two decent patio performances today, but still struggled with volume.
Overall, today was a great day. The leadership trait of the day was teamwork. The C/C’s are starting to learn the power of working together. They helped each other study, cheered each other on during intramurals, as well as the PT test which booster their performance. In conclusion, I will leave you with this: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. The C/C’s had their first experiences as working together as shipmates. This is the beginning of bonds that will last a lifetime, friendships that will last an eternity, and memories which will last forever.
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Three –
The day began with excitement as the C/C’s were awaken before sunrise. They ran over to the football field as a cohesive unit singing a running cadence which got me excited to begin the day. Each and every one of them pushed themselves to their maximum today during the PT stations we did on the field. The workouts consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, and one of my personal favorites, flutter kicks. The C/C’s began the morning with low volume and were groggy, but by the end of PT they were cheering each-other on and spirits were high.
Following the morning PT, the candidates showered and recovered with a morning meal provided by maritime’s dining. After this, they headed to the pool to complete their water survival training. This consists of many exercises in which the C/C’s learned how to survive in hazardous situations. They learned techniques for surviving an oil or gas fire on top of the water, as well has how to use a group of people to help each other stay afloat. They learned that by locking arms together in a circle and placing their legs out, they could keep an injured shipmate afloat that would otherwise sink. They also learned that if they create a large chain in the water with one another, they can be spotted easier and move as a unit without losing one another. Although this training will hopefully never be put to practice, it is very good that they learn these survival techniques. I would like to recognize two cadets specifically that impressed me at the pool. C/C Joy as well as C/C Shields both had not been strong swimmers, or could not swim at all before this exercise. Through their shipmates encouragement and their cadres support, they both conquered their fears and gained confidence in the water. They both had smiles on their faces as they overcame the adversity.
Following pool day the candidates played kickball against one another as we did not have an opponent scheduled for intramurals today. Everyone participated and had a fun time doing so. The losing team payed the price by doing some motivating push-ups, however the winning team decided to help them out by doing it with them. Our Cadet Candidate Platoon Leader (CCPL) for today was C/C Hill. The CCPL program is designed to highlight Cadet Candidates who go above and beyond during orientation. When selected each day, they are expected to lead the company with studying, as well as motivate them when needed. Mr. Hills enthusiasm, team work, and willingness to strive for greatness secured his position as our first CCPL. He lead our study session before patio today, and did a very good job doing so. The candidates did well on patio and enjoyed the meal they very much so deserved following it. After their dinner, they went to a health services meeting as well as a career services meeting led by LT DeMello who educated them on the resources that they have to help them find their dream jobs and financial freedom in their future. Although this seems like it is far far away, I assured them that the job search comes quicker than they anticipate.
The leadership trait of the day was endurance. I expressed what this meant to the cadet candidates. Here was the consensus: it is easy to start something. Beginnings are often filled with excitement, adrenaline, and curiosity, which is inherent. What is hard is continuing day in and day out to perform with the same intensity you did on the first day. Life is a perpetual uphill battle. It always was, always has been, and always will be. It can wear you down at times. If people have the courage to start, but lack the discipline to continue, they will never reach their goals, and will certainly never reach their full potential. In conclusion, I will leave you with this: “With the courage to begin, and the discipline to endure, victory becomes a matter of time”…
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Four –
Good evening, Today 6th company began the day with a cadenced run. The Candidates were especially quiet this morning. I believe this was due to fatigue setting in. The Squad Leaders did their best to motivate them with their cadences, however they remained pretty quiet and it was difficult to get the energy up. Following PT the candidates had a shower and recovery with some breakfast.
Today 6th Company had firefighting training. Here they learn how to use and wear certain PPE. They also learn the different types of fires, and how to distinguish them. For example, a Class C fire is an electrical fire. You cannot distinguish a Class C fire with water, as a matter of fact the fire will become more aggressive and spread. Instead, a chemical powder is used to distinguish the fire. The candidates learned how to correctly operate the fire hoses at the academy with different nozzles which for different types of situations. This is a group effort usually with 5-6 candidates as the fire houses are incredibly heavy and powerful. CC Croft learned how to use the oxygen tank and mask effectively in the presence of smoke and did a very good job in doing do. The firefighters applauded our Cadet Candidates for their respect as we left Bridgewater.
