News From the Front – an update on James

As of today James has been at Officer Candidate School for just over 8 weeks. I was with friends the other day when I got a much awaited from phone call from James. To give an indication of what life at OCS is like, James told me to tell our friends, “hi from my dark cell.” Life the first few weeks for him was not fun to say the least and when I missed a phone call from him and his barely audible message said, “I’m okay, I’m alive,” it just about broke my heart. Squaring his meals and doing push-ups to a cadence contributed to him losing 8 pounds that first week.

The report is that things are better the last few weeks. I suppose these things are measured in the amount of yelling that takes place. James never loses his humor about it and as soon as he received e-mail privileges he included in his signature a quote that had no doubt been directed at his company. “You’re all complete idiots and I don’t want you as officers in my Coast Guard.” – MKC Hillman, Guard Mount, 27AUG09.

I had to laugh.

The class recently completed their trip on the Eagle, the Coast Guard’s tall ship. James enjoyed the trip and the ship as well as the slightly reduced numbers of instructors hovering over them.

James wrote from the ship, “Getting underway is an incredibly physical evolution. It’s done the same way it’s been done for hundreds of years…. climbing masts, furling or unfurling sails and a small army on deck heaving lines. The ship has a language of it’s own, ‘ready the mizzen royal!’ ‘Make off the main stay for sail!’ – all being yelled from bridge to deck and vice versa.”

He is doing very well in his classes and he’s showing all the college grads there just how it’s done. I’m really proud of him, but then, I’ve always been a fan. :)


  • why is jamey wearing the funny hat? I am so glad this blog is going again! I really missed it when the “trip” was over. You are so right Shana, he will show them how it’s done, and we are both just a little partial ;)

  • His e-mail quote just kills me!! That’s hilarious!! I’m sure those first few weeks are really hard but I know as time goes on it gets easier and easier (not easy but easier, LOL). You all know it’ll pay off in the end. I’m going up for CWO here in a couple months and am hopefull that’ll be my gateway to becoming an O vice OCS. James is a stronger person than I!

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