Category Archives: Orientation

Staying Active and Motivated, Training Day 3

Monday, August 16th, 2021

The startling awakening greets the Youngies once again in the morning. When stepping outside for physical training, it usually is still pitch black. The stadium lights come on at 0500. The Youngies get to watch the world awaken.

The companies that weren’t already preoccupied with scheduled events, attend morning formation. All other companies march out onto the football field at approximately 0750 in a unified fashion. Standing at the head of the formation is the Regimental Staff; 1/C Cameron Craviero, the Regimental Adjutant, and 1/C Daniel McAuliffe, the Regimental Commander (RC). The RC calls the Regiment to Attention and everyone pays their respect to the flag.

Today, there was a variety of activities for Cadet Candidates. Some of these activities were sailing and rowing. This took place at Herring Pond, located in Plymouth 15 minutes from campus. Here, the Maritime sailing and rowing teams practice during the Fall semester. Marine boat drills take place at the Keith Rodgers Sailing Center, Massachusetts Maritime Academy waterfront training ground.

Today, 4th company had their Sailing and Rowing block of instruction at the pond. All companies are scheduled to spend a whole day at the pond.

Intramurals continued with companies competing in different events and facing different opponents. Today, a massive dodgeball game took place on the baseball field where 1st company took on 3rd company.

1st Company Vs 3rd Company

The Youngies had an amazing opportunity to train with the Barnstable Fire Fighting Academy today.  The instructors taught them about shipboard fire fighting.  During the lessons, they learned about how to roll, hold, and spray water using fire hoses.  Another station was the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).  Everyone learned to wear and operate the air packs.  The third station was putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher and hose. Fire Fighting is one of the company unit awards that will be presented at the Orientation graduation.

It was another great day to learn and become closer with shipmates!  Cadets 1/C Blakely, SGA President and 1/C Aldakhlallah, Intramural Officer, held fabulous team-building exercises to build camaraderie and unity among the companies.  Massachusetts Maritime Academy is more than just an academy, it is a family.

The Deep End, Training Day 4

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

The cycle continues as the companies adhere to the schedule to execute the training activities of Orientation. After the daily morning activities, the 4th Company got to have their hands-on “Water Survival” class in the MMA pool. This class teaches new Cadet Candidates how to properly and safely jump off a boat, how to swim in a life jacket, how to create a flotation circle out of a group of individuals, how to climb in a life raft, and how to flip a life raft. This class is taught by faculty members from our Marine Transportation and Engineering departments. The training utilizes actual equipment including life rafts that are used on the T.S. Kennedy (the Academy’s training ship) inside the pool.

2nd Company and 3rd Company got to experience the “Sea Lab”. The sea lab instructors are full-time lab instructors here at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Sea Lab goes over the basic fundamental rules of seamanship. It also talks about the safety of being out at sea. The practical portion of the training includes being in a stationary monomoy on land, practice rowing commands, and how to operate as a team.

Every day the Cadet Candidates are now being tested on the spot. The Youngies are evaluated twice daily by the leadership staff with a training exercise called “Patio”. The Patio session is an exercise in which the Regimental and Battalion Staff stand on the patio outside of the Mess Deck and the Cadet Candidates march in a platoon on the walkway in front of the patio with their respective companies, Squad Leaders, and Senior Cadet Officers. The companies are then subjected to questions pertaining to the “Youngie Knowledge” that they will be expected to know for their end of orientation “Youngie Knowledge Exam”. The Senior Staff then evaluates the growth and progress of the Companies by vocally quizzing on their Youngie knowledge, assessing their unity, and marching skills.

Later that evening, all of the Companies attended military branch briefings from the US Army, USMC, and USCG. The presenters were COL Dilliplane, (Ret.), Maj Johnson, and Chief Crawford. The presentations gave insight into their commissioning programs either on campus or at other institutions of higher education in MA.

The First Full Day, Training Day 2

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

The Youngies awaken to the sound of music and their squad leaders motivate them to get out of their rack at 4:45. A rush to get ready and fallout of their rooms, leaves the Cadet Candidates running in formation to the football field. At the football field, the inventory physical fitness test will take place. Youngies will have to run a time recorded mile around campus then perform as many push-ups and sit-ups as they can in a certain time period.

