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Bring On the Swabs

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo The year is finally coming to a close. I’m in the last home stretch, and the ending is in sight. I’m excited. It’s hard to believe I’m about to be a junior. It feels like yesterday was my R-Day and now it’s about to be 2018’s R-Day. As far as school goes, my grades are the best they’ve ever been. I’m finally doing that thing students call “studying.” It’s basically legal torture.

 

My division work is almost non-existent. Now that everyone is finally passing the PFE, it means we don’t have any work to do. I don’t mind. It’s a win/win; they don’t have to work out and get all sweaty during lunch and I don’t have to eat those box lunches.

 

I’m making plans for my summer leave. I’m going home with my best friend Sam for a week and going home to Miami for the other two. I can’t wait. Not only will it be warm, I’ll get a nice break from this place. As for now I’m just powering through these next couple of weeks. I’m too close to the end to slack off now. I hope the swabs are ready for the Class of 2016. It’s going to be a fun summer.

 

 


More about Rheanastasia.

 

Women's Lacrosse: Beating West Point

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Go Bears! We were screaming on the side line. And the score was 11 to 8. Up by four. Us.

 

With two minutes left, we were getting pretty excited. And then Kim got a yellow card. We were playing down. But hey, up by…three…two…one.

 

They tied us. 11-11.

 

Here we go. Overtime. Two three minute halves. Let’s go Bears!

 

We scored. We scored again. They scored. They shot. Hannah blocks the shot, it’s right back in her throat. They scored. Tied again. 13-13.

 

Sudden death. The first to score will win.

 

Fast break. 14-13, and we were SCREAMING. I tackled the goalie.

 

This was such a big deal because West Point is going D-I next year. Our last chance to beat them and to set things right. And we did :).

 

Playoffs here we come.

 

 


More about Lucy.

 

Learning Leadership at the Academy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Happy May! Another written blog (lately I’ve been so busy running around that I haven’t had time to make a video blog…though several are in the making) before I head out for the summer—I promise to put up some exciting stuff from my travels in the Pacific. I’ll try to check in this summer, too.

 

The reason for this post, however, aside from wanting to post something, is that I have come to understand what the Academy means to me and want to share that here. Having completed three years of the Academy, I have struggled this past semester to stay focused on the task at hand. I am ready to head out into the fleet—I so desperately want to be part of this great organization that I have joined. There were several times this semester, when classes and things in Chase Hall (our barracks) were frustrating me, that I was concerned about how I would make it through yet another year. (The funny thing is that the same thing happened to me at the end of my junior year in high school).

 

This past semester I applied and interviewed for the position of regimental commander (RC), the leading cadet in the Corps of Cadets. (Spoiler: I did not get the position for the fall, but the lessons I learned from the application process were invaluable). This process lasted practically all semester; through the entire time, I was developing my leadership philosophy and command strategy. Additionally, I was studying the command philosophies of the Academy’s senior leadership so as to align my leadership plans as RC with theirs—what were the common goals that we could work together to accomplish—I was learning how to actually incorporate the leadership models we’d discussed in our organizational leadership class, and I was working with mentors to build and improve my ideas. Looking back, I realize that as a developing leader—because that is what we are here at the Academy—this past semester has taught me so much about myself, both personally and professionally, and about being a leader within an organization. Most importantly, I realized why I should look forward to my final two semesters here: I will have another year to practice and improve my leadership skills by implementing new leadership theories and practices into my everyday interactions with those around me. Of course this will still continue once I get to the fleet, but, at least for the first few years, a great deal of my energy will be focused on learning all the technical skills and becoming proficient in Coast Guard personnel and asset management. My leadership skills should have a strong foundational base upon which I can draw instead of having to learn this once I reach the fleet. By now I am comfortable in the strenuous academic environment of the Academy so I can spend this next year focusing on leadership.

 

When I think about why I wanted to come to the Academy, I told people one reason was that I wished to have a unique undergraduate experience and the “Academy” came first, then “Coast Guard” (since there were so many other ways to join the Coast Guard and become an officer). The funny thing is that I didn’t know what that “unique undergraduate experience” was, what it would look like. I realized lately that the additional element of learning leadership is what makes this place so special to me. I could have attended another university and been equally as satisfied with the academics and extracurricular opportunities. I don’t think other colleges could have provided a leadership development crucible as valuable as the one presented to us here.

