Thursday, July 24, 2008

ENS DeCarol Davis, a Black female, was the valedictorian of the CGA Class of 2008.

H. Res. 1241: Congratulating Ensign DeCarol Davis upon serving as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard.


2d Session

H. RES. 1241

Congratulating Ensign DeCarol Davis upon serving as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard Academy's class of 2008 and becoming the first African-American female to earn this honor.


June 4, 2008

Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi (for himself and Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


Congratulating Ensign DeCarol Davis upon serving as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard Academy's class of 2008 and becoming the first African-American female to earn this honor.

Whereas Ensign DeCarol Davis is the first African-American female to serve as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard Academy;

Whereas Ensign Davis is from Woodbridge, Virginia, and was the 2004 Forest Park High School valedictorian;

Whereas Ensign Davis's academic achievement at the Coast Guard Academy in a class of over 200 cadets earned her status as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard Academy's class of 2008;

Whereas Ensign Davis's accomplishments include being selected as a 2007 Truman Scholar, 2008 Connecticut Technology Council Women of Innovation Award recipient, 2006 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Women's Basketball First Team Sports Scholar, and 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I College Women's Basketball First Team;

Whereas Ensign Davis's community outreach during her four years at the Coast Guard Academy significantly impacted the lives of others, including those at a local elementary school where Ensign Davis wrote and directed a play that introduced engineering as a career to the students;

Whereas the Coast Guard Academy serves a critical role in training the future leaders of the Coast Guard to protect ports, waterways, coastal security, and the marine transportation system from an act of terrorism; secure our borders against aliens seeking to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal drugs, firearms, and weapons of mass destruction at ports, waterways, and throughout the marine transportation system; prevent human smuggling operations at ports, waterways, and throughout the marine transportation system; maintain defense readiness to rapidly deploy defensive port operations and security operations and environmental defense operations; coordinate efforts and intelligence with Federal, State, and local agencies to deter, detect, and respond to the threat of terrorism at ports, on waterways, and throughout the marine transportation system; prevent Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, or any other terrorist or terrorist organization from attacking the United States or any United States person; and protect the United States or any United States person from threats posed by weapons of mass destruction or other threats to national security;

Whereas the Coast Guard Academy has few women and people of color within its cadet population;

Whereas on April 24, 2008, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2830, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008, which included several provisions to improve the diversity of the Coast Guard Academy; and

Whereas Ensign Davis gave her valedictorian address on May 21, 2008: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) congratulates Ensign DeCarol Davis for becoming the first African-American female to serve as the valedictorian of the Coast Guard Academy; and

(2) encourages the Coast Guard Academy to seek diverse candidates for the cadet corps and to continue to train and graduate cadets of a quality that the Coast Guard needs to fulfill all its homeland and nonhomeland security missions.

The text of Ensign Davis' speech is reprinted here in its entirety:


Thank you Admiral Burhoe. Good morning Vice President Cheney, Secretary Chertoff, Admiral Allen, Governor Fitial, Congressman Coble, Dean Colella, Captain Keene, distinguished guests, faculty and staff, corps of cadets, family, friends and especially, the class of 2008.

I feel honored to have the opportunity to speak today.

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” These were the words of Malcolm X.

Classmates, we are a family of volunteers (a family whether we like it or not) here to preserve and protect our nation and humanity. For the Coast Guard, “by any means necessary” is not a willingness to kill for humankind but more so a willingness to die. This day marks our legacy. Let us make history.

I know I’m up here today because I’m a nerd who managed to be the best number, the best piece of paper for the past four years, but I’d also like to think that I’m here because I respect humanity. I’m only 22 years old, so I’m not going to pretend to be some pseudo-righteous, over-achiever who thinks she knows all the answers. But I am here to tell you that I believe in a history and a now that is ours, a history and a now filled with a consciousness of the human condition, filled with a respect for human beings.

I need you to take this moment and see that I am black. See that I am a woman. I’m not going to tell you to close your eyes and imagine anything because we need to open our eyes and look this reality dead in the face. I need you to see that I am human. I am just like you. No better, no worse. If we can accept each others’ humanity, we can make history.

Humanity is our homeland, and classmates, we must remind our nation of the true definition and dynamic of homeland security. Promoting energy is securing the homeland. Protecting the public from terrorist strike is securing the homeland. Treating all people, whether migrant or felon, with mercy and human decency is securing the homeland. Saving lives is securing the homeland. We must never forget our legacy. We must never forget the freedom and liberty that make us America. We have made a pledge to society that on this earth to the best of our ability, by any means necessary, we will preserve and protect humanity.

Enemies of the Coast Guard do not all have faces, do not always breath. Our enemy is anything, form or concept, willing to hurt human beings, and a recent example of that enemy is Katrina. We fought back with principles of humanity, exploding justice, respect, and freedom. These principles give our nation a unique strength, and this is the greatest weapon of all.

