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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

My Experience So Far

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Patron Photo My 5th semester completed and at this moment I am on the train home. This semester was by far the most enjoyable. I learned a great deal about myself as well as academically. I had a great opportunity to talk to a few thousand people online about the Academy and it was really nice to share my experiences. With my little brother finally a freshman in high school, it is scary to think that my time at the Academy is coming to a close and graduation is sooner than I thought. I am happy, excited, nervous and unsure about what is to come. What I do know is that the Coast Guard has done a great job taking care of me and ensuring I am on the path toward success.

 

I do hope that what I told my viewers online really speaks to them. I wrote nothing but the truth. It is hard to be here. It is challenging mentally, emotionally, physically but there is no better feeling than feeling accomplished for that I have done. I love to tell people about what I have learned from my experiences and that is why I am writing to you now. I, unfortunately, did not look up things like cadet blogs or online Q&A sessions. All I knew was that a service academy provided top-notch education and a stable career following graduation. I did not know about the specifics, such as what a daily schedule was composed of or what liberty meant. Luckily, I found some great friends and we all figured it out together as well as asking upper-class. Still, I would have liked to know things in advance and I applaud those who are doing so.

 



More about Jennifer.

 

Finally Home

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo Finally home! I never thought that this day would come! It has been a long semester to say the least, it seems like forever ago that I began my 3/c year by reporting back to the Academy on August 12th, but I made it through the first semester! I’m so thankful for the long, over three-week break that I now have, it’s going to be great to hang out with family, friends, and my girlfriend! I’ve only been home for 1½ days but I’ve already gone out to lunch with my mom and brother, done a few work projects with my dad, run a half marathon, completed another half marathon on the erg (rowing machine), baked pies with my mom, and sat on my butt and watched TV! What a life! My girlfriend gets home tomorrow; I can’t wait for the fun to continue!

 

Have a great holiday season and Merry Christmas!

 



More about Luke.

 

Escape!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo So, here it is…the end of the semester. I haven’t written in a while, and it’s been sitting on my to-do list. However, I just finished my last exam of the semester, and it was pretty easy.

 

Finals week here at the Academy is really relaxing compared to the weeks ahead of it. After coming back from Thanksgiving break, teachers love to pile on as much work as possible. It’s like they don’t realize that in your other five classes, the other teachers are doing the same thing. That leaves you with several projects, papers, and presentations to do—all in a two-week timeframe. I don’t have it as bad as some of my classmates do, because I don’t have several challenging engineering classes. I had a navigation brief to deliver, several papers, an interview in Spanish, and three projects to do. Each was made more difficult by the fact that my project partners had the same workload as I did, and we never had the time to meet. Finding the time to meet and work on projects was the hardest part, and the main reason those two weeks were sleepless.

 

While the preparation was hard, the delivery was easy. My favorite projects were the navigation brief and my individual Ships project. Navigation briefs are delivered by junior officers each time a cutter transits through restricted waters—a.k.a. every time it goes in or out of port. It covers things like the charts used, the intended trackline, major obstacles, and timeline of events for the transit. My group simulated a navigation brief for a cutter leaving Newport, Rhode Island—with RADM Stosz, the superintendent of the Academy, as the commanding officer! Nothing like almost having a heart attack when you walk into the room and see her sitting there with a red pen. However, it went well. After that, I zipped through the Plexiglas hull analysis that we had to do for Ships. Ships has been a fun class, and I’ve learned a lot about naval architecture. However fascinating the material is, I still do not think that I would be happy as an engineer.

 

Finally, after getting through the countless projects and sleepless nights, finals week arrived. Everything becomes much more relaxed around here that week. You can sleep in, eat buffet-style meals, and nap starting at 1300. Everyone focuses on finals, and finals only. And after all that studying, the tests aren’t that bad. Now that I’m done, I can finally go home for a month of well-deserved leave!

 

Have a great holiday, readers! As always, if you have any questions or comments, email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu. No promises that I will not get it until January, however!

 



More about Peter.

 

Closing It All Down

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo As I sit here and get ready for finals to start tomorrow, I can gladly and proudly say this was the best semester I’ve had here. Granted, you would think it would already be since I’m no longer a 4/c, and that does help for sure. However, there was so much more to being a 3/c than I ever expected, and this whole semester has been absolutely great.