 

Learning Leadership at the Academy (Continued) PDF 

 

 


More about Justin.

 

Pilot Shadow Program

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo One of the best parts of the Academy is all of the new doors it opens for you. After being here for only a year, I have already gotten the chance to participate in some incredible opportunities. This weekend I went to Cape Cod Air Station for their Pilot Shadow Program. In this program, cadets get to follow along on flights happening that weekend at the air station. I got to fly on both Saturday and Sunday and was able to observe actual Coast Guard operations. It was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had being able to actually fly the Casa for a few minutes. Additionally, learning about how the fleet operates and being involved in it creates meaning for the work I have done this year. This weekend magnified my previous goal to pursue aviation and flight school upon graduation along with giving me a new perspective and appreciation of the service I am a part of.

 

 


More about Rachel.

 

No Longer a 4/c

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo Under a month to go until summer assignments! There is one last round of exams, a few more track meets, and projects that have to be done. It seems as if summer is within my grasp and yet there is so much to do until I can leave. After what seemed like an eternity, boards came and went, everyone passed, and we have wardroom carry-on. It’s weird that we have been braced up in the wardroom for nine months but after three weeks of wardroom carry-on I can’t imagine ever going back. The privilege of being a normal human being is slowly returning.

 

On the subject of humanity, winter seems to have abated at last. For the first time in months I can feel the sun again and we can (occasionally) wear uniforms without windbreakers or parkas. The weather is even nice enough to sit out on the infield during track meets. As of now the countdown is in full swing, closer to Eagle, and closer to no longer being a 4/c!

 

 


More about Patrick.

 

For Sail

(Athletics, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Capuzzi Photo Life here at the Coast Guard Academy is stressful, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s kind of like a tug-of-war, only instead of just two sides, there are like twenty, all pulling on you and competing for your most precious commodity: your time. One of the best escapes we have from the everyday grind is our sports program. In my case, that would be the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team.

 

Before I came to the Academy, I had never sailed a day in my life. When I saw the fantastic facilities and equipment the sailing programs had, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. Fortunately, during Swab Summer, everyone learns some sailing basics. It can be kind of nerve-racking, since they give you some basics and then put you in a boat and say, “go!” I wasn’t particularly good at it (lots of capsizing), but I enjoyed being on the water.

 

Toward the end of Swab Summer, you’re afforded the opportunity to go to what is called coach’s time. It’s kind of like a sample of each sport. I decided to go to the Offshore Sailing Team coach’s time. My rationale was that they sailed bigger boats than the Intercollegiate Dinghy Team, so I could sail with a lot of upperclassmen and learn from them.

 

Nearly four years later, I look back on this as one of the best decisions I made at the Academy and in life in general. I’ve raced in Annapolis. I’ve raced in Los Angeles. I’ve raced all the way from Newport to Bermuda. I’ve been to some of the nicest yacht clubs in the world. I’ve met some of the best sailors in the world, including Olympians and America’s Cup winners. My membership on the team has allowed me to do so many things that I otherwise would not have gotten the opportunity to do.

 

As you can probably imagine, sailing can be cost-prohibitive. Boats are expensive. The Coast Guard Academy has a large fleet that you get to use for free! J/70s. Colgate 26s. Leadership 44s. A J/44. And soon a Melges 32. I can’t imagine ever having more access to sailboats than I have right now.

 

Don’t think the Offshore Sailing Team is a place to take a boat out for a pleasure cruise, however. Four days a week, we’re practicing hard on the Thames River, refining our skills and developing new ones. There’s a new regatta almost every weekend, so we always have to be training. The commitment is big, but the reward is much bigger.

 

One of my favorite things about the sailing team is how it makes me forget about Academy life. For two hours a day, I’m not a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, but simply a sailor on the Thames River. And that is how I keep my sanity.

 

To wrap this up, if you should find yourself coming to the Academy, I would highly encourage you to give Offshore Sailing a try. In every sense of the word, it can take you places.

