1st Year Cadets Formally Welcomed Into The Regiment

The Class of 2024 in formation during the MMA Cadet Candidate Recognition Ceremony

With the Recognition Ceremony completed, the COVID-19 version of MMA's Cadet Candidate Assimilation is in the books, and along with it many new lessons learned about just how far these cadets, their cadre, and the regimental command needed to go in order to succeed in what continue to be extraordinary times. All who've been through the MMA orientation program know exactly what it takes to persevere through what many agree can be the toughest two weeks in their lives. Add to that layers and layers of pandemic protocols, and you've got a class of 4/C freshmen and their cadet leaders who've achieved something they will no doubt look back upon when it seemed all but impossible, and they did so while everything around them was no longer as it was, and (hopefully) will never be again.

In his ceremonial address to those assembled, Regimental Commander 1/C Dominic Vaccari, on whose shoulders ultimately all of this rests, and who has overseen an effort that has set a new standard for the way things need to get done, reflected on the singular accomplishment of this new class by reaffirming their choice to be a part of something that a select few undertake. "There is a lot to be said about your decision as a young person to attend Mass Maritime, but choosing to do so in a time of immense uncertainty speaks volumes about your character, maturity, drive, and willingness to embrace being a part of something bigger than yourself. That something is the Regiment of Cadets, composed of the shipmates to the (socially distanced) left and right of you, composed of the Cadre who have truly sacrificed to lead you. Your Cadre are not only training you to be top-notch Cadets, but to be honest, hardworking, and selfless people."

Within what has been an "all of the above" scenario, the recognition of achievement and leadership is all the more impressive.