You just can't fix stupid

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by tallpoppy, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. tallpoppy

    tallpoppy New Member

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    I would like to know why students on restriction at USMMA were not permitted to leave campus LIKE THEY DID BEFORE THE LAST HURRICANE. I daresay, of all the U.S. citizens on the eastern seaboard who were affected by the hurricane, only Kings Point midshipmen were denied the option of getting to safer ground. They were held captive against their will.

    The highest water level reported was at Kings Point: 14.2 feet.

    And how about the only official emergency alert message going out from the administration?

    "The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will be closed for normal operations Monday, October 29th and Tuesday, October 30. A liberal leave policy is in effect for all non-essential personnel. Personnel designated as essential by their supervisors are asked to report for work if it is safe to do so. Personnel with a telework authorization in place are permitted to work from home. Maritime Administration and Department of Transportation personnel assigned to the Academy who are not designated as essential personnel may follow the liberal leave policy."

    Not a SINGLE mention of the safety or concern about the students who had to remain on campus.

    NOT A SINGLE MENTION.

    They lost power. Were they fed? Was a safety plan issued? Did any message go out to them? The answer is NO.

    Long Island was evacuated.

    THIS IS ATROCIOUS.

    I would love to know if Helis, Kennedy, DeStafney and Kumar stayed on campus.

    It is clear what the priorities are at USMMA - non-essential staff, not students. You can't fix stupid.
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    If non-restricted students were allowed to evacuate and restricted students forced to remain I think you might have an issue.

    In truth, due to the height of most of the campus above sea level and the solid construction of the buildings I don't think anyone was in much danger.

    Long Island was not evacuated. My in-Laws live on the south shore and they were fine other than the power being out.
     
  3. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

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    Just for the record, normal high tide at KP is around 8-10 feet above MLLW. So the recorded height of 14.2 really only means it was about 4-6 feet above a normal high tide. From what I can remember, that may start lapping at the underside of some of the piers - maybe. Yocum, Prosser and the USCG station are probably the most at risk for flooding. Certainly no berthing or living areas were in danger of being flooded. The bulk of the campus is probably at least 70 feet or so above the waterfront. Max wind speed recorded at the NOAA station there was less than 40kts. Breezy, but nothing unusual. We had plenty of winter gales that reached that and beyond.

    Don't believe the media hype. They'll post "jaw-dropping" numbers like 14.2' without explaining what that really means.
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    The replies relative to the sensationalism are right on the mark that said enforcing restriction during a break such as this one that is one week long was never done before this academic year. My understanding is it was brought to the USMMA by Capt/Col Kennedy from the USNA. As we all probably know, USNA operates much differently than USMMA with regards to the Commandant's Department and this decision was NOT in my opinion a good/smart move.

    There's really no reason for this change that I'm aware other than one man's opinion about what he should do to bring a more disciplined approach and more strongly emphasize leadership training. Of course if that's the real goal, one might wonder why Capt. (Col, USMC Retired) Kennedy has yet by any report to avail himself of any of the opportunities that have been offered to him to spend some time on a real merchant ship so he might better understand the real world environment that he is training those future leaders to live and work in. It's really beyond me how a retired USMC officer, a retired member of what may well be our uniformed service with the deepest sense of heritage and tradition, has and is making no effort whatsoever to understand the heritage and traditions of the Merchant Marine - a service and profession that predates both the formation of the US Navy and the USMC.

    I've said more than I meant to already so I'll just sign of on this one with the idea that says as both an alumni and the parent of an alumni, I agree IMO the decision to not allow restricted midshipmen to evacuate in a timely manner was at best ill considered/advised and at worst as characterized by the originator of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  5. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    My DS, a 2012 USMMA graduate texted us last night at 2100 hours to tell us that his tugboat had left its pier and had headed into the Sound to escape the storm. He said that they were anchored off KP and that everything was fine and that he was going to sleep. If he was going to bed I don't think it was that bad at KP and the school was probably one of the safest places to be holed up in.
     
