Nine CGA Cadets Removed for Cocaine possession etc

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by LineInTheSand, Aug 21, 2009.

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  1. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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  2. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Very sad day at the Academy. This, along with the story about the man who embezzled money from the athletic fund.

    The cocaine story calls into question how we are screening our candidates for admission. Something is lacking in our procedures. I am an Admissions Partner and I wonder what we are doing wrong, if anything? Is this merely an indication of a society without scruples or standards? Is our society too permissive for its own good? I knew that there was a lot of problems with drinking at all of our academies. It starts with the parents who allow their children to drink at home. Just look at Facebook any time and you see evidence of underage drinking at all stratas of our society.

    It was perhaps inevitable that the next step would be widespread drug use. I am shocked, disappointed and distressed.:frown:
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    There's nothing you can do in the screening to catch everyone. The hope is catching them before they graduate. I've put this in a different thread,


    "The Mission of the United States Coast Guard Academy is to graduate young men and women with sounds bodies, stout hearts and alert minds with a liking for the sea and its lore...."


    The Mission is to GRADUATE, not ACCEPT. Not all of those who are accepted with have sound bodies, or stout hears or alert minds....but the hope is you can weed out those weak links and graduate the "good guys".
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Screening for character, our number one criteria for an admissions decision, is not an exact science.

    Although these incidents are distressing, I'm not so sure we can call into question the appointment procedures or decision process.

    Nor can we place the blame on the parents of these disenrolled cadets. Not all dishonorable behavior or conduct is learned at home, in fact, I would venture to say that maybe a few of these disenrolled cadets were never drug users and simply succumbed to peer pressure, which can be incredibly weighted at a service academy or the military in general.

    And while the reported drug use while home on leave is disturbing, the report of drug use inside Leamy Hall was downright shocking.

    http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=a4deb88b-1639-42c9-b8dd-237ac451e083

    (PS - for those not familiar with the USCGA, Leamy Hall is a "rec center" type building with an auditorium and stage, as well as a large meeting hall/ballroom, a bowling alley, and a small cafe/restaurant. It also house the Chaplain's offices.)
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Children, teenagers, and eventually young adults, are not born with morals, values, ethics, or a sense of common good/evil. These are all traits that they learn and develop. Somewhat through their parents and family life, and some through their social environment. And in the same manner, certain people aren't born with an innate desire or belief to serve their country and to be part of something much larger than themselves. There are some that have developed these traits and desire years prior to applying to the academy, ROTC, or OTS. Same with the enlisted ranks. But there are also some that don't have these traits or desire when they enter military service/academy/ROTC/OTS. The vast majority of these individuals applied to such institutions as the academy for purely selfish reason. They were looking for a free education, benefits, etc... Most of these people will develop the selfless attitude required to be a great team player and military officer. But there will occasionally be those that maintain the personal, selfish, individualistic attitude where they only care about themselves. They will be the ones who do the drugs, selling, underage alcohol use on a regular basis, etc... These are usually the same people that aren't assuming advanced leadership or responsibilities in their cadet life.

    My only opinion on this topic is that you will always have some of these cadets in each class. You can't avoid it. It's not possible. And if these individuals screw up enough, they will get caught. And I'm very glad they do get caught. The academies/military doesn't need these types of cadets/officers. And anyone who disrespects the cadets/academy/military members that much that they'll behave in this manner, I am glad that the rest of their lives will be impacted by these decisions on their part. No one was forcing them to stay at the academy and commit to such service. They were free to leave at any time. The fact that they selfishly CHOSE to do these acts with total disregard for the trust and respect they demanded of their classmates, peers, teachers, and the military; is enough to make me have no remorse if they are locked away for 10+ years.

    Possession is usually something that you can't say: "IF they are guilty". Possession is proof in hand. Selling, transporting, etc... are things that could have other possible circumstances. But possession is pretty straight forward. If there is a misunderstanding, I hope they get it resolved. If it is a fact, then I hope the military hold them accountable and send their butts to prison.
     
  6. Sandbar

    Sandbar Member

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    This is a sad day for the Coast Guard and the Academy. I think a review of
    the application process and background investigation procedures is warranted.
    The review will hopefully tweak background procedures enough to pick this up early in the background investigation process, thus avoiding future issues.
    We do live in an "anything goes society" which is unfortunate. This issue is not
    restricted to the Coast Guard Academy. Drugs have been an issue in all branches of the service. We only have to look back at the Vietnam era to know it was a problem. Believe me it was a problem.
    The fact that nine cadets used drugs suggests to me that at least one was in possesion and sold or gave the drugs to the others. If it was a sale he should
    have been court marshaled and subjected to the UCMJ.
    Having said this the Coast Guard addressed the issue and have removed these individuals from their Cadet ranks. Those in the class of 2012 that remain must rise above this event and demonstrate their character and leadership by living the "Honor Code"
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The article didn't give many details. I hope that none of the cadets were dismissed because of rumors or heresay. Interesting that there was no mention of any Courts Martial.

