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Shawn Slayton makes it to the L.A. Times

Here’s an excerpt from his letter to the editor:

Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal received swift and predictable punishment for his unprofessional and derisive comments regarding Obama administration officials, many of whom were in his direct chain of command. However, to formulate a generalization that this type of conduct is indicative of a much broader problem in the U.S. Armed Forces is misleading and insulting to all members of the military, officers and enlisted alike.

This generalization was advanced in Bruce Ackerman’s June 22 Times Op-Ed article, “An increasingly politicized military.” Ackerman asserts that escalating political partisanship within the military is driving an erosion of constitutionally mandated professional conduct, particularly where civilian control is involved. He believes that the officer corps “doesn’t have a firm grasp of basic [civilian control] principles” and that military members need to “rethink constitutional fundamentals.” He likewise hints that growing Republican Party affiliation among the military’s ranks drives a disrespect for the civilian control set forth in the Constitution.

On all points, nothing could be further from the truth.

Read the rest. It’s tightly reasoned.

Posted in Opinion, Professional Matters.

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Seeking ideas for contacting the Class of 2014

Heads up, folks.

Greetings all. Just an idea for the group. The Class of 2014 reports in soon. Any thoughts on reaching out to them from our class to theirs. Perhaps an informal mentor network. Or something more formal. Discussion welcome.

– Sean Grygiel

Go over to our official CGA 94 Facebook Group and chime in with your ideas. If you’re not on Facebook and don’t want to bother with creating an account there, just leave your comments here or on the e-mail LISTSERV. I’ll make sure everything gets pooled together.

Posted in Requests for Help, The Factory.

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Memorial Day 2010

May God bless the fallen

… and comfort those left behind.

Posted in Condolences.

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Pat Shaw in the hospital

Our classmate and friend Pat Shaw was aboard that MH-60T helo that crashed in Utah on Wednesday. He survived the crash and is in the hospital.

From the Fifth District PAO:

Pat Shaw's crashed heloThree Coast Guard helicopter crewmembers remain hospitalized after crash

SALT LAKE CITY – Three Coast Guard MH-60T helicopter crewmembers from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., who went down in the Rocky Mountains southeast of Salt Lake City Wednesday remain hospitalized Thursday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Gina Panuzzi is reported in critical condition. Cdr. Patrick Shaw and Lt. Cdr. Steven Cerveny are reported to be in serious condition.

“I appreciate the support of the Wasatch and Summit County first responders, and I am very relieved to hear that the crewmembers were recovered and are being cared for at the University of Utah Hospital,” said Rear Adm. Wayne Justice, Coast Guard 5th District commander.

Please keep Pat and his family (as well as the rest of the crew and their loved ones) in your prayers.

Photo caption: “Rescue crews check out the scene of a helicopter crash near Soapstone Basin where one of two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters crashed into a mountain Wednesday above Kamas, Utah. There were five people on board the HH-60 Jayhawk, which was returning from security detail at the Winter Games in Vancouver. Early reports were that two crew members were seriously injured, one had minor injuries and two were unharmed. (Tom Smart, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5)”

3/5, 6:30 PM update: More on Pat from the Salt Lake Tribune and KSL 5 TV (here, too)

Posted in Breaking News.

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Hey classmates, do you use Twitter? I’m akonsen. What’s your ID?

Posted in Uncategorized.

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2009 reunion registration deadline

Registration for this year’s reunion closes tomorrow. Get on board while you can.

Posted in Get-Togethers, The Factory.

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Homecoming 2009 update

October 9th – 11th is coming up soon.

More details, this time from Brian Glander:

Alo, Everyone, HELLO!

Megan “volunteered” myself, Laura, Joe Sundland and Mike & Beth Campbell for reunion events. Here is a basic plan so far.

1. Tailgate: beer, water, soda, juice, sandwiches, chips (location: park down the hill from the church,: forgot the name.)

2. Walk on “Flare”: CGA ’94 Umbrellas. for golf, rain or just fun. Some sort of walk on marching thing with present arms, opening umbrellas, etc.

3. Evening “Dinner & Drinks” @ Thames RIver Yacht Club (most likley; still working on details). Same location as 10 year.

