Let's Clarify a few things

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ko...@tampabay.rr.com

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Dec 24, 2007, 12:59:51 PM12/24/07
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I have to say this discussion is both hilarious and offensive.
Especially when a certain someone posts that the US Coast Guard would
have been "on leave or sitting around shining our shoes" had this case
not have happened. For your information sir, while Search and Rescue
will always be our main mission we have about 16 other priority
missions the US taxpayers require us to perform 365 days of the year.
I am a crewmember on the cutter TAHOMA and I was involved in the SAR
case Grail Pilgrin. We were on a Living Marine Resources Patrol
(LMRE) which is a law enforcement mission spanning from Maine to New
York out 200NM. In addition to the LMRE patrol we were also a
response cutter that performs counterterrorism missions when called
upon. This patrol (other military agencies call it deployments) was
to span well into the new year, so let me assure you that while you
were spending the holidays with your family, we were protecting your
homeland.

In reference to the S/V Grail Pilgrin, I have no doubt that if we
would not have gone out and rescued the sailor in distress, there was
a very high probability his family would have been mourning at a
funeral instead of celebrating the holidays. I am not going to detail
the case because for most of you I don't think you deserve it, and the
rest of you might not believe me. I will though highlight the main
points from this case:

While on a routine patrol (deployment) we were diverted to evacuate
the sailor onboard the S/V Grail Pilgrin. We were 240NM west of the S/
V Grail Pilgrin when the call came in. We made best speed to his
position where we discovered winds out of the East holding steady at
45Kts gusting up to 60kts. The wind waves were reaching 5ft in height
and we recorded swells reaching 18FT in height. To give you an idea
of how bad it was out there our 270' ship at one time took a 32 degree
roll to starboard. Most ships today are designed to withstand a roll
of up to 45 degrees before structural damage starts to occur so if we
took a 32 degree roll you can only imagine the pitch and rolls
happening on the 29ft sailboat. Now I cannot say why the sailor
decided to sail alone from Halifax to Bermuda and it is not my
position to judge why, but the man I met was a very experienced
sailor, probably more experienced than most of you posting on this
account. When we arrived and spoke to the sailor via radio we could
tell he was suffering from severe exhaustion and his symptoms
described the first stage of shock and dehydration. The S/V Grail
Pilgrin bow sail and come loose and was floating in the water, the sea
anchor was deployed, and his rigging had been torn from the mast in
addition to the engine being out of commission. In other words, he
could not motor or sail, which leads me to say I know of no one who
could have taken that S/V in that condition anywhere expect straight
down to the bottom of the ocean. We as Coastguardsmen are trained to
perform rescues in the most severe weather and we had to wait a few
hours until the seas calmed enough for us to launch our smallboat to
affect the rescue.

That is all I am going to say on the subject, take it or leave it that
is what happened. Next time you want to criticize my service or the
missions we perform come find me and say it in my face. I will stick
you on a small boat in 15ft seas for 36 hours and ask you how you feel
when we come save you.

Respectfully,
A United States Coast Guard Cutterman currently serving aboard CGC
TAHOMA

rexbr...@gmail.com

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Dec 24, 2007, 2:03:55 PM12/24/07
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Tahoma crewman, thank you for setting it straight. Believe me, most of
us are grateful for your efforts.

Roger Long

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Dec 24, 2007, 2:18:09 PM12/24/07
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Thank you for an excellent post. Every word rings true. As the OP, please
let me express my regret at the critisism of the USCG that it prompted in
some of the responders. Whatever I may think about the political hacks and
dynamics that sometimes force you to carry out stupid policies, I've got
nothing but respect those of you out there actually doing such a job.

I have no doubt the fellow was in real trouble and owes his life to your
ship's skill and dedication. I'm not surprised either to hear that he was
quite experienced. I remember when I used to spend a lot of time reading
aviation accident reports, whenever I found myself saying, "What could he
have been thinking?", I would usually look down and see that the pilot had
logged hundreds or even thousands of hours. Less experienced pilots tend to
do the aviation equivalent of running aground an charted shoals in clear
weather.

