The officers and enlisted men and their families scrounged up enough money to get the govt to pony up the rest to purchase a decrepit ship in need of repair.
It was repaired in New York with one mounted gun. They bought one hundred rounds on the way back in Hawaii. Two months after beginning maritime ops in Busan Harbor it sighted a DPRK ship with approx 1000 enemy soldiers who tried to fire on and swim to the patrol boat. The patrol boat fired back and sunk the ship staving off an invasion force which, once the war would start two months hence, would have denied UN forces the toehold they eventually leveraged to a stalemate on the peninsula and save SK from falling into communist hands.
Wouldn't you want to be instilling your cadets with the importance of a well maintained ship?
The Academy seems to have been headed by a rear admiral, so I would have expected a military type approach to these things.
Making do with what you have is the number 1 skill you need to learn. Those cadets would have gained 10x more experience from getting that ship back up to operational readiness than they would have from working on a brand new ship in perfect condition.
But no I've never been in the military.
I would have thought preventative maintenance would be a big thing, particularly for the big expensive thing that you're relying on to keep you alive.