 

 


More about Nick.

 

Assassin Game

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo This week, Hotel Company is participating in Assassin, which is a popular game played on college campuses throughout the United States. This game has been played in Chase Hall before and was a successful morale event. The goal of the game is for cadets to track down and eliminate their targets until only one player remains. I sat with Foxtrot Company during lunch a few weeks ago while they were playing. It was hilarious; everyone was extremely on edge and suspicious. You couldn’t get within a foot of a person without them flipping out about getting eliminated. The game moderator, who keeps track of the "kills", assigns each person a target. In order to assassinate your target, you must clip a clothespin to them without their knowledge. If you are caught, the attempted kill is void and you have to try again another time. Of course, there are a few more rules, but the gist of the game is to kill or be killed. We start at 0800 on Monday morning. Game on.

 

 


More about Alexis.

 

Best Night of My Life

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo March. What a month! It started out with billet night, which I can safely say was, by far, the BEST NIGHT OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. I am going to Sunny San Diego, California with my boyfriend! We got co-located, which was our main priority, and I get to go back to my home state. I would have been happy with absolutely anywhere Nicko and I were placed together, but I am extra happy that I get to be near my family again in California. We only put two locations on the West Coast (Oregon and San Diego) and San Diego was last on our list of 42 places. Everything else was on the East Coast to stay closer to Nicko’s family, and because there were better options for co-location. I have been away for five years, and I’m ready to be close to home again for a couple years. My little sister lives six hours away in Arizona, and my parents are a 1.5 hour flight plus 3 hour drive away! I am sad that Nicko has to move so far away from his family, though. I know they are going to miss each other so much. They’ve lived 10 minutes down the road for the past three years, so they’ve definitely gotten used to having the whole family around. Especially since his brother also goes to school here with us. It’s definitely a bittersweet situation. However, I’m glad Nicko is going to get to spend more time with my family. I have gotten to know his family very well over the past couple years, and I would love for him to be able to do the same.

 

Ok, enough about that. Let’s talk Haiti! This trip was so much different than my trip last year. Last time there were mostly girls, and this trip had a pretty even mix of guys and girls. And the age range was more spread out, whereas last year most of us were in our 20s. I got to be with Haitian children that I had grown close to last year, and it was so heartwarming to see that they were doing well. I missed them so much! We camped out on top of a remote mountain and helped start the foundation of a new church. We also held clinics and gave out medication to those who needed it. It was so rewarding. I definitely got my share of sun while I shoveled concrete into buckets in the 100-degree weather in no shade! The way they do things over there is so different, and much more physically taxing, but I loved it. We were carrying rocks up from the bottom of the hill, carrying buckets of water from the creek, and mixing dirt in with the water and cement right on the ground. Then we made a daisy chain of people passing rocks and bucket of concrete to fill in the trench where the walls would be placed. It was awesome. We also held Bible studies in the evening with their future pastors and church leaders that were from the ages of 18 to 24. The pastor there said we revolutionized the way their pastors would be teaching for years to come. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than that!

 

I also had my surgery this month. It went well, but I can definitely say it is a challenge to get around the Academy with crutches and one working leg. There are no elevators in my wing of the barracks, so I’ve had to master getting up and down the stairs. Definitely a great workout… The medication they put me on for pain was making me throw up and itch all over, so they gave me meds to combat that. I’ve reached the point where it isn’t working well enough to make it worth it, so I’m just going to grin and bear it and have stopped taking the meds. Plus, it made it very hard to focus in class!

 

Only a couple more months and I’ll have my degree! Let’s just hope that comes with a commission! I guess I’ll know soon enough.

 

 


More about Ally.

 

So Wait, What Happens After Graduation????

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2012) Permanent link
White Photo Hello again! So, it has been a while…I am sorry for that. What can I say? After graduating from the Academy, there is little a junior officer writes that is not in standard, memorandum format. So, bear with me as I get back into this whole “free-form” blog writing thing.

