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cadet blogs

There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Wow, November really flew by! Already next week is Thanksgiving leave marking the first time I will be home for an extended amount of time. Even though it’s a short six-day break, it is plenty of time to recharge and get ready to tackle finals, which are quickly approaching. This month has, yet again, been quite busy for me. Last Thursday (08NOV) I left for Maryland with the cadet Glee Club for the weekend to sing at various concerts for the Veteran’s Day weekend. It was a lot of fun to sing for different people and get out of the Academy for a few days. When we weren’t performing we had liberty which was another positive (the best part was eating great food, i.e., Chipotle and Starbucks!). On Saturday of that week we sang for the opening of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and afterwards got a chance to walk around the city and go into the museums. I have only been in D.C. once before, which was when I was like 10 so I really didn’t realize how awesome of a city it is!


Then on Sunday we woke up at 0300 to head up to New York to sing at the NYC Veterans Day Parade – on national television! It was a wonderful experience that I most likely will never get again in my life…unless I become famous or something, but let’s be realistic here! One thing I will never forget about that day was after my performance a little girl asked for my autograph (kinda contradicting my last statement about fame here, but bare with me!). I was truly astonished, but it was also incredibly adorable. I signed her autograph book and after she handed me a card saying “Thank you for your service.” Never have I ever received such a warm thank you. It’s for people like her that I chose this route for my life.


I’m really looking forward to leave; being at the Academy isn’t too bad if you get a good group of friends (which isn’t hard), but I miss my family a lot and can’t wait to spend time with them. It will be nice to spend every night not doing homework, be able to look at my food and walk like a normal person, and sleep past 6 a.m. And then shortly after that, it’s Christmas break already! 4/c year is going by crazily fast, but I’m OK with that! As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me.


More about Allie.


Thanks from a Grateful Cadet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Veteran’s Day is definitely a special holiday. This Veteran’s Day weekend, I participated in the nationally televised Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City. The Coast Guard was the featured service this year, which is good, considering all that we have done in recent weeks to help the New York and New Jersey area to recover from Hurricane Sandy.


Those of us who marched in the parade woke up at 0630 (on a Sunday, no less!) and rode busses into downtown New York. After getting our coffee fixes, we formed up and stood in a loose formation for approximately an hour and a half. Of course, we looked like slackers next to the Cape May CCs (company commanders—the recruits’ cadre) and the latest recruit graduates. They were super locked down and professional. Finally, we stepped off and quickly marched through the parade route. I hope that we all looked good as we marched past the reviewing stand in front of the Commandant, ADM Papp. It was amazing to hear all the cheering and feel the positive energy from the onlookers who love the Coast Guard! That was the best part of the parade.


We got a bit of time off in the city after the parade. Wandering the city in SDBs and being thanked for my service was an eye-opening experience. I always feel awkward when someone thanks me for serving in the Coast Guard. Yet I smile, thank them, and move ahead. One of my teachers described situations like these as being thanked for your future service; I’m glad to stand watch over Americans both on and off the water, both now and in the future. Military service isn’t for everyone; it demands so much of you that a simple explanation cannot even begin to illuminate. However, with simple thanks comes heartfelt admiration and gratitude. Thank you to those of you who understand what military members go through daily.


I’d like to close by saying, “Thank you” for supporting the troops in any way you possibly can. Let us never forget what they have done for themselves, their families, communities, and country.


(As always, please email me at if you have any questions or comments!)


More about Peter.


Core Curriculum at the CGA

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo  Photo The academics here are rigorous but more than that, they are incredibly diverse, which is something I am starting to appreciate. One of the best parts of any college experience is to be able to decide, in part, what you are going to learn. CGA has a really heavy core curriculum, which to some people may sound like a bad thing, but in reality it is something to welcome.


The variety of topics covered in the mandated courses is something I value much more than when I started. For example I am a Marine Environmental Science major focusing on chemistry and physical oceanography. Currently I am taking Meteorology, Marine Biology, and Physical Chemistry. I am also taking Ships and Maritime Systems and last year I took Statics and Engineering Design, neither of which is specifically for my major but the knowledge I gained from those two engineering classes often times help me in day to day problems but also will be invaluable in my career and life. We also take several non-technical classes, which include Macroeconomics, Morals and Ethics, and Writing about Literature, all of which are have provided me with skills and knowledge that will serve me for the rest of my life.


So if you are reading this and thinking that perhaps a large core curriculum is something that isn’t for you, I would recommend you reconsider. A strong core curriculum diversifies your knowledge, makes you more well-rounded. This is something you cannot really appreciate until something you learned in core class comes in handy.


More about Alex.


Veteran’s Day Weekend – Las Vegas Bound!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo The Coast Guard Academy always offers amazing opportunities to network and meet different people in various ways. Over Veteran’s Day weekend I had a great opportunity to leave base and travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for a conference. I am writing this entry right now from 34,000 feet up in the air on an airplane heading to the conference. A group of cadets including myself are helping with a conference for the Academy Robotics on the Water program, which is offered at high schools throughout the United States to give students a chance to be exposed to robotics and the missions of the Coast Guard. I have attended a conference like this in the past and it is a great chance to teach others about what the Coast Guard does and to apply my knowledge of robotics that I obtained from being part of a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team in high school.


This is a great way to end the semester, which only has about 12 more days of school in it, and then it will be time for a very much-needed winter break. I look forward to spending some quality time with my family and friends. I am also very much looking forward to catching up on sleep after a long semester of projects and homework. This semester has flown by and I can not wait for next semester to be one step closer to getting my commission and graduating.


I am very thankful for the opportunities that I receive at the Coast Guard Academy especially because I know I would not be able to take advantage of things like this at a normal college. On this Veteran’s Day I am also very thankful for all of those military members that have served our amazing country, and for all of their sacrifices that they have made to keep us safe. Veteran’s Day is a great chance to step back from our busy lives and realize what the people in our military have done for us. Thank you veterans and stay safe wherever you service brings you.


More about Brianna.