  6. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Not offering an opinion on restriction, but

    DH talked to DS today. DS isn't on campus right now but talked to someone there since he's the company XC and thought he should check in. Apparently the surge went over Mallory Pier and dumped a good portion of the Long Island Sound into Eldridge Pool, but it didn't get near the dorms. I'm pretty sure they're without power, though (90% of Long Island lost power). In all, DS thought they seemed to be holding up well under the circumstances. Liberator came up my way to Albany to ride out the storm.

    I think one concern will be mids trying to return to campus at the end of the week. Right now Amtrak is out of commission, since the tunnels under the Hudson are flooded getting into NYC from the south and the track is washed out north of NYC. LIRR is out of commission right now with no estimate of return to service. LaGuardia sustained serious flooding - right up to the jetways at the terminal. They're not sure when they'll open. JFK is expected to open tomorrow. All in all, it could make for some messy travel.
     
  7. tallpoppy

    tallpoppy New Member

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    I won't disagree that KP is a relatively sound place to ride out a storm. What is reprehensible is the fact that the students had NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. They are treated like prisoners.

    Oh, and I hear Helis had a "Hurricane Party." Were all students invited?

    How about the student(s) who were sent to hotels last night?

    Why aren't the Mids on campus being fed three meals this week?

    I am ready to hear some reasonable answers.
     
  8. humility

    humility New Member

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    Perhaps your anger would be better suited directed at your Mid. There would be no issue if he were not on restriction. But.... to use your words-you cant fix stupid.
     
  9. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I had forgotten that school wasn't in session this week. I don't think there was any need to evacuate those on restriction, in fact if I was local I would probably want to evacuate TO campus. They definitely need to be making sure they are all fed appropriately.

    Keeping restriction in place during a break?!?! Thats a bit much if you ask me and I agree with Jasperdog on that 100%
     
  10. tallpoppy

    tallpoppy New Member

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    Humility - I have no Mid on restriction, and clearly that is not the issue.
     
  11. goober87

    goober87 New Member

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    Maybe you all should forward your concerns to your Representative or Senator...let them look into it.
     
  12. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Humility - Ditto to what tallpoppy said.

    As for your sentiment: not sure you have a clear understanding of how many inane and stupid things one can and does get stuck for or end up on restriction because of.

    For example one might get stuck for wearing the wrong color backpack while carrying books, etc. to class - now how stupid would that be? I mean think about it - your tax dollars that are being used to pay someone to instill ethics and leadership into a future leader of a civilian industry - the US Maritime Industry for example - and that person chooses to focus on putting rules in place and spending time enforcing them that dictate what color backpack a person can wear, when for years it hasn't been an issue.

    I could go on but once again it seems to me it's time someone remind the leadership at my Alma Mater it's the U.S. MERCHANT Marine Academy - not Parris Island or Quantico ... Also it's about training people to be leaders in the Maritime Industry and the same set of training that prepares you to lead people subject to the UCMJ isn't always all that applicable to leading civilians who are protected and governed by collective bargaining agreements.
     
  13. goober87

    goober87 New Member

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    FWIW

    If you all check the regimental calendar, it says restriction will be held during Thanksgiving break.
     
  14. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    In the meantime ...

    According to reports we've seen there are over 900,000 people on Long Island without power - from the LIPA storm center site it looks like a fair amount of folks in the town of Great Neck and the Township of North Hempstead have been adversely affected:

    http://www.lipower.org/stormcenter/outagemap.html

    From the Nassau County OEM site there do not appear to be other major issues for Kings Point but at least two water districts in Nassau County where the water is not currently safe to drink, even if it's boiled (Long Beach on the South Shore and Mill Neck Estates on the North Shore).

    https://www.facebook.com/NassauOEM

    https://twitter.com/NassauCountyOEM

    Issues like this as a result of major flooding are why "shelter in place" should always be your avenue of last resort in situations like this - that's why when you have a choice as a person in charge of a place like a College or University, etc. you opt on the side of caution and get people out of harms way or keep them out of it if they are already safe. For example here in the DC Metro Area the Federal Government has basically been shut down except for only essential personnel since Sunday Night and only will reopen starting tomorrow when we'll again have a smoothly functioning transportation system and no chance of any danger from the weather conditions....

