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cadet blogs

Cutter Chase and Double Dutch

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo As cadets we collectively joke about living aboard “Cutter Chase”, nicknaming our dorm building Chase Hall for a saltier Coast Guard scenario. At first it sounds ridiculous to think of the floors as decks, beds as racks, and hallways as passageways, but with time these references begin to make sense and our life on land seems just a little more seaworthy. It is an undoubtedly a privilege to live in Chase, however, I don’t think there is anyone who would voluntarily “stay aboard” for more than a day.


And unfortunately this is just what happened October 29th and 30th, 2012 – As rumors spread about the rest of the city of New London being evacuated in preparation for the hurricane, cadets of the Academy were gearing up for a night in Chase. Lectures were cancelled in the morning as professors found it impossible to drive through the Hurricane Sandy’s chaos and by afternoon formation, all courses had been cancelled for that Monday and the next day. By 11:15 a.m., both my roommates and I had returned to our room and were uncontrollably excited. Caroline and I made a quick trip down the Coast Guard Exchange thinking we had better grab necessary supplies; beef jerky and salsa for her, iced tea and espresso beans for me. Then an indoor formation was held and the corps headed to the wardroom for lunch. Surprise announcements during lunch from regimental staff gave my freshmen class the privilege to wear “running suits” finally, and to watch movies during the storm. These were absolutely huge to us and immediately improved our morale, despite the threatening weather and ominous potential to be locked in Chase.


The fun of comfy sweatpants and canceled classes wore off quickly though; our room transformed into a chemistry review session and before long, we were all too exhausted to do much more. Now stuck in Chase, stressed and tired, we decided it was time for our own version of a sports period. Caroline had the genius idea to tie two issued jump ropes together and Allie suggested Double Dutch when our friends stopped in to say hello. To the normal college teenager, this proposition must sound like the complete opposite of fun, but to a group of cadets, aboard Cutter Chase in Hurricane Sandy, it was the best. We watched movies, helped our friends finish homework, and went to sleep early that night, but out of all the fun we had, I can definitely say trying to Double Dutch until our stomachs hurt from laughing was the absolute highlight of our day.


More about Sarah.


Keeping Afloat

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo Though there are eight different and unique majors here at the Academy, we all must take a core curriculum similar to other colleges. However, these classes are not the typical college courses. Every 3/c cadet must take a course called “Leadership and Organizational Behavior,” LOB as we cadets call it. In this class we learn how to become the complete leader and really start to get exposed to different leadership styles. For example, each year you are required to write an essay in a particular class that will be submitted in the Hewitt Writing and Speaking Contest and as a 3/c, you write the paper in LOB. The topic of the paper was about your identity, asking how it has changed since high school and what would you like to change for the future. For me, I originally saw this as just another assignment. In fact, it turned out to be a solidifying part of why I am here, because I had to reflect on the memories of high school and remember that motivation that brought me to the Academy.


My thesis was about being a leader in the family and transitioning that into a profession; for me this is easy since I had learned so much from my dad and grandparents, also from a personal experience during my senior year when I lost both my cousin and uncle. Mr. Wilhelm, my high school principal, brought me aside and told me that I had to be the leader in family and stay strong. His token of advice was, “Things don’t get better, they get different.” Indeed they did, by me accepting the appointment the Academy I was showing my family it was easy to overcome adversity. I go into everyday thinking that I must treat everything as my family, because when I am in the fleet if I treat my shipmates and ship like my family, I will never let them sink.


More about Michael.


October: Month of Madness

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Simon Photo Midterms! Crew! Parents’ Weekend! Oh my! My apologies for the lame Wizard of Oz reference, shipmates. Nonetheless, this allusion accurately sums up October for me here at the Academy.


First, let me just say that there is something about autumn in New England that is just so incredible. The trees and foliage are the most amazing shades of red and orange. I had the opportunity to visit a local cider mill and corn maze earlier this month—quintessential New England!


With October coming to a close, it’s strange to think that we are closer to the end of the semester than the beginning. Midterms were earlier this month, and let’s just say that it was a week of stress, studying, and test after test. Despite all of the pressure that led up to midterms and the subsequent pressure that is associated with that week, I am pleased to say that all of my studying paid off, as I did well on my midterm exams.


Parents’ Weekend was the first weekend of October, and it was great to see my parents, grandparents, and my best friend, Naomi. I had a crew regatta on Parents’ Weekend in Shelton, Connecticut. While my family missed watching the regimental review on Saturday morning, they were ecstatic to watch the men and women of the oar take on some tough competition on the Housatonic River. I was the coxswain for two races that weekend—once in the Women’s V4+ and the Women’s V8+. We raced well, and it was great for all of our families and friends to see just how much work we had put in since starting the season when we came back from leave in August. Being from the desert, my family had never seen a crew regatta, and they had a great time! I was so fortunate that they could be here to watch us race.


We also had our final regatta of the season, Head of the Charles, in Boston, Massachusetts at the end of October. This regatta is one of the largest races in the world. More than 9,000 athletes and 1,900 boats from all over the world come to Boston to compete on the Charles River. It was a huge honor to be able to represent USCGA. We raced three boats (the women raced a 4 and an 8, and the men raced a 4). The men’s team came in 8th place out of 46 boats in their race! Definitely an amazing feat!


With November on the horizon, I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and spending time with my family. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at!


More about Lili.


The Light is Getting Brighter!

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo This semester is very tough. If I am not doing homework then I am at volleyball or taking care of military obligations. I have at least one quiz or a test nearly every day. The middle of the semester seemed to drag on, but it is picking back up. Before midterms I was questioning my purpose at the Academy. Since then, I am a lot more optimistic and I am able to see more into the future. I talked with my academic advisor, who is a lieutenant that graduated from the Academy, and she really helped me gain a perspective and appreciate this opportunity. I try to remember to think about the real world everyday and appreciate the little things.


I saw my parents three weekends in a row in October. They came down for Parents’ Weekend, then we had a volleyball tournament at Bowdoin College in Maine, and the following weekend I was granted the privilege to attend my cousins wedding. It was wonderful seeing my family and spending time with my sister who I hadn’t seen in ten months.


The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter. I can see the end of the semester on the horizon. November always seems to fly by, then after Thanksgiving there is only a week and a half until finals. This week is Aviation Week, which is very exciting because I have a strong desire to go to flight school. Tonight there is an “Ops Spotlight” where I get to learn about the life of an aviator. Thinking about the limitless possibilities for the future is one of the things that make the Academy worthwhile.


More about Christina.