August 23, 2018

Dear Maritime College Parents and Alumni,

Another academic year is underway and last week 355 Mariners Under Guidance (MUGs) arrived and have been participating in the traditional indoctrination program.

As you know, indoctrination is and has always been a transformational experience. Through hard work and discipline, young men and women become cadets that make their regiment, their college and our industry proud. It is the beginning of a four-year process to turn inexperienced young men and women into 3rdofficers who can respond logically and calmly to stressful situations.

For the past week, I have been actively involved in INDOC and I have observed the various training evolutions. I am very proud of the IDO’s, Squad Leaders and MUG’s and I am confident that anyone who witnesses their evolutions would be extremely proud of them as well. The IDO’s and Squad Leaders are doing an exceptional job, and the MUGs are displaying a pride, comradery and focus that I have not seen before.

When the new MUG’s arrive on campus, they immediately start learning the Regiment’s expectations and the drill movements they will be expected to perform through their MUG year: forming up, standing at attention, right/left/about face, parade rest, and marching. They sleep on the ship and spend much time moving around campus reciting pieces of MUG knowledge: “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” the Sallyport and Riesenberg sayings, “Anchors Aweigh,” “How Long Have You Been A Sailor,” the ship’s particulars, college leadership, the rate list and staff department heads.

It is an early morning for the MUGs. Reveille is at 0530 and by 0545 they are on Riesenberg Field for physical training (PT). I have been doing PT alongside and I am impressed with their progress, which shows through improvements in their strength and stamina. They move on to morning formation and the presentation of the colors, all before heading to breakfast. Then they begin their training rotations.

For the first several days, in addition to learning drill, they attend lectures about leadership, ethics and integrity, the history of Fort Schuyler, uniform etiquette and military bearing. The focus then shifts to various Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) requirements that include seamanship/rigging; basic firefighting; sea survival and basic safety; monomoys/sailing/boat handling; and search and rescue. The PT continues to late in the afternoon with the obstacle course.

Under the leadership of the Regiment of Cadets, IDO’s and squad leaders, the MUG’s are changing and growing from high-school graduates to confident individuals. I have no doubt that when graduation comes in four years, they will possess the skills and demeanor necessary to be extremely effective 3rdofficers.

Indoctrination graduation is at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 25, on Reinhart Field. I encourage those of you nearby to come watch the Pass in Review, hear the recitations of the MUG knowledge, and see the tremendous transformation yourselves. If you are not in the area, you can view the ceremony online.

You can see indoctrination photos in our flickr album.

Best regards,


RADM Michael Alfultis, USMS, Ph.D.
State University of New York, Maritime College