News From Fort Schuyler

September 24, 1999 - Volume 3, No. 43

EARLY BIRD EDITION - The "State of the College Address" which ADM. DAVID C. BROWN delivered on Homecoming Day, September 19, is sure to be posted on the college or alumni website. Persons desiring an e-mail version of the President's remarks can also contact: To keep up-to-date on the intense alumni discussions on the Admiral's proposals about the future college, alumni are urged to join DomeNet, the Alumni Association electronic discussion group at -

OF WORMS AND PARCELS - In his Homecoming remarks, addressing alumni concerns about proposed changes in the college program, ADM. DAVID BROWN used the terms "worming" and "parceling" to illustrate how maritime education has changed over time. Definitions to these terms from the sail-era of nautical training can be found in GERSHOM BRADFORD's "Mariner's Dictionary," first published in 1927: (1) "Parcel, to wind strips of canvas tightly around with the lay of a piece of wire or other rope;" (2) "Worming, to lay small stuff in between the strands of a rope." In his introduction, Bradford, a graduate of the Massachusetts Schoolship ENTERPRISE, writes that: "The inception of this book in 1918 occurred in the cabin of the U.S.S.(Schoolship) NEWPORT. Captain FELIX RIESENBERG [Class of 1897] felt there was a need of a nautical dictionary and suggested that I take on the task." Bradford served as Navigator and then Executive Office aboard the NEWPORT between 1917-1919. He wrote a number of other books, including an autobiography, "Yonder is the Sea," which devotes two chapters to his NEWPORT years.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES - Attendees at Homecoming may have noticed the appearance of a brand-new "ST.MARYS Pentagon" sign and a restored Stonewall Jackson quotation on obedience in the Sallyport.

A GOLDEN BEAR BECOMES ARTFUL - The former training ship of the California Maritime Academy, GOLDEN BEAR (ex DEORLEANS, ex CRESCENT CITY) was laid up in 1995. According to the September issue the World Ship Society newsletter, "Intercom," the ship was renamed ARTSHIP in August and moored on the City of Oakland waterfront, where it will serve as a floating art center and maritime museum.

WHEN NROTC WAS LOST AND RETURNED - There were several responses to the "Serendipitous Question" that JIM MALONEY, Class of 1980, posed in NFFS 3:42. Even though New York Maritime had an MMR unit here since 1953, its NROTC unit was not established until 1973. Thus, the unit was only a few years old when it was ordered closed in 1976. According to CDR. "Mac" BALDWIN, current Commanding Officer of the Naval Science Department, who looked through the files, a budget decision was promulgated in April 1976 to drop NROTC programs at 4 schools, including the maritime academies in New York and Maine. Immediately upon getting word of this action, the presidents at the two academies initiated a successful (and "ferocious") lobbying effort for the restoration of their NROTC units, writing innumerable letters and making many calls to local, state and federal officials, military and civilian. The upshot was that this budget decision was reversed within the year by Washington for SUNY and Maine.

Another response comes from FREDERICK "RICK" HILLENBRAND, CDR, USN (ret),Class of 1978. He writes: "I entered SUNY Maritime in the fall of 1974 ... as one of the first two students to arrive with a full NROTC scholarship in hand.....The NROTC program was relatively new, and very small when compared to the ROTC programs at the other major universities. And yes, the stigma of Vietnam was still fresh in many American minds. The availability of the NROTC scholarship program at SUNY Maritime was so new, that when I applied for the NROTC scholarship in my junior year in high school, SUNY Maritime WAS NOT listed as an available choice in schools with an NROTC program."

"'Serendipitously,' as I filled out the paperwork in the Navy's office in Albany, I was verbally advised of the recent addition of SUNY Maritime to the list of schools with an NROTC program - the Navy person provided this information almost as an afterthought because I had completed my paperwork. This was fortunate for me, because SUNY Maritime was one of my first choices of schools, and the rest is history."

"Unfortunately, the fledgling NROTC unit was not yet weaned when the Navy bureaucracy decided that NROTC units below a certain prescribed size were not economically viable, and would be inactivated. This created problems within the SUNY system, because as I recall, schools with ROTC programs were limited in the number of students enrolled in ROTC as a percentage of the student body. As is said in Maine, "you couldn't get there from here" - we were too small, and by SUNY standards, could not legally get large enough to get off the Navy's chopping block."

"RADM SHELDON KINNEY (Maritime College president 1972 - 1982) went and lobbied the Navy on the school's and the NROTC unit's behalf, pointing out the need to have the naval officers stationed at the school regardless of the NROTC program in support of other requirements. To make a long story short, RADM Kinney was successful, and the Navy reinstated the NROTC unit allowing it to remain. So, for this short period in 1976 while the NROTC unit was on "death row" Jim Maloney found an opportunity to make his mark elsewhere."

FACTOID - An NFFS websurfer came across the fact information, that in 1997, at the age of 46, JOSEPH DIURNO, Class of 1974, finished 4,268th in the Falmouth (MA) Road Race."

FINAL WORD - "To the growing list of acronyms let me add: FIIGO = F___ It I'm Getting Out," writes BOB GETTY, Class of 1965. "This was originated by a cadet leaving "The Fort" to persue higher education elsewhere, during our MUG year of 1965. The letters were scrawled on many classroom blackboards and became a rallying cry for others who either temporarily or permanently felt overwhelmed by the challenges of MUG year. I wonder if it still lingers around Throggs Neck Tech ?"

LATE BREAKING NEWS - The NY Times, Daily News, and media outlets carried stories on Thursday about complaints being made against the school by twenty Fourth Class cadets from the Persian Gulf countries who are sponsored by the United Arab Shipping Company. Links to the story include the local ABC-TV station - The New York Times - and the Daily News - Use the key word "maritime" in Search box. More later.