Google

Monday, April 17, 2006

Class of 1968 Cadet Life in Chase Hall.



Front Gate, U S Coast Guard Academy 1968


Chase Hall, U. S. Coast Guard Academy

Hamilton Hall, U. S. Coast GUard Academy




HE WHO LIVES HERE REVERES HONOR, HONORS DUTY



Swabs, Mont Smith and London Steverson,July1964




The Manual of Arms, Mr. Rieter. Later we will try Butts-Muzzles, and maybe do some Sweeps. They are good for the lower back.


Brace-Up, Mr. Murphy. Make some chins, Skip Stout.


Sitting on The Green Bench, picking cherries, at Swabs Out, a nightly ritual. Your knees and quadracepts will never recover..


What's The Good Word in Swab indoc, Mr. Collum?

London Steverson, Joe Olivo, and Steve Welsch.


Stefanie Woolridge, My Muse, wrote me a letter every week.
















Admiral Willard J. Smith, Academy Superintendent


ADM Willard J. Smith served as the 13th Coast Guard Commandant from 1966-1970, was the first aviator to have held the Coast Guard’s highest-ranking position.



Graduation Day June 1968. Class of 1968 Precessional on Jones Field. Graduation Speaker was Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.






































































It appears that the Four Class System my have gone the way of the Dodo Bird at the Coast Guard Academy. If that is true, then it is a cause for great weeping and knashing of teeth. In which case, these reflections will serve as an anchor in the great sea of time.
A four class system was strictly enforced at the Coast Guard Academy. The 4/c, fourth class freshmen, cadets were at the bottom of the pecking order.[http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecking_order] They had no rights and no privileges. They could only talk to other 4/c cadets. They were only allowed to relax inside their rooms. They were required to run at top speed everywhere they went outside their rooms, including the corridors of Chase Hall and every place on the Academy grounds. They were required to run to class carrying their books while maintaining a military formation.

Only Third Class and Second Class cadets were allowed to march to class at a normal 120-per cadence.



Swabs, Forth Class cadets were required to maintain a rigid attention posture with chin in, chest out, shoulder back, back straight, stomach sucked in, arms straight, and thumbs along the seams of their trousers. They were to maintain this posture during meals while seated on no more than three inches of their chair.
The rooms for 4/c cadets were sparsely furnished. They were not allowed televisions, stereos, or radios. These were privileges that had to be earned. They could not leave the barracks or the Academy grounds except on Wednesday evenings and weekends.
The life of a 3/c, third class sophomore, cadet was a little better. They were allowed radios, but no stereos in their rooms, and they were not required to run everywhere while outside their rooms. They were allowed limited conversation with 2/c, second class junior, and 1/c, first class senior, cadets.
The 2/c cadets were allowed radios and stereos but no cars. They were in charge of indoctrination the 4/c cadets. They taught the 4/c cadets military discipline, etiquette, and how to march. Hazing and an imaginative array of corporal punishment was at their disposal. Group punishment was administered for individual infractions. One infraction or a perceived infraction by a 4/c cadet would result in the physical abuse of the entire squad through exercise with M-1 rifles until one or more cadets collapsed from exhaustion. "Butts-muzzles" and "Sweeps" and "Sitting -on-the-Greenbench" were punishing group rituals that went on sometimes for hours. The 4/c cadets were at the mercy of any 2/c cadet. A 2/c or a 1/c cadet could almost make a slave of a 4/c cadet. Upperclass cadets have been know to require swabs to sweep their rooms, empty their trash bucket, fetch their laundry, or a host of other personal services. The power was infinite and absolute. Rarely was it abused.
The 1/c cadet were allowed almost anything their hearts desired including cars. This four class system developed discipline, initiative, and individual reliance on self. These qualities would be useful in the future while serving as officers on Deep Freeze patrols to Antarctica, or small boat commander in Viet Nam, extended deployments at sea for law enforcement patrols, or isolated duty stations in far flung areas of the world.
The Four Class system appeared to work just fine until the female cadets arrived. The first females entered the Coast Guard Academy in 1976. http://http://www.uscgaaa.onlinecommunity.com/ Prior to 1976 the Four-Class System created an environment where rape would never have been thought remotely possible. Adding females changed the entire chemistry of the cadet corps. Life in the Cadet barracks was not the same anymore. Crossing the Sexual divide was much different from crossing racial lines. When Black male cadets entered the cadet corps in 1962, the Four Class System was not threatened. Strict discipline was maintained. There was no increased desire to fraternize across Class Lines. Putting women next door to sexually deprived virile young men at the height of their sexual development was tantamount to putting sheep in the lion's den. It was an invitation to feast. Having women in the cadet barracks, on the same floor, in the next room, and permitting closer interaction between classes, was a recipe for disaster. A lax disciplinary environment with fraternization between classes begged for rape or some form of sexual assault.(Ichbinalj@yahoo.com)


Between 400 and 500 Coast Guard Academy cadets train on the CGC Eagle every year.











The ship has sailed as far away as Australia, and it regularly sails to the Caribbean and to Europe.
The Eagle boasts about five miles of rigging and 22,300 square feet of sail. It displaces 1,816 tons of water.
The Eagle — the only square-rigged vessel in U.S. government service. The work involves removing about 100 square feet of rusted metal and stripping away some remaining patches of lead paint.

Cadet London Steverson was introduced to Walt Disney.





The Eagle sails into the yard nearly every fall for some work, but a dry docking happens about once every five years.
The U.S. took possession of the the 295-foot ship as a prize from World War II and renamed it. A Coast Guard crew sailed from Bremerhaven to New London, Conn., which remains the Eagle’s home port today. It is used to train cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Some of the ship’s fittings were laid by the Germans shipbuilders 70 years ago, and most of the original drawings are still in German.
I made two short cruises and one long cruise. My first short cruise in the summer of 1964 was to Bermuda. My long cruise went down the East Coast to Miami, Florida, then across the Carribean Sea to Long Beach, California. We tied up at the Long Beach Naval Station. We were met in the harbor by a flotilla of small boats. Walt Disney was aboard one of the small crafts. He came on board the Eagle and I was introduce to him in the summer of 1966.