    Of course if instead of teaching future mariners to err on the side of caution when navigating around a major storm and protecting their crew and cargo, you want to teach them to approach the situation with cavalier bravado and machismo then maybe you just batten the hatches and stay right in the right, front quadrant. I mean historically that's been proven to work out really well [NOT].... Yep, that's a really, really good way to teach leadership betterer - especially if you are training the future leaders for the Nation's Maritime Industry, yes sir-ree bob, or should that have been yes sir-ree Jay...
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  15. nadofr8dog

    nadofr8dog Member

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    I love having this discussion with my DS so here goes . . . How can a disciplinary program have any backbone if one gets holiday's off?? Why should a Mid care whether or not they get caught breaking a reg if they know they'll still get to go home over Christmas? Whereas if I'm under 21, and I know if I get caught drinking I'll be stuck on restriction over Christmas, then I may think twice about having that drink. You're responsible for your actions!

    WRT Jasperdog's comment, I'll agree only serious offenses should be required to remain over holiday's, breaks, etc.
     
  16. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

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    That's an extreme example. Most mids on restriction are not there due to alcohol offenses. I ultimately did two weeks once for having too long of hair (was actually in regs, but wasn't "motivated" enough for my esteemed USMC "leaders"). If the regs were actually enforced 100%, the entire Regiment would be on restriction year-round. Nintey-nine percent of the regs are like speed limits - broken on a daily basis, even by "honorable" people.

    Also, being on restriction while school is in session is no cakewalk either.

    What's next - no Sea Year if you're on restriction?
     
  17. tallpoppy

    tallpoppy New Member

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    Now there's an interesting comment, because that is exactly what is going on right now. I know of at least two Mids on restriction who are being held - indefinitely - from going to sea right now.

    They are hanging with no answer to when they will be released to start sea duty.

    Aren't rules and regulations designed to follow so both sides know what the discipline levels are? Exactly what they can and cannot do?

    What does it say about a system when those rules are not followed and further modified to an administrator's mere whim?

    Is this another example of Kennedy making up his own rules? Or another example of his unprofessional and vague bullying tactics?

    How much more counterproductive can discipline get when it seriously (and unnecessarily) compromises the graduating requirements of the students? It smacks of mean and spiteful retribution, not an example of fine leadership.
     
  18. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    You need to call Kings Point and express your concerns.
     
  19. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    "Leadership" by RO-8 = epic fail! If one somehow feels important by handing out demerits to a bunch of 18-22 year olds and you somehow think that you are teaching them life lessons and how to be better adults, you are sadly mistaken. Frankly, I always thought of demerits as a failure in leadership.

    I was a bit of a scofflaw for the "minor" regs as an underclassman and always managed to stay off restriction. Going in to 1/C year I decided to toe the line a bit more, OK only mostly, and it seemed like I couldn't stay off restriction. I got two weeks restriction once for not ratting out my classmates. I know someone who was once given a choice between a Class I and 16/2 if they ratted someone else out. They took the Class I. Point is that its not always the lawbreakers on restriction and prides of the regiment on liberty.
     
  20. nadofr8dog

    nadofr8dog Member

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    Leadership goes both ways. Those in charge must exhibit leadership traits of leading by example, not "do as I say, not as I do". This goes for both Midshipman in positions of leadership as well as the Company Officers and above. Handing out BS demerits accomplishes nothing. There needs to be a clear delineation of what are infractions and what level they are.

    I would venture to say a large percentage of kids coming out of high school are not taught, or do not understand the concept of being responsible for their actions. This is something that needs to be instilled from Day 1 at KP as well as the other Service Academies. This includes following written regulations and accepting responsibility when breaking them.

    That being said, I can't imagine an infraction serious enough to prevent someone from going on Sea Year that shouldn't have resulted in the individual being separated from KP. I can see a situation where start of Sea Year is delayed while an infraction is being processed. I can see a certain level of infractions which would keep an individual restricted to campus during trimester breaks, etc.

    Again, all this is predicated on there being a clear set of regulations as well as a well defined disciplinary program which clearly defines the max level of punishment which can be awarded.
     

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