Coast Guard Academy’s 23rd annual Hedrick Fellowship Address

Written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin

Ambassador John D. Negroponte accepts a thank you gift from the Coast Guard Academy Corps of Cadets regimental commander Kurt Caminski at the end of the 23rd annual Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte accepts a thank you gift from the Coast Guard Academy Corps of Cadets regimental commander Kurt Caminske at the end of the 23rd annual Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Former United Nations Ambassador John D. Negroponte recently visited the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to speak about leadership and lessons in governmental affairs during the 23rd annual Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship.

The Hedrick Fellowship brings renowned political, military and industry leaders to the Academy to share knowledge and insight, and provide an opportunity for future officers to learn from the experiences of distinguished leaders.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte attends an academic seminar at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Feb. 28, 2018. Negroponte shared knowledge, insight and provided future officers the opportunity to learn from his experiences. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte attends an academic seminar at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Feb. 28, 2018. Negroponte shared knowledge, insight and provided future officers the opportunity to learn from his experiences. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Negroponte has been ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, Iraq and the United Nations. In Washington, he served twice on the National Security Council staff, first as director for Vietnam during the Nixon administration and then as deputy national security advisor under President Ronald Reagan.

He also held a cabinet-level position as the first Director of National Intelligence. His most recent position in government was as deputy secretary of state, where he served as the Department of State’s chief operating officer.

Throughout his 44 years of government service, Negroponte worked closely with the Coast Guard on a number of issues. As deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans and fisheries, he worked closely with the Coast Guard on ocean enforcement issues, and rode on a Coast Guard icebreaker as it was breaking up ice in Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound.

Negroponte spent the day at the Academy speaking to cadets and staff. After touring the campus, he attended a seminar with Academy government majors and staff.

During the seminar he reflected on his first assignment to Vietnam and the similarities between the Coast Guard and Foreign Service.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte takes a moment during his visit to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., to speak to First Class Cadet Panashe Mutombo, Feb. 28, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte takes a moment during his visit to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., to speak to First Class Cadet Panashe Mutombo, Feb. 28, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

“We received assignments to locations, just like you will next week,” Negroponte said to the first class cadets in attendance who will receive their first assignment into active duty at Billet Night on March 8, 2018.

“You may not want to go there, or know the location, but you are going there to serve to the best of your abilities,” Negroponte continued.

The ambassador then went on to talk about some of the lessons he had learned throughout his career and answered questions about American and foreign governmental policies and events.

“Ambassador Negroponte has played such a crucial role in our country’s history,” said First Class Cadet Kurt Caminske, the Corps of Cadets’ regimental commander.

“It was such a unique experience to listen to his perspectives and experiences,” said Caminske. “Interacting with someone who has dedicated their life to public service has definitely reinvigorated my desire to do the same.”

Ambassador John D. Negroponte gives the 23rd Hedrick Fellowship Address in Leamy Auditorium at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Feb. 28, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Ambassador John D. Negroponte gives the 23rd Hedrick Fellowship Address in Leamy Auditorium at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Feb. 28, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin.

Later in the day, Negroponte gave the 23rd annual Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellow Address to cadets and staff at Leamy Auditorium on the Coast Guard Academy campus.

Throughout his address he spoke about the many lessons he has learned throughout his life pertaining to governmental affairs. He spoke about working with Henry Kissinger to bring about the end of the Vietnam War, working with Colin Powell and the war in Iraq, and the creation of the Director of National Intelligence position.

He concluded his speech thanking the Coast Guard Academy and wishing the cadets a long and interesting career as his has been.


The Hedrick Fellowship

The Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship honors citizens whose distinguished service or achievements have shaped the course of our nation. It provides an opportunity for future leaders of the Coast Guard and our nation to learn from the leadership experiences of America’s most notable political, military and industry leaders.

The Academy developed the Hedrick Fellowship after receiving a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Hedrick of Wichita, Kansas. The Hedricks encouraged the Coast Guard Academy to use their gift to bring influential Americans to New London for the purpose of interacting with cadets and faculty in both formal and informal settings.

Past Hedrick Fellows

Edmund S. Muskie, former Secretary of State (1983)
President Gerald Ford (1984)
William F. Buckley, journalist (1985)
James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense (1986)
President Jimmy Carter (1988)
Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of Defense (1990)
Warren Burger, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court (1992)
William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense (1998)
President George H. W. Bush (2002)
Togo D. West, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2004)
Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security (2006)
William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense (2007)
James A. Baker, III, former Secretary of State (2008)
Sandra Day O’Connor, former Justice of the US Supreme Court (2009)
Anthony Zinni, former commander, U.S. Central Command (2010)
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator (2012)
Andrew H. Card, Jr., former White House Chief of Staff (2013)
Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (2014)
Thomas Friedman, Author and Intellectual (2015)
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (2016)
Christine T. Whitman, Governor of New Jersey (2017)

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