Written by Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska.
Thanks to all of your votes, the best Coast Guard marching cadence has been selected!
Chief Petty Officer Cory Wadley, officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Morro Bay, Calif., wrote the original cadence that was selected as the best.
“I was really surprised at how many people showed interest in all of the cadences,” said Wadley, whose cadence reached several thousand people on Facebook. “Then I started seeing the names of my former recruits in the comments posted on video, and I was really flattered that they thought enough of my cadence and the surf program to vote.”
Wadley is one of approximately 160 surfmen in the Coast Guard and serves at one of the 19 designated surf stations in the U.S. Wadley is also a former company commander at Training Center Cape May, and according to Wadley, he wanted to write a cadence that taught recruits about the basics of piloting a motor lifeboat through heavy seas.
“We [surfmen] are a very small community in the Coast Guard, and because of the job we do and the amount of time it takes to get qualified, a junior Coast Guardsman may never get to meet a surfman,” said Wadley. “I hope that this cadence will inspire more Coast Guardsmen to join our community.”
Wadley’s cadence entitled “High Side Right” is a double-time cadence meaning the recruits call it when they are running as a company. According to Wadley, his cadence specifically describes the first 30 minutes of a transit from the station out to the area where the surf breaks.
“Everything in that cadence was inspired by my real-life experiences as a surfman,” said Wadley. “For example, when I was at Station Cape Disappointment, you could hear the surf pounding the rocks, and you knew that it was going to be a good day for surf training.”
Surfmen are considered consummate Coast Guard boat coxswains. They earn their qualification as surfmen through years of specialized training and experience, and they are intimately familiar with search and rescue planning, operations and equipment. Surfmen are trusted to operate the most seaworthy craft in the Coast Guard inventory in the most extreme weather conditions. It can take a Coast Guard coxswain between one to six years to earn their surfman qualification.
“Chief Wadley’s cadence captures the essence and culture of a small, yet important, Coast Guard community who trace their legacy back to the U.S. Lifesaving Service,” said Capt. Bill Kelly, the commanding officer of Training Center Cape May. “This cadence will serve as a reminder of that legacy for years to come.”
Want to see the all the cadence videos? Head over to the YouTube playlist and let us know what you think!