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cadet blogs

Bright New Things

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Lorence Photo The beginning of the new year brought a lot of bright new things for me. New classes, teachers, and I am settling into the swing of things at the Academy. I have had to make a few tough decisions these past few weeks, which led to this blog being neglected. I am deciding on if I want to change my major, and if so, to what? If you have read my previous entries you will know I am currently a Naval Architecture and Marine Science, but with my last semester being as bumpy as it was dealing with calculus and physics, I decided it would beneficial to change to a major with less of a focus on math. The name of the game for me is graduating and getting my commission.

 

The 4/c lately have been stuck in what is known as the “Dark Ages,” which is based more on the weather than anything, and if you’re from the north you know what I mean. After the winter holidays the cold starts to get to people and honestly it is not a super fun time to deal with alone. This leads me to reason #12,432 for why the Academy is great. You have a huge support network, and if you need to talk to anyone they will be willing to help. I feel that this is the reason people are willing to go to the Academy for four years. It is not an easy journey, but you make friends that will last your entire life, and you will grow closer to them than you did with any previous friends.

 

On a lighter note, the rifle team has been doing extremely well, and I am proud to say I am part of the team. (I am currently writing this section while riding back from a match against MIT.) We defeated MIT and took the Beanpot Trophy which was a great time! I placed first for small bore rifle the second day and did well overall. I have had to miss a few matches lately because of medical reasons, such as the match at TCU, which would have been an amazing experience but there are so many more opportunities to do great things in the future!

 

If you have any questions for me about Academy life, or really anything my email is Dylan.M.Lorence@uscga.edu.

Go Books, Go Rifles, and always, Go Bears.

 

More about Dylan.

 

Flight 101

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo One month until Billet Night! I am so excited to find out where I’ll be for my next two years serving the Coast Guard as an ensign. I put in for flight training as my first choice, so I am finishing up the tail end of a long application process. I’ve been very fortunate to learn a lot about Coast Guard aviation throughout the experience, so even if I don’t get it straight out of the Academy, I’m looking forward to taking another shot at it later down the road!

 

The flight school billets are highly selective. The congressionally permitted maximum number of cadets the flight training program can accept is 10% of the total class membership; the actual percentage is lower than that, and will change from year to year based on the Coast Guard’s needs for afloat and sector ensigns. The process for applying to flight school has morphed a few times since I’ve been a cadet, but for my class (and likely for the next few classes after us), it started in earnest at the beginning of first class year. Basically, there are four steps to getting to flight school as an Academy graduate:

 

  1. Pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB). The ASTB is a pilot aptitude test that evaluates your basic physics, mathematics, mechanical, reading comprehension, hand-eye coordination, task management, and spatial skills. You are allowed to take the exam up to three times in your lifetime. It takes kind of a long time to describe in a blog… I would suggest researching this exam online a bit and getting some study materials to help you prepare. Look for “Military Flight Aptitude Tests” and “ASTB-E” on Google and Amazon!
  2. Write a memo, which is similar to a short essay, about why you want to attend flight school and how you have prepared yourself to do so. This is where you’ll get the chance to talk about any special skills or qualifications you have, like a private pilot’s license, and any unique experiences and activities that have helped you determine that aviation is what you want to do (summer assignments at CATP and air stations, flight team competitions, career aspirations, etc.) Get lots of feedback from aviator officers on your memo; the editing I received from pilots helped me improve my memo so much from my original draft to my final one!
  3. Prepare for your flight board. You’ll sit in an interview with a few active duty aviators from the local area, and they’ll ask you for some more details regarding your memo. It’s good to have a few stories to explain how you got interested in aviation, people who inspired you, and to have an idea of your personal strengths and weaknesses. And ultimately, they are just looking to see if you have a pleasant personality. Be polite, be positive, and be yourself!
  4. Finally, if you are selected to the final pool of candidates, pass your flight physical. A lot goes into this with eye exams, anthropometrics, EKGs, fasting labs, etc., so get it done as quickly as possible!

If you are interested in flight, start learning about it now! Take civilian flight lessons, talk to aviators, read books and study for your ASTB and, most of all, just get excited for a cool career path!

 

More about Abby.