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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Back to the Grind

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo It seems like this summer was a flash of freedom and a different lifestyle and then just like that, BAM! we’re back to the routine we’ve had for so long. My class has already taken the fitness exam, bought books, and found new rooms amongst new companies and new people.

 

My summer experience was unsurpassed by anything I’ve done so far. I got to participate in two search and rescue cases and a fisheries enforcement case. This participation in the “real” Coast Guard showed me what the missions were all about and how applicable everything we were learning about at the Academy is. Eagle was an experience that I know none of my high school friends have or will ever have; instead of working this summer, I got the chance to sail around the Atlantic, and learn all about old sailing ships and nautical traditions.

 

People often have trouble returning to the Academy after their leave because they go back to a “normal” lifestyle for a few weeks, and to be completely honest I did briefly experience these same feelings. However, I thought about what a privilege it is to be here with all of my friends so I packed up my sea bag and trekked back. I’m definitely looking forward to this year, despite the new responsibilities of a third class. This is going to be my first chance to not be on the bottom, and I will help the fourth class in my division. The hardest thing I can imagine for my class is going to be to remember how we felt as fourth class and try to help out and pitch in where we all wished our upper class had helped.

 

Until next time!

 

More about Drew.

 

A Super Busy Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi Everyone!

 

Sorry it’s been so long since I lasted posted, but I have had a super busy summer. Here’s just a little taste at some of the things I did:

 

1. The week after finals, the Class of 2016 participated in 100th week. This marks the halfway point of our time here at the Academy. Cape May Company Commanders come to the Academy and remind us of what it feels like to be a swab and teach us ways to instruct our swabs to prepare them for the Coast Guard. At the conclusion of this week, we officially became 2/c cadets.

 

2. I also took my Rules of the Road (ROTR) test. Every 2/c has to take a weeklong course explaining the rules that ships have concerning right of way. So, it’s basically like a driving test – but for boats. For example, sailboats have right of way over powerboats. We also had to memorize all the lights that different types of boats have. At the end of this week, we took a 50 question test, that in order to pass we must earn a 90%.

 

3. After these two weeks, I participated in Summer Ocean racing again. This year, we competed in the Newport-Bermuda Race. The race took us five days to complete due to the lack of wind for the majority of the race. This was an amazing experience and I had a lot of fun.

 

4. The final thing I did this summer was cadre duty. The last three weeks of the summer I was a waterfront cadre. This consisted of me training the swabs how to sail every day. At night, I joined Foxtrot and acted as Swab Summer cadre. It was in these three weeks that I learned how to lead a group of swabs. This proved to be a lot harder than I would have imagined. We had to explain to this group of people how the Coast Guard and the Academy worked and prepare them for the school year. Being a cadre was one of the most rewarding things I have done at the Academy – being able to say that I helped train a new class that will, in four years, become CG officers.

 

This is just a small taste of what I did this summer. And now I’m ready to get back to school. This semester, I look forward to taking more of my major specific classes and well as being an MAA for Foxtrot Company. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu.

 

More about Kayla.

 

Hawaiian Happiness

 Permanent link
Sherman Photo This is the first of three vlogs in my “Pacific Journey to Guam” series about some of the fun adventures that I had during my summer training cruise on Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia. I began the journey in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first of three tropical paradise islands that I visited this summer. Most of these pictures are about my time on liberty; for detailed info about my work onboard the cutter, check out my weekly reflections from the past few months.

*Special thanks to artist Har Megiddo for the use of his music in this video.

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More about Justin.

 

A Whirlwind Adventure

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Krause Photo Summer has come to an end and the start to my 3/c academic year is fast approaching. Thinking back about the last few months I am amazed at the opportunities I have had. I spent first phase at Station San Francisco with another cadet. We were immediately welcomed into the crew and everyone there worked tirelessly to help us get our boat crew qualification on the 45-foot response boat medium. We were able to participate in search and rescue cases, helicopter operations, SWAT team training, and cruise ship escorts. Not only did we have a blast getting to see so many different aspects of the Coast Guards missions, but it also made me excited for my future career. It instilled in me a great respect for the expertise and dedication among the enlisted. The experience was humbling; there was so much to learn! It was also incredibly motivating as it provided real-world perspective on a variety of Coast Guard career options. On top of all of that we had so much fun exploring the eclectic city of San Francisco every weekend!

 

The second phase of my summer was aboard the Barque Eagle. We started in Miami and sailed up the coast through squalls and icebergs to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. One of the highlights of the six week trip was sailing past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to moor up in New York. Seeing these iconic sites from the deck of the Eagle was incredible. Even though the days afloat were long, our division managed to have a lot of fun while learning the different duties aboard Eagle. We saw a great diversity of aquatic wildlife such as dolphins and sea turtles, climbed the rigging, and even had a talent show. The best part of Eagle for me though was that I was able to get so much closer with my classmates. It’s true that here at the Academy your shipmates become your closest friends. We work so closely together, rely so completely on each other, and share the same goals. Long duty shifts, meals in the mess and exploring during port calls allow us to get to know and respect one another, and to truly become a team. Classmates at the Academy come from all over the country and across the globe. I realize that the remarkable opportunities to learn about the world around me aren’t limited to summer travels, they are back here at the Academy as well.

 

After this whirlwind adventure and some R&R on leave back home, I have the chance to use this amazing summer as motivation to push through the academic year. Now back at Chase and having seen my first swab, I’m excited to serve in my new role as a 3rd class to help open their eyes to the opportunities that lay ahead for them.

 

More about Gretchen.

 

A Rewarding Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo So summer break is awesome. I love going to the beach and spending nights out on the town with my friends. You must be thinking that you can’t wait to go to college so that you can spend your summers just as I like to, but you must be wondering if that’s even possible. I mean going to the Coast Guard Academy means you don’t really have a summer break right? No. I thought so too, from everything I had heard, but it’s possible. This summer I was stationed at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During your third class summer you either go to a small boat station, like I did, or a cutter. I got the chance to do both.

 

On the 11th of May I reported to the station. I reported late because I had a race for Men’s Varsity Crew. I was scared it would be hard to get to know everyone since I came the day after the other three cadets I was stationed with, but I was way off. Everyone was so friendly. I learned a ton. I helped to interdict 51 migrants in only four days. I spent a total of seven days on the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, a fast response cutter out of Miami, Florida. In less than a week, I was allowed to stand duty as a lookout and watch the migrants. Seriously. I was responsible for the control and safety of 51 Cuban migrants. Everything from meals to bathrooms breaks I had to help control. At only 19 years old. I don’t know about you, but I considered that a huge responsibility that required a lot of trust in a person. I was humbled to be trusted with such an important task. I learned that while I did spend a ton of my summer on Fort Lauderdale’s beach and out in the city of Fort Lauderdale, it is a lot more rewarding to spend your summer learning how to serve your country and take part in some of the many missions the Coast Guard has. Interdicting migrants is one of money, but in just a few days I learned the difficulty and responsibility that every Coast Guard member accepts when they assume the duties as a member in a military service that focuses on helping others and protecting our coasts.

 

More about Keemiya.