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cadet blogs

The Best Major Here

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo The life of a Government major here is…interesting to say the least. The work from classes is usually constant, but for government classes, there’s a two weeks off/one week on policy that tends to be the structure of every class. For example, the last two weeks have been relatively light on homework. This coming week, I’ve got a Preliminary Inquiry Officer Report due for Criminal Justice, a Policy Analysis paper for Public Policy, and a paper on humanitarian crises due, not to mention I have to start my paper on UN peacekeeping, my presentation for Spanish III, and study for my Principles of Electronics Communications Systems exam. The course load could be structured better, but it’s something we government majors have to live with.


That’s not to say the major is bad, far from it. Our officers and instructors are the best, hands down. We experience every branch of academics here, and the nicest, best to learn from come straight from the Government major. We have great clubs like Society of Political and International Affairs, Model UN, Mock Trial, etc., and we get lectures from really cool people. Last month, Soledad O’Brien visited, one of the more famous reporters from CNN and now an anchor for HBO Sports. John Nagl visited just last week to talk about counter-insurgency. The talks are interesting, to say the least.


I’m only one of a handful of cadets in my class that have the Public Policy/Pre-Law track for our major. Everybody is pretty much International Relations or Security Studies. All concentrations are great, but since I want to be a JAG, it’s my obvious go-to. Someone told me a few days ago, that you’re worthless with a government degree unless you go into law. That’s totally false. The Coast Guard does a ton of policy. Our intelligence fields are among the best in the U.S. We do more international affairs work than everyone thinks. This major sets you up for that.


Everyone also says the Government major is the least necessary, or one of the least necessary majors here. I laugh at that, considering we do all of the above. I can think of a couple other majors that have less impact, and less applicability to the Coast Guard. My major is without a doubt the most fun, with the best of instructors and cadets learning about very important things as we head into a world of political uncertainty. It’s the best Satterlee Hall has to offer, and I’m proud to be a Gov-y at the CGA!



More about Sam.


Swab Summer Sentiments

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo (A quick story about my experience immediately after the cadre swap.)


Right now I am sitting in my room. Three fans roar around me, slowly drying the sweat that drips from my skin. My boots remain laced around my aching feet. I guzzle down water to quench my thirst and soothe my sore throat. A large sigh escapes my lungs. How do I sum this up in just a few paragraphs?


Just as my fingers hit the keyboard, a stampede of swabs storm past my room. I pause and listen. I could recognize their voices any day. Peeking through the crack of my door, I watch in silence as my swabs rush by. They do not know I am here. They have their backs to me, but I could, without hesitation, name each and every one of them nonetheless. It seems strange, to be hidden away all of the sudden - out of their sight, out of their minds.


While a part of me revels in the glory of my newfound liberty, my other half yearns to stay and watch. How are they doing? Did they remember what I taught them? Exhaustion tugs at the corners of my conscience as I reflect on the toils from these past three weeks. Despite this, I have the utmost confidence that our new cadre will surpass everyone’s expectations for the rest of Swab Summer. Now that I am on the outside, looking inward, I recognize how being cadre has the capability to teach you lifelong lessons.


Within a mere three weeks, as a cadre, I learned how to transform my leadership philosophy and my values into actions. I learned what it meant to truly and wholeheartedly care about the group of people that I was responsible for. My classmates and I developed a new, unique bond as we were thrust into our first Coast Guard leadership roles.


The cadre roller coaster of emotions is difficult to interpret. I want nothing more than to see these swabs succeed, and thus know for a fact that I have somehow, in some way, helped shape them into well-rounded, driven cadets. Four years from now, cadre and swab will unite together in the Coast Guard officer corps – and after this experience, I would not hesitate to stand by any single one of them.



More about Alexis.


Bring Out the Bridge Coats

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo Half way done! This semester is going by so fast. I can’t believe it’s already midterms. Midterm tests were stressful but I definitely had a better study plan then I had last year. As a freshman there was a lot of late night cramming; this year I was able to get to bed at a decent hour. I’m starting to like my courses more and more as the time progresses. I don’t know if I actually like the material, or just like that I’m getting good grades.


We just had Halloween. Unfortunately, I did not have time to go get a costume this year; and it's frowned upon and punishable by death to dress up as a “civilian.” So I threw on my Jake the dog T-shirt and some tights and called myself a dog. I could have put on cowboy boots and a flannel, like every other cadet at the Academy, and been a cow girl but that’s what my best friend was going to dress up as. As per tradition, we had a Halloween dinner and trick or treating on Admiral’s hill. It’s not the most exciting way to spend Halloween, but it is a chance to get a short or long if you’re an upper class or carry-on as a fourth class.


But as midterm comes and goes, so does summer. The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder. While some people welcome the winter with open arms, I loathe it. Last year while everyone was having snowball fights and making snow angels, I was wrapped up in a blanket, in my room, far away from the snow. I’m a Miami girl that spends Christmas on the beach. This winter thing is no bueno for me. It feels like no matter how many layers I wear, the cold find its way to my skin. The worse days are the ones where they say we can’t wear a jacket and it’s like 60 degrees. The UOD (Uniform of the Day) god obviously is not from the south or he would understand my pain. This year I’m investing in some long johns, hopefully those will keep me warm on the cold days ahead.



More about Rheanastasia.


The Month Flew By

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo This past month has been very eventful! The month started with Columbus Day weekend and the corps was granted a long. I went to my best friend Kelsey’s house with a bunch of my girl friends. We had a lot of fun watching movies, shopping, and getting loads of rest.


Homecoming was also a big event this year and it was awesome to see the graduated classes come back to reminisce on their time spent at the Academy and in the Coast Guard. I was fortunate enough to attend a women’s leadership brunch on Sunday morning with multiple officers. I met a lot of really great people who were so willing to talk about their experiences and give great advice to young cadets. It was a really inspiring experience to hear about the different tracks they took and what they are doing now. I feel like I gained mentors in a matter of hours that will help me throughout my career.


My first swimming and diving meet occurred this month, which was fun and nerve-racking. I always freak myself out before I do a dive, but I have to remember to stay calm and focused. The team did really great at the meet and I love being a part of the team. We have the best coaches who are wonderful role models to all of us.


Halloween is always a morale booster around the Academy. We were all able to dress up in costumes and eat dinner in the wardroom. They had a costume contest and trick or treating on the hill. It was a great time for all of the cadets and fun to be out of uniform and to see all of the creative costumes.


Veterans Day weekend is coming up and the corps gets another long. I have a swimming and diving meet so I won’t be able to leave until Saturday evening, but I am still looking forward to having a relaxing time at my best friend’s house.



More about Sara.