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cadet blogs

Arctic Forum Events

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo As a Government major at the Academy, we are presented with multiple opportunities to attend some unique events. Recently, we had representatives from the Arctic nations convene at the Academy to discuss multilateral relations with respect to the Arctic. I was allowed to sit in on a panel discussion with the representatives to hear how each of these countries is developing policies in the Arctic. If you don’t know, the Arctic is an area of growing importance. Never before has the idea of using Arctic region for trade, tourism, or territory been discussed. But now with the changing environment, the Arctic has new importance. Each country has their own unique challenges facing them. It was extremely interesting to sit in and listen to each representative discuss how their country is impacted by the new opportunities in the Arctic.


The most intriguing idea discussed was the notion of search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Arctic. Improving rescue techniques calls for multiple agencies and countries to work together to best develop SAR strategies. I found this discussion so compelling that I have decided to use it as my research paper topic for my Maritime Policy class. As a soon-to-be officer in the Coast Guard, SAR techniques and how we can better them are very interesting and useful for me to think about. Who knows, maybe one day I will be the brains behind these operations! Either way, it is a fascinating topic to explore and consider. Altogether, the events that I participated in with the Arctic nations were an incredible experience that some undergraduate college students can only dream of having!


More about Allie.


Operations Research Capstone Project...Stay Tuned

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo First semester of senior year is moving at a steady clip. During our senior year, most majors work on a capstone project, which encompasses the entire year’s worth of work. The cadets studying engineering are already well underway with their capstone projects. The majority of my friends are engineers, and they give me a hard time because as an Operations Research major, I haven’t started my project yet. Operations Research just received the capstone slate and we put in a dream sheet of the capstone we would like to work on. Most of the projects are Coast Guard applicable and our work will be put into place to help out the fleet. We have the opportunity to optimize flight scheduling or possibly plan out the best allocation of Coast Guard assets. There are endless opportunities with operations research in the Coast Guard! Most of my capstone work will occur next semester, so expect more information on that to come later! This semester is flying by…I can’t believe it’s already November!


More about Townshend.


All of a Sudden it's November

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo It seems like just yesterday we were coming back from our summers away in the fleet, but now all of a sudden it’s November. The past couple of months have flown by and we are that much closer to Thanksgiving break and then winter leave. October was definitely one of the most fun months I have had at the Academy so far. First, fall ball started for lacrosse so I got to practice with the team every week and then, at the end of October, we had our annual tournament at Springfield College. It was a lot of fun and I feel like our team has really come a long way since becoming a Division III team just last spring. At the Academy, we get Columbus Day weekend off so my friends and I took a trip to New York City. We stayed in Brooklyn, went to a concert, and walked the streets of New York as typical tourists.


The Academy is also a very exciting place to be around Halloween. Decorations are allowed in rooms and we are even allowed to dress up and have a Halloween dinner and parties in each company. As a class, 2018 went to a haunted house in Connecticut that was supposedly one of the scariest in the state. It was a great time for our class to come together and have some fun. With regard to Halloween, the command actually granted us a short, which meant that we had the night off. A couple of my friends and I went to Six Flags New England for Fright Fest, which was awesome. The weather was perfect and there were hardly any lines for the rides.


As the number of weeks until winter leave start to get shorter, though, the class assignments do start to pile up. While it may be a tough next couple of weeks, I know from last year that they will fly by and we will be sitting around the table at Thanksgiving before we know it.


More about Mimi.


Different Perspective

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo One month into my second year here at the Academy, and I could not have imagined the difference just one summer would make. Coming back as a 3/c was the weirdest feeling. Being called ma’am, being allowed to look around and use all the “shortcuts” on campus like certain sidewalks and side doors, and wearing rec gear out on liberty as opposed to trops was great but odd! I have also realized how many small monotonous tasks the 4/c have to do that make each day that much more difficult. Now, not needing to do those things like clocks (counting down from 10-minutes to go until each meal), taking out the upperclassmen’s trash, greeting everyone who walks by you in the hallway, and studying for indoc tests (information learned during Swab Summer that 4/c are quizzed on weekly during the school year), it feels like there should be more time in the day. Keeping that in mind, my schedule is just as packed, with classes 0800-1600 twice a week, and a four-hour lab on Tuesdays and Thursdays, soccer practice from 1600-1800 Monday through Friday, and homework to fill all the gaps.