We had a very good battle with 5th Company in ultimate frisbee today. There were many lead changes, but 6th Company got the victory in a 8-7 win at the last second. The game winning pass was caught by myself off a beautiful throw from CC McQueen into the end zone. The Candidates surrounded one another and chanted with excitement as we improved our record to 3-0.
Everything in life has trade offs. Today, ours was patio. The CC’s had undoubtedly the worst patio of the week at evening meal. They struggled with the Steam Cycle, and also sir’ed a woman when she asked a question, which the Regimental staff was not happy about. They did have firefighting today, so there was not ample time to study, but we stressed the importance of remaining consistent and moving on to the next time we have patio. We will see if we can bounce back from our sub par performance tomorrow at noon meal. After evening meal, the CC’s had an Athletic Presentation as well as a Training and Retention meeting.
The leadership traits of the day were Character/Integrity. Integrity and character are the cornerstones of an individuals moral compass. It’s not just about doing the right thing when others are watching, but maintaining that ethical resolve when no one is around to witness. My goal is not only to form these CC’s into good Cadets, but also good people. They have already convinced me they have it within themselves, as they have proven they can help each other, work together, and place their differences aside to accomplish a common goal. This is a skill which has been lost with time, however those who truly know the value will still prevail. In closing, “character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing”- Abraham Lincoln
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Five –
Good evening all,
The morning began in a regular routine with a standard wakeup. The Cadet Candidates are starting to get used to the sleep schedule, so they were not as tired as they normally are. Something else that helped them wake up was the announcement of our guide-on for the year. The guide-on is the flag bearer at the front of the platoon who holds the company flag. Our flag displays the number 6. Becoming the guide-on is a very honorable roll, as it is generally given to the fastest tracking cadet candidate who displays great leadership ethics as well as epitomizes the academy standards and values. I would like to recognize C/C Craig Hill as the 6th Company guide-on. His continuous effort and willingness to push himself has earned him the title of our guide-on. Congratulations to him.
Upon review of my blog from yesterday, I neglected to put in the CCPL we selected. Yesterdays CCPL was C/C Barruza who was awarded this for her intense energy, loud voice, as well as her impressive understanding of the Youngie Knowledge. Her quick understanding of the knowledge allowed her to lead a study session to help the other candidates learn as well.
Todays CCPL was C/C McQueen. He displayed a great addition of energy when spouting Youngie Knowledge, as well as becoming a key player during the intramurals against other companies. He did a very good job leading a study session and some team building exercises to build camaraderie.
A large part of running any successful organization is having the ability and the skill to adjust on the fly and be adaptable. Due to the rainy weather today, 6th Company as well as the rest of the regiment had to adjust their daily schedules to combat the weather. Instead of having morning formation and Company Officer time, we did some room preparation in which the Squad Leaders taught them how to iron. Parents, the days of ironing your sons and daughters laundry is hopefully over, as they were taught how to iron their military creases and how to flat iron as well. (Perhaps you can use this to your advantage and make them return the favor). Once this was over, they had an Academic Planning meeting in which they planned out their academic schedules and went over their course curriculum. I’m sure the last thing on their mind is academics, however this is the reason they came to this academy, so it is important they understand the classes they are taking, as well as how to succeed academically at MMA.
We suffered our first loss of the year in Intramurals today, but 6 Co did not go down without a fight. Water polo against 3rd company came down to the wire. We unfortunately lost 4-3 ending in a shootout. Our star players were C/C Cates who had two goals, as well as C/C White played great defense the entire time. A special shout-out to C/C Ferringo who led the company in some motivational chants to keep the morale high. After the game, I stressed that we can not win them all, however our success will be defined with how we bounce back from defeat. We will put this to the test tomorrow.
