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At his annual leadership address Thursday, Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. told officer candidates and the academy's corps of cadets stories of Coast Guardsmen who have displayed extraordinary commitment, courage and sacrifice.
While traveling across the country, the commandant told the group, he has been struck by the fact that many people in the Coast Guard don't know a lot about the service's rich history.
Papp said he learned the history over the years, not during his time as a cadet at the academy. And he views teaching it as a responsibility.
Today Papp will ask Coast Guard historians to help develop an academic course that teaches the history of the Coast Guard, focused on inspirational individuals, leaders, and the decisions they made that shaped the service today.
Every cadet will take the course at the academy beginning next fall, and sections can be taught at Officer Candidate School and other training sessions, Papp said.
The motto of the Coast Guard training barque Eagle is tradition, seamanship and character.
Papp said the Coast Guard teaches seamanship and hopes to build character. Now, he said, people need to understand the traditions.
- Jennifer McDermott