Getting back into soccer was easily the highlight of my year. I could not play right away when we came back in August, but after a month of strengthening, running, and getting my touches back, I finally played in my first game in a year this past weekend. Being on the soccer team is definitely my favorite part of the Academy, and practices and games are what I look forward to each day. The annual tournament that we play in was a blast this year – we travelled to Fredericksburg, Virginia to play the University of Mary Washington, and Randolph-Macon College. The team does a great job of keeping things lighthearted and fun, and this year we have a shot at a record-breaking season. The few hours a day spent having fun down at the soccer fields are what really help me get through each week, and it’s an added bonus when the team is doing so well!


More about Gabrielle.


Contributing to the Coast Guard Mission as an Intern

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo This past summer, I completed an internship at the District 1 offices in Boston, Massachusetts. The project that I was tasked with at the end of the school year was to update three of the Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) for the Hudson River. GRPs are basically oil response plans. Maps of this area had not been updated in many years due to the lack of resources and time. The old maps were black, white, and grey lines with very little information. My job was to create more detailed maps, with booming strategies, marinas, environmentally sensitive data, boat ramps, and possible oil spill sources. On the back of the maps, I included other information on strategies, pictures and important phone numbers.


I began my internship in the middle of June. Two days after arriving, I was sent to Albany, New York to begin collecting data for the GRPs. In addition, I got to tour some oil terminals in the area. I was in Albany about a week then headed back to Boston to start creating the new maps; 16 in total. After completing these, I presented my work to various members at District 1 and had a surprise visit in the middle of my presentation by RADM Fagan and VADM Lee. It was an amazing experience to be able to present my work to these people.


I once again traveled to New York but this time to Poughkeepsie. People from D1, Sector New York and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) all worked with me on boat trips down the river so that we could collect data for the maps. During my internship, I traveled 100 miles of the Hudson River, from Troy to West Point. After the final boat trip, I went back to Boston to finish my internship and plan for working on the project the rest of the school year.


Upon returning to school, I completed maps of the entire Hudson River as a part of a directed study. Since I was back in school, I was unable to take the boat trip of the final leg of the river, but I obtained the data from Sector New York and the NYDEC that they collected. After I was done making the maps of the river, I presented them to the Area Committee, a group that is concerned about oil spill response in the New York area. This committee is comprised of members of NOAA, the police department, Sector New York, the NYDEC, the Hudson River Marina and Boat Club Association, and many others. I have presented the maps to the Area Committee and have received their input. My next job is to make any changes there are to the maps and then have them reviewed again for final approval.


I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this internship and directed study. I learned so much about oil spill response, the Coast Guard’s collaboration with other organizations and all of the work that goes into creating GRPs.


More about Kayla.


How to Remain Sane During the School Year

(Academics, Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo I realize it’s been quite some time since my last blog entry because 1/c year is flying by with lots of homework and responsibilities. It’s hard to get everything done!


I’m so glad that I’m finally a 1/c cadet, but it seems like just yesterday I was a confused and awkward 4/c cadet squaring my meals and bracing up in the passageways. It’s amazing how far my class has come and how close we are to becoming commissioned officers in the United States Coast Guard!


Anyway, I realize there is still about six months left of school, but I wanted to use this blog post to give you my Ten Tips to Remaining Sane During the School Year. These are things that I’ve learned throughout my four years here at the Academy.


  1. Don’t procrastinate – get your work done ASAP. The sooner, the better. You’ll feel much better without big projects hanging over your head.
  2. Make time for yourself at least once or twice a week. Go get your nails done, read a book, go for a run…whatever you need. Just give yourself some “me” time.
  3. Big one – DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Obviously doing school work isn’t always going to make you happy, but make sure your major is one that you enjoy and make sure you want to go to your club or sports practice every day.
  4. Eat healthy, but have a cheat day every now and then. Eating healthy will make you feel so much better but ice cream (in moderation) is good, too!
  5. Make time to work out every day. Even if it’s just a little bit of time, doing something small everyday will raise your endorphins and you will be more productive when you do your work!
  6. Make a to-do list. This will ensure you don’t forget what you have to do and crossing items off the to-do list is one of the best feelings – you’ll feel much more accomplished!
  7. Get the sleep you need. For me, this is seven hours of sleep but it varies for every person. Getting enough sleep will help you be more productive during the day and studies also show that people who don’t get enough sleep gain weight.
  8. Keep your room clean. Cluttered room, cluttered mind. You will feel better looking at an organized desk versus a messy one.
  9. Take pride in your appearance. Make sure your uniform looks good and go out in clothes that you love. If you look good, you’ll feel good!
  10. Get away from school when you can! If you have homework, consider doing it at a coffee shop. Go grab dinner with friends at your favorite restaurant. Go on nature walks. A change of scenery will be good for you, especially when you go to the Academy and see the same colors every day.


