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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

It's About Time!

(Overcoming Challenges, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Cannon Photo Well, the clock is ticking, there are only four and a half weeks left in fourth class year. Many things have occurred this past year, and I definitely feel like I have grown as a person. I have been pushed mentally, emotionally, and physically during this year, so it is safe to say that I am ready to move on toward becoming a third class next year.

 

Recently, we received our assignments for the summer, so this has been what I have been leaning on this semester when life seems to get tough. During the first five weeks of my summer, I actually have the opportunity to sail around the Caribbean, taking port calls in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Miami! Since I have lived in the South my entire life before coming to the Academy, I have never been a fan of cold weather so this year has been a huge adjustment. But thankfully, I don't travel north of my home state of Georgia for the whole summer! This means two things: warm weather as well as being close to my friends and family back down South. As if my summer could not get any more exciting, I also get the privilege to work at a Coast Guard unit in Alabama for six weeks. During my time there, I will be working in the operational Coast Guard. I will be traveling there with one of my classmates who I just recently met, so it should be an adventure to say the least. Word on the street is that this particular unit is very busy the majority of the time, so it really gets my blood pumping just thinking about it.

 

At the end of the day, I could not honestly say what is more exciting: earning the privilege of becoming a third class or getting immersed into the Coast Guard fleet for a large chunk of this upcoming summer. I am looking forward to being able to not have to brace up in the hallways (I'll be able to relax while walking through the hallways) in addition to having my own fourth class next year. Since I will have been in their shoes so recently, I want to be the person who is able to make their day that much better, helping them through this crazy life of being a Coast Guard cadet. The only thing I will never get used to is coming back from summer vacation and being addressed as "sir" by kids virtually the same age as me. Nevertheless, my heart pounds in my chest just thinking about it all, slowly becoming one step closer to graduating as a Coast Guard officer in a mere three years. Bring it on!

 

 


More about Colton.

 

Swimming at the Academy

(Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo Sports are a great way to have fun and become involved at the Academy. We have sports period from 4 to 6 p.m. during the week and it is a great time to relax and forget about academics. I swim here at the Academy and we just finished our season this past weekend at NEWMACs. The season was awesome and I really enjoyed swimming for our team. The team and coaches are amazing so we always have a fun time doing team events. After a few Saturday practices, we went out to breakfast as a team and we just recently volunteered as a team in a nearby elementary school’s basket raffle. Along with the incredible experiences and camaraderie, my times improved significantly this season. The coaches make great practices and are very helpful when it comes to giving advice to fix your stroke. I would highly recommend swimming for the Academy if you have a background in the sport. Dropping time, cheering everyone on and spending the day together at NEWMACs was a great way to end my first season at the Academy. I am excited for next season and the new opportunity it will bring to improve my swimming.

 

If you have any questions about swimming here or anything else, you’re more than welcome to send me an email!

 

 


More about Rachel.

 

My Tour on Bertholf

(Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Shih Photo It’s been about a year since I last wrote, but after someone on my ship discovered my blogs and kindly posted them all throughout the cutter, it reminded me that I should give an update on how my first tour is going. Suppo, I hope you’re reading this and playing the Rocky theme song while you do.

 

I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I graduated and my swabs are about to become ensigns. I hope they have a great rest of their senior year…but the ones coming to the ship should probably get here as soon as possible.

 

Anyway, last patrol was pretty long, five months, but we did great as a ship and busted a bunch drugs. We had a quick in-port period and then we went up to Portland, Oregon for a dry dock. The ship was taken out of the water and put up on blocks, which was pretty cool to see. Oregon has great food, beer, and friendly people…not a bad place to be. I also was finally able to take a little bit of leave and visit the East Coast and see friends I hadn’t see for almost a year and a half. Jacksonville, Pensacola, Charleston, Boston, and New York – it was pretty sweet. After that it was all about preparing for Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART), which I won’t really go into but it’s not very fun and involves a lot of paperwork, inventory, and procurement requests. I’m glad that’s done. Luckily right after that, our ship got to go underway and conduct HELOSTAN (which is essentially ensuring we are ready to take on helicopters onboard our ship). HELOSTAN wasn’t as bad as CART…but now we have Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA), which is run by the same guys who did CART. TSTA is comprised of drills, drills, drills…shouldn’t be too bad…hopefully. From there it will be another patrol. However, there will be lots of San Diego time, which is always a good thing.