After their morning physical training, the candidates refuel with breakfast. Then, proceed to commemorate the start of the day with the raising and saluting of the flag at morning formation. From this point on, the different companies will execute the training schedule for the remainder of the day.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd companies began their day by switching out uniforms received during check-In that didn’t fit properly.

The other companies attended lectures in Admiral’s Hall learning basic procedures, obligations, and responsibilities as an Academy Youngie.

The topics these lectures covered included how to stand watch, military customs & traditions, the discipline system, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy history.

The companies always drilled and studied their “Youngie knowledge” when gaps in the schedule allowed it. Youngie knowledge consists of memorizing the change of command, the mission statement, the 13 traits of a leader, and other important values critical to their journey at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

The Candidates ate lunch to charge up for team and company bonding in intramural competitions around campus. The intramurals events are kickball, dodge ball, and water polo. Intramurals give companies a chance to make new friends by competing as a team and working together to create and build a stronger union. Intramurals give everyone a chance to participate and motivate shipmates to work together towards a goal.

4th Company played 3rd Company in kickball

1st Company played 7th Company in water polo

2nd Company played 6th Company in dodgeball

The Youngies had the honor of meeting their Cadre today. The Cadre introduced themselves and gave information about themselves to the class of 2025. While introducing themselves, they also told the Youngies what their standards are and what they expect from them.

At 1900, Cadet Candidates had the privilege to register and make their own account for the Massachusetts Fire Academy. They will all be practicing fire safety in the next few days. Stay tuned for photographs related to operating a fire extinguisher, operating a fire hose, and using a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus tank. Leave us a comment if you would like. We would really appreciate feedback

Orientation begins, The Youngies have arrived, Training Day 1

Saturday, August 15th

The new generation of Maritime has finally arrived! Today 388 new Cadet Candidates lined up on Academy Drive for the check-in process. The check-in process starts at the Admissions tent where the Cadet Candidate receive their name tag with their assigned company. Next, is the tent issuing the basic Massachusetts Maritime Academy physical training gear to have the cadets change out of their normal clothes. The parents, friends, and other family members of the Youngie can help walk their belongings to the dorms, but cannot enter the dormitories due to Academy safety and preventive protocols. After the Youngie receives their assigned room, they file back out to the main area to reunite with family and friends.

The Youngies then get the first glimpse at the stellar leadership team that will be leading and teaching them in the next two weeks. The Cadre makes their first impression in what is called “The Cadre Run”. A loud and powerful cadence in step vibrates the ground and has their voices echo throughout campus.

Everyone makes their way over to Clean Harbours Stadium, where the Introduction Ceremony will be conducted. Lieutenant Commander Edgar Piñero, Director of Orientation, Commander Joshua Tefft, Director of Admissions, and Dr. Shannon Finning, Vice President of Student Services all gave welcoming remarks and spoke about their 2 week challenge ahead and how rewarding it will be at the end.

The Cadre then marched out onto the field for their “Oath” ceremony, signifying the beginning of Orientation and their commitment to giving their all to the new Maritime generation by leading them through Orientation and the 2021-22 Academic Year.

The Cadet Candidates are now in the hands of the Squad Leaders. Within the next 14 days, they will facilitate learning MMA’s Youngies Knowledge, Customs & Traditions and MMA history, among other topics. It is going to be a demanding, both physically and mentally, but extremely rewarding. Youngies will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.

Youngies are introduced to MMA’s standards from day one. Standards for grooming, physical training, room inspections, wearing of the uniform, among others are just a few they will be expected to learn and comply with without fail.

The Youngies were issued their Sea Bags today. Sea Bags contain essential items that will allow you to train and participate in different classes and events on or off campus. Safety is paramount in everything we do at MMA.

We had a very special guest during Check In. Rear Admiral Francis Macdonald and his wife, Beth, volunteered their time and energy to hand out the Sea Bags to the Youngies. They welcomed all the Youngies to the Buc Family!