Labels:

24 Comments:

Blogger ichbinalj said...

"Bottom of the totem pole" bothers me. I hear that expression a lot. The pole tells a story and the design on the bottom is not less important. Please look up the meaning of a totem pole before using it as stated above.
Were Black cadets treated differently than oters in the 4/c system?
(Penny, in Jnu, AK. 27 Apr 2006)

11:40 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

"Bottom of the totem pole" bothers me. I hear that expression a lot. The pole tells a story and the design on the bottom is not less important. Please look up the meaning of a totem pole before using it as stated above.
Were Black cadets treated differently than oters in the 4/c system?
(Penny, in Jnu, AK. 27 Apr 2006)

11:40 AM

11:41 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Thanks for replacing "bottom of the totem pole" with "bottom of the pecking order".The name of totem poles comes from "totem," the symbol of a northwest North American native clan. The original carvers of totem poles lived in the area now known as Alaska's Inside Passage, members of the Tlingit, Haida and other clans.Symbols on totem poles are primarily the symbols of the clans they belong to. At the highest level, everyone is either of the eagle or raven clan, with subclans such as beaver, fox, bear, and frog. The raven has a straight beak, while the eagle has a curved one. The human figure on top is the village watchman. What about the "low man?" The bottom figure was often the most important.
(Penny, Juneau, Ak. ND10001@aol.com 28 Apr 2006.

1:55 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Former Coast Guard cadet says academy discouraged complaint
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer | April 6, 2006

WASHINGTON --A former U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet told a Capitol Hill audience Thursday that her life became an "absolute hell" after she accused a fellow cadet of sexually assaulting her.

Article Tools
Printer friendly
E-mail to a friend
Conn. RSS feed
Available RSS feeds
Most e-mailed
More:
Globe City/Region stories |
Latest local news |
Globe front page |
Boston.com
Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts Caitlin Stopper, 20, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was tearful at times as she alleged that academy officials tried to blame her for the alleged attack.

"I was called a liar, repeatedly," she said during a briefing on Capitol Hill about sexual assault and domestic violence in the military.

The academy denied mishandling Stopper's case, but said it could not discuss the details of the matter unless Stopper signs a privacy waiver. She has not done so.

"We believe that a fair-minded person, presented with all the facts, would agree that Miss Stopper's allegations were appropriately investigated and that she was treated fairly throughout the process," the academy said in a written statement.

Stopper complained about a campus climate "that permits and encourages constant lewd remarks, inappropriate touching and other types of sexual degradation and humiliation."

She said there was "brute retaliation" for some who complain.

Stopper said her Capitol Hill appearance was aimed at helping other cadets who face the same problems and pressures she did.

"I come here to speak for all those cadets who cannot speak for themselves for fear of retribution," she said.

Academy officials initially balked at opening an investigation, she said, suggesting that she may have led her attacker to believe his advances were welcome.

Stopper recalled arriving at the academy June 2004 flush with idealism, fueled in part by a determination to help others in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. But as the fall semester began, she said she encountered a "pervasive attitude of male supremacy."

After she was sexually assaulted in a student lounge by another cadet in September, Stopper said she sank into depression, a common problem for sexual assault victims.

"I felt damaged and dirty," she said. "I was totally shocked and incredulous that this could happen in such a venerable institution."

Stopper said the attack was meant to "deliberately humiliate and degrade" her.

She feared going to school officials with her charges because the academy's culture discourages cadets from going public with such accusations. She said the school's climate breeds resentment and distrust. For a time, she went into denial.

"I kept my mouth shut in order not to risk compromising the relationships I had with my company and other shipmates," she said.

The stress became overwhelming, she added.

After Christmas break, she confided in a trusted civilian professor. She eventually brought her allegations to the officer in charge of her company.

"Rather than being asked who, when, where and how, I was simply asked: is this incident worth investigating? I meekly replied with an, 'I don't know, sir,'" she said.

She left the academy in February 2005. But she decided to go public with her case earlier this year after news broke that a cadet in her former unit, Webster M. Smith, was facing rape and assault charges involving six cadets. The Smith case is not related to Stopper's.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who helped arrange the briefing, vowed to pursue reforms to curb the sexual assaults that have plagued the nation's military academies.

"We need to do a lot more on this issue," Shays said.

© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

5:04 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

A sad day in Coast Guard history is soon to be upon us. On 5 June the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will hold it’s first ever sexual misconduct court-martial. Webster M. Smith, 22, of Houston will face nine charges including rape, sodomy, extortion and assault. Mr. Webber is accused of misconduct from seven female cadets who accused him of actions ranging from rape to improper touching.