Someone here had a cute signature line recently. It said something like,
"If you want a job done and the man says he has 20 years experience, make
sure it isn't 1 year of experience repeated 20 times." Everything you
describe is pretty much what you should expect as par for the course in that
location this time of year. In fact, it sounds a bit better than what you
should be prepared to accept as routine if you are going to take a 29 foot
boat on that route in December. High on the list of things to help you be
properly prepared is additional and tough crew that would have gone a long
way in the fatigue and dehydration department.

I over reacted to initial newsreports (something permitted by the universal
net newsgroup charter) saying that the boat was motoring from NS to Bermuda.
Depending upon a sailboat auxiliary for that kind of service would be nuts.
Rigging torn from mast makes me feel a bit better but that is still a
preparation thing. You know better than anyone posting here just what the
conditions are out there this time of year.

Got to go be Christmassy. Thanks again for taking time to post this and for
doing the job you do.

Merry Christmas to all.

--
Roger Long

Ernest Scribbler

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Dec 24, 2007, 2:23:01 PM12/24/07
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<ko...@tampabay.rr.com> wrote

> I have to say this discussion is both hilarious and offensive.

Welcome to rec.boats.cruising. (Second guessing, self-righteousness, and
armchair quarterbacking are our specialties.)

> That is all I am going to say on the subject

That's what you said in your previous message...
Seriously, your efforts are appreciated.
Merry Christmas.


Sir Thomas of Cannondale

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Dec 24, 2007, 4:48:54 PM12/24/07
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I am curious .. what model, manufacture, of 29' sailboat was Mr Collin
sailing? Did he have a
bottle of Champagne tied around his neck? I always think of French sailors
with a bottle around
their neck, wearing those little bathing suits.

==========================================================

Capt. JG

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Dec 24, 2007, 5:04:19 PM12/24/07
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<ko...@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
news:c6e4ae22-10cb-4daf...@f52g2000hsa.googlegroups.com...


As others have said... not often enough... your work is appreciated, and
you're underpaid.


--
"j" ganz @@
www.sailnow.com


Gordon

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Dec 24, 2007, 7:52:08 PM12/24/07
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It is easy to have a different view of the CG. In Pt Angeles Wa, a
coast guard boat was tied up to the public pier for ages it seems. There
was a big barby on the fantail, the coasties cars took up all the public
parking and the only assistance they gave small boaters was to call
vessel assist.
They no longer tie up to the public pier because of security but the
boats still seem to never leave the base. Occasionally you will see one
outside the bay to guard a sub coming thru or they will spend the night
a few miles west of the harbor trying to catch drug runners from Canada.
Even then, the customs service are usually the ones to catch them.
Neah Bay Wa is too far out to have vessel assist so the coasties will
tow in disabled boats only if they are in danger and then they will make
life miserable enough so you'll never call them again. They also like to
zip around the bay in their zodiacs generally just out joy riding
I was partially disabled once with xmission problems and I had to
cross the straits from Canada to Neah Bay which meant crossing a busy
shipping lane at low speed.
I called Tofino Canada Coast Guard (they control traffic in the
entrance to the straits) and explained the problem and gave them my GPS
location and speed and direction. They vectored all shipping around me
and kept in touch periodically all the way across. Great people
I'm sure different duty stations have more exacting things to do
then others but sometimes appearances can be deceiving.
Gordon

Bob

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Dec 24, 2007, 8:08:00 PM12/24/07
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>    It is easy to have a different view of the CG. In Pt Angeles Wa, a
> coast guard boat was tied up to the public pier for ages it seems. There
> was a big barby on the fantail, the coasties cars took up all the public
> parking and the only assistance they gave small boaters was to call
> vessel assist.


Yea, but that big cutter made such a great breakwater for the few
public slips on the other side of her. Plus all the PA visitors got to
see a real boat up close. She really knocked the swell down for me and
kept me sleeping well at night.

We shouldnt be so quick to find fault with the USCG. They just do what
they are told and have the money to do it. Personaly, I think their
new build program sucks. NOt enough surf/life boats and too many 300'
plus cutters. Time to get a new Comander and Chief.
Bob

Wayne.B

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Dec 25, 2007, 12:08:12 AM12/25/07
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On Mon, 24 Dec 2007 09:59:51 -0800 (PST), ko...@tampabay.rr.com wrote:

>Next time you want to criticize my service or the
>missions we perform come find me and say it in my face. I will stick
>you on a small boat in 15ft seas for 36 hours and ask you how you feel
>when we come save you.