Todays leadership trait of the day was courage. Courage is the duel that propels individuals to confront their fears and challenges head on, transcending limitations and unlocking their true potential, which is a goal of mine I prefaced in my first blog. It is the vital ingredient in the recipe for personal growth as well as societal progress. Without courage, innovation and progress would stall, as it takes courage to step into the unknown. As the notorious quote goes, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are build for”. Your C/C’s are casting off their lines and beginning to sail away from their bad habits as they delve into the world of unknown to find their true potential. It is important that they maintain the courage to try new things, learn knew lessons, and most importantly enjoy the journey. To bring this to an end, I will close with this, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of it” – Epictetus
1/C Michael Nogueira
Day Six –
There’s something about a maritime morning that makes it all worth while. Having the privilege of leading my company in a cadenced run is something I will look back on and smile at for many years to come. I can think of no better way to start my morning than running alongside the canal at 0545, as the sun is rising and the world awakes. To see the look of determination on the C/C’s faces as they echo our cadences at full volume is more than enough to keep my mornings going. Knowing that they are bettering themselves when they could have still simply been on summer break, letting the complacency win, and continuing to be average proves to me that they have what it takes to find a place in this world. I was very motivated this morning by their volume as well as their energy as we went on our run. It makes my job a world easier when I think about it in this manor. I know that these mornings, although tiresome, will be etched into my mind forever.
Today was pond day. The C/C’s transited to the pond after breakfast. Upon arrival I turned them over to the very nice MMA staff who was working there. Having no cadre in their proximity allows for the candidates to have a relaxing and more fun day than normal, as the general stresses of orientation are dissipated by the tranquility of the pond. The candidates participated in three different activities while at the pond. The first was sailing small sailboats with a shipmate. They had buoys set up which the candidates had to maneuver around. I was impressed as I watched from a far by C/C Schiano who had clearly sailed before as she was a master with the boat. Furthermore, C/C Lavinski proved his veteran status as a sailor with impressive speed and maneuverability with his vessel. C/C Naar also demonstrated her willingness to success with amazing effort and focus throughout this activity. The next exercise at the pond was putting the monomoy training they learned at their sea lab a few days ago into practice. Each monomoy boat had a crew which had to work together to steer and maneuver the boat, which is easier said than done with the long wooden oars. If the candidates do not work together as a cohesive unit, it is very difficult to steer, and the loss of an oar is a possibility. Once the candidates learned how to operate the monomoys, they raved against eachother and their times were recorded. From what the instructors had told me, 6th company had the highest average times over all the other companies thus far, which goes towards admirals cup and made me smile. The final activity was a cadenced row similar to that of which the crew team would participate in during their season. It was nice to see the candidates working together and getting their boats up to speed. C/C Madden and C/C Griffin displayed great character during this event. The pond day was a great success, and a nice break for the candidates from the long days at Taylor’s Point.
After the pond, the C/C’s met with the Academic Operations Officers and their Rates, who essentially oversee the success and the operations of their major. The C/C’s were very active and asking questions which were great to answer. It was the first real taste of what their intended major was truly about, so to see the passion in their eyes as they set their goals on a profession was inspiring to myself.
Evening patio was decent for 6th Company, but as the saying goes; the biggest room in the house is always the room for improvement. Patio was led by C/C Joy, who knew all 41 parts of a lifeboat as well as the steam cycle and spouted it with confidence.
There was no intramurals today, but instead the candidates spectated the football scrimmage which took place on the field. It was a gorgeous night coupled with a beautiful sunset and the stands packed with Youngies cheering their shipmates on.