Smith’s attorneys have said the cadet is innocent. The rape charge involves a female cadet who friends describe as Smith’s on-again, off-again girlfriend.
By Ryan at CGInformation.org
10 May 2006

5:45 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

June 09, 2006
Defense lawyers: Cadets had consensual sex after the alleged rape.
By Matt Apuzzo
Associated Press
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The student who says she was raped by a fellow U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet had consensual sex with him after the rape allegedly occurred, defense attorneys said in court documents released Thursday.
Attorneys say they’ll question the woman at Cadet Webster Smith’s court-martial this month to show that the charge was fabricated as part of an effort by several female cadets to falsely accuse Smith.
If the woman was raped, Smith’s defense team argues, why would she have sex with him later?
“We certainly feel the court will have the same set of questions,” said defense attorney Merle J. Smith, who is not related to the cadet.
Webster Smith, 22, of Houston, is the first student in the academy’s history to be court-martialed, school officials say. He faces charges including rape, sodomy, extortion and assault. The sex-related charges involve accusations by three women.
The rape case centers on a night of heavy drinking in June 2005 in Annapolis, Md. Friends have testified that the woman, Smith’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, passed out and was enraged the next morning when she learned she and Smith had had sex.
Defense attorneys counter that the couple had a lengthy sexual relationship that continued until the week before the alleged rape and resumed the semester after. The alleged rape was reported after attorneys say the consensual sexual relationship resumed.
“The circumstances of this case are such that, once you see all the facts, right away you raise questions,” Merle Smith said.
Military prosecutors would not address the issue until trial, which is scheduled for June 19, an academy spokesman said.
Seven female cadets originally accused Smith of misconduct ranging from improper touching to rape. Most of the original charges have been dismissed, however, and defense attorneys say the women conspired to bring the allegations.
A military judge turned over to the defense team this week a series of e-mails among the women in the weeks before the accusations. Attorneys say they’ll use the e-mails to prove the conspiracy.
Lt. Stuart Kirkby, Smith’s military attorney, said Thursday that he was reviewing the e-mails and, while he would not discuss their contents, said they support the collusion argument.
“If they weren’t relevant, we wouldn’t have gotten them,” Kirkby said.

12:13 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Defense attorney Merle Smith, an academy graduate and former professor, said it's easy to forget that the service academy is still a campus full of college students.
"They're youth between the age of 18-24 and they're under intense pressure -- academic pressure and professional training folded over top of it -- that is far more intense than your normal college," said Smith, who is not related to the cadet.
In an essay for the school's alumni magazine this month, Capt. Doug Wisniewski, the outgoing commandant of cadets, said it's becoming harder to bring students in line with the school's rigid expectations.
"The society from which cadets come is simply disrespectful, self-focused and morally relativistic," he wrote. "The open sex culture adored in the media and online environments have translated into incredible sexual liberties at the high school level, which are, in my opinion, degrading of women.
"Alcohol use at the high school level remains a problem," he continued, "and too many cadets see little problem when they illegal consume alcohol while underage."
The trial, which is expected to take about a week, will also include undertones of race relations. Smith is black, his accusers are white and defense attorneys suspect the women conspired to bring false accusations against him.
If race wasn't a factor when six women accused Smith of sexual misconduct, Merle Smith said, it might have been when a seventh woman came forward and the academy added new charges. Most of the sex-related charges have been dismissed.
"There's no way I could cast myself as Johnny Cochrane and present a member of the administration who had the elements of the Los Angeles police department. It's not here," Merle Smith said. "But as this thing has continued to evolve, I guess, as the first 16 charges didn't appear to be going well, I guess they had to find another eight to see if they could make that case."

7:39 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

June 21, 2006
6:55 a.m. June 20, 2006

NEW LONDON, Conn. – A Coast Guard cadet accused of rape and other sex offenses was a manipulative senior who preyed on lonely women, a prosecutor said Tuesday in opening arguments at the defendant's court-martial.
Webster Smith, 22, of Houston pleaded not guilty Monday in the first student court-martial in Coast Guard Academy history to charges including rape, sodomy, extortion and assault that stem from allegations by three female cadets.
The former girlfriend took the stand Tuesday as the first witness following opening statements.
In his opening statement, Cmdr. Ronald Bald, the military prosecutor, described Smith as a manipulative person who preyed on women when they were weak.
“When they were drunk and alone he moved in. When they were helpless, he moved in. When they had nowhere left to turn, he moved in,” Bald said.
Smith's military defense lawyer, Lt. Stuart Kirkby, stressed there is no DNA, no forensic evidence, no rape kit and no crime scene photos. He said the former girlfriend “doesn't recall anything from the moment she left the house, conveniently, until the very next morning.”
Defense attorneys maintain the young woman was not as drunk as she says and suggested Monday that she may have concocted the rape accusation to cover up her embarrassment at having sex with an on-again, off-again boyfriend.
On Monday, the court chose a nine-member jury of Coast Guard officers that includes four white men, one white woman, three black men and a man of Asian descent.
Smith's attorneys, who raised the possibility that the charges could be racially motivated, said they were pleased by the jury's diversity. Smith is black and the accusers are white.

7:46 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

6/22/06
Having women in the cadet barracks, on the same floor, in the next room, and permitting closer interaction between classes, was a recipe for disaster. A lax disciplinary environment with fraternization between classes begged for rape or some form of sexual assault.
I have not read Captain Wisniewski's article, except what appeared in the newspapers. As Commandant of Cadets, those remarks impress me as being self-serving and a cop-out. Societal trends and pressures have never affected the Coast Guard Academy corps of cadets before. Cadets live in their own world behind closed doors. The talent pool that the Academy recruits from is made up of the top 2 percent of the graduating high school seniors. Cadets do not come from the top half or the middle. They are exceptional and they are almost immune from the societal trends that the Captain was talking about. It the Academy were to rigorously enforce the four class system as before, then there would have been less likelihood that these cadets would have engaged in such frivolous behavior.
This is a "failure of leadership" on the part of the Senior Academy officials, and the Personnel planners in Coast Guard Headquarters.

4:52 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Cadet 1/c Webster Smith's X-girlfriend took the stand Tuesday, June 20th, as the first witness and testified that she did not remember having sex with Smith that night, but that he told her a condom had broken and she needed to get emergency contraception. She said she waited several weeks before taking a pregnancy test.
"When did you realize that the accused had actually had sex with you?" asked Cmdr. Ronald Bald, the military prosecutor.

"When I saw the positive result on the pregnancy test," she said.

"What did you think had happened?" Bald asked

"I thought that I had been date-raped," she replied.