 

Over the two years since graduation for the great (est?) Class of 2012, I have completed a lot of fulfilling and wild adventures. I am sure that many of my classmates have humbled me in that regard; but they can write their own blogs bragging of their grandiose exploits. As some of you know, I got an assignment onboard CGC Cypress, a 225-foot buoy tender home-ported in Pensacola, Florida. When I first crossed the brow as a “butter bar,” I was greeted with a CG-standard scratchy blanket, a stateroom slightly larger than my body, and a “hey” from 50 perfect strangers. Now, as I prepare to depart with an additional gold bar, I will leave with the same scratchy CG-standard blanket, a slightly larger stateroom, and 50 of the best friends and people I could have hoped to have sailed with. Along the way, I got to do some cool stuff…

 

……So Wait, What Happens After Graduation???? (Continued) PDF 

 

 


More about Nathan.

 

Class is my Extracurricular Activity

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Beck Photo Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had quite a few opportunities to participate in different activities offered by clubs and sports. Between Sustainability Club, the Spectrum Council, and crew, every week has something (or somethings) to keep me excited.

 

Most recently, representatives from the food co-operative in town, Fiddleheads, came to speak with the Sustainability Club and brought snacks! We were all fascinated by the co-operative business model and the entrepreneurial spirit of those who started Fiddleheads. Without this small grocer, it could be difficult to find unquestionably healthy foods in the area. Fiddleheads also strives to keep local items on the shelves, a much easier task in the summer but still attainable year-round. I’ve volunteered there in the past and really like the connection to the community I gain by interacting with the store’s patrons.

 

Also recently, the Spectrum Council hosted a panel of gay and transgender service members, active and retired, enlisted and officers. It is so exciting to be a member of the military during this time of transition following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and being able to openly attend such a panel and see how many proud supporters exist is truly inspiring. A common theme brought up was how the panel felt they were being treated by their peers and subordinates and how they deal with insensitive but culturally popular remarks. The best response came from a Navy lieutenant who gave examples of how humor could be used to keep interactions from getting awkward. I mostly feel pride in the professionalism of my peers that I experience in support of different lifestyles all around us, from sexual preference all the way to religious tolerance.

 

Finally, there’s crew. This season has had its share of windy days that keep us on land, but we make the most of it and work hard to improve fitness and strength. This week we ramp up to championships and I’m really excited to see how we fare. I’ve never rowed before but the intense teamwork and focus are a great change of pace after each academic day.

 

Summer is coming! I’ll be heading to the Fast Response Cutter William Flores in Miami, Florida then switching over to Eagle for the last six weeks of my summer. I’m so excited to be underway and under the sunshine! These last three weeks can’t go by fast enough.

 

 


More about Laura.

 

From Boring to Books

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo As spring slowly creeps into Connecticut, I find it hard to focus on schoolwork with the warm breezes flowing through the now-open windows in our classrooms. Half of my mind is already at my summer assignment, the Sequoia, a 225’ buoy tender from…Guam! Spring semester the third time around has been, in some ways, boring (for lack of a better term). Perhaps routine is a better word: life just seems so rote. Wake up, get breakfast, go to class, eat lunch, class, run, dinner, homework, bed, repeat. It’s that time of year where the first class cadets get senioritis and the rest of us get “summer-itis” (again, for lack of a better word). Not that life hasn’t been busy and that there aren’t things to be focusing on! I’m still working on a video blog from FEBRUARY! Hopefully I can get it out before the end of the semester in just three short weeks!

 

Anyway, I am happy to say that I have found a wonderful way to combat the boredom (severe cabin fever?). Books! I think perhaps part of my boredom is that I actually do have more free time now that I am an upper-class, so instead of frantically running from place to place doing this and that, I actually have time to just sit and read. It’s been fantastic. There are some nights when I just put the homework aside (it’s usually not due until the day following the next given our alternating days class schedule) and lie in bed with a fiction novel. Other nights, my roommate and I both read in bed before falling asleep. It’s hard to explain, but it’s wonderful. The sense of adventure is great as is the emotional excitement, charge, and catharsis one gets from a particularly gripping novel. I carry my book with me everywhere so that, if I get a have free second here or there, I can read it.