Thank you, well said.

Paul Cassel

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Dec 25, 2007, 8:57:57 PM12/25/07
to
Nope, I'm not going to do the worship business here. I'll accept 100%
your account of the incident except for the implied analysis.

So you diverted 480 nm to get to this sailboat. Now what would you have
done using that fuel and time if not for this diversion? Oh, yeah, also
you hung around until the weather calmed.

So we have a diversion of about 500 nm, then a delay while you waited
the weather out. Let me ask you, if the sailboat was in such dire
distress, why could it survive the storm? Why do you say that the family
would have been in mourning if you didn't pull the guy out when the
storm passed? You mean, he and the boat could survive heavy weather but
not calm weather?

More to the point, is your existence in standard patrol or whatever you
were on when you 'diverted' the 500 nm useless? Do you serve no function
at all except to aimlessly cruise around in your cutter just waiting for
some clown to falsely claim being in distress so you can zoon 500 nm to
make some headlines and get good press?

So now tell me, what didn't get done while you were out watching this
sailboat bounce around in demonstrably safe conditions? I say safe
because it DID make it through didn't it? So the safety isn't
speculative, but demonstrated.

hpeer

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Dec 25, 2007, 9:41:13 AM12/25/07
to

Paul,

The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace time
mission. Except for NOAA.

So if you are going to bash the USCG for piddling away money and effort
then I think you should get your priorities straight. Start with the
Army, then USAF, then USN, then the USMC, and then use your still unused
energies to vent on the USCG.

But to be honest the USCG is not really a military organization, it
should also be compared to other big organizations. So, how does it
compare to lets say, LAPD?, NYPD? NY Transit? The Washington DC XXX
(anything)? Or pick on corporations. Or the bankers who are supposed
to make loans effectively. Those overpaid Bozzos have made huge
personal fortunes while wrecking my personal 401K.

The point is that all big organizations are relatively ineffective and
inefficient. Why? Because that is human nature, as a group we are (by
definition) just average and that aint all that good. On the scale of
things the USCG are pretty darn good, at least they are devoted to
saving lives, not taking them. If we could just get them totally away
from the military that would be better.

And, uh yes, I am ex-USCG. Four years. Vietnam era. I could not stand
the inefficiencies so I got out. Boy was I disappointed.

Chuck

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Dec 25, 2007, 1:47:13 PM12/25/07
to
While I have nothing to contribute on
most of the posting, I do take strong
issue with the suggestion that USCG
priority missions are dictated by, or
even influenced by, "the US taxpayers."

Chuck

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Paul Cassel

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Dec 26, 2007, 11:13:02 PM12/26/07
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hpeer wrote:

> Paul,
>
> The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace time
> mission. Except for NOAA.
>
> So if you are going to bash the USCG

Show me one area where I 'bashed' anybody. I only said the rescue wasn't
free in the sense of lacking any marginal costs.

hpeer

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Dec 26, 2007, 6:52:02 PM12/26/07
to

"More to the point, is your existence in standard patrol or whatever you

were on when you 'diverted' the 500 nm useless? Do you serve no function
at all except to aimlessly cruise around in your cutter just waiting for
some clown to falsely claim being in distress so you can zoon 500 nm to
make some headlines and get good press?

So now tell me, what didn't get done while you were out watching this
sailboat bounce around in demonstrably safe conditions? I say safe
because it DID make it through didn't it? So the safety isn't
speculative, but demonstrated. "

Sorry Paul, it sounds like "bashing to me." If it were not intended so
then I guess we agree. The rescue was most certainly NOT free.

Howard

Message has been deleted

kent...@rem0ve_me_newsguy.com

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Dec 26, 2007, 9:30:46 PM12/26/07
to
I'm sure there are many in the Coast Guard who I would consider it an
honor to take out to dinner but:

my experience is being on a rented 14 foot fishing boat with a dead
motor approximately 1 mile west of the Santa Cruz Pier, CA around
2:30pm PST. A Coast Guard Cutter past within 1/4 mile of us going into
Santa Cruz and ignored our flares. If a sailboat anchored by the pier
hadn't responded to our smoke only god knows how long we'd be out
there. He was a cruiser just working his way down the coast.