 

For starters, I went from being a mediocre academic to a pretty good one. As I head into finals, I’m nowhere near the situation of “needing the final to pass the class.” It’s all A’s, B’s and one C+. And since I’m confident in my abilities to pump that grade up with the final, I’m definitely in a calmer mood regarding academics. Athletics-wise, without lacrosse I was able to play all the intercompany sports for Echo, as well as creating a little football league with some of my friends every Friday night. It was a great way to let off steam and stay in shape.

 

Idlers and Glee Club has in itself been amazing. We went to Maryland/D.C./NYC in early November. We performed at the Jets-Cardinals game. The Idlers did our annual Christmas at the Griswold Inn, which was outstanding! It’s been a real blessing to participate in the club and to have those opportunities with the group. As for drama, the play went incredibly well, and I’m STILL hearing compliments from staff and the faculty. It’s such a great feeling when hard work is rewarded, which is sort of what makes this place so great.

 

The best part of this whole semester has been watching my 4/c mature and grow. It’s amazing how far they’ve come as a class, and that only a year ago, 2015 had done the same. It’s exciting to know that they will soon be in my shoes, helping the next class. My division has put me up for a Silver Star (Superior Military Performance), which I’m ecstatic about. It’s been a goal of mine to get a star at this place, and it looks like I’ll be getting my first. The military side of things has just been great.

 

With that, it’s time to take down these finals and head on home for break. Go CGA, Go 2015, Beat Finals!

 



More about Samuel.

 

Holiday Who-bee What-ee

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Duplessis Photo Today was the last day of classes, and we’re so close to winter break!! I’m so happy to be done with this semester, but it did go by extremely fast. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress from school and sports, and then realize you’re halfway there.

 

I had an amazing Thanksgiving with my friends and family. I’m from New Hampshire, but my family friends live in California, so I was fortunate enough to meet them all out west and spend the small holiday break near the Los Angeles area. It was awesome to spend time with my friends, who I hadn’t seen in a while, and visit with my family together. I had a great Thanksgiving dinner and spent the evening in a food coma. The next day, we all went to Six Flags, which I’d highly recommend visiting if you are near the area. It was hard to come back to school after five days off, but the next two weeks literally fly by and then you’re back on a (longer) break.

 

The title of this blog entry is a quote from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, possibly one of the greatest holiday movies in history. Usually I watch this movie about 20 times within the month of December. Watching this movie is probably top of my priorities for when I arrive at my house. Until then…

 

The Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
“Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...” he thought, “...means a little bit more.”
 

 



More about Lindsay.

 

Wrapping It Up

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright Photo Thanksgiving break was awesome! Finally going home and seeing the whole family was something that was much needed. It went by really fast though, and before I knew it I was back at the Academy. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas break is only two and a half weeks so coming back from break we immediately hit the ground running with multiple tests and our fair share of projects. December 1st we had our winter formal dance and admittedly it was a lot more fun than expected. A bunch of my friends and I had dates, we went to our formal dinner, and it ended with a dance in Leamy Ballroom. It was fun to see everyone dressed so fancy and even though the uniforms for the females weren’t too flattering it was easier to get through it when all of us were matching.

 

Since the dance, it seems like we have gone straight into exams and, while it is a bit stressful, it’s crazy to think that I will be home in one week. Next semester is going to bring a lot of changes so it will be interesting to see how things play out. This first semester has flown by and I am happy to say that I have learned so much already. I have encountered some amazing leaders in our upperclassman, which has driven me to work hard to be as impactful as they have been to me. I’m trying to go into next semester with an open mind and learn as much as possible from our new leaders.

 



More about Jessica.

 

Holiday Cheer (With a Few Finals Thrown In)

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Well, it is official now – exactly one week until I get to go home for almost a whole month of winter break! There is something about the holiday season that just makes everyone so much cheerier. Personally, my favorite parts are Christmas lights, family, eggnog, and buying people presents that make them smile. Since the Corps of Cadets are authorized to decorate their rooms for holidays, my roommate and I went all out decorating this past weekend. In my opinion, the main attraction to our room is a purple Christmas tree with a pink sequin tree skirt, pink garland, and a pink star at the top.