 

As my tour on Bertholf comes to a close I have a lot of mixed feelings. It definitely was rough at times as there is a lot of work and a lot to learn, but I did experience a great deal and met a lot of awesome people. The people were definitely my favorite part of the job. For those who decide to put in for a WMSL (Legend-class maritime security cutter), just know it’s a lot of days away from home port. Between patrols, school, and dry dock I would say I was only actually in Alameda seven months out of the 24. Lots of experience…not so much time in my own bed. But, if you want the most exposure possible to Coast Guard missions, put in for the Island.

 

If I am being honest, I don’t think I’ve had a more difficult period of time in my life than sailing on Bertholf (it could totally be a 1st tour thing I guess…but being a 4/c was much easier ). It’s been a roller coaster ride with a lot of different things, but when I step back I can see if this was the hardest I’ve had it, then I have it pretty good. I will say the Coast Guard has given me a lot, and I am grateful for it. This gig is a pretty good deal.

 

So my next job is on the Island by the way, three years working in Alameda, and living in the city. I’m pretty excited, working in the Command Center as a Law Enforcement Duty Officer (LEDO). It was #5 on my list this time I think, which is a big step up from #38 (or whatever it was last time). As always, let me know if you have any questions. Christen.C.Shih@uscg.mil. Take care!

 

 


More about Chris.

 

Serving Our Country

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo Liberty! Liberty! Liberty! The call you will hear on Eagle when liberty is being granted. Liberty is one of the coolest things because it means you are about to step foot into a city you never have before, and the first step you take off of the Eagle is the one that redefines you. As such, I am no longer going out as Keemiya Pourmonir. I am going out as a member of the United States Coast Guard. The weirdest experience is when someone calls me ma’am or thanks me for my service to our country.

 

My reaction? “What service? I have’t done anything yet?” But quickly I realized that choosing to serve is a service in itself. I still feel humbled at the mention of thanks and gratitude but I began to accept the idea that I have the opportunity to serve our country, that many don’t have the courage to accept. Liberty is going to restaurants, movies, and other community gatherings, but it is also giving the community a chance to get to know who we are and what we do as representatives of such a great service as the United States Coast Guard.

 

 


More about Keemiya.

 

On the Road

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo I have mentioned in previous blogs posts that I had the misfortune of dealing with an injury that forced me to quit rowing. As a result, I started shooting rifle – a much less impactful, easy on the body sport. In fact, it happens to be too easy and is not the kind of energy release I need. Rifle is beneficial in a good many ways, but it lacks the adrenaline pinching, muscle melting action that I was once a part of. Running, no matter how hard I try, has never been my thing (nor is it good for the injury I received). To this day, I have to watch what I do and be mindful of my body’s limits. This, as you can imagine, has been quite the nuisance. For a long time, I wasn’t getting the exercise that I needed and wanted. My typical afternoon workouts never ended with that endorphin “I think I am dead” sensation that I was so used to. This irked me, so I finally did something about it. I spoke with some folks on the triathlon team and soon found myself at the bike store picking out a sweet set of wheels. That day changed everything. I walked away with a hole in my wallet and my new best friend, a Trek Lexa SL road bike.

 

My experience with this bike is hard to compare. I have finally found the fix I need when it comes to exercise. Of course, I continue to do my morning swims and afternoon body weight workouts, but biking brings it all together. There is nothing like flying 20 mph down a flat stretch of road, leaning on the aero bars, feeling that burn in my legs. Hills are even better; the only pitfall is ignorant motorists. All in all, I couldn’t be more thankful for having found an exercise niche that suits my needs.

 

 


More about Alexis.