Now if I were a Kennedy I'm sure congress would make sure the Navy was
there for me. :-)

On Mon, 24 Dec 2007 09:59:51 -0800 (PST), ko...@tampabay.rr.com wrote:

>I have to say this discussion is both hilarious and offensive.
>Especially when a certain someone posts that the US Coast Guard would
>have been "on leave or sitting around shining our shoes" had this case

>not have happened. ................
...................................................

Paul Cassel

unread,
Dec 28, 2007, 1:26:42 AM12/28/07
to
hpeer wrote:

> "More to the point, is your existence in standard patrol or whatever you
> were on when you 'diverted' the 500 nm useless? Do you serve no function
> at all except to aimlessly cruise around in your cutter just waiting for
> some clown to falsely claim being in distress so you can zoon 500 nm to
> make some headlines and get good press?
>
> So now tell me, what didn't get done while you were out watching this
> sailboat bounce around in demonstrably safe conditions? I say safe
> because it DID make it through didn't it? So the safety isn't
> speculative, but demonstrated. "
>
> Sorry Paul, it sounds like "bashing to me." If it were not intended so
> then I guess we agree. The rescue was most certainly NOT free.
>
> Howard

I did note that you didn't say what didn't get done while you went out
to do this rescue which, I infer, took a few days.

If I or my wife could spend several days away from our jobs with nothing
changed due to our absence (at regular intervals and w/o notice) I think
our employers would wonder what are there doing all day.

-paul

Red

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Dec 27, 2007, 2:25:42 PM12/27/07
to
hpeer wrote:
>The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace time
>mission. Except for NOAA.

NOAA is not a military organization.

>But to be honest the USCG is not really a military organization,

Huh? Funny, they have pretty big guns up front on their boats for not
being military. That's kinda like saying the National Guard isn't really
military because it also has a peacetime function.

>The point is that all big organizations are relatively ineffective and
>inefficient.

Within all military organizations as well as all government departments
and organizations at all levels (federal, state, and usually local as
well) there is usually massive waste and inefficiencies. To be fair
there has been tremendous improvement over the last twenty years or so
in the military and at the same time the civilian side has become much,
much worse. But as was pointed out by someone else, one mandate still
stands in all government departments and organizations - they are
usually ordered by their department heads to spend everything they get
and then some, or the following year's budget will go down. Even the
lower ranks feel this pressure at the end of the fiscal year.

Oh and one more thing, if the Coast Guard or any military unit does not
constantly practice, their skills and leadership will atrophy. The SAR
mission in question can easily be considered practice as well as a real
mission. Denying them those opportunities threatens their budget,
skills, and mission. Then what will you have left after a few
self-serving Congressmen decide they want the money for their own
districts instead of giving it to fund CG ops?
Just trying to clarify a few things.
Red
Hope everone had, or is having great holidays whatever they may be.

jeff

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Dec 27, 2007, 6:42:33 PM12/27/07
to
Red wrote:
> hpeer wrote:
> >The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace time
> >mission. Except for NOAA.
>
> NOAA is not a military organization.
>

Think again:
http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/index.html

Red

unread,
Dec 27, 2007, 8:03:06 PM12/27/07
to
Red wrote:
> hpeer wrote:
> >The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace
time >mission. Except for NOAA.
>
> NOAA is not a military organization.
>

And jeff replied:
>Think again:
>http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/index.html

Think again jeff;
This is copied from the site above.
The NOAA Commissioned Officer uniformed services of the United
States. The service, consisting of approximately 299 commissioned
officers,is an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

(Let's repeat that last statement... "an agency of the U.S. Department
of Commerce")

The Director of the NOAA Corps is Rear Admiral Jonathan W. Bailey, NOAA.
He is also the Director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
(OMAO) which operates a wide variety of specialized aircraft and ships
to conduct NOAA's environmental and scientific missions.

