U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets take awards at international law conference in Italy

Coast Guard Academy NewsNEW LONDON, Conn. — Two U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets were recently recognized for their proficiency in debating the law of armed conflict during the 12th Annual Law of Armed Conflict Competition for Service Academies in San Remo, Italy, this month.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadets James Lord and Holli Bastinck participated in the event March 18 – 22, 2013. Lord and his teammate from Belgium finished second overall in the competition. Bastinck and her teammate from Denmark finished third.

Also attending the conference were U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets Joseph Sullivan-Springhetti, Brandi Engle, J. Annie Fecskovics and Emily Morrow. Each of these cadets was placed in multinational teams as well. Although their teams did not place in the competition, each cadet earned praise from the competition’s judges.

The academy has competed in this annual event since it began 12 years ago, earning first, second or third place finishes in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association and the Classes of 1973 and 1988 generously funded all travel and competition expenses.

Twenty-one teams in total competed this year including representatives from Turkey, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Nigeria, Switzerland, India, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, the French Air Force Academy, the French Military Academy (Saint-Cyr), England’s Sandhurst, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Virginia Military Institute.

The competition is hosted by the International Institute for Humanitarian Law and is dedicated to educating and testing cadets from around the world in the Law of Armed Conflict – a body of customary rules and international treaties designed to prevent unnecessary suffering and escalation of hostilities. The event offers a unique international forum for military students to learn to work together and respect their differences. For more information on the IIHL, please see www.iihl.org.

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