 

I didn’t do much “fun reading” in my first two years here, so now I have to make up for it! I discovered that our library even has a fiction section—and here I thought it was just a research library. I’ve found many great books to read, and I’m happy to say that my reading list is, for the time being, at least, getting shorter…slowly but surely. I’ve heard many people say that great leaders read a lot. I hope that’s true, and I hope that as I continue here at the Academy and eventually out in the fleet that I continue to read all types of books—fiction and non-fiction alike. The summers have always been great times to catch up on reading and I’m looking forward to this one for sure! My cutter will be making the journey from Hawaii to Guam, so when I’m not learning how to navigate and steer the cutter or what the signs of a failing engine are, when I’m not staring across the endless Pacific, I’ll be reading…probably inside to save my skin from the harsh tropical sun (along with my many books, I’ll be bringing many bottles of sunscreen). And when we’re in port, I’ll bring a book to the beach and attempt to get some semblance of a tan.

 

Needless to say, reading is great—I’ve always loved it, and I’m glad to be getting back into it and finding a great cure to an otherwise relatively mundane semester.

 

Happy spring! Go Bears and go books!

 

 


More about Justin.

 

End of 4/c Year Update

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo As the number of days to go until graduation reaches the 40’s and the temperature outside finally rises above 40, things start to get crazy at the Academy. There are more military trainings to prepare each class for the summer, providing us with both information for our work in the fleet and warnings to be careful during our time on leave. This summer, I’ll be spending five weeks on Eagle, sailing to the Caribbean, and six weeks at a small boat station in Florida. Every year, the upcoming 3/c spend part of their summer training on Eagle and part of the summer at an assignment in the fleet or in summer school. These experiences offer us the opportunity to employ what we learned in our 4/c Navigation class throughout the year as well as provide us the opportunity to learn and grow more as future officers. The weeks are winding down quickly, and I’m really looking forward to it.

 

At the end of the school year, I remember teachers in high school would always try to cram in all the rest of the material they were supposed to cover in a course; it made the last few weeks really stressful. Here, other than finals week, 4/c cadets usually have at most two exams per week. There are exam periods on Tuesday and Thursday where the officers and professors who teach 4/c courses schedule exams so they don’t overlap, and no one gets stuck taking two exams in one day. The only place where this doesn’t apply is in Navigation Lab where it is possible to have a Nav Lab exam after another exam in the morning. The system really helps me to stay focused and study more efficiently for one subject at a time.

 

My class finished passing our boards soon after spring break, but we still haven’t been granted carry-on. Almost all of the upper-class say we deserve it and we’ve earned it, so the decision is just waiting on command. There are rumors that we will be granted carry-on for finals week, which gives us something to look forward to for now. The weather has been the main thing keeping my morale up. The much-needed sunshine and warmth have really helped me to renew a positive outlook, and it feels so nice to finally be in short sleeves again. I’m hoping for smooth sailing through the rest of the semester.

 

 


More about Sarah.

 

A Wild Ride

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo One of the coolest things I did this month was going on my Capstone trip to San Juan. It was so much fun! We had a meeting with the engineering officers on base, and the rest of our time was spent soaking in the sun and dancing. Our trip also took place over Super Bowl Sunday, so we got to enjoy that as well. I really missed the island, but every time I go back I find new things that I love about it. It would definitely be a challenge to live there, since the lifestyle is SO different from “the mainland” but I love the food, the beach, the sun, and the colors! The culture always amazes me. I’m pretty sure every woman in Puerto Rico could be a professional dancer. The way they move is mesmerizing.

 

For some bittersweet news, I’ve found out that I have to have surgery on my ankle from when I tore my ATFL last semester. However, I’m financially tied into going to Haiti again for a mission trip over spring break, so I have to wait until the middle of March. This wouldn’t be a problem for any other year, but my commissioning date is hanging in the balance! Basically if I am not healed enough to go onboard a ship and work by graduation (May 21st) I have to stay here at the Academy until I am, which means I can’t take my 30 days of leave until I am ready to commission, and that could potentially affect my billet. But I’m going to stay positive and hope for the best. Everything happens for a reason right? So if I do have to stay here for a while after, I’ll just have to make the best of it.

 

This next month will be the most exciting until graduation. Billets! And Haiti! And Surgery! It’s going to be a wild ride.

 

 


More about Ally.

