The Academy’s Public Affairs Officer knows that sea year is safe

In a recent post, I identified the various people and groups who know that sea year is safe and the only three people who claim otherwise. Someone just sent me a publication produced by the American Maritime History Project called “The Kings Point Leadership Experience – Folio 3” that extols the virtues of sea year — “the first pillar” of the Academy.  The reason they sent it to me was that Veronica Barry, who currently serves as the Academy’s Public Affairs Officer, is quoted in it, saying:

“I have three daughters, who are all little now, but if any of them wanted to come here, I’d be all for it. Sometimes parents worry about sending their children out on the seven seas, but it’s really a great experience.”

So I think I can add her to my list of people who know that sea year is safe. (In fairness to Barry, I should point out that the quotation is from 2009; but, I sure would like to see a member of the press ask her if she still feels that way and, if not, what data made her change her mind.)

The publication is copyrighted, so I can’t post a link to it. But, I would encourage everyone to get a copy. It’s available from American Maritime History Project, Inc. c/o Bland Library, USMMA 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY 11024. It provides a great primer on the evolution of the two pillars of the Academy that the current administration is intent upon tearing down: sea year and the regimental system.

(Haven’t had any time to post about the attack on the second pillar but apparently the Commandant of Midshipman has embarked upon a plan to create a safe space for plebes by undermining the regimental system. Anyone who reads The Kings Point Leadership Experience-Folio 3 will gain great insight into how carefully both sea year and the regimental system have been designed over the years and how important they are to producing the outstanding leaders that the Academy produces. So as Jaenichen and Helis flounder on the bridge of the sinking ship, the commandant is busy opening sea cocks and flooding the bilges.)



  1. Another day, another outrage. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” -C. S. Lewis

    • In The Abolition of Man, Lewis wrote “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
      Sound familiar?

  2. Great quote of C.S. Lewis; good thoughts overall. As father of a KP grad (2014) who was also a Battalion SH/SA Officer and I am also a KP Field Rep for Admissions, I find touting the USMMA strong points a little daunting these days. But we need to keep the ship afloat. Tradition should win out in the long run, but sometimes it is lost/destroyed. In 2014 when the First Classmen were in charge of INDOC and some plebes mothers went to the Superintendent crying that the discipline was too harsh for their kids, and so the heart of it was rescinded, I already smelled a …

    • I think INDOC 2012 (class of 2016) was the last class where INDOC was what it was supposed to be, a tough a very tiring experience, with no sympathy from anyone. You did not see your Plebe for 3 months. They had 2 minutes to shower, together, no personal time, no “play “time, no trips to NYC, it was a time for them to bond as a class, and get ready for their education and sea year. I think the “laid” back INDOC of today, is doing more harm than good, and it is definately turned into a “what can you do for me” environment. Just my opinion.

  3. I truly believe what goes around, comes around. It’s time for all three to get aboard vessels for 1 yr and see how safe it is and how much they’d learn from their experiences.

  4. In today’s “Briefing” on the “State of the Academy”, Helis stated that Indoc attrition for the class of 2020 was two (2) plebe candidates out of 200+. An attrition rate of 1%.
    The reason of course is not because Indoc has been watered down, but because the admissions office is doing such a good job of selecting highly motivated kids who just power through Indoc. Right. If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

  5. We continue to hear…our experts, the study…what we believe etc. So, Does Jaenichen and Helis and their minions really see anything or is it all dust in the wind…the agenda?

    “You cannot go on ‘explaining away’ for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things for ever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

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