 

However, the downside to all of this holiday cheer is finals. I have a Calculus, Chemistry, History, and Macroeconomics final on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively. I believe the last time I had to take four finals in one semester was maybe junior year. I guess that’s just the difference between high school and college. While this semester proved to me that college academics can be very challenging, I also learned that with a little perseverance, I can handle anything thrown my way. I am very excited to continue my career at the United States Coast Guard Academy.

 



More about Samantha.

 

Finals Week and Fun

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo I am writing my December entry pretty early (it’s December 4th as I am writing this), but I wanted to make sure I get an entry in before I go on winter leave. I’m beginning to find out that the month of December here at the Academy is pretty great. We come back right after Thanksgiving break to only a week left of classes, and then its study/ conferences week! We don’t have formations or any of the typical military algorithms that make up our usual day; rather, we get to study as much as we need for our upcoming finals. I feel I am ready for finals. The teachers here at the Academy do a pretty good job of preparing you for exams whether it is through extra study sessions they make available at night or through review packets. And what’s best about finals is that once you are done with your last final (LMO or “last military obligation”), you get to go home for winter leave! I’m particularly excited for this since it will give me just short of a month of down time to rest up, have some fun, and get ready to take on my final semester as a 4/c (woohoo!) Not to mention that I get the (temporary) privileges of Facebook and YouTube back over leave. I also get to see my sister for the first time since I left for Swab Summer, which was about 6 months ago. So many good things to look forward to…except I have to get through my four finals first!

 

Anyway, this past weekend we had the winter formal which was pretty fun. It was fancy ̶̶̶̶ us kaydets had to wear DDBs (Dinner Dress Blues) and look all sophisticated like. Also coming up is the Lessons and Carols service, which is a big Christmas event the Academy holds each year in the chapel. I will be singing Christmas songs with the Glee club – so much Christmas morale! My roommates and I went all out for decorating our room with some Christmas cheer. Holidays around Chase Hall get pretty interesting since most of us like to decorate our rooms. It’s just one of those small things that make us happy and keep our morale up. And an added bonus for 4/c, we get to have “morale clocks,” so instead of saying boring indoc like what’s for lunch and the movies playing at the local movie theater, we get to sing Christmas songs, which is really fun! I know…it’s the little things in life, right? Well, I guess that’s all I really have to say for now! I’ll write y’all on the other side of winter leave! :) As always, feel free to email me. Happy Holidays everyone and a happy and healthy New Year!

 



More about Allie.

 

The Holidays are for Family

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Dear Mom and Dad, I love you.

 

Three powerful words that mean a heck of a lot to my parents.

 

I was recently home for Thanksgiving. I went home on the Friday before Thanksgiving—four days earlier than normal so that I could do some recruiting at a few high schools near my house. While I enjoyed being home, I also was somewhat bored (although that isn’t exactly the word for which I am looking). See, I have no siblings, so at the end of the day (and believe me, they are usually busy), I come home to a quiet house—my parents and grandmother are all asleep, and my dog is so old now she doesn’t even come to greet me—with no one my age. Honestly, I’ve been spoiled at the Academy in that regard. There are so many people my age there—it’s great. And having a roommate is amazing, even if I do keep him up into the wee hours of the morning with my desk lamp. You’re the best, Ryan!

 

Last year I realized how great it was to have “siblings” (about a thousand of them, to be exact), but it wasn’t until going home this year did I feel homesick for them. I mean, it makes sense. Last year, going home was great and exciting. I had lots of new stories to tell everyone. Plus, I just wasn’t as close to everyone here yet. A year later, it was really bad.

 

I told my parents (and some of the rest of my family) that I was considering not coming home for Thanksgiving next year. They were all crushed! I explained to them that coming home wasn’t as fun as it used to be. I wanted to have adventures, travel to new and exciting places, and spend more time with my friends from the Academy. But even if my family’s moaning and griping was a little over the top, I do think they had a good lesson to teach me.

 

The holidays are for family—my family. I mean so much to them, and they really care for me. The least I can do is visit home for the holidays. As my English professor reminded us last year, going home for the holidays is something that you don’t always get to do once you’re an officer, so we should take advantage of the opportunities while you’re at the Academy. I am fortunate to live close enough to the Academy where travelling home for a short break like Thanksgiving is feasible. I have plenty of long weekends and Spring Break to visit friends and see the world (not to mention on-order trips). So, I’ve promised to come home next year for Thanksgiving (because I want to do recruiting leave again), but will compromise by inviting (hopefully!) someone who was not planning on going home.