 

The Long Blue Line

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Keith Photo Classes finished? Check.

 

Capstone presentation? Check.

 

PCS paperwork? Check.

 

As the days wind down to graduation, it’s so strange to think that I only have 19 more days in Chase Hall. In some ways, it’s bittersweet because I will be leaving all of the amazing friends and mentors that I have met along the way of this journey, but I know that we will again cross paths at some point.

 

I am incredibly excited (and almost in disbelief) that I will be graduating in a few short weeks and commissioning as an ensign in the Coast Guard! Especially with an electrical engineering degree. You see, I originally came in as a government major but decided to take on the challenges of engineering. Even though I’ve always enjoyed writing, I thought I would be better off if I stretched myself intellectually and learned more about math, science, and the technological world in which we live. It’s been the hardest thing that I have done to this point, and there have certainly been times where I thought I would fail out, but I’m confident that all of the things that I’ve learned will be useful as a junior officer – and it’s not even all technical. The ability to work together as a team to solve a problem, to think of an idea and actually create it in the real world, to keep pushing even though the end doesn’t seem in sight…those are the things that I will be taking out of the gates of this Academy, all thanks to studying engineering.

 

The section chief of my major, a Commander (O-5) just had his retirement ceremony in the lobby of Mac Hall and it dawned to me how unique this Academy and organization, as well as the continuity of the Long Blue Line, is. Days after he leaves the organization, my classmates and I will official enter it and begin our service as officers. While it’s sad that the Great Class of 2014 will be scattered throughout the country, and will never again be together as a whole, I know that we will get to see and experience amazing things while carrying out the missions our country has tasked us with. Several of my mentors from the classes of 2011 and 2012 have already left their ships and are well onto their second tours. My friends from 2013 are a year in and will be showing us the ropes while assigned to our ships. And those from 2015, 2016, and 2017 will be here, working through this 200 week program that is the USCGA. For those fortunate enough to be coming in as the Class of 2018, get excited. You’re in for one life-changing journey, one that I would do all over again.

 

 


More about Jordan.

 

A Reflection on the Past as I Look to the Future

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo It’s already April. Soon I will be headed off to a summer internship and a Coast Guard cutter to get some real Coast Guard exposure and experience before entering into my final year at the Academy. I can’t believe it. Honestly, the entire time I have been at the Academy, it has felt as if the cycle of classes, crew practice, and homework will never end, and that I will be here forever (thank goodness that’s not the case!). As a matter of fact, just earlier today I was reminiscing with a classmate about the many trials and tribulations, summer experiences, and exciting and trying times that we have been through together, and I cannot believe that I have already been here for three years!

 

As I finally begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, graduation and life after the Academy becomes more and more real. I am beginning to focus on the many things here at the Academy that I really do enjoy, and that I will someday look back upon with nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait until graduation, my wedding closely following graduation, and the life beyond the Academy, but there are definitely many things about being here that I will someday look to with fond memories. So while I am here, and as I finish up my final year, I hope to take full advantage of the opportunities that I have and fully appreciate the privilege that I have to attend the Coast Guard Academy. This is a special place, and I’m looking forward to what the final year has to offer!

 

 


More about Luke.

 

From Boards to Summer Assignments

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo Carry-on? No not yet. We are still waiting, which is excruciatingly painful, by the way. All of 2017 has passed boards now. Which is not as hard as everyone makes it seem. I studied the week before and took it pretty seriously, and passed with an 8 out of 10 on my first shot. It’s possible. I mean it is a lot of questions and a lot of history, but if you take it every chance you have, you will pass. Passing is the best feeling, too. I gained the privelege of writing on my whiteboard and listening to music out loud, which is something you begin to appreciate when you realize how much easier life is. We got wardroom carry-on, so we can look at our food now. The best thing though is that we found out our summer assignments.

 

This summer I will be stationed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I will be going with four other people from my company, including my best friend and old roommate Rachel Seaman. We will be able to get pepper sprayed and get other small boat qualifications. The experience will be awesome, and I can’t wait to keep you guys updated on how everything goes. Finals are approaching fast, so I’ll see you all soon. (:

 

 


More about Keemiya.

