Yes, Drill Sergeant? Cell Phone Video Shows Texas A&M Maritime Academy Staff Member’s Heated Exchange with Cadet

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May 31, 2018

A cell phone video showing a Texas A&M Maritime Academy staff member publicly scolding a cadet during a heated argument has people online saying that the staff member took things too far.

The incident occurred May 29 on board the training ship Kennedy before it was due to depart Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts on summer sea term.

In the video, posted bellow, a TAMUG staff member is shown yelling at the cadet in a manner more reminiscent to that of Marine Corps drill sergeant than camp than a maritime academy instructor.

The video ends with the cadet yelling back, telling his superior that he is “not lying”, prompting the staff member to yell at the cadet to pack his bags because he’s going home.

The staff member has been identified as CDR Buzz Refugio, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.

It is not clear what started the heated argument in the first place.

The video has generated a number of comments online, with many saying the staff member took things too far.

Texas A&M Maritime University’s Galveston Campus has responded with a statement posted to Facebook:

Update in response to Texas A&M University at Galveston – Statement on cell phone video – May 29, 2018:

The Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs boarded the USTS Kennedy Tuesday evening. He has spoken with all parties involved in yesterday’s incident. He also addressed all cadets onboard during a meeting this morning with regards to yesterday.

The Texas A&M Maritime Academy Superintendent arrived today and is working with all cadets, crew, faculty and staff onboard to ensure the 2018 Summer Sea Term remains a safe and positive educational experience for all.

The staff member involved in yesterday’s incident was there to support onboarding and assist in facilitating Coast Guard inspections prior to departure. He was never intended to sail with the ship and is returning to Galveston today.

This year’s sea term marks the first time Texas A&M Galveston cadets will sail together as an entire academy in 12 years. The TS Kennedy was activated by MARAD to be temporarily chartered to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy for use as an at-sea traveling classroom. The academy expected close to 300 cadets onboard for this summer’s cruise.

A version of the video posted anonymously on Youtube is below:

Let us know what you think or join the discussion of the incident on the gCaptain forum:


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