FBI National Academy
By Craig Schwartz
We are now halfway through our session at the National Academy, and it has been a painful week for one of our class members. One of our international students had to leave abruptly early this week when she learned that her fiance, a rescue diver, had perished during a water rescue in her home country. We are all thinking of her and praying for her now,and hope she will be able to return and graduate with us. Several of my classmates have suffered tragic losses during the short time we have been here, and even though the FBI puts on an outstanding program, we are all looking forward to getting home to see our families.
The classes are good here, but the I enjoy getting to know my colleagues from around the country and world most of all. I posted photos of a trip several of us took to Gettysburg last weekend for a tour of the battlefields. Our tour was led by Jim Kralick, the retired sheriff of Rockland County, New York. Sheriff Kralik worked in law enforcement for 50 years and now lives his dream. He owns and operates a stable and campground next to the Gettysburg Battlefield. He leads horseback tours of the historic site and is a wealth of knowledge. For our tour he took extra time to talk about leadership lessons from both the Union and Confederate sides of the battle that happened from July 1-3, 1863.
Wednesday’s at the NA are enrichment and physical challenge days. We are halfway through our Yellow Brick Road Challenge and I am over halfway to my Blue Brick swim challenge. I hit 26.5 miles in the pool tonight, with 7.5 to go. Our PT challenge today was a cardio day with three stations: running the stairs 3 times in the parking garage; 6 sprints up a short but steep hill, and one station running the infield of the track while a partner tries to hold you back with a large rubber band around your waist. We’ll do the full 6.1 mile run and Marine Corps Endurance Course in early December.
The enrichment lecture for the day was a presentation by two former military aviators, Commander Porter Halyburton and Colonel Fred Cherry. Cdr Halyburton was a young Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade when he was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 and captured. Colonel Halyburton was an Air Force pilot who was also shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese. He suffered serious injuries when he ejected from his plane. Both men were held as POWs for over 7 years, suffering brutal conditions and treatment at the hands of their captors. The North Vietnamese eventually put them together to try and break them. You see, CDR Halyburton is a white man from the South and Colonel Cherry is an African American. The North Vietnamese made Halyburton care for the wounded Cherry, thinking the racial tensions they saw in the United States at the time would destroy the morale of the two men. It did not, and they are the subject of a book titled Two Souls Indivisible. Their presentation was inspiring both for the way they behaved while in captivity and for the way they have chosen to live their lives since. Cdr. Halyburton said it best when he said “Attitude is everything”, and stressed that our attitude is the one thing we are able to control in life.
Craig Schwartz, Lt. with Santa Rosa Police Department is blogging from the FBI National Academy in an effort to keep Santa Rosa citizens informed of the valuable training he has received. I include his post to show an example of the level of professionalism in which law enforcement administrators and line personnel must train.