 

I love my Academy family, but I get to see them every day for nine months of the year. I’ve got to give my family some time, too. Granted holiday breaks are the few times when we cadets don’t have assignments and would actually be able to hang out without dreading having to go back to do schoolwork. I guess we’ll just have to make time to get our work done early so that we can enjoy the moments we share here at the Academy.

 

Wishing you a New Year of excitement and success. Don’t forget among all the craziness that is the holiday season to connect with (e.g., call, get coffee with, Skype, etc.) the ones you are close to and love. Happy Holidays to all!

 



More about Justin.

 

Shooting for the Moon, Hitting the Stars

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo At the start of my 3/c fall semester, I encountered a huge setback with an injury that prevented me from rowing crew. Now if any of you have read my previous blogs, you’ll know how much that team means to me. I was devastated, knowing that I could not be in a boat this season. I tried to contribute to the team, nonetheless, helping with equipment and whatnot. But it was not the same. I no longer had an extracurricular to keep me occupied in my free time. This may seem unusual, but the busier I am, the more productive I become. That is another reason it was so important for me to participate in an extracurricular activity. There were not many options for me; my injury prevented me from partaking in any impact associated sports, and swimming was definitely out of the question.

 

One day I overheard a few people talking about the shooting sports here at the Academy. I did not know this at the time, but we have four different areas of shooting, including: a pistol team, a combat arms team, a high-powered team, and a rifle team. I asked about what it was like to shoot as a sport, and was further advised to attend the team safety meeting. I did, and once there I learned about what each sport had to offer. I decided it couldn’t hurt to try one of them and so I signed up to shoot rifle.

 

Four months later, I am still a member of the Academy rifle team and am shooting for score at all of our matches. For a girl that has had literally no history with weapons or shooting in general, that ain’t so bad. The team practices twice a week and all of our matches are on the weekends. I am told that this is the best that the team has done in a long time and that we are looking really good for future championship opportunities. I am really glad that I chose to shoot. Not only have I acquired a fleet-applicable skill, but I have also met different people and made new friends.

 

I have learned a lot of lessons this semester, not just from my academics, but in all aspects of my life. It amazes me how much a person can grow and change in the course of a few fleeting months. However, that’s the wonderful thing about this institution, its purpose is to foster that development. So remember, “The swift wind of compromise is a lot more devastating than the sudden jolt of misfortune” (Charles R. Swindoll).

 



More about Alexis.

 

Cross Country Enthusiasm

(Athletics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kearney Photo Cross country is perhaps the greatest activity I have gotten into in my life. I love to run, I’m sure if any of my high school classmates were reading this now, they would agree that the best definition of my high school self would be “runner”. To be quite honest with you, I may have been borderline obsessive in high school, but don’t all aspiring freshman runners dream of being the next Steve Prefontaine?

 

Cross country played a big role in my decision to come to the Academy. I knew I wanted to continue running after high school and get one more chance at fulfilling unfulfilled potential, and Division III athletics was the perfect option. The plague of injuries I encountered in high school limited my choice of running collegiately to smaller schools, but with what I have experienced now, I know the Coast Guard Academy is the best choice I made in that regard. Since attending the Academy, I have already whipped myself into better shape than my best shape in high school. Not to mention, the team camaraderie here is fantastic, and as I’ve said countless amount of times, expect great things to come with this young group of contenders, fighters, and runners.

 

This past season was great. At the NEWMACS conference meet, our guys placed 4th as a team and the girls placed 5th. It was a good day and this year I was fortunate to be able to move on to ECACs the following week. In a freezing cold showdown for the final 7th spot on the team, my roommate Stephen Horvath and I battled it out till the end, with him wining the final spot and myself earning a free trip to regionals as an alternate. Throughout the course of the season I improved my 8K time by three minutes, so even though I didn’t get to run at regionals as that 7th man, I’m happy with how the season ended. Now it’s on to indoor track, and I’m expecting a great season for all of us, one full of exhausting long runs, blazing repeats, and numerous PRs. Oh how fun it’ll be!

 



More about Zachary.