The NOAA Commissioned Corps traces its roots back to the former U.S.
Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas
Jefferson. The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals
trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology,
fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Officers operate
ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving
operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
Red
BTW, I worked for NOAA and I was not in any military organization at
that time. The officers are uniformed, just as is the top U.S. M.D. and
many other civilian/government positions. NOAA officers do not take the
military oath.

jeff

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Dec 27, 2007, 10:39:51 PM12/27/07
to
Red wrote:
> Red wrote:
> > hpeer wrote:
> > >The USCG is the ONLY military organization with a full time peace
> time >mission. Except for NOAA.
> >
> > NOAA is not a military organization.
> >
>
> And jeff replied:
> >Think again:
> >http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/index.html
>
> Think again jeff;
> This is copied from the site above.
> The NOAA Commissioned Officer uniformed services of the United States.
> The service, consisting of approximately 299 commissioned officers,is an
> integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
>
> (Let's repeat that last statement... "an agency of the U.S. Department
> of Commerce")

So an agency of the Department of the Treasury (until recently) is
clearly military but and agency of Commerce is not? That's a pretty
lame argument - try again.


>
> The Director of the NOAA Corps is Rear Admiral Jonathan W. Bailey, NOAA.
> He is also the Director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
> (OMAO) which operates a wide variety of specialized aircraft and ships
> to conduct NOAA's environmental and scientific missions.
>
> The NOAA Commissioned Corps traces its roots back to the former U.S.
> Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas
> Jefferson. The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals
> trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology,
> fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Officers operate
> ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving
> operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
> Red
> BTW, I worked for NOAA and I was not in any military organization at
> that time. The officers are uniformed, just as is the top U.S. M.D. and
> many other civilian/government positions. NOAA officers do not take the
> military oath.

Oh really? I believe that the officers of the NOAA Corps take the same
oath as officers in branches under the Department of Defense. In fact,
all sorts of federal employees take the same oath as directly by 5
U.S.C. 3331. I took the oath (I think) when I worked at the
Smithsonian, and even postal workers take it.

Curiously, enlisted men take a different oath, where they agree to obey
orders. Officers (and Postmen) don't agree to follow orders, only
uphold the Constitution.

Here's the law:
An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office
of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall
take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I
will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against
all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and
allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any
mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and
faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to
enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths
required by law.

BTW, if you're looking for a real significant difference, the NOAA Corps
are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice unless they are
attached to a military unit. Of course, that can happen pretty easily.

Steve Thrasher

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Dec 28, 2007, 12:31:12 AM12/28/07
to
I will only say that:

1. If the CG wasn't actually doing the rescue operation they would be
puttering around in an exercise which is based upon a "rescue operation"
or maybe something more exciting like "drug/terrorist interdiction".
2. Total cost to the taxpayers is the same either way.

Sir Thomas of Cannondale

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Dec 28, 2007, 11:00:05 AM12/28/07
to
"I have to say this discussion is both hilarious and offensive."

What I find offensive is the US Government taking all my money for
some third world shit pot. And I also find it offensive that my money
is going to support a stupid war in Iraq that we should never have
been involved in. Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Personally, I like the Coast Guard. I've spoken to many of their
personnel as their base is nearby and I like to bicycle to it.

I do think, like everything else in the USA, they are becoming
part of the fascist forces created by George Bush.

Our big hero president, who got himself into the National Guard
so he could play soldier rather than be a soldier. I was in the NG
at the same time as George, it was a total joke. We drank beer,
pretended to be in the Army, and then drank more beer. We were
all draft dodgers. At least I admit it!

========

<ko...@tampabay.rr.com> wrote in message
news:c6e4ae22-10cb-4daf...@f52g2000hsa.googlegroups.com...

Bruce in alaska

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Dec 28, 2007, 3:41:49 PM12/28/07
to
In article <C6CdndCrkfyb7ena...@comcast.com>,
jeff <je...@foo.net> wrote:

> Oh really? I believe that the officers of the NOAA Corps take the same
> oath as officers in branches under the Department of Defense. In fact,
> all sorts of federal employees take the same oath as directly by 5
> U.S.C. 3331. I took the oath (I think) when I worked at the
> Smithsonian, and even postal workers take it.
>
> Curiously, enlisted men take a different oath, where they agree to obey
> orders. Officers (and Postmen) don't agree to follow orders, only
> uphold the Constitution.

Yep, and I took the SAME Oath of Office, when I was Sworn in as
a Resident Field Agent for the Federal Communications Commission.
I actually had to fly to Juneau, Alaska, and be Sworn in by
a Captain in the USCG, at the time they were part of the Dept.
of Commerce.....

--
Bruce in alaska
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