The woman said she had consumed about two bottles of wine that night.

5:21 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

. A cadet is being court-martialed for the first time in the 130 year history of the Academy. It is distressing that he is a Black cadet. The charges are overwhelming. Since there are multiple accusers, who are now officers, no cadets on the jury, and race is a factor, it is a safe to assume that Webster Smith will be found guilty of something. We face the possibility that the Superintendent of CGA is going to send a senior cadet to jail for alleged sex crimes. This would set a very bad precedent. Also, it would stigmatize not only Webster Smith but every other graduate of the Academy.

A General or Special Court-martial appears to have been over-kill. A Summary Court-martial would have achieved the same purposes, would not have provided the opportunity for a disproportionate sentence. Convening any court-martial would have been a sufficient deterrent.

Two of the pillars of the American criminal justice system are the presumption of innocence and the right to remain silent. Military justice affords the same constitutional guarantees. With all of the sensational headlines, people tend to loose their reason and to act more emotionally. In such an atmosphere people, even juries, lose sight of the fact that the prosecutor bears the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Cadet Webster Smith is not required to prove that he is innocent. He is already innocent. He is presumed to be innocent. He is innocent all through the trial. He will never cease to be innocent unless and until the prosecution and the defense team finish their presentations of evidence, arguments to the jury, the judge charges the jury, the jury retires to vote on a verdict, and then after a majority of the jury members vote to convict, then and only then is the Accused stripped of his presumption of innocence.

Webster Smith was not created in a vacuum. He lived in Chase Hall for four years. Every Officer who graduated from the CGA before 2006 bears some responsibility for what he has become. We will not purge our own guilt by sacrificing him in a case of this nature. There is no smoking gun. Even though several accusers have come forward, this is still a case of ‘he-said, she-said’. In the world we live in, the difference between rape and consensual sex can be as subtle as a twinkle in the eye. Moreover, to continue to have sex with someone whom you allege to have raped you would create serious reasonable doubt concerning the allegations of rape.

If the allegations had been less ambiguous and the facts clearer, and if I were not aware of how Americans have traditionally handled interracial sex crimes, and allegations of rape when the accused is Black, I would feel better concerning the outcome of this case. However, the memory of Emmit Till and others haunt me. This is a history making event for the Coast Guard and the Academy. Of course, one can never be sure what a jury will do. Cadet Smith could be found not guilty. But on the otherhand, he faces the posssibility of life in prison. Let us all pray for a better jury than Scott Petetrsen had. Let us pray that this jury will hold the prosecutor to his burden of proof, and resolve all doubt in favor of the accused, and resolve the ambiguities using common sense and logic, apply the principle of reasonable doubt, and not succome to the falicy that Webster Smith was required to prove that he did not do it. Let justice be done though the Heavens fall.

4:51 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NEW LONDON, Connecticut (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet was acquitted on Tuesday of raping a female classmate in the first court martial of a cadet in the academy's history.

But 1st Class Webster Smith was found guilty of sodomy, extortion, indecent assault, leaving his post and attempting to disobey an order. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Smith, a senior from Houston who played linebacker on the academy's football team, had pleaded not guilty to 10 violations of the military's code of justice involving three female accusers.

He was the first Coast Guard cadet to be accused of sexual assault since the New London, Connecticut-based academy started admitting women in 1976, and his case renewed attention on sexual harassment at U.S. military academies.



The Pentagon released a study last August that found widespread sexual harassment at the U.S. military academies. The report was ordered by Congress after a sexual-abuse scandal at the Air Force Academy in 2003.

6:01 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard cadet acquitted of rape, convicted of other crimes
By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer | June 27, 2006

NEW LONDON, Conn. --A military jury on Tuesday returned a split verdict against a U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet, acquitting him of raping his on-again, off-again girlfriend but convicting him of extorting another female cadet for sexual favors.

After about eight hours of deliberations, the jury found Webster M. Smith, 23, of Houston, guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave in the first court-martial of a student in the New London academy's 130-year history.

Smith was stoic as the verdict was read, but wept afterward with his parents and lawyers by his side.

"This is an extraordinarily emotional time for him right now," said his attorney, Merle Smith, who is not related to the cadet. "There's so much emotion right now, both relief and also disappointment."

The small courtroom was packed with some of the alleged victims, Coast Guard Academy employees and friends and relatives of Smith. One of the accusers, whose allegations resulted in not-guilty verdicts, quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was announced, also crying.

Sentencing was set for 9 a.m. Wednesday. Smith faces up to 13 1/2 years in prison but his attorney said he will argue for little or no jail time. Smith, who was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring, almost certainly will be kicked out of school and the Coast Guard.

Smith left court with his mother and did not talk to reporters. The senior officer on the jury, Capt. Thomas Jones, said he would have no comment at least until after sentencing.

Prosecutors said Smith was a predator who took advantage of women when they were vulnerable. With no DNA or forensic evidence, however, the case came down to the testimony of the women against Smith. Prosecutors had no comment after the verdict.

The allegations against Smith were brought by four female cadets. The jury, which included eight men and a woman, acquitted him of sexual misconduct charges involving three of the female cadets.

The rape case involved Smith's on-again, off-again girlfriend, who said she drank two bottles of wine at a party in Annapolis, Md., last summer and can't remember anything. She said she learned the next morning that they'd had sex. The woman, who is now an ensign in the Coast Guard, was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Smith testified Monday that the sex was consensual. He said she had been drinking but wasn't drunk when they had sex in his car outside a bar. Prosecutors say the sex happened much later that night, when she was passed out.

The indecent assault, extortion and sodomy charges that Smith was convicted of stemmed from allegations by one of the women.