I simply ask you to think. I ask you to look back to the moments of your powerlessness. Moments where you had to get down on your knees and scrub, sweep, mop, wax, and buff and buff and rebuff and buff again a floor that would be walked on and probably scuffed two minutes later. That feeling is what it is to be human. Humble yourself, accept your humanity, and don’t deny it in others. When you go to lead your people, exude that understanding of a struggle and a fight. Fight for them and be for them.

And in that fight, I ask you to remember this family that surrounds you today. I ask you to remember the shipmate who carried your C-bag during Sea Trials, the shipmate who earned a C tutoring your B+, the shipmates who stayed by your side late night after night after night after night after night, knowing you were more important than late rack. Remember the shipmate who shined your shoes…the faculty member, the coach, and the company officer who made you shine…the parent, the first guardian, who knew you would always shine. This family is the foundation of your humanity. These are the people you respect and who have taught you what it means to respect. These are the people who have helped you to understand everyone’s right as a human being to be on this earth.

Our history has not yet begun, and it won’t begin until every last one of us crosses this stage. Today, we become the class that we set out to be four years ago. Today, we become officers and protectors of the United States Constitution. Today, we must acknowledge that we are all human beings and maintain that awareness by any means necessary. Our history is now. Shall we begin?


ENS Davis said her service in the Coast Guard protecting homeland security gives her many responsibilities. She has been assigned to a Coast Guard unit in Staten Island, N.Y., where she will work in marine inspection.

(9/26/2009) NEW LONDON, CONN. — A Maryland student has been named the first Black female regimental commander in the 133-year history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Cadet 1st Class Jacqueline Fitch of Catonsville, Md., was appointed as the highest ranking cadet at the Connecticut-based military academy. The regimental commander is the liaison between the academy commandant and students. She will also be responsible for maintaining discipline and overseeing cadet companies.

The selection came as a surprise to Fitch, who says she applied just for a staff position. She said she was "in shock" by the unexpected appointment.

The Coast Guard Academy, located in New London, is the smallest of the nation's five military academies, with about 970 students enrolled this year.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

Top Of Her Class

TO SAY DECAROL DAVIS IS AMBITIOUS would be a major understatement. “I want to change the world, not just here,” Davis said.

Davis is actively involved in searching out ways to better the world at CGA and beyond. She has deftly juggled her military responsibilities, academic workload, athletics and outside projects.

Cadet Davis received two prestigious awards. She selected as the 2007 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. She beat out more than 600 student-athletes. She also received the Academy's first Truman Scholar honor.

“It's a very, very big deal,” said Davis, who is from Woodbridge, Va. “I'm just humbled by the fact I received these awards. I'm excited and happy to represent the Coast Guard.”

10:00 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Rhodes Scholar representative.
Cadet Davis played on the women's basketball team. She averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds while starting all 26 games last season. She credits her parents — father DeQuincey, a retired Marine, and mother Carolyn, a media specialist — for instilling in her proper values and a big-picture view of the world.

These numbers are more impressive: Davis was ranked first in the junior class of 237 cadets and owns a 3.95 grade-point average as an electrical engineering major. She also was the class president in each of her first two years. She's received numerous academic honors and is on the Commandant Cadet's List for Military Excellence, earning the Commandant's Undergraduate Award.

“DeCarol Davis has more energy and enthusiasm than I've ever seen,” said CGA superintendent, Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe, in a released statement. “Her blend of intellect, integrity, physical fitness and character reflects the very best of the Coast Guard Academy. We are all very proud of her.”

10:02 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

ENS DeCarol A. Davis, an Electrical Engineering graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, is stationed at Coast Guard Sector New York under the Prevention Department conducting Marine Inspections. After her first tour, she aspires to attend graduate school to study Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Davis hopes to use this education to improve the Coast Guard’s mission of Marine and Environmental Protection. She plans to bridge the technical and political worlds, researching advanced engineering methods, such as water and wastewater treatment, and brainstorming methods to introduce healthy, clean natural resources at the local level. She has interned with the Systems and Decision Sciences Division at Lawrence Livermore Lab and has recently completed research on the use of a commercial VHF channel to enhance Coast Guard missions. Davis is actively involved in youth education programs for sustainable living, park restoration projects, and service at a local food distribution center. As a cadet, she devised an engineering outreach program for children.

10:12 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Attorneys for former Coast Guard Academy cadet Webster Smith have filed a brief and a petition for review and appeal of his court-martial with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. (Aug 2008). This is the last level of appeal before the U S Supreme Court.
Cadet Webster Smith was a senior cadet and would have graduated in the Class of 2006, but instead he became the first Coast Guard Academy cadet ever court-martialed.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 60s-80s when we talked about "managing diversity", we really meant race and gender. Sadly, we still find ourselves well short of optimizing either or both of those elements. Both the enlightened intellectual and the practical project leaders of today see huge value in making certain his or her team is composed of members who bring not only gender and racial diversity but also a wide spectrum of skills and capabilities to the table. We want variations in expertise and age and MATURITY and ideas and CULRURE and any other factors of consequence that could help get the project done well. For too long we have celebrated what we had in common. That's OK, but the fault lies in pretending that we have everything in common. WE SURELY DO NOT and the better leader knows that and acts on that knowledge.

9:48 PM  

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