Summer may be coming to an end, but the school year was actively upon the mariners under guidance (MUGs) who began Indoctrination (INDOC) on August 14. New students pursuing a deck or engine license enter into the Regiment of Cadets and participate in the ten-day INDOC program. Through the program, MUGs transition to life in the Regiment by following highly structured guidelines and learning vital skills necessary for life onboard a ship.
On Day 1 of INDOC, all male MUGs are required to shave their heads. This tradition serves to make each MUG equal in appearance, symbolizing uniformity. “It signifies the start of a new class united and bonded by the INDOC experience,” stated Captain Hanft, Acting Commandant of Cadets. Female MUGs are required to wear their hair off of their shoulders, in a low bun or braid.
Each morning before sunrise, MUGs assemble on Reinhart Athletic Field for physical training followed by formation and the raising of the flag in front of Vander Clute Hall. MUGs are then divided into eight sections to complete rotations – a series of activities scheduled during the day – including ship familiarization, drill practice, seamanship skills, basic firefighting, sea survival, and search and rescue techniques. These activities not only allow MUGs to increase in knowledge, proficiency and understanding of the Regiment, they foster the formation of bonds with fellow MUGs by working together and supporting one another through INDOC. It is this distinctive bond that will continue to strengthen throughout their journey at Maritime and beyond. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and no one with a shipmate by their side is weak,” stated Captain Hanft.
During the INDOC Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, August 24, Keynote Speaker Rear Admiral John A. Okon, USN Commander of Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and Maritime Class of '91 told new Cadets, "At Maritime College we build leaders. MUGs, I know what you have gone through to get here. I, too, have been in your shoes. Discipline yourselves and no one will have to discipline you."
Congratulations to all the MUGs and good luck in your first year!
View the INDOC 2019 photos here.