2nd Battalion is home to Companies 2, 4, and 6. The Battalion is staffed by:
1/C Alexa Huppe – Battalion Commander
1/C Robert McNulty-Daub – Battalion Executive Officer
1/C Jack Kelly – Battalion TRO
1/C John Carey – Battalion Adjutant
3/C Alexandra DeCecca– Battalion Guidon
The Youngies Have Arrived!
August 16th, 2020
Everyone was fired up for the arrival of the 2nd Battalion Cadet Candidates! The Squad Leaders have taken the youngies under their watchful care and have pledged to educate these Cadet Candidates and train them to be “physically fit and basically trained cadets” at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
As is to be expected, some of the youngies looked a bit frightened when they made their way through the ABS doorways to receive their uniform items. The assimilation process is designed to be a culture shock in every sense. This is not your typical “welcome to college” student orientation, this is Mass Maritime.
The Cadet Candidates now have many rules to keep in mind on top of the health protocols that they are required to adhere by. Some of these rules are as follows: do not speak unless spoken to, no looking around, no adjusting without permission, do not look at squad leaders, speak using sir/ma’am sandwiches, square your corners, know your youngie knowledge, follow traffic pattern… I really could go on, but I think you see where I’m going with this.
Although the Class of ’24 has much to learn in the coming days, the progress that they have made in merely one half day is tremendous. When the youngies came in most didn’t know how to march, and to be frank with you all… it wasn’t pretty. However, on this cool evening, the Squad Leaders had them drilling, drilling, drilling; as they say, “perfect practice makes perfect.” Aside from facing movements, the Cadet Candidates are also quickly picking up on the importance of being a team. Whether it’s marching in step, or answering questions at patio, everything must be done together. In the words of Mr. Vaccari there is no room for individuals here at the academy. The youngies will learn a lot more about the importance of teamwork and supporting your shipmates in the days to come!
Welcome to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Day 1 of Assimilation – Meet the Cadre
August 17th, 2020
Ahh yes the first full day at Maritime… Today our Cadet Candidates received their very first Maritime wake up call. At 0445 the youngies were called from their rooms and thrown into the day with some good old PT.
In the first half of the day, the youngies spent the majority of their time at uniform distribution and at drill practice. The Squad Leaders have done a great job showing these youngies the basics of marching, and while they are far from perfect, they have come a long way since yesterday. In acknowledgement of the unique circumstance where the Cadet Candidates are unable to have roommates, the Squad Leaders allotted time for the Candidates in each squad to get to know each other a bit. While sitting in a socially distant circle the youngies were allowed to speak freely with one another. The day started out somewhat relaxed… and then they met the Cadre.
Per tradition, Squad Leaders are not permitted to drop the Cadet Candidates until they have officially met the Cadre. The “Meet the Cadre” ceremony typically consists of a loud cannon blast and an allotted time where the Squad Leaders reprimand the youngies. This is yet another source of culture shock for the freshmen.
Starting today, the youngies are truly held accountable for their actions, they will be tested, they will be disciplined, but they will learn. They will learn to have attention to detail, to become one cohesive unit, to do their part as a member of a team, and among many other things they will learn what it takes to be successful as a Cadet here at the academy.
Tomorrow is full of exciting exercises and will bring a change of pace to the youngies’ days, with basic firefighting and water survival training, the freshmen are in for a treat!
Day 2 of Assimilation
August 18th, 2020
The next three days the Cadet Candidates will be rotating through the following activities: water survival, fire fighting, and uniform fitting.
Today, 4th Company had their water survival training. This consists of an abandon ship drill where the youngies dawned their life jackets and were instructed in the proper procedure in which you would disembark in case of emergency. Additionally, the green-taggers had some practice entering the inflatable life rafts. While waiting to enter the pool, the Cadet Candidates enjoyed some free time on the football field where a “Field Day” had been set up. The youngies had access to Kan Jam, Spike Ball, cornhole, and other fun activities… including, but not limited to, studying their chafing gear, if they were so motivated to do so.
2nd Company tried their hand at firefighting. The Cadet Candidates learned the basics of firefighting and fire dynamics from the knowledgeable Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. They also practiced how to properly utilize a fire extinguisher and use the hose, including how to recharge an extinguisher. The Cadet Candidates practiced coiling the hoses and each had a turn manning the hose. It required teamwork as well as discipline in order to safely control the flow of water when operating the line.
6th Company has a lot to look forward to these next two days. Despite their comparatively uneventful second day, the uniform sizing is of the utmost importance. They will be looking spiffy in the upcoming semester.
