What the hell happened to my Alma Mater?!?!


That’s exactly the point. You were in the Navy and you got paid to get treated like that and it’ was your job. These are students who are paying to go to school to be merchant mariners, not navy sailors, not marines, not coast guardsmen. The schools are mandated to have some sort of regiment, but I don’t see the value in ripping a kid apart and threatening to throw him off the ship for supposedly lying (and he apparently wasn’t lying) in front of the rest of his shipmates. The context of the situation matters.


Response from TAMUG is appropriate. Bravo


Well, I guess that letter from your alma mater explains what is going on there. They are changing with the times & trying to do the right thing(at least when they get caught doing something bad on video).

Kudos to TAMUG for trying to right a wrong & kudos to the cadet who was brave enough to record & post his superiors inappropriate actions.


I couldn’t even. Here its all like:


Did you mean the whole thing?


TO John U,

Nice things you said about Jim.
Guys over the years actually came back to school to thank him.
I guess sometimes you don’t know what you have until you loose it.



Somebody in charge should ask that so-called “Commander”…



CDR Buzz Refugio, Commandant of Cadets, gave extremely harsh treatment of a Texas Maritime cadet while the TS Kennedy was docked in Buzzards Bay. Maritime Cadets are not US Army or US Marines personnel, the Maritime Cadets are mostly just self-paying state college BS degree students who are training for careers as officers on US Flag commercial cargo ships, not fighting in active military service.
This treatment by CDR Buzz Refugio is over enthusiastic harassment and out of control behavior, and should be recognized as such, and CDR Buzz Refugio should be disciplined. The cadet’s bad behavior is not shown in video, and so I’m guessing that he is maybe not innocent, so a school investigation needs to be done to determine what discipline the Cadet is due if any.
Who in Texas hired CDR Buzz Refugio? Where did Buzz Refugio previously work? Who recommended Buzz Refugio for that position? All these people contributed to his being there onboard that ship in that dangerous position of authority over cadets. Did Buzz Refugio get any educational training in harassment at Texas Maritime for himself? Beware when you see him applying for his next job - maybe on your ship!
I graduated from Maritime in 1980 and became a ship master and I have had a 30 year career at sea, so I know what it takes to do the job, and this harrasment is not it. In the 1970’s we had similar poor treatment of cadets in those old days, but our society in-general have come to recognize that this treatment is harassment and is bad behavior. The US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point just had a review of young women cadets being harassed onboard ships - did we not learn from that? Cadets need to learn all things nautical, and to also learn respect, so this was not a good training example for them to take out to the professional ships where they will be supervising crew.
CDR Refugio’s behavior is out of control and is harassing, and illegal. It is not just this one bad incident, it gives a BAD example to All the other cadets and professional ship’s officers who are standing around in the video and watching him as an officer berate the cadet. What are the cadet learning? “Will they learn to be Mean, or to be a part of a Team”?
The Maritime schools now all have a written policiy for discipline of cadets, and for harassment, then once onboard ship as Officers there are union & company disapline and no harassment policies & procedures. If this story is true (and not fake news!) and if this was my ship, then CDR Buzz Refugio would be fired for cause immediately and terminated from employment for his violating policy.
CDR Buzz Refugio’s abuse of power and is a power trip that he is riding on for himself, and so he should ride that straight down the ship’s gangway.


That was the Commandant? Holy Cow!


If this guy pulled this stunt on a commercial vessel he’d be fired with in the hour. Just to put it in context. I don’t think this sort of behavior on the part of the higher ups helped the Navy any either, IMO


Typical screamer who deserves to be fired.
If this act was performed on orientation day in 2018 1/2 the regiment would depart for elsewhere.
Shoot-air-ready doesn’t work with Millennials.


this kind of crap makes me appreciate the fact that it is still possible to climb the hawsepipe.
I went to through a 2 year program that graduated plenty of perfectly fine mariners. I’m not the only one still sailing almost 40 years later!
The military style, ‘regiment’, is DEFINITELY NOT necessary to make good merchant mariners. I think the traditional maritime academies would be 100% improved if they all got rid of it.


Yes you are correct. Texas Maritime Academy has a ship but it has a very limited capacity. Texas leased the Mass ship and ran it and cruise as our own.


The only time I ever found it necessary to raise my voice or snap was to drive major points home… like when cadets were roaming around tug lines under tension while on cell phones, standing in bights of line or screwing around at boat drills, to name just a few situations.

Aside from that, there is no need to put on a show like the one captured in the video. It is unprofessional and degrading. USMC drill instructors put that kind of simulated stress on recruits because they will need to know how to handle stress in combat where your ability to think, act and communicate are key to your survival and the survival of the men and women in your unit. It serves no purpose in the maritime environment.

I heard Texas also fired their Chief Mate recently, sounds like a lot is going on there.