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One Poor Decision

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Michael Klakring 1 November

I come to you writing this entry about a topic I haven’t really addressed thus far. This is because up until now, I had not experienced this aspect of cadet life. But, because of some of my actions this summer, I am now in serious trouble and am currently on conduct restriction.

Breaking any of the rules in the Cadet Regulations can lead to “bagging” (an upper-class giving you demerits) or more serious offenses can results in Class II or Class I punishments. These include marching tours, work hours, longer periods of restriction, and various other punishments. Marching tours consist of getting into the drill uniform and marching back and forth in one of the courtyards, or quads, for 50 minutes each. A work hour is manual labor. Other punishments include writing assignments, being taken off the Commandant’s List and losing your silver star, or being disenrolled. I was charged with several Class I offenses in August when I returned to school from my leave period this summer.

A 1/c cadet was placed in charge of the investigation and had to take statements from the 18 of us that were involved and eventually compiled a 96 page investigation report that stated all the facts of the case, his recommendations for how each of us should be punished, our specific charges, all of the statements, interviews and paperwork that was applicable to the case and routed it up to the Commandant of Cadets.

After the investigation was complete, all of us were split into different groups and had to go to a Captain’s Mast. A mast is basically going to the principal’s office in elementary school, except this isn’t elementary school and it’s not the principal: it’s a Captain in the United States Coast Guard who has every right to kick you out for your poor decisions. It was the worst experience I have ever been through. I am now on suspended disenrollment until December 2010, which means I have been given a second chance but if I make any more poor decisions, I am gone. I was assigned 90 marching tours and 20 work hours and 50 days of restriction. I also am not allowed to go home for Thanksgiving. While on restriction, you must attend extra formations, stay in the uniform of the day until 2200 and cannot use dayrooms for leisure, watch movies, or other fun things.

I am lucky to still be here, as was made clear at my Mast. I certainly never planned to get restricted during my cadet career, much less for a Class I offense and for 50 days. I can tell you first hand that it is not something you ever want to experience. Being told that you have been disenrolled is the worst feeling in the entire world, but being given a second chance makes the 90 marching tours, 10 page papers, work hours and days of restriction seem worth the work. If you decide to accept your appointment, know that there are many rules here at the Academy, and that breaking these rules is not tolerated.

Let my story serve as a lesson to anyone who reads this; that a series, or even one poor decision is never worth losing the opportunity that is given to you when you were appointed to the Academy. Please, email me any questions or comments, I would love to speak with you!

More about Mick.