That woman described a night in which she and Smith had a series of sexual encounters in her dorm room. They took naked photographs together, gave each other massages and had oral sex. The woman said she never protested because she was relying on Smith to keep a secret, one involving a crime that could have jeopardized her career in the Coast Guard. Prosecutors said Smith held that secret over her, extorting her for sexual favors.

Smith said he and the woman had talked about taking naked pictures before and he thought they were just doing what they had talked about. He said he never mentioned the secret and said the oral sex was consensual.

6:05 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006; 7:46 AM
NEW LONDON, Conn. -- A Coast Guard Academy cadet was acquitted of rape charges but convicted on other sex-related charges in the institution's first-ever court-martial of a student.
Webster M. Smith was expected to ask the military jury for leniency at a sentencing hearing scheduled Wednesday, June 28.
Jurors on Tuesday deliberated eight hours before finding Smith, 23, of Houston, guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave.
Smith, the first student in the school's 130-year history to be court-martialed, was stoic as the verdict was read, but wept afterward with his parents and lawyers by his side.
"This is an extraordinarily emotional time for him right now," said his attorney, Merle Smith, who is not related to the cadet. "There's so much emotion right now, both relief and also disappointment."
Smith faces up to 13 1/2 years in prison, but his attorney said he would argue for little or no jail time.
Prosecutors, who declined to comment after the verdict, said Smith was a predator who took advantage of women when they were vulnerable.
The allegations were brought by four female cadets. The jury acquitted him of sexual misconduct charges involving three of the female cadets.
The rape case involved Smith's on-again, off-again girlfriend, who said she drank two bottles of wine at a party in Annapolis, Md., last summer and can't remember anything. She said she learned the next morning that they had had sex.
Smith testified Monday that the sex was consensual. He said the woman had been drinking but wasn't drunk when they had sex in his car outside a bar. Prosecutors say the sex happened much later that night, when she was passed out.
The indecent assault, extortion and sodomy charges stemmed from allegations by one of the other women.
That woman described a night in which she and Smith had a series of sexual encounters in her dorm room. The woman said she never protested because she was relying on Smith to keep a secret involving a crime that could have jeopardized her career.
Prosecutors said Smith held that secret over her, extorting her for sexual favors.
Smith said he never mentioned the secret and that the two had consensual oral sex.
Smith was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring and almost certainly will be kicked out of school and the Coast Guard.

12:21 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Web Smith was convicted on multiplicious charges. A single incident was the basis of multiple charges. This insured a conviction for something and it raised the risk of disproportionate sentencing. The indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order, and absent without leave charges stemmed from allegations by one woman concerning one night in her room. That was highly improper.
Was the timing of the trial scheduled so as to give unfair advantage to the prosecution? The trial was scheduled after graduation so that all of the accusers would be commissioned officers. A jury was impaneled that was not of his peers. Even assuming that all of the members of the jury were Academy graduates, and had lived in Chase Hall, it is a safe bet that they had not been in Chase Hall for a number of years. Things change quickly in the cadet corps. Each class brings different social mores to the barracks.

What Web Smith was charged with is common and acceptable behavior on most high school campuses in America. Since Bill Clinton and Monica Willenski, most high school students do not even consider oral sex as having had sex. The majority of teenage girl polled stated that if they engaged in oral sex they would still be considered virgins. Can you imagine that? And yet, the UCMJ still classifies and defines oral sex as the abominable and detestable crime against nature.

Plus, the women were allowed to wear their uniforms in court on the witness stand. The defendant was sitting there in a cadet uniform. The disparity could not have been lost on the jury. Rather than being peers, or social equals, or just boy-friend and girl-friend, now they were senior officers accusing an inferior in rank. That was highly prejudicial to the defense. Those prosecution witnesses should have been required to testify in civilian clothes. That is the only way the accused could have been given more of an even break.
The deck was stacked against Web Smith from the start.

Courts would never allow a Catholic priest to come into court and testify in his high clerical collar. It would give the appearance that God Almighty himself was sitting next to him in the witness stand, and there were angels couched on each shoulder. So, everything that came out of his mouth could be nothing less than the Gospel Truth. That would unfairly bolster his testimony and would be highly prejudicial to whomever he was testifying against.

For the first time in the 130 year history of the Academy a senior cadet has been court-martialed. I am deeply distressed that he was a Black cadet. Since there were multiple accusers, who were officers, no cadets on the jury, a single incident gave rise to multiplicious charges, and race was obviously a factor, I was sure that Web Smith would be found guilty of something. I begged RADM James Van Sice not too approve any sentence that would send a Black Academy graduating senior to jail for alleged sex crimes. This has set a very bad precedent, and it stigmatizes not only Web Smith but every other graduate of the Academy.

This has strapped a dead body to the back of every Coast Guard Academy graduate. The ancient Hebrews would rather free a thousand guilty men than to convict one innocent one. They had a very profound sense of social justice. They also had a very unique punishment for premeditated murderers. The corpse of the victim would be tied to the back of the convicted murderer, back to back, arm to arm and leg to leg. And that was his punishment. He had to carry that dead body around for the remainder of his life, so that everyone could see and know what he had done. It would not be long before the maggots and worms from the corpse would begin to consume the dead body and begin to eat away at the body of the murderer.

That is what has been done to the Coast Guard Academy alumni. Every Coast Guard Academy graduate will have to carry the dead body of this court-martial around for the rest of their career and their lives. How long before it eats away at the subconscious of the witnesses who lied, and the “Master Midnight Creepers” from Chase Hall going back to the late 1970’s who did far worst things than Web Smith and were never prosecuted? We all know they are out there. That has become a badge of distinction in the cadet corps.

A General or Special Court-martial was over-kill. A Summary Court-martial would have achieved the same purposes, and would not have raised the possibility of a disproportionate sentence. Convening any court-martial would have been a sufficient deterrent.