    That said, this stuff happens unfortunately and it happens at every academy. This was news because so many were involved. I didn't see any indication in the articles that these kids were using before they became cadets.
    There really is no way to tell who is going to take the wrong fork in the road. It happens to cadets and even officers.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    There weren't any, all 9 cases were handled via Captain's Mast (Non Judicial Punishment, known as Article 15 in the Army and Air Force).
     
  9. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    While it is indeed a sad day and 9 cadets is a fairly large number given the total enrollment; I don't believe any amount of screening or changes will catch 100% of folks who might succumb to this sort of behaviour prior to entry to ANY of our Academies.

    I also think it appears the handlong of these incidents was swift and proper. I commend the USCGA staff on this one, if it had to happen, this is the way to handle it IMO.

    Go Mariners - Beat Coast Guard!

    Acta Non Verba!
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, IMHO, the USCG was very "lenient" to these young'uns. (of course, I don't know the particulars of the case so I say that with a HUGE grain of salt.)

    Most of the more recent "incidents" at USAFA have typically had a court martial for one or more players; not all, but usually the "most egregious."

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    "Pot had helped and booze; maybe a Little BLOW when you could afford it" from the book DREAMS FROM MY FATHER byBarrack Hussein Obama.
    these cadets were simply following the lead of their commander in chief.

    I do not condone the use of drugs by anyone at any level.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Did AFA have a "drug bust" recently too?
     
  13. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Ouch but, he did say that and I guess it's a reality in todays world; maybe this is the new WPC dilemma?
    Very sad day to say the least, I wish I had something more constructive to say...
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    No, not recently. In fact, it's been a while.

    BUT...you'll find that the SA's and the military in general are seeing more GCM's and SPCM's (General Courts Martial and Special Courts Martial) for drug use and, VERY sadly, child pornography. Not aware of any SA's getting anyone for the latter, but in the active forces: YES.

    Very sad.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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  16. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I think we had a cadet get caught with meth at USAFA a few years ago. They were given the "express lane" to the exit, IIRC.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    They were extremely lucky.
    With these 9 cases, since there won't be a trial we won't ever know what evidence, if any was held against the CG Cadets. I wonder why the Academy chose not to press charges.
    Non Judicial punishment is supposed to be used for "minor disciplinary offenses".

    West Point has had several Cadet court martialed over the past several years for drug violations. There was a "Cocaine Ring" drug bust a couple of years ago and 6 cadets went to Article 32 hearings - some are serving jail time.
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I believe that there are a lot of extenuating circumstances. Not that the academies have different sets of rules for different cadets; but the do. And they should. Forget what you know or don't know of the UCMJ and the law. Each individual and each case are unique. At the academy, there's going to be a big difference in how new 4th year is treated compared to a 1st year. Sometimes the guilt is obvious, but the prosecution doesn't have as much "facts" and "evidence" as they'd like. So sometimes a bluff is in order to get the defendant to take an article 15 instead. Sometimes it's because they "cooperated". There's so many variables. Just like the civilian world, there are always "circumstances". If a new cadet did something (non-personal assault) where the government could throw the book at them; or possibly release them from the academy without a felony charge and not ruin their entire life; sometimes that is the right answer. Especially if it means saving money and there was no victim. Again, each individual and each case is unique.
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    You certainly make some valid comments - of course each case is different. I don't know what the "extenuating circumstances" would be for using and possessing.
    Perhaps the news report was wrong about "Possession" but Possession of illegal drugs is a Federal Crime. Perhaps, they were just caught on drug tests and there was no "possession".
    With 9 Cadets involved - if there aren't "facts" and "evidence" there is a chance at least one was innocent and railroaded into resigning. Not saying that happened but Cadets and Mids are entitled to legal counsel, whether they were charged with a crime or just expelled.

    As was dutifully noted on a thread concerning sexual assault - in America we are all considered innocent until proven guilty. Isn't there a conversation on here where some folks thought it not quite right when a sexual assault defendent was thrown out without a conviction? Perhaps in these cases guilt is "obvious" but there aren't enough "facts" and evidence" to obtain a conviction.

    In any case, hopefully Cadets and Mids don't think they are immune from criminal prosecution. I was just pointing out that some have been prosecuted and sent to jail.
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Close. They were not caught via drug test, but by their own admissions when confronted during the investigation. Two admitted to using drugs on academy grounds, while the other 7 admitted using drugs while on leave, away from the academy.

    According to the press coverage, there were no actual drugs confiscated, not sure how that constitutes possession.

    The drug dogs even searched Chase Hall during the investigation, and found nothing.

    Not every case demands a criminal trial / court martial. Dismissal from the academy, general discharge, and permanently barred fro the grounds seems appropriate in this case.

    Actual possession or distribution is different. I agree that those cases should bring criminal charges.
     
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