The leadership trait to reinforce today was managing complexity. Managing complexity is one of the most important lessons that we need to learn in order to comprehend, as well as tackle any of our conflicts within our lives. It is no secret that life is complex. At a glance from a far, tasks can often seem impossible, unbearable, or simply infeasible. A big part of reaching your potential and becoming a high functioning individual is centered around your ability to manage complexity. Having the ability to break down intricate problems into manageable components and being able to address them one by one is one of the most important lessons of success. This lesson can be applied to all facets of life. It is important that our candidates realize now where they stand. Yes, graduating college is a complexity in and of itself. With this being said, being able to get small wins every day, and improve themselves just 1% day by day will ensure their success in their four short years here, and set them up for a lifetime of greatness. Leonardo da Vinci said it best, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Seven –
Good evening family and friends of 6 Co,
Todays morning was conducted differently than what the C/C’s have grown to know from the last week. Myself along with two members of the regimental staff awoke the freshman instead of all of the Squad Leaders on deck today. Although normally we would go to PT in the morning, we stayed inside the dorms for a “Personal Reflection Time” with the C/C’s. We also used this time for any interested in participating in any religious rituals they felt as though they would like to do. The academy did a good job of accommodating those who did participate. For those who did not, I asked them four simple questions in which they wrote down on a notecard for myself to read. 1. What is a regimental or academic goal they have? 2. What is a personal goal they have? 3. What is something they are proud of themselves for this week? And 4. What is something they need to work on? I was very proud while reading some of the answers as they were inspiring as well as motivating. We have a lot of C/C’s who said they want to have high GPA’s, obtain high leadership positions, and those who are especially proud of themselves for coming to this Academy and not quitting on themselves. As for some things they would like to work on, the general consensus was that they needed to work on being comfortable in uncomfortable situations and working on their confidence. I assured them that no progress has ever been made in a comfort zone, so it is good that they embrace and understand the power of being uncomfortable.
After morning meal, the C/C’s participated in their second of many morning formations they will have in their time at MMA. I was skeptical about the weather as it was cloudy and foggy over Buzzards bay, but as the morning went on the fog began to clear and the sun started to show.
Once morning formation concluded, our Squad Leaders taught the C/C’s various marching maneuvers which are beginning to get advanced and complex. The C/C’s have a lot of work to do before the competition on Wednesday. I hold them to a very high standard with the marching. I am proud to say that 6th Company was fortunate enough to take home the trophy last year for the spring marching competition, and I am hoping to lead them to victory once again. It is difficult for the C/C’s to learn the marching, as it is all brand new to them. I was especially impressed with the SL’s patience while teaching them to March. A couple of all stars we have when it comes to marching are C/C Shields, C/C Hill, and C/C Patterson who have all shown extraordinary growth in their confidence and appearance as they march. There is still a lot of work to be done, and I am hoping that we can accomplish this before the competition on Wednesday.
Losing intramurals two days ago may have been the wake up call that 6th Company needed to fuel their efforts today. 6th Company had an absolutely dominant performance against 7th Company in water polo today. 6 Co swept 7th 3 games to 0 with help from a multitude of candidates. It was nice to see the entire company participating and having a good time. Aguado-Scheyer led the team with a hat trick in the first game to set the tone for 6th Company. C/C Accord gave us some great effort and contributions as well to help lead 6 Co to victory. Our record now stands at 4-1.
Our evening patio was one of our worst, which was incredibly disheartening. We had ample time to study today, but the C/C’s struggled to remember the older knowledge which we had learned a few days prior. It was not a good moment for sixth company, but I explained to them that good teams are not defined by how they act when things go good, however how they respond when things go bad. I encouraged them to hold themselves accountable and to reflect on how they can make themselves succeed in this aspect. I am hoping that tomorrows performance on patio will be exponentially better than todays.
Our CCPL for yesterday was C/C Santos, who showed exemplary leadership specifically during intramurals as well as the study sessions he led. Todays CCPL was C/C Cates who plays a vital role in our intramurals team, and also does a fantastic job of motivating the company to perform better in every aspect. Congratulations to the both of them for displaying their amazing character traits and helping the company succeed.