Webster Smith was not created in a vacuum. He lived in Chase Hall for four years. We all bear some responsibility for what he has become. We will not purge our own guilt by sacrificing him. There was no smoking gun. Even though several accusers came forward, this was still a case of ‘he-said, she-said’.

These are not the facts that you want to use to write Coast Guard history. That is what this trial was all about. This is a history making event for the Coast Guard and the Academy. It would have been a giant step toward putting the Genie back into the bottle if no more than a bad conduct discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances had been the sentence. Webster Smith could have disappeared and the Academy’s history would have remained fairly untarnished.

12:41 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

New London — Presiding Judge Capt. Brian Judge on Wednesday afternoon set parameters for the punishment of U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet Webster M. Smith, instructing jurors that a maximum sentence could be no more than five years and seven months in prison and expulsion from the Coast Guard.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a nine-member jury entered deliberations in the punishment phase of the trial of Smith, convicted Tuesday in a sexual assault court martial of blackmailing a female classmate into exchanging sexual favors in her dorm room last October.

Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors had recommended a punishment of 36 months in prison and expulsion from the Coast Guard, while defense attorneys suggested Smith has suffered enough and should not have to serve prison time.
Published on 6/28/2006 in Region » Region News


NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) _ A military jury began considering Wednesday whether to send a U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet to prison for extorting a fellow student for sexual favors.


Cadet Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy's history, was acquitted of rape Tuesday but faces up to five years and seven months in prison for extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.


Smith, 23, of Houston, asked for leniency. His defense attorneys asked jurors to spare him jail time, saying the stigma of his conviction will follow him forever. He will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and must register as a sex offender in Texas.


Prosecutors, who repeatedly called Smith a predator during the weeklong court-martial, asked jurors to sentence Smith to three years in prison. Cmdr. Ronald Bald said Smith disgraced the Coast Guard and betrayed the trust of his country.


"It's the punishment that he richly deserves," Bald said.
Six of nine jurors must agree on Smith's sentence. The jury includes eight men and one woman.


The case involved four female cadets, but the jury acquitted him of sexual misconduct charges, including rape, involving three of them. The primary charges on which he was convicted _ extortion, sodomy and indecent assault _ stemmed from a series of sexual encounters with a classmate in her dorm room.


She said she was too afraid to protest because she was relying on Smith to keep a secret about a crime that could have jeopardized her career in the Coast Guard.


Smith, who took the stand in his own defense, acknowledged that they took naked pictures of each other, gave each other massages and had oral sex that night. But he said it was all consensual.


Regardless of what the jury rules, Smith likely will be kicked out of school and the Coast Guard. He was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring.
In a brief statement to jurors Wednesday, he said he was surprised by the verdict but accepts responsibility for his actions. What he thought were consensual encounters were described differently by the women involved, he said.


"I wanted to be an officer," he said. "I apologize that you have not seen that this week."


The weeklong trial included graphic testimony about Smith's relationships with several female cadets. On Wednesday, the Houston man's family and girlfriend portrayed his actions as the typical carousing of a college student but said the court-martial changed his life and brought him closer to God.


"It has challenged him to reflect on his character, about who he was in the past and who he wants to be in the future," said girlfriend Lindsay Deason, who said Smith no longer drinks.


Smith looked down, his head in his hands, as his mother told jurors Wednesday that she warned her children against having premarital sex.


"I'm not surprised that they wandered off from that, considering the circumstances of society," Belinda Smith said. "But they should've taken what I taught them and carried it along with them."


With no DNA or forensic evidence in the case, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Smith's on-again, off-again girlfriend to carry the rape case. Jurors apparently were not persuaded by her testimony that she drank two bottles of wine at a party in Annapolis, Md., last summer and couldn't remember having sex with Smith.


Smith said she drank far less that night and said the sex was consensual.
"I could have been a better boyfriend, a more faithful boyfriend," Smith said. "I told her I loved her. I could have shown her better."

1:19 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard cadet gets 6 months in prison
Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:02 PM ET



NEW LONDON, Connecticut (Reuters) - The first cadet ever court martialed in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was sentenced on Wednesday to six months in prison after he was acquitted of rape but convicted of sodomy and other charges.

Cadet 1st Class Webster Smith, a senior who played linebacker on the academy's football team, was the first Coast Guard cadet accused of sexual assault since the New London, Connecticut-based academy first admitted women in 1976.

The 23-year-old from Houston was found guilty on Tuesday of extortion, indecent assault, sodomy, leaving his post and attempting to disobey an order.

He was dismissed from the Coast Guard and sent to a military brig on Wednesday where he will spend his sentence.

"I'm ashamed to be the first cadet to be court martialed," he told the judge before the sentencing. "It's been difficult to sit by and look at the people talk about me." He later broke into tears.

Smith had pleaded not guilty to 10 violations of the military's code of justice involving three female accusers.

The most serious charge of rape was brought by a former girlfriend who testified that Smith had sex with her in June 2005 after she had passed out from a night of heavy drinking. She brought the charge after learning she was pregnant.

Charges of extortion, sodomy and indecent assault were brought by another woman who said Smith had threatened to publicly reveal a personal secret that she feared could have ruined her future in the U.S. Coast Guard.

She said Smith asked for sexual favors in return for keeping the secret.

Smith's case followed a Pentagon report released last August that found widespread sexual harassment at the U.S. military academies. The report was ordered by Congress after a sexual-abuse scandal at the Air Force Academy in 2003.