More about Samantha.


October 2015 Highlights

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo I’m looking at my ticker for graduation and it tells me that there are 560 days until the Class of 2017 graduates. How the time has flown by this semester. October’s highlights include the Model United Nations (MUN) team attending the MUN Conference in New York City, Halloween dinner, and of course, midterm exams.


I went to Columbia University for the Model UN Conference and I had a great experience. This wasn’t my first rodeo—I’ve gone to five conferences since I started at the Academy. I’ve attended National MUN in Washington D.C., West Point Security Conference and New York University MUN Conference. Columbia’s conference was fast paced, and I was a member of the Soviet Union 1950s historical committee, debating with delegates from Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, and other big name schools about where we should take the USSR on the world stage. I learned about how the USSR functioned during the 20th century, and sharpened my debating and parliamentary procedure skills. In November, I along with other members of the team, will be running simulations to get us ready for the West Point Security Conference in February. Some team members are also traveling to Rome, Italy for Harvard World MUN in the spring semester.


Halloween dinner this year was a blast. Cadets in all classes donned their costumes for dinner in the cadet wardroom and then stormed The Hill, where the Admiral and the other top officers live. The exchange cadet in my company and I swapped uniforms for the dinner and we went as “Swab and Sarge.” I wore the famous West Point grays, while he was dressed up as a swab.


Midterms came and went, and there was one week where I had four exams! This semester has gone very well academically, and I am finally getting into higher level elective classes. My favorite class is Human Resources Management, where the topics range from pay policy to handling cases of discrimination. It’s an interesting class, and my enthusiasm for law and labor relations is growing. Soon, Thanksgiving will be on its way (only 22 more days)!


More about William.


On the Road Again

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello to my diligent blog followers and also the people who randomly come across this page!


I am on my way (via coach bus) to D.C. for a Cyber Security Leadership conference. We just stopped in New Jersey and are now continuing on our journey. It is crazy that: 1. it is already November and 2. that it is almost seventy degrees. The weather has been beautiful and I've been trying to be outside as much as possible. I was so excited to take my coach’s dog on a run this week. I have also been going to yoga a lot thanks to Yoga Club, a club that enables cadets to leave school any day of the week during sports period to go to off-base yoga class. I practice in Mystic and love going! I did a yoga challenge for the month of October and posted a picture each day on Facebook of the designated pose. At first, I thought that my friends would be annoyed but when October ended, everyone was asking me about November! I am doing a movement challenge but I ran out of data...


Anyway! School is going well. Believe it or not, there are only three weeks left in the semester, none of which are full. In my major (Marine and Environmental Sciences), I don't really have one big capstone project but rather a smaller one for each class. For example, I have a project due in Coastal Oceanography, Polar Oceanography, and a research paper due in National Security Policy. It is a lot to juggle.


I am excited about the opportunities I could potential be taking this year. I am applying to participate in the model Arctic Council simulation held in Fairbanks, Alaska! It's during spring break and I will be preparing for the simulation next semester. I think that I am really finding an interest in the Arctic and I can see myself pursuing studies in that region after my bachelors.


Well, we are watching a movie and my phone might die but I just wanted to let you know about my crazy cadet life!


A Look Back at September: The School Year is Ramping Up

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo The first round of tests starts this week and that’s always interesting. I should be fine if I just plan out my time and actually study. It is easy to get sidetracked with other important things while at the Academy. As an MES major in my 3/c year, I have a lot of classes and labs, but staying organized makes all the work doable. It also helps that the material is interesting and fun (for example, our last marine biology lab was a trip to a salt marsh to study the ecosystem).


I am continuing on in my corrosion research. It is a bit slow moving right now because we are trying to simultaneously do tests and set up corrosion cells, while still waiting on supplies. Although it is fairly difficult to get everything ready to run the tests, when I go to work on the project it is relaxing because there are no requirements. With the freedom to do as much or little as possible, the lab is one of the few places that I can actually be in control and do things the way I want. It is refreshing to have that break during the week.


Rugby has also started up! The first game was last Sunday and the A side played really well and beat the University of Vermont, who were ranked 7th in the nation last year. I am on B side but I still got to play. The game went really well and I had a lot of fun. I am looking forward to more games and optimistic that the team will make it all the way to nationals.