 

Trudging Through the Work

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Murphy Photo Obviously, 3/c year is a lot different than 4/c year. First of all, I’m not homesick; I have become a lot closer to my friends and teammates. Second of all, I don’t have all the responsibilities of a 4/c. That means no more squaring, bracing up, and feeling like a robot. With this nice change, comes some bad news. The academics don’t get any easier. Currently I am studying civil engineering and I have had a rough semester academically. Classes are more intense and aren’t necessarily “core” classes. I’ve just been trudging through the work; I work with two other friends of mine who are studying civil engineering. It works really well because we are able to bounce ideas off of each other to figure out our work (of course we credit each other).

 

Coming home for Thanksgiving was nice, but I wasn’t as excited as last year. This is because I have become a lot more comfortable at the Academy. I have had a lot to think about though; I am considering switching majors. Cadets need to pick a major by the end of their sophomore year, but in order to not get behind, I need to pick my major by next semester. Wish me luck! Good luck with the application process!

 



More about Sean.

 

Cultural Diversity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo I have realized since being here at the Academy that cultural diversity is not what ethnicity you are. Yes, I believe it plays a part of who you are, but a bigger factor of making you unique is where and how you were brought up.

 

I spent this Thanksgiving in Indiana at my friend, Mary’s house. It was the first break I have not gone home and also the first time I have ever been in Indiana. It was all a new experience for me and during my stay I saw what made Mary the way she is. Her personality does not come from her being a mix of European ethnicities; it comes from her being the oldest out of eight, growing up in the country lifestyle of Indiana. I realized that being at the Coast Guard Academy has really been an opportunity to meet different kinds of people from all over the U.S. and the world (with our international cadets). I learned a lot while staying with the Hazen family over Thanksgiving and also how cadets are different. There were three of us that went to Indiana to spend Thanksgiving and we all represented a different part of the United States, one coming from Washington state, one from Texas, and me from New York City. I saw how where we came from and how we were brought up played a bigger part in shaping us and making us culturally diverse. Back in New York, my city and state universities are filled with different ethnicities, Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, and Caucasians however, since we are all born and raised in New York City, there is not much of a cultural diversity. I witness more cultural diversity at the Coast Guard Academy and in the season to be thankful, I am so blessed to be at the Academy and learning and experiencing new things from new people.

 



More about Ellie.

 

Varsity Freshmen

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo It is a requirement at the Academy that cadets participate in athletics; whether the activity is a varsity NCAA program or an intramural group is up to the individual. For me it was a clear choice to row – I have been rowing in the area since I was ten and recently have become more competitive as an individual in a single (sculling alone) and as a team member (sweep rowing typically with three or seven other rowers). Through high school I updated head coach, Jen Meuse, with my erg scores and race performances, and this made for an easy transition to collegiate rowing.

 

Around the third week of Swab Summer “sports periods” started and swabs were able to meet with coaches and cadre of their sports interest for about 90 minutes. While at first it was very awkward to be in a relaxed environment with the chief of staff (a 1/c cadet), my division officer cadre, (a 2/c cadet), and other upper class, I soon felt at ease conversing about a sport I knew very well. The awkwardness continued to go away as the school year came along, and by our first race in September I felt comfortable enough to train alongside any of my team mates.

 

I will admit that the initial shock of racing varsity was overwhelming; my roommate, Caroline, was just learning to row and practiced with the rest of my friends who were on the novice team. Usually the varsity girls would finish earlier and I would take my time changing and make the effort to walk back up to Chase Hall with my novice classmates. I tried to share any knowledge from experience I had and made a conscious effort to be humble about my abilities, knowing that within months my peers could match my skill level. I was worried at first that racing in a double, a two person shell, with my partner, 1/c Tahnee Zaccano, in September would distance me from my classmates, but instead the girls were enthusiastic and very supportive. My classmates’ support helped me to train hard and not to worry about losing their friendships.

 

I treated my varsity teammates the same as my novice peers, sharing tools for rigging and quick fixes for technique problems. Even as the season went on, it was still an odd feeling to teach someone older than myself, and particularly strange when my teammate was in my chain of command. It was a great experience however to have a professional relationship with my 3/c, who sat directly behind me and was directly responsible for me, my Swab Summer 2/c, sitting 2 seats behind, and the Swab Summer chief of staff, sitting in bow. All of these ladies were in Bravo Company with me, and rowing in the “Bravo Bow” with them was an honor and a made for a fantastic first season.

