I am starting this thread because over in the thread "Plebe Candidate Status - Rewisited" several topics came up and a couple of frequent posters who I normally solidly agree with have put forth some ideas and thoughts about the traditions, etc. at USMMA as regards leadership trainng,etc. that are being challenged/changed by the new adminstatration, and I don't agree with those posters thoughts and comments. So I figured I'd put my the topic and my thoughts here and see what the broiader audiance thinks. The basic thoughts and ideas are that recently changes in how the "Administration./Higher Ups" "hog-tie" restrict the trainining program as managed by the Regimental, Battalion, and Company level midshipman officers, particularly the management of the USMMA plebe class, is detrimental in one way or another to the overall leadersip training program. Further there is an underlying sentiment to these thoughts that these actions are not in historic keeping with the long held practices and traditions at the Academy. My thoughts and feelings are decidedly otherwise. I have a view on these traditions as someone who entered the USMMA 30+ years ago, raduated 26 years ago and have been at worst a moderately active supporter and alumni since then, so I believe I have some first hand knowledge of said traditions that is somewhat longer in view and perspective than many posters on the topic. I disagree that the Company Level Midshipman Officers, particularly the CTO level, should have more latitude, etc. If you go back to the time prior to 1999, the basic structure and number of Midshipman Officer Billets was proportially fewer than the current USMMA regimental structure. Even though we had 7 companies, vice 5. There was no Company Level Training Officer, at all. There was an RTO and a BTO. There also was basically no real leadership responsibility for the Third Class and a minor amount for the second classman. To me this worked much better - the result was there was more competition for Regimental and Battalion level Midshipmen Officer Billets that resulted in a better caliber of midshipman officer, IMO and a set of Company Commanders and XO's who were also more committed and serious about their midshipman officer responsibilities. That combined with the fact the US Merchant Marine Academy hadn't been morphed by 10 years of USMC driven influence meant the training regimine was different and the care, feeding and management of the Plebe Class was ineed pretty much left to the RC, RTO, BC, BX, BTO and the CX's. To be sure the Commandant and the Deputy Commandant set guidelines and bounds within which the first class midshipman officers lived but they handled things day to day. If an individual Company Level Commissioned Officer had an issue with how this was working he topld the Midshipman Officer, if that didn't work he talked to the Commandant and he "talked to the RC and that Midn officer'. The CO's pretty much NEVER issued directives to the Midn Directly - the RC, BC, and CC's did that for general things or Upper Classman; the RX, RTO, BTO or CX's did that for the Plebes. It worked - seriously. Oh and we had NO IT - none of this "instantaneous, simple, non-effective over in a minute punishment" - we all got demerits, get enough and you get restricted, get restricted and the MOD and CDO had a day and half after all the noin-restricted guys were off campus to make sure you had taken responsibility and were accountable for your actions and "learned your lesson." Oh and the BX's ran mast and that meant through a year since there were two officer rotations and 3 battallions six guys were the "judges" for the entire year. The were pretty fair and consistant in their application of the rules, if they weren't their classmates got on them. Also they weren't afraid of any of the commissioned officers and if those guys did something that was felt to be unfair or inconsistant in their appliation of rules for Class III Offenses the BX's fixed it. Also we didn't have Class II write up for Class III offenses - the Commandant did the Mast for Class II'[s and the Superintendant did Class I's. Of course even though we had women in our Class back then we never felt the need to have sex in our barracks rooms so there were fewer Class I's. The Honor Board also worked. The Chairman was Elected by the First Classman on the HB. Never to my knowledge during the 4 years I was there did the Honor Board's recommendation not get followed by the Superintendant and as far as i can remember they never got it wrong. My point, go back to how it really was traditionally - even before the Joe Stwart era - we are training Commissioned Officers on a tight cram 4 years into 3 years period. Stop pretending the 2nd and 3rd Class has time for or is ready to lead the Classes below them. Let them keep their noses clean and take responsibility for their own actions while they are at sea and between sea years. Yes still have them cvolunteer to be DI's during Indoc to see whop wants to and is suited to be Midshipman Officers when they are first classman. Let the First Class run the Regimewnt within simple, consistant straight-forward guidelines. Let the First Calss - though fewer of them - be Midshipman Officers and Lead the Entire Regiment. Reward those who take this responsibility with something meaning, self regulated, free gangway until the Class Passes Liscence. Everyone who has passed Liscence should have Free Gangway like in the past. Restore Overnight LIberty, every weekend to both uper classes if they are not either on Academic Probation or Restriction. Review the Class I, II, and III demerits list and have it make sense. Then let the Midshipman Officers enforce it for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Class. The CO's enforce it for the 1st Class - so we restore Class Unity - no one ever stuck a classmate "back in the day." That worked... My Rambling 2+cents - your thoughts?