6:27 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NEW LONDON, Conn. --A U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet was sentenced to six months in a military prison and kicked out of the service Wednesday for extorting a classmate for sexual favors, a crime that prosecutors said brought shame on the academy.
Cadet Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy's 130-year history, was acquitted of rape Tuesday, but he faced up to five years and seven months in prison after being convicted of extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.
Smith, 23, of Houston, asked for leniency. His defense attorneys asked jurors to spare him jail time, saying the stigma of his conviction will follow him forever. He will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and must register as a sex offender in Texas.
Prosecutors asked jurors to send Smith to prison for three years, saying he had disgraced the Coast Guard and betrayed the nation's trust in a case that brought unwelcome attention to the academy.
"Now that there's a decision there's a form of closure," academy spokesman David French said. "I think the academy can move on and continue the business of training future officers."
Smith had been hoping and preparing for a sentence without prison, and his attorneys said he was coming to grips with the reality of serving time in a military brig.
"He's upset but he will handle it," his attorney, Lt. Stuart Kirkby, said. "He's a fine young man and he'll get through it."
Smith left court and immediately gathered behind closed doors in an academy office with his family. He asked the academy's superintendent to let him surrender later but the request was denied.
Smith was taken away in a government car Wednesday evening and was to spend the night at the brig at the U.S. Navy submarine base in Groton. From there, he could be transferred anywhere within the military brig system.
The jury of eight men and one woman deliberated for about four hours before deciding on the sentence. Defense attorneys said they plan to ask the school superintendent, Rear Adm. James C. Van Sice, to set aside the sentence, but a decision was not expected immediately.
Neither prosecutors nor jurors would comment.
The case involved four female cadets, but the jury acquitted Smith of sexual misconduct charges, including rape, involving three of them. The primary charges on which he was convicted stemmed from a series of sexual encounters with a classmate in her dorm room last October.
She said she was too afraid to protest because she feared Smith would reveal a secret that could have jeopardized her Coast Guard career.
Smith, who testified in his own defense, acknowledged that they took naked pictures of each other, gave each other massages and had oral sex that night. But he said it was all consensual.
Smith was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring and will be kicked out of the academy because of the convictions, attorneys said, but a formal dismissal has not been made.
"I wanted to be an officer," Smith told jurors Wednesday, choking up as he took responsibility for the unraveling of his academy career. "I apologize that you have not seen that displayed this week."
The weeklong trial included graphic testimony about Smith's relationships with several female cadets. On Wednesday, the Houston man's family and girlfriend portrayed his actions as the typical carousing of a college student but said the court-martial changed his life and brought him closer to God.
"It has challenged him to reflect on his character, about who he was in the past and who he wants to be in the future," said girlfriend Lindsay Deason, who added that Smith no longer drinks.
With no DNA or forensic evidence in the case, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Smith's former on-again, off-again girlfriend to carry the rape case. But she remembered little from the evening, saying she had drank heavily.
The woman who accused Smith of raping her, who is now a Coast Guard officer, attended Wednesday's sentencing, although her case ended with a not-guilty finding. When the courtroom cleared after the proceeding, she walked over to Cmdr. Ronald Bald, the military prosecutor, and hugged him, sobbing on his shoulder.
By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer | June 28, 2006
NEW LONDON, Conn. --A U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet was sentenced to six months in a military prison and kicked out of the service Wednesday for extorting a classmate for sexual favors, a crime that prosecutors said brought shame on the academy.
Cadet Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy's 130-year history, was acquitted of rape Tuesday, but he faced up to five years and seven months in prison after being convicted of extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.
Smith, 23, of Houston, asked for leniency. His defense attorneys asked jurors to spare him jail time, saying the stigma of his conviction will follow him forever. He will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and must register as a sex offender in Texas.
Prosecutors asked jurors to send Smith to prison for three years, saying he had disgraced the Coast Guard and betrayed the nation's trust in a case that brought unwelcome attention to the academy.
"Now that there's a decision there's a form of closure," academy spokesman David French said. "I think the academy can move on and continue the business of training future officers."
Smith had been hoping and preparing for a sentence without prison, and his attorneys said he was coming to grips with the reality of serving time in a military brig.
"He's upset but he will handle it," his attorney, Lt. Stuart Kirkby, said. "He's a fine young man and he'll get through it."
Smith left court and immediately gathered behind closed doors in an academy office with his family. He asked the academy's superintendent to let him surrender later but the request was denied.
Smith was taken away in a government car Wednesday evening and was to spend the night at the brig at the U.S. Navy submarine base in Groton. From there, he could be transferred anywhere within the military brig system.
The jury of eight men and one woman deliberated for about four hours before deciding on the sentence. Defense attorneys said they plan to ask the school superintendent, Rear Adm. James C. Van Sice, to set aside the sentence, but a decision was not expected immediately.
Neither prosecutors nor jurors would comment.
The case involved four female cadets, but the jury acquitted Smith of sexual misconduct charges, including rape, involving three of them. The primary charges on which he was convicted stemmed from a series of sexual encounters with a classmate in her dorm room last October.
She said she was too afraid to protest because she feared Smith would reveal a secret that could have jeopardized her Coast Guard career.
Smith, who testified in his own defense, acknowledged that they took naked pictures of each other, gave each other massages and had oral sex that night. But he said it was all consensual.
Smith was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring and will be kicked out of the academy because of the convictions, attorneys said, but a formal dismissal has not been made.
"I wanted to be an officer," Smith told jurors Wednesday, choking up as he took responsibility for the unraveling of his academy career. "I apologize that you have not seen that displayed this week."
The weeklong trial included graphic testimony about Smith's relationships with several female cadets. On Wednesday, the Houston man's family and girlfriend portrayed his actions as the typical carousing of a college student but said the court-martial changed his life and brought him closer to God.
"It has challenged him to reflect on his character, about who he was in the past and who he wants to be in the future," said girlfriend Lindsay Deason, who added that Smith no longer drinks.
With no DNA or forensic evidence in the case, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Smith's former on-again, off-again girlfriend to carry the rape case. But she remembered little from the evening, saying she had drank heavily.
The woman who accused Smith of raping her, who is now a Coast Guard officer, attended Wednesday's sentencing, although her case ended with a not-guilty finding. When the courtroom cleared after the proceeding, she walked over to Cmdr. Ronald Bald, the military prosecutor, and hugged him, sobbing on his shoulder.

