Well put. Mate McKoy deserves his own thread. His classes were easily the toughest of any license classes and he cut no slack to anyone, but the appreciation for that came afterward. The school lost one of their most passionate and dedicated instructors, there are few people that are synonymous with Schuyler like him.
I wouldn’t even call it that. I have worked in officer accessions training and there is a lot of behind the scenes planning and thought that goes into the structure of things like OCS or recruit training. We operated our officer candidate training teams in distinct roles: a Marine drill instructor (to do the traditional in-your-face yelling), a Navy Chief for classroom instruction, and a Navy officer to provide oversight. We stressed the unique roles had to be approached differently, and that the Marine was there to do the yelling, and the officer as an example to the candidates. There was a tendency though for weaker chiefs and officers to default to the “DI” role. This reverberated in their classes as the officer candidates progressed into leadership roles they tended to emulate their DI, and not the officer. It just becomes behaviors that have to be unlearned in the fleet.
I graduated from USAF Officer Training School in September 1962 (just in time for the Cuban Missile Crisis – interesting times) and immediately assigned as a computer geek to Hq Air Training Command. In the first couple weeks I was there a LTC dropped by for a chat. He had been one of the designers of the OTS syllabus and was curious how I felt about it.
In the course of the conversation he explained how the course split between 6 wks undergrad and 6 weeks upperclass was deliberately designed to deal with the F Lee Ermey in-your-face stuff (known to us as the Happy Horsesh*t). You spent six weeks taking it, six weeks dishing it out, and then you should be able to put it behind you and concentrate on real leadership. Interesting approach.
Curtis LeMay was Chief of Staff for the first two years of my tour. Being in a relatively high administrative position in an service run by that guy was a real education in what a no sh*t operation looked like from the inside.
I got the impression they wanted me to tuck in my shirt tail before I left the barracks.
A fair question. Some old Navy people may remember the OCS in Newport in the 70s-90s as the “country club” school, and there were no Marines. Back then there was a separate school for aviators (AOCS) down in Pensacola (think “An Officer and a Gentleman”). They did have Marines, ostensibly because aviators could be expected to have to provide close air support to Marine ground units. When the Navy merged the two schools in the early 2000s Pensacola moved north and brought the Marines with them.
I have never found yelling and screaming an effective leadership tool, but the Marines stand behind their record of training. There is an acculturalization process that needs to take place in that 90 days, but my personal belief is instilling an instant and unquestioning obedience to orders isn’t the right way to train officers who are expected to apply some critical thinking skills.
To an outsider it seems even more out of place in a maritime academy, but give otherwise rational people in a uniform and all sorts of interesting things can happen.
Learned a new word today, fancy. Thanks for the explanation.
I agree the Marines do a great job training their people for the difficult jobs that they have to do but if a supervisor tried the in your face screaming management style in the private sector many subordinates would go directly to HR or to a lawyer to start the procedure to sue the company for harassment & verbal/mental abuse. The maritime academies know what they are training the cadets to do after graduating & it is too much of a liability to condone verbal/mental abuse under any circumstance. Some people are inclined to be “In your face screaming” managers & we should train them not to be that way, not give them demonstrations. If the guy in the video tried to pull those shenanigans while employed at one of the uscg approved course providers or at a new hire orientation for a maritime company he would be fired on the spot, he would probably have the police called on him.
The difference is that the USMC drill instructors do it not out of anger or an emotional reaponse, they do it because it’s in their job description. I doubt that yelling and screaming was in this guys job description… and he’s either a very good anger or this is an emotional reaponse (i.e. loosing your cool)
And the one thing that will compound any difficult situation at sea is loosing your cool.
They do it to introduce stress into a training environment and to break down individuality to create a cohesive spirit. And while you’re correct in that it isn’t supposed to be emotional, drill instructors are just people and people have issues, as the recent recruit abuse incidents at Parris Island attest to.
My issue is that this nuance is never really explained to recruits once it’s over, and that the wrong lessons can be learned from it (the smart ones figure out the “game” quickly enough). There are plenty of ways to accomplish all of the objectives of OCS/Boot Camp, but generally don’t get implemented because “this is the way we’ve always done it”.
I’ve seen a former uscg 4-star walking around in bdu’s. Totally unprofessional imho but that guy liked to play dress up.
I don’t see any reason to ever wear bdu’s aboard ship unless you’re a marine getting ready to storm a beachhead, certainly not if you are merchant marine.
Khakis or coveralls or bellbottoms if you like the vintage look.
I did indoc and yelled but when the guys got it together, it stopped unless they fk’d up. After it was over, I was Mr.B in public but usually Tim. They understood what it all was for and I had their backs unless they fkd up and I couldn’t protect them… I taught them how to survive and play the “games”… look presentable and be where they were supposed to be ready and on time (00:15 early)…
Generally, I find the behavior in that phone video to be one of the reasons that people are NOT choosing a career in the US Merchant Marine. This individual is clearly out of control. This kind of behavior aboard another Academy’s Training Vessel is a slap in the face to TAMU. This just one more example of a pseudo or quasi military “individual” not doing the right thing…
I think the Maritime Academies need to be demilitarized. It has become a halfway retirement gig for transitioning military folks ( God Bless their service ) which is not an appropriate place for this type of activity.
I mostly agree with this, however I do think the academies should have some degree of regiment. While there may be some kids that are mature enough to follow directions, the regiment does lend to the discipline needed aboard ship, specifically the training ships. I couldn’t possibly imagine hundreds of kids doing whatever they want aboard the training ships with little in the way of discipline. To that extent it’s necessary. A school uniform yes, psychotic drill instructors and aging military officers with no ties to the commercial side, no.
I wouldn’t recommend throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Obviously the Full Metal Jacket drill sergeant routine serves no purpose & the academies need to continue ridding themselves of that nonsense. But historically the graduates from the academies have been good or top notch mariners. No reason to revamp the whole system because a few idiots make fools of themselves. Also, the regimental part of the programs keep the riff raff out. We already have more mariners than jobs as it is. If they made it too easy, the quality of the graduates would decrease IMO.
I’m confused on the context. I see a boat, what appears to be a marine commandant, and cadets. I understand people’s shock to this, but they are cadets right? I’m just curious to how Marines are “supposed” to treat cadets.
He’s not a Marine. He’s a wannabe that serves in the (supposedly) purely administrative role of Commandant of Cadets (University Faculty). He’s just got a fetish for wearing ACUs… which I don’t believe is an approved uniform for the Academy to begin with.
You know, say what you want about Colonel Mallahan, but he would have never done anything like this. He was an educator first and foremost, despite coming from College Station and being retired Air Force. He “got it”, in regards to TMA ultimately being a school, and was always big on academics and the cadets passing license.
I understand the need for some kind of discipline to instill the instinct for following orders, but this is absurd. Merchant Mariners are not the military. The atmosphere at College Station doesn’t belong in Galveston.
From an old Navy Veteran I see no problem with this. But then most of us could take what was dished out and became better for it. IMO