More about Cody.


Typical 3/c MES Course Load

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo Once you start getting into more major-specific classes 3/c year, school gets a lot more interesting. Last year, classes were set and mandatory for all 4/c. We took Chemistry I and II, Calculus I and II, English, U.S. History, Coast Guard History, Statics and Engineering Design, Intro to Navigation, Swimming I and Personal Defense as well as health classes throughout the year. Now, as an MES major, this semester I am taking five mandatory and two major-specific courses. Physics I, Multivariable Calculus, Ships and Maritime Systems, Professional Rescuer, Badminton/Golf are the classes that most all 3/c have to take. The MES-specific classes are Meteorology and Marine Biology this semester. Both are extremely interesting, interactive, and fun! For Marine Biology, we go on field trips out to the beach, marshes, the Thames River, and Mystic Aquarium; and Meteorology makes some of the same trips to study the weather patterns in those locations. So, if you’re into hands-on learning, taking a closer look at the life around you, and dissecting sea cucumbers (and more), MES is a great major for you! Personally, I would much rather be out on a boat studying the type of marine life there than in a classroom crunching numbers so I couldn’t be happier with my choice of major!


More about Gabrielle.


Midterms and Halloween at the CGA

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo Last week officially marked midterms at the Academy. The semester is halfway over and I am one step closer to graduation this May. This weekend was Halloween and November and Thanksgiving are upon us. It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by.


As a first class cadet, sometimes it can be hard to concentrate on school; senioritis is very real here. However, there are plenty of privileges as a first class that have made it easier. I don’t have as many classes as a firstie, and so I have plenty of time off during the day to get my work done. Also as a first class, we get more liberty; on Thursdays I’m able to go off base to a café to do homework if I want to, or I can just go hang out with my friends. So, despite the tendencies I have as a first class to be unmotivated, I actually did well at midterms and was able to get my highest GPA yet! Even though midterms can be stressful, the end goal of graduation is in mind.


And even though school can sometimes be overwhelming, there are plenty of fun things the Academy does to celebrate our hard work and the holidays. The other night, we had a Halloween dinner where everyone got to dress up and compete for the best costume. After the dinner, cadets got to trick-or-treat at the officer’s houses on base. On Halloween, there was a zombie run where runners were chased by people dressed up as zombies while trying to make it to the finish line without being caught by one of them. Little things like that make school a lot less stressful.


Besides school, I’ve been pretty busy with rugby this fall. So far, we are undefeated and only have one more game this season. If we win this next game, we win our conference for the third year in a row and also get a chance to go to Nationals.


The main thing I’m looking forward to though is to get our billet list. Right before Thanksgiving all the first class cadets will receive a list of the assignments we have to choose from for our first tour as officers next year. It’s both scary and exciting to think that my future job as an officer is so close and soon I’ll be planning for it.


More about Jade.


Crazy Midterms?

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo I didn’t think that this year’s midterm exams were a really big deal until the following week when I realized that they were nothing compared to the four tests, two papers, speech and the extra duty of organizing the flags for a large Coast Guard event here at the Academy. Long story short, my weeks have been speeding by. I can’t believe that Halloween is upon us. I have been doing an October Spice Yoga challenge, where you do yoga every day for a month at least to capture a different pose every day. It has been fun and but adds to the busy days. Homework and everything didn’t seem too bad until this week, so I am really excited for the weekend.


Additionally, my little brother and parents are coming up tonight to go Bears Day tomorrow, which is a one-day open house when high schoolers can go to class without spending the night. It will be good to see them, and what’s crazy is that I might get to see my mom again next week because I applied for a trip through the Government department to go to D.C. and got it! My mom works on the Mall, so I am pumped to be back in the Maryland area. I have to say D.C. is probably my favorite city. I am finding that I am applying for more opportunities this year, ones that I might have felt were long shots before and I am actually getting them!


For now, I need to get back to the books, well, actually I am practicing my leadership speech for today. For the moment, the academic “storm” has stopped and I guess, as cadets, we all need to know that this stress can be self-perpetuated. That’s why I like to do yoga. I had dinner at the Admiral’s house two weeks ago in Quarters 1 and he was surprised to hear that the Yoga Club can do yoga off base any day of the week during sports period! It was funny to see his reaction, and really cool to get the chance to interact with our senior leadership like that, in a small group setting.


The fall ball lacrosse season also just ended with a play day of four mini games on Sunday! We had a great time and I am so excited to keep us strong through the winter for our season start in February!


Happy Halloween!