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cadet blogs

Yes, Rifle is a Sport

(Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Roddy Photo First off, sorry for the huge span of time with no updates, but as fall semester deepened I found myself up to my neck in schoolwork and mandatory assignments, and when it came time to prioritize; my extracurricular activities fell by the wayside.


On a more positive note, I have received more emails than I ever imagined I would from interested applicants and future cadets! I’ve been doing a pretty good job of responding to all the ones I receive, but if a week goes by and you don’t get a response from me, just resend a message and I’ll get back within another. Email is the primary form of communication here so without reminders things can get buried pretty quickly. On the topic though, I’ve got a lot of questions about rifle team, so I’ll take a minute and discuss what the team has meant to me and my experience as a varsity marksman.


I shot rifle in high school, but it was a very different style than the form of competition the Academy participates in, so I was practically a walk-on. The team was supportive and great instructors and I found myself learning at a sprint rather than a crawl. Every time I shot, I saw marked improvement. The people on the team were all great and it became an amazing way to relax and unwind from Chase Hall and academic life. I became great friends with everyone and got to travel to Boston and West Point for competitions. I saw many different teams, but it looked like of all the ones we shot against, Coast Guard had the most fun and the best dynamic. What I can say about rifle, is if you decide to join, or even just to try it out, you will not be disappointed with the character of the team, the environment you shoot in, and the atmosphere created by your fellow shooters.


Academics are hard at the Academy though, harder than any high school and even most prep schools, so be prepared going in that if you chose to do rifle, or any varsity sport, you will be required to make sacrifices in time and energy to be a part of that team. For rifle it meant staying at the Academy every long weekend second semester due to competitions. For baseball it’s travelling with the team to Florida instead of spring break. Every sport demands trade-offs, and that’s something very important to keep in mind joining a sports team.



More about John.


Gearing Up for the Summer

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Happy spring everyone! … Maybe I’ve spoken too soon. Despite the freezing temperatures and bad weather over the past few weeks, I can feel spring coming, and that means summer will be upon us soon enough! There are three reasons for my “seasonal optimism” I’ll call it. First, we just had spring break, so I’m rejuvenated from a nice week of fun and relaxation. I went home, but many other cadets traveled all over the country for sports, rest, relaxation, and fun. Being back from spring break, I’m ready to finish up this semester and get to the summer.


The second reason I’m excited to be back is rugby, which is pretty much my favorite thing to do ever. The rugby team is coming off of our best season in recent memory, finishing 5th in the nation for Division II, winning our conference for the second year in a row, and playing good quality rugby the entire time. So, I am excited to get back out onto the pitch with my best friends to hit, get hit, and hopefully win some exciting rugby matches. We have several matches and tournaments this spring, so I’ll be very busy with that, but it’s something to look forward to everyday.


The third and most significant reason I’m excited being back (and the reason I’m writing this blog) is that I’m pumped up for the summer training. On the Friday before spring break, the 3rd class (sophomores) found out their cadre sections for the summer. I will be in cadre 1a, which means that I will be in the first group of cadre. I will receive the incoming freshmen (swabs) on R-Day, and I will be responsible for breaking down their previous identities and beginning to instill in them the Coast Guard values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. I will have tons of other responsibilities with the swabs this summer, and to be honest, it seems a bit overwhelming right now. I don’t know fully what to expect, but I’m preparing by reading books and watching videos for tips on being a cadre. Also, there will be plenty of time and training for me to figure everything out, so I’m very optimistic about having a cadre experience.


Now let me talk about the cadre experience for those of you that aren’t very familiar with it. There are seven cadre groups: Swab Summer 1, Swab Summer 2, Academy Introduction Mission (AIM), Coast Guard Academy Scholars (CGAS), Eagle, ocean racing, and waterfront. The Swab Summer cadre groups are broken down into two sections each (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b), but I will discuss what that means later. The Swab Summer cadre will have the most exposure with the swabs. They will basically run the swabs lives for the three weeks that they are cadre. Cadre 1 breaks the swabs down and instills values. Cadre 2 begins the team building and rebuilding stages for the swabs, and puts them through sea trials (a culminating team event where the swabs put everything they’ve learned to work). Eagle cadre sail with the swabs and teach them the basics of seamanship when they report to Eagle for a week during the summer. Waterfront cadre teach the swabs the basics of sailing on campus at our waterfront sailing facility. AIM cadre perform the duties of a Swab Summer cadre in one week with juniors in high school that have been accepted into AIM. CGAS cadre are responsible for applicants that have been accepted to our prep school program. CGAS goes through a modified Swab Summer experience, and they typically have a more physically demanding experience. Ocean racing cadre are a separate entity. They sail with rising sophomores in a nationwide competition.


Gearing Up for the Summer (Continued) PDF 


More about Hunter.