Today was also the first day of intramurals! We literally “kicked off” the Assimilation games with a round of kickball. It was a competitive match between 2nd and 4th Company but 2 Co. took the win. Some great defensive plays on both ends with outstanding catches from Cadre as well as the Candidates. Hoping to see the teams more energized and even more competitive in wake of this introduction to our intramural games.
All of the Candidates are on their way to becoming the next wave of Cadets that will one day fulfill leadership positions. While there is much to improve upon, their learning has only just begun.
Day 3 of Assimilation
August 19th, 2020
As the youngies progress through the week they will continue to cycle through the activities of firefighting, water survival, and uniform distribution as discussed in yesterday’s post.
Today, the transformation of these Cadet Candidates is already noticeable. It appeared as though something rallied them… They were louder, their facing movements were crisper, and they seemed to have found their motivation. Perhaps this motivation resulted from yesterday’s introduction to the Admiral’s Cup.
The Admiral’s Cup is a coveted award that goes to the Company that performs the best during Orientation, or in this case Assimilation. Per tradition, each Company is judged on their marching, spirit, and intramurals.
In today’s intramural event, 6th Company went head-to-head against 4th Company in a relay race. The succession of the relay race consisted of a sprint, running backwards, bear crawls, side shuffles, and push-ups. The energy on the field was motivating. Both teams were chanting back and forth, cheering for their shipmates and Cadre, and occasionally heckling their competitors.
Intramurals is always a great time for the Cadre and youngies to bond, it is a time to get to know your shipmates, to relax and have fun. Although our intramural games this year must be socially distant, Mr. Landfors, the Regimental Intramural Officer, has come up with great events to enable this great bonding experience.
The youngies are also making fantastic progress in their youngie knowledge. After learning the basics such as the “Youngie Function” and the school motto, as well as the important people on campus, they are now being asked to recite more difficult information such as the 41 parts of a lifeboat, or the traits of a leader.
The youngies are moving quickly through the week, and are being well prepared to tackle the up and coming semester, just 3 more days until the next wave of Cadet Candidates take the place of our current 2nd Battalion youngies.
Day 4 of Assimilation – A Visit From the Admiral
August 20th, 2020
With two days remaining in the 2nd Battalion Assimilation program, the Cadet Candidates had the honor of meeting the President of the Academy, Rear Admiral McDonald.
RADM McDonald woke up bright and early to join the youngies for some PT. I am sure his presence gave the Candidates some inspiration to push a little harder this morning as he sweat alongside them. No matter your position or rank here at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, we are all shipmates.
Once again, the youngies completed the cycle of either attending water survival training, firefighting, or uniform fitting.
During intramurals, it was a competitive match between 2nd Company and 6th Company. The game started out as wiffle ball but after a few stagnant innings morphed into a more action packed round of kickball. Both teams cheered loudly and were feeling motivated. Cadet Candidate Mr. Adams got the rally going in 2nd Company with his extremely motivated cover, as seen pictured below, and they came out with a win.
2nd Battalion’s time during Assimilation is soon coming to a close, and these last two days will be the final push for the Cadet Candidates. It’s the final countdown…
Day 5 of Assimilation – Last Full Day
August 21st, 2020
Being the last full day of Assimilation the Candidates had a lot to wrap up today.
This morning the Cadets got a formal introduction to our beloved ship, the T.S. Kennedy. The ship tours were given by the Cadet Chief Mate, the Training Ship Commander, and the Chief Engineer, along with deckie and marine engineering Squad Leaders.
In the evening, the Candidates took their youngie knowledge exam as well as their firefighting exam. At the final patio, per tradition, the Cadet Candidates typically sing a ditty, or do a dance, or some other creative act to entertain the Reggies. This year had some of the best performances so far.
2nd Company started off the patio sessions by giving the Reggies a taste of their own medicine. Mimicking the style of Meet the Cadre, the company marched out, faced the Regimental Staff, and on the cannon blast began knife handing and reprimanding the Reggies. To top it off, one of the Cadet Candidates marched out, saluted, and sent them to chow. What an odd sight to see the Regimental Staff being scolded by youngies.
4th Company sang a creative song, detailing information about each Reggie. It was quite well written, definitely a must add for my new playlist. Sang to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the lyrics are pictured below. The Reggies then requested an encore, in which a Candidate volunteered to sing a solo. His performance featured the song Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver.
6th Company entered with some chanting and a synchronized dance as they marched out. Then two Cadet Candidates performed the splits. Mr. Adams still had his cover motivated from the other day’s intramural game, and was called out by the Reggies. He was instructed to join the geese that were in the parade field in front of patio because his cover looked like their bill.
It was quite an entertaining night, and ended with another visit from the Admiral who congratulated them on making it through the week. Tomorrow after a quick PT session cadence run, the Cadet Candidates will be returning home for a week until the start of the semester.
Congratulations 2nd Battalion!