I should have never walked by the computer. I'll be here till the sun comes up. I have promised my self I would never reveal my pro or con on KP even if someone else was buying. If I state I never heard of KP until about the second week of classes first year, please believe me. I have never been to KP but I have promised my bucket list, I will drive by. I have shipped with KP Cadets while I was on my Cadet Shipping, sailed with them in all ranks, answered to them in the front office, so whether or not I'm entitled to an opinion depends on what bar your in.
!.Any way you splice it the majority of cadets, never had any intention of sailing. They just wanted to go to a service academy, or the FLIDS wanted to go to Mama's for Sunday lunch. I had a C/Mate for a couple of years that I'd have to think for a long time to come up with something bad to say about him. I recommended him for his 1st Master's slot and he was a great skipper. He is a KP grad. We had a factory rep joining us for a sea trial. He was telling me how they were classmates and he's the president of the company. He was under the impression that the KP grads got the shore side jobs because they beat out grads of other schools for their position. In my alumni circle 6 on, 6 off and that money, there wasn't anyone looking to the beach. I've heard many times "oh my wife made me come ashore." We felt a good sailig position was worth 3 wives. These alumni that run this or that company are what the folks with horsepower testify about. If captains of industry are the flavor of the alumni then never mind the naval academy versus KP these people should be at one of the several world class business schools we have here.
I come from a poor state that, believe it or not, is as proud of our humble academy as the academy is of providing their education in such a beautiful state. It was nothing unusual to see the midshipmen at mass on Sunday in their uniform while home for the weekend. The voters made sure there was never a bond vote for the academy that didn't pass. I was told by many in my class that they didn't apply anywhere else. This was their dream school. Every nickle was important, if we only had a quarter of KPs budget. The midshipmen built (classes 42-69) the swimming pool, the football field, with the associated buildings. We felt an investment in our campus. I remember when I first heard the KP cadets running down their school. How could they be beneficiaries of that free education and run it down to strangers. A little loyalty might be deserved. So not only were they not going to sea but a young man who did want to ship was denied a chance. That is my only beef with the KP boys but over the years more than a few folks with influence have been left with an impression similar to mine. I feel bad over the evolution of things lately. Aside from the times I've said under my breath " Could this nonsense happen anywhere but KP?" I read the first couple of end of the year sex reports. To this day I still wonder at the investment of time and money our government puts into reports when a couple of phone calls should suffice. American Seamen are not the predators these reports would like us to accept. This whole incident reeks of dishonesty. I know that even though it makes no sense to you or me, it makes perfect sense to someone. No one separates KP from the rest of our fleet. For that reason alone this "death of 1000 cuts" should be halted by Mrs. McConnell immediately.
The training that the KP cadets will be receiving from the Navy is not up to the standards the industry expects them to have under their belts when they receive their licenses. I was stuck on a sea project question about ground tackle. From the Capt. to the mess boy no one ever heard of such a rig. Merchantmen use Bowditch, I'm surprised the article mentions it. I used to have to ask the Senior Quartermaster for H.O.9. The Navy uses Chapman's. It's not enough and has errors. Even if the Navy is serious about assuming Cadet's training they couldn't. These kids will be going back to school thinking a ship should have 17 dedicated fork lift drivers, a table for the 3rd's a table for the 2nd's. This is what it's like on an unrep oiler, the ship type they're suggesting. I've listened to USNA mid'n. speaking of 130-150 of them on a carrier. It's not an important time for them. You have to remember that after 4 years they barely know the earth is round and they send them to Newport where they actually start with what side the red and green sidelights are on. The cadets deserve more. There was a time when the Navy was willing to take constructive, genuinely given advise to make them smarter. They even took notes. In those days they knew nothing about freight and they knew they knew nothing about freight. Today they still know nothing about moving freight but they're convinced no one in the Merchant Marine has anything left to teach them. It'll take a year the cadets don't have to wash what they learned on a Navy ship out of their memories. If it came down to it they'd be much better off on cutters.