The leadership trait of the day was initiative. Initiative is the quality that propels individuals to take proactive steps, even in the face of challenges and uncertainties. Initiative embodies the spirit of seizing opportunities and making things happen, rather than waiting for them to unfold on their own. It is the spark that inspires innovation and fosters leadership. Those who exhibit initiative are not content with the status quo, they are the ones who pave the path. Initiative is the catalyst that transforms ideas into actions and dreams into reality. I believe that MMA does a great job of rewarding those who do take initiative. The academy naturally influences the cadets to take initiatives with their mind as well as their body to better themselves. It truly is astonishing to see the motivation that comes from within some of the cadets from this institution, and I would argue that it is second to none. I will end tonight’s blog with a notorious Chinese proverb which I believe portrays this idea of initiative perfectly, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander
Day Eight –
We began the morning with the second PT test of orientation. The effort seen from all C/C’s reinforced my opinion that they have what it takes to be a successful Cadet at this academy. I was very satisfied with their results, as most of them improved their scores from the week prior. They began with the field exercises (push-ups and sit ups). Our standouts were C/C Hill with 136 push-ups, and C/C Hegedus with 93 sit-ups. Everyone gave amazing effort and the results followed. It was also very nice to see them all cheer on their partners and their shipmates. In only a week, all of the C/C’s have made friends and have learned the value of motivating one another.
After the PT test and morning meal, 6th Company did a good amount of drill to prepare for the marching competition. They are starting to master the simple maneuvers and they are getting more familiar with the advanced ones as well. Tomorrow is out last day to prepare for the competition, so it is important that we understand and execute every step to precision or we will not perform the way we would like. We are teaching them a specialty move tomorrow which will hopefully award us some more points during the competition. The Squad Leaders have been doing everything in their power to ensure the success of the marching competition, but we are not alone. Other companies have been practicing just as much as 6th Company and look good as well. It will be a battle to see who is crowned the winner of the marching competition, but I can guarantee that myself and my staff will be ready for it.
The C/C’s had their company photo today. It was taken at maritime park with the railroad bridge in the background. It made me proud to see them standing as a company with their shipmates taking the photo. I know that in 4 short years, they will look back on these long and difficult days and laugh about everything that occurred. Some of my favorite memories are from orientation my freshman year, and I am fortunate enough to play a role in some of theirs as well. The days go slow at MMA, but I can assure you; the years go fast.
After the company picture, we did some more drill and then room prep. The candidates have their first regimental inspection tomorrow. There are a lot of small details that they need to get right in order to ensure they pass the inspections. This teaches them the importance of doing the little things right, and demanding perfection from themselves. They will learn a lot in the year to come as far as inspections go, but tomorrow marks the first one they will stand. I am hoping that they have put in the work for their rooms to be ready, however there is a lot of standards and small steps which are easy to miss when the candidates are still learning that could lead to a failed inspection. Nonetheless, it is their first inspection and the cadre understand this.
6th Company had another absolutely dominant day of dodgeball. They won 5 games to 0 vs. 7th company in absolute dominance. The star player was C/C Browne, who caught a plethora of the other teams throws, allowing 6th company to get a player back in, as well as removing the person who threw it from 7th co. I was very happy with their effort as well as their performance. We have created a culture of winning in 6th company. All of the candidates as well as cadre understand their roles, whether it is that they are the star player, or they are providing energy from the sideline. They know it takes an army to be successful and so they show up with a full head of steam every day.
The two evening presentations consisted of a military recruiting presentation in which they were informed about the different branches, opportunities, as well as duties of the military. They also had a student financial services meeting so they understand where their tuition goes to, any scholarships that may be available, as well as general information on how financial services operates at MMA.
The leadership trait of the day was trust. Trust is the bedrock upon which the foundations of any meaningful relationship, whether professional or personal, are built. In a world marked by uncertainty, trust provides a stable anchor, allowing individuals to collaborate, share, and connect with confidence. It empowers teams to work harmoniously, knowing that each member can be relied upon. I am hoping that 6th Company trusts one another with learning their knowledge, knowing how to march, as well understanding that they all need to trust each other and work together in order to succeed. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. We have created an atmosphere in 6th Company that I am very proud of, and I hope that they continue to trust each other as the time goes on. “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships” -Stephen Covey
1/C Michael Nogueira
6th Company Commander