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cadet blogs

Mr. Friedman Visit

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Hey, CGA blog readers! It is almost spring break time here and that means a flurry of trainings, corps-wide lectures, and, most dreaded, midterms! Despite everything on our plates as we approach break, spirits have been pretty high at the Academy. This past week, we had health and wellness week, so we got to try out some awesome smoothies in the wardroom, sleep in a few days, and we even had a dodge ball tournament. Also, the fourth class are starting to take Boards, their cumulative indoctrination test, and many of them passed on the first time around!

 

With everything going on, I could write forever. However, I will focus on one day that I thought was very interesting. Mr. Thomas Friedman, an internationally renowned columnist for the New York Times, came to the Academy to give a lecture. Mr. Friedman has written six books, mainly about globalization, which is the increasing inter-connectedness of world affairs. He is a very engaging man and his writing provokes you to think about how technology is bringing the world closer together than ever before. If you haven’t read his work, I recommend skimming some reviews on the internet because it is definitely worthwhile.

 

During Mr. Friedman’s visit, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an exclusive lecture for some government majors. During that class, I was really impressed with Mr. Friedman’s work, his character, and humor. His public speaking and writing are presented in a manner that anyone can understand and he is very in touch with his audience.

 

After the class, I had the privilege of leading Mr. Friedman on a tour of our barracks. Needless to say, I was very nervous. I spent most of the morning before the tour familiarizing myself with his work, because I anticipated having to answer questions about what he had written. However, Mr. Friedman was more interested in learning about the Academy and the cadet experience. Like many of our visitors, he was not intimately familiar with what the Coast Guard does and he didn’t know much about the Academy. It was a pleasure leading him around the barracks, discussing cadet life, our opportunities, and mission. He was very attentive and interested in learning everything. I hope he will write a column about us!

 

During the evening, the corps gathered in Leamy to hear Mr. Friedman speak. I was drawn in by his presentation, and it made me think a lot about the United States’ role in the future and how the Coast Guard will factor into the accelerating pace of globalization. The cadet reaction to Mr. Friedman was impressive. Cadets, even non-government majors, seemed to like his lecture.

 

I am so thankful that I go to the Academy because I realize that we have outstanding opportunities here. The Academy does a great job developing us into well rounded officers, with knowledge in issues outside of our majors, and, as always, the Academy is dedicated to molding us into the officers of the future.

 

If you want to know more or have any questions about my previous blogs, please feel free to email me at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 

I wish the best to applicants, prospective cadets, and parents!

 

More about Hunter.

 

Class of 2015 Billet Night

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Although this month was full of schoolwork and fun adventures there is only one thing on my mind and that is BILLET NIGHT. Billet Night is only four days away and I can barely sleep or think straight about anything other than Thursday night.

 

Now, you may be wondering, why is she so excited about Billet Night? What is that? Well, for anyone asking themselves these questions, Billet Night is the ceremony at which the first class cadets (seniors) find out where they will be stationed after graduation for either two or three years. I don’t know all of the details about what exactly happens that night because they try to keep it a secret to make it as exciting as possible. I know that there will be a dinner before, then our names are called and we walk up on stage to open our billet in front of the rest of the class. It is going to be such an exciting and nerve-racking night for all of us in the Class of 2015. I personally am hoping to go to Portsmouth, Virginia on a 270’ cutter. Some of my friends want different types of cutters located all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska to Florida. Some want sectors and some want flight school.

 

For me, Billet Night will be very exciting, but also a little bit sad. The only reason I say sad is because it will be a definite reminder that after graduation, my best friends who I have been able to live with for four years may be across the country. We have already planned to take a girls’ trip once a year, but the reality of it, with everyone on different cutter schedules and all over the country, is it may not always happen. No matter where we all end up, I know I will stay up-to-date on their lives and how they are enjoying their first units, but it will be hard to not get a hug from them on a bad day.

 

As Billet Night quickly approaches, I wish everyone in the Class of 2015 luck and hope we are all happy and make the most out of our first experience in the fleet.

 

More about Sara.

 

Pumped for Cadre Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo Cadre summer can be a captivating experience because so much power is given to the cadre in a short time frame. I am not excited about the power I will have, but about the opportunity I will have to help shape these high school kids into leaders of America. This summer I will learn what it means to serve those I am leading. I will be able to try out different leadership philosophies with the desire to give my very best to the incoming swabs. By making the environment rigorous for the swabs, we are preparing them for the Academy and the fleet. My goal is to help them see the necessity of time management. I want them to see the value of their hard work. Most of all, I want to instill in them the importance of truthfulness and respect. This summer I will become a leader and the swabs will become part of our family.

 

More about Jackie.

 

Finding Your Focus

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Johnson Photo Another year and another semester, and would you look at that, I’m almost halfway to graduating from the Academy. It seems like only yesterday that I was telling my friend in English class during my senior year of high school that I was going to visit the Coast Guard Academy and I really wanted to attend school there. It feels like I have accomplished so much in the little time since graduating high school. Trust me on this; time goes by quickly when you have something you’re working your heart out for.

 

I know I didn’t write much my first semester as a sophomore at the Academy, but I can definitely say there wasn’t much going on. First semester was pretty much me buckling down on school and military performance. I had heard advice from senior ranking officers that sophomore year is a great year to pick a focus; for example, if you didn’t work out very much and cadre summer is coming up, you should work out to be fit for training the incoming swabs, or if you lacked in grades, focus on that a bit more because there isn’t an overload of responsibility as a 3/c. Don’t get me wrong, there are still responsibilities like being the role model to the freshmen, but there isn’t as much as, say, a junior that is in charge of the development of the 4/c. Last semester my intent was to work on military performance. I wanted to be able to teach the 4/c things that I wished my 3/c taught me last year about the Academy in all aspects.

 

Now that I worked on that, I earned my first Silver Star! By the way, the Silver Star is similar to an award for being in the top 25% of military excellence for that semester. It was extremely exciting. Now this semester, I am working on my academics a little more. So far, it’s been much better than last semester. My first three quizzes in Differential Equations have all been 80-90%.

 

Hope all is going well and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at AngelaRuth.A.Johnson@uscga.edu!

 

More about Angela.

 

Winter Triathlon Training

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo So, somewhere along the way last semester, I decided to sign up for Half Ironman Florida this coming April. I was on the triathlon team at West Point and I had fallen back in love with the sport. What better way to push myself in a sport I love than to sign up for a race that I had never done? All semester I trained and raced with the team at West Point, but never did it dawn on me just how hard it was going to be to train in the Connecticut winter. One thing is for sure; training for a triathlon in Connecticut is not the same as it was back in high school when I was first introduced to the sport. Sunglasses and tank tops are replaced with beanies, gloves, leggings, and fleece. Instead of walking down the beach in Florida for an open-water swim, I must trek through the Connecticut snow for morning swim practice before sunrise. Biking along the Intercoastal Waterway is replaced with the steamy bike room. It is nice, however, to go for a run and not come back drenched in sweat and boiling from the Florida sun, and up until the past snow storm we were able to get in some long runs.

 

While practicing in Connecticut in January cannot compare to the weather my parents say we have back home, I still find joy in the little things, like the pool water being the perfect temperature and the chance to ride my own bike on the trainer. However, Florida simply cannot compare to training with a team and alongside my best friend who will race with me in April. This offers me that stress relief at the end of the day, but without friends to share that with it would quickly get lonely. I am so thankful to be able to train with others and that is priceless.

 

More about Christi.