 

Our shortfall season closed in late October with a regatta in Boston known as the Head of the Charles. Teams from across the world came to compete in one of the most well-known races and in particular, collegiate teams raced only their fastest crews. Our competition was very aggressive and the field overall became faster, so we placed in the lower half of our field. Our boat was not discouraged by this performance however; we identified our weaknesses and made a plan to improve them for the spring season. As an individual I was also able to evaluate myself and my performance, and knowing that I had begun my collegiate rowing career as a varsity athlete helped me to see my potential and my value to the team.

 



More about Sarah.

 

Worth It In the End

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo When does the holiday season actually start? A couple of friends from home told me it started way back at the beginning of November. While I loved having holiday spirit and it boosts my morale considerably, I am trying not to get distracted ahead of finals. For me, the holiday season begins on December 11, when I finish my last final in Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design.

 

Thanksgiving leave was a much-needed getaway from the grind of the Coast Guard Academy. With six projects due in the upcoming weeks, as well as studying for finals, I used my Thanksgiving break to relax and mentally prepare. As an engineer, finals will be very difficult. It will no doubt be rewarding once I am done.

 

All the winter sports’ seasons have kicked off. I am very excited to go to the men’s basketball team home games and see all my classmates in all the sports perform and represent the Academy well. I have been sidelined in boxing due to a recent shoulder injury but I hope to be ready to go when next semester starts. I still continue to play b-side ice hockey on Friday mornings. It is very difficult to stay awake in classes, but I have continued to work hard in finishing my work sooner and getting to bed at a reasonable hour to be well refreshed to play hockey at 0400.

 

I plan on blogging over winter leave. Until then, I will be nose-deep in my notes and textbooks. As officers, alumni, instructors, and my parents always say: It will be worth it in the end.

 



More about Kevin.

 

Ready To Go Home

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo Today is my first day heading home in the past five months. I’m beyond excited. These past months have tested me but were definitely worth it. Last night I pulled out my R-Day backpack from storage to pack and go home, which brought back many memories. I distinctly remember packing it up and saying goodbye to my friends, heading into the unknown. Now, I have all my stuff packed and am so ready to go home. There’s a different excitement that comes after not seeing friends and family for so long. For all those applying, I also remember sending in my application around this time and the stress that came from it. You’re not alone! I was constantly nervous about the future and my chances. Relax, and enjoy your senior year! Happy Thanksgiving!

 



More about Townshend.

 

We Get To Be the Answer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Kane Photo Today I had the unique opportunity of marching with about eighty other cadets in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade. After the parade, while two other cadets and I were walking near Rockefeller Plaza, a local man stopped us and talked to us for a few minutes. He recognized our Coast Guard uniforms, and he thanked us for our service. He said that the Coast Guard was there for New York City on September 11, 2001, and that he will never forget how the Coast Guard helped to evacuate people from Manhattan after the planes hit the towers. He said that he feels safer knowing that the Coast Guard is guarding our waterways from other threats.

 

It was a huge and personal reminder that the work that Coast Guardsmen and women do MATTERS. I couldn’t be prouder to be wearing the same uniform as those who responded to the September 11th attacks, as well as countless other situations. I absolutely cannot wait to graduate in May and get out into the operational Coast Guard to be ready to join those men and women helping the people of the United States, especially during disasters like the September 11th attacks, or, more recently, Hurricane Sandy.

 

I’d also like to share with you one of my favorite quotes about the Coast Guard, which I think sums up the reason why a lot of people join:
“We do this job because every once in a while someone is out there without hope, desperately praying for their life, and we get to be the answer.” - ASM3 Vittone

 



More about Julie.

 

Winning the ECAC Championship

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Trefonides Photo For Veteran’s Day weekend I traveled to Bristol, Rhode Island for the ECAC Tournament at Roger Williams University with the soccer team. We left Saturday morning at about 1130 and arrived at 1300. Coach Parsons had planned for us to watch the first half of the first semi-final match that RWU was playing in, since we would likely see them in the finals over any other team, but they were dominating their opponent so much that we wouldn’t have gotten that much out of watching the game.