Cost: (most likley, still crunching numbers: $50 per alumn + $25 for each additional person at evening event. No cost increase for additional numbers at family tailgate event. )

Sound fair? start populating this website in the event section if interested so we can start getting preliminary numbers. Get the word out so we can jump on this ship or see if there are any better party boats!

Talk to you later.

Brian G

Posted in The Factory.

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USCGA Alumni Community – View Content

An opinion piece by W.E. Smith in the New London Day:

The front page of The Day on June 20 had this headline: “Cummings: CGA can do a better job on diversity.” The accompanying article said that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., was critical of the Coast Guard Academy’s efforts to increase the diversity of its corps and that he said the Naval Academy has “initiated efforts targeted to reach potential students in every corner of this nation.” He added, “The Navy has shown us the way. Now we have to combine the will with the way and get it done, period.”

Well, not so fast, Rep. Cummings.

The June 14, 2009 edition of “The Capital,” an Annapolis newspaper, included a guest column by Bruce Fleming, an English professor who has taught at the Naval Academy for 22 years and has been a member of its Admissions Board.

I admire and applaud how determined and committed Rear Adm. Burhoe and his director of admissions, Capt. Susan Bibeau, have been and are in this regard. Their task, however, is extremely difficult, delicate and challenging to accomplish while still maintaining the Coast Guard Academy’s level playing field, competitive entrance procedures and without downgrading its academic standards.

If Rep. Cummings really means “it’s not about color” and wants to help the academy increase its under-represented minorities, then he will quit being just a Monday morning quarterback standing on the sidelines and criticizing. He and his staff should get in the game. They will start finding and encouraging candidates of all colors who have outstanding academic and leadership qualities to apply for and compete for appointments to the Coast Guard Academy.

It will be a sad day for our country and the Coast Guard, however, if the academy is ever forced into using the Naval Academy’s new procedure that Rep. Cummings considers so great.

The Naval Academy diversity article he mentions is here.

Hat tip: USCGA Alumni Community.

Posted in Opinion, Professional Matters.

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Toby Olsen’s new kayak

Like it?

He built it himself.

Posted in Photographs.

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Alumni Association membership drive

This year’s drive is on. Join if you can spare the funds, folks.

What does your $72 buy? According to the sample fundraising letter on their site:

“What is the value of alumni association membership”?  Well, outside of the direct support to cadets, many programs and services are available to regular members.  The lengthy list below is just a taste.    

Member Benefits & Services

Admissions Partners Program
Affinity Credit Card
Annual Recognition of Alumni & Awards Dinner
Annual Register of Members
Bi-monthly magazine, The Bulletin
Brick Paver Recognition
Career Opportunities/Networking (SACC, iSABRD, Resume Assistance, Job Postings, Career Counseling)
Class Rings (Display, Lost & Found, Repair/Reorder)
Coordinate visits to CGA for friends of alums
Coordinate national or regional events for alums
Database Support for alums who host alumni related events
Discount Rates at local lodging establishments
Liaison with Registrar to facilitate record access
Link-in- the-Chain
Management of over 130 Class Endowments and Funds (thanks to alumni support)
Meeting Space at Alumni Center
Monthly e-newsletter
Notification to classmates for deceased members (annual memorial service)
On-line directory of alumni
Otto Graham Golf Tournament
Parent’s Club Support
Travel Programs with sister service academies
Web site

Worth considering, I’d say.

Posted in Fundraising.

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Reunion e-mail list

The class LISTSERV is updated and running again, with 273 contacts so far. I’m not going to post its e-mail address here, since spammers will find it and try to inundate us with offers to increase the size of our wallets, our real estate holdings, and various parts of our anatomy. If you haven’t already received the 2 or 3 messages sent this month, leave a comment below so I can reach you and add your address to the list.

Posted in The Factory.

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Homecoming 2009 basic information

Read up on the basic details. To see pictures from last year’s festivities, use the password alumni here.

We’ve got to be able to outdo these jokers:

Who’s up for designing some shirts or hats or something for us to wear during our walk-on?

Posted in The Factory.

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Homecoming Weekend, October 9-11

Folks, time is running out. We’ve got 138 days to go. Who’s organizing what?

Posted in The Factory.

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Upgrade in progress

I’m upgrading the whole site to run on WordPress and to integrate with Facebook. Please try to tolerate the dust. The site should be up and running by Monday, May 11th. Until then, please visit our official Facebook group.

Posted in Uncategorized.