6:41 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

New London (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet was sentenced to six months in a military prison and kicked out of the service Wednesday for extorting a classmate for sexual favors, a crime that prosecutors said brought shame on the academy.

Cadet Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy’s 130-year history, was acquitted of rape Tuesday but faced up to five years and seven months in prison for extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.

Smith, 23, of Houston, asked for leniency. His defense attorneys asked jurors to spare him jail time, saying the stigma of his conviction will follow him forever. He will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and must register as a sex offender in Texas.

“I am ashamed to have been the first cadet to have been court-martialed,” Smith told jurors, “but I am proud of my decision to fight for my career and freedom.”

6:50 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Article published Jun 28, 2006
Verdict positive on Coast Guard Academy
Staff and wire reports

NEW LONDON -- Former Coast Guard members and others with ties to the Coast Guard Academy are praising the academy's handling of its first court-martial, saying the firm action will help the school's reputation rebound.

A military jury Tuesday returned a split verdict against U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet Webster M. Smith, acquitting him of raping his on-again, off-again girlfriend, but convicting him of extorting another female cadet for sexual favors.

The jury found Smith, 23, of Houston, guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave in the first court-martial of a student in the New London academy's 130-year history.

Many in the region with ties to the academy said the fact the school did not hide the allegations and followed through with a court martial will help its reputation rebound.

"The academy has excellent processes in place to deal with this," said John Maxham, vice president of development for the academy alumni association. "The most important things is it was handled in the proper fashion."

Judith Buttery, 50, of Oakdale and a former member of the Coast Guard Band, said the rape allegation is something other colleges and universities have dealt with for years.

"It happens so often in every other place," Buttery said. "It's just one of those things the Coast Guard will have to deal with. The Coast Guard Academy will weather this storm."

Chris Morello of Norwich, the Capt. Paul Foyt Chapter co-president of the Coast Guard Academy Parents Association, called the incident disappointing, but was glad the academy handled it well.

"It's disappointing for the best of the cadets that work as hard and are dedicated and disciplined to have a few put a black mark on the school," Morello said. "It's not good to judge anything based on one decision or challenge."

Smith was stoic as the verdict was read, but wept afterward with his parents and lawyers by his side.

"This is an extraordinarily emotional time for him right now," said his attorney, Merle Smith, who is not related to the cadet. "There's so much emotion right now, both relief and also disappointment."

Smith, who was not allowed to graduate with his class this spring, almost certainly will be kicked out of school and the Coast Guard.

With no DNA or forensic evidence, however, the case came down to the testimony of the women against Smith. Prosecutors had no comment after the verdict.

WOW!! America has not changed much. Can you believe these alleged comments. I guess that is progress of a sort. They used to turn out for a holiday and cheer whan a Black man was lynched. They brought their infant children, pic-nic baskets and Bibles. They sang and prayed and had a good ole time. The ones with thier knives would cut off a body part for a souvenir if they could get close enough. There was always a crowd. They were lynching a Black man a week in America at the beginning of the 20th Century.

7:48 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard Academy Vows to Fight Attacks
Associated Press | July 14, 2006
NEW LONDON, Conn. - The first female commandant of cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy pledged a tough stance against campus sexual violence following a court-martial in which cadets testified that such issues were not taken seriously.

Such attacks are "just reprehensible and I do not want to graduate a cadet into the Coast Guard as a junior officer who is a perpetrator of sexual assault," Capt. Judith Keene said in an interview at her new office.

Keene, who was among the first women to graduate from the academy, takes over as the military equivalent of the dean of students at a tumultuous time. She replaces Capt. Douglas Wisniewski, who left for a position in Washington this year when his term as commandant expired.

A senior cadet was convicted of sexual assault and extortion last month in the school's first student court-martial. Witnesses discussed heavy drinking and carousing and a culture in which some female cadets were hesitant to come forward with assault allegations.

That case, along with a former cadet's allegations that the academy mishandled her assault claim and a mother's concerns that her daughter's rape allegation was not adequately addressed, led some in Congress to request a review of the school's policies.

Keene, who was named to the position before any of these issues surfaced, said that although the school's policies are solid, the academy needs to send a consistent message to cadets that sexual assault won't be tolerated.

"They'll not only be hearing it from me and my staff," she said. "I expect them to hear it in their classes. I expect them to hear it from their coaches. I expect them to hear it when they're down in medical."

She said her administration will work hard to be approachable for women who have been assaulted.

With about 950 cadets, the school is the smallest U.S. service academy. Women represent about 30 percent of cadets, compared with less than 20 percent at the Air Force and Naval Academies and about 15 percent at West Point.

3:27 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Someone once said that at the Academy they give you a $100,000.00 education, but they shove it up your behind one penny at a time.

7:32 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Bill OK'd to increase Blacks at Coast Guard Academy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The House voted overwhelmingly for a bill that includes a provision giving members of Congress a say over who is admitted to the U.S. Coast Guard's 1,000-cadet service academy in New London, Conn.


The measure — part of a multi-billion-dollar authorization bill that passed 385-11 on Friday — was sponsored by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., who argues that congressional nominations are needed to help increase the number of Blacks enrolled at the CGA and graduate as commissioned officers.

The CGA is the only service academy that does not have congressional nominations and has no requirements for geographical distribution.

Four Blacks graduated in the spring. More recently, five Blacks were admitted for the Class of 2013. At present, its four classes include 25 Blacks.

5:03 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

In the end, all history is memory and gossip.

10:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home