 

So instead we decided to watch a wrestling tournament at RWU that Coast Guard was in on the same day as our tournament. It ended up being great for me because I ran into a bunch of people from back home. I got to catch up with Dan Rogers, a friend from high school who wrestles at RWU, and his parents. I saw Caitlyn Murphy, another friend from high school who I was glad to hear she is loving her first year at college. I also got to talk with her father who I know from town and from all of my soccer games he has refereed over the years. He updated me about how my high school’s soccer team did this year and gave me a heads up about how Endicott College, the team we were playing that day, is as a team. I also ran into Kyle D’Urso, who is one of my best friend’s older brother and he seems to be doing well. Overall, it was great catching up with nice people I haven’t seen in a while.

 

During the game on Saturday, it was clear that Endicott was not going to beat us. It was a hard-fought match, but we won the semifinal against Endicott and had the better of them most of the game even though the 2-1 score may not reflect that very well. I was happy to see senior leader Greg Kennerley and a freshman Lukas Benedetto both score pivotal goals in the match.

 

Since my sister Stephanie was there for the first time to watch a game I went to dinner with her and my mother afterward. Ruby Tuesdays in the mall is only ok, but either way I had fun shooting the breeze with them and walking around the mall. It just makes me more excited about Thanksgiving break that is coming next Tuesday when I will get to see the rest of my family. After dinner, I went back to the hotel and fell asleep right away since the bed my hotel room was much more comfortable than my lofted furniture in Chase Hall.

 

Sunday, the day of the championship match, was a day to remember. We fought hard, and represented the success we had this season well, which was due to the resilience and strength of our team as a whole. There were individual players on RWU that had good feet, but we matched them and there was nothing they could do about our team strength and size. We were faster, stronger, determined, and wanted the title more than anything. RWU just managed to hold us off from putting the ball into the net after several close chances and near misses, and I’m sure they were relieved when the game went to penalty kicks and we did not finish the game in sudden death overtime like it appeared we would. Our goalkeeper Richie Burns made a great save to allow our last penalty kicker to finish off the match with a blast to the right corner. Our whole team stormed the field with a combination of excitement, relief, and pride. We were playing for more than ourselves, and all of us, especially the seniors and Greg Kennerley who wears the number 12 jersey to honor our hero Thomas Cameron, wanted nothing more than to end our season the way that Cameron did his senior year at CGA – as the ECAC Champion team.

 

We ended the season exceptionally with strong momentum and an experienced roster to look forward to next season, but leave with the memory that we will never forget of our captain proudly holding that number 12 jersey high in the air.

 



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Opportunities and Service

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Anderson Photo It is definitely the home stretch around here and people are bearing down for the end of the semester. The leaves have changed, and for the most part fallen (yes, with the help of a hurricane). Winter uniforms are the new thing, and first call to colors happens before the end of the work day. With many recent changes in cadet life, people are definitely ready for a break (or two).

 

As the semester comes to a close, I will not deny that I too am really ready to go home for some much needed rest and relaxation. I have qualified for Recruiting Leave and will be heading home a few days early, stopping in to talk to both high school students and Admissions Partners, and catching up with some friends from before I came to the Academy.

 

Throughout the course of the semester, I have had the opportunity to do several neat things. I attended the Women’s Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C. and got to meet several women in the fleet who have followed career paths similar to what I am looking for. I have competed in collegiate pistol matches, as well as an Excellence in Competition high power pistol match. And finally, I have challenged myself academically with courses from two majors and an elective at Connecticut College. Upon my return, I will be taking several finals, as well as practical exams for the EMT Basic qualification.

 

I have also done a ton of community service—from filling bags and visiting schools for Fire Safety Week, to evacuating residents due to a hurricane, to responding to actual emergencies, to celebrating the heritage and 175th anniversary of the fire department which I am involved in, and enjoyed every minute of it. Over the course of the semester, I have performed over 400 community service hours with the Old Mystic Fire Department, where everyone has been more than willing to help me learn and gain both knowledge and skills relevant to the fire department. I have had the opportunity to respond to several calls, and recently have had the opportunity to perform CPR twice. During Emergency Room observation time for EMT Class, I was privileged enough to be a part of the team in the ER who resuscitated a patient and restarted his heart through relentless CPR and many interventions. It was, quite possibly, the most amazing thing I have seen in my time at the Academy.

 



More about Meredith.