 

How Much I've Changed

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Mason Photo I thought moving into my last semester here at the Academy would be overwhelming, but it’s just been exciting so far! I can’t believe I’ve actually reached this point. When I look back to 4th class year, it seems like both forever ago and just yesterday. It’s mind-blowing to see how much I’ve changed from then to now.

 

The greatest event of my month was the Community Service Recognition Dinner. I was asked to speak about my mission trip to Haiti last year for spring break, and it was so wonderful to revisit those memories and share my experiences. I also spoke about my work with the Big Brother/Big Sister program, which unfortunately lost funding in this region. So I’ve decided to start up a new Community Service/Mentoring program here at the Academy that connects cadets with children from local schools in need of a positive influence in their lives. So far I’ve worked mainly with Winthrop Elementary, which is right next door to the Academy, but I think that they will keep us busy with plenty of kids in need of a buddy!

 

This semester I don’t have very much work that is specific to my major. The only class I have that is related to Civil Engineering is my Capstone class, which provides us with time to work on our senior projects. For my group’s project we will be redesigning an Engineering Facilities building at Coast Guard Base San Juan! That means we will get to take a trip down there next month. I can’t wait!

 

Only a few more months left here. I hope to make them great ones!

 

 


More about Ally.

 

The Roller Coaster Ride to the Finish Line

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Keith Photo Hello friends!

 

It’s been awhile, but I am writing to you from room E231 while occasionally glancing outside of my window. The weather is gorgeous, and spring has finally come after a long, brutal winter.

 

The Academy experience is truly a roller coaster ride. For most of the time, it seems like you and your classmates are sitting in the cart, slowly going up the incline. Very, very slowly. And it seems like it will take forever to get to the top and over the hump.

 

However, once you get over the hump things pick up at break-neck speed. From Billet Night (where you find out your first duty station), to Castle Dance (last class formal), to late nights in Mac Hall struggling under the weight of a capstone project, to filling out confusing PCS paperwork, to Dining In (a dinner where the class is welcomed into the Officer Corps), to finals rapidly approaching we are, in nautical terms, CBDR (Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range) to our final waypoint: Commencement and Graduation.

 

It’s incredible that I’ve made it this far; I certainly couldn’t see myself as a 1/c when I was a swab and it’s still hard to imagine that I will be putting on Ensign shoulder boards and a combination cover with an Eagle on it in a mere 37 days. The Class of 2014’s days are numbered, and I’m doing my best to enjoy this roller coaster ride with everyone before our cart comes to a stop and we step out into the world.

 

 


More about Jordan.

 

Nothing I Can't Handle

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Racz Photo Crew season has officially gotten underway. I competed in my first ever collegiate competition in Middletown, Connecticut against Wesleyan University. Though it was great to be out and competing, the race did not go too well. We lost by a good amount, so it wasn’t the best way to start of the spring season. My next race was against Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. We didn’t race their varsity because they are a top Division I school for rowing, but we did race against their third and fourth varsity teams. We did average in the race, but a lot better from the previous week. I’ve had great experiences so far in my first two races of the season. For someone who didn’t row in high school, I’ve had to make big adjustments and adapt very quickly. I look forward to my races in the future because I love competing and representing the United States Coast Guard Academy.

 

In a month from now, I will be heading off to my summer unit in Florida. I’m nervous, but excited at the same time to take the next step in my cadet training. During my time at my unit, I will be able to experience the role of enlisted personnel in the Coast Guard. I will work with the enlisted members in order to complete the jobs that they do in a typical day. I am a little nervous to go to my unit, but I know that I have the tools necessary to do the best job that I can on the cutter. I’ll be going with another 4/c who I know well, so that will help if I ever need assistance during my summer training. I will then have the opportunity to spend six weeks on the Barque Eagle. I spent a week on Eagle over Swab Summer, but this summer I will have the opportunity to get more hands-on training. I will get to bond with my classmates as well. This summer should be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get started.

 

At this point, the 4/c are beginning to transition into the roles of 3/c. We are beginning to get more responsibility and are being trusted to do a lot more than before. It feels weird knowing that I will be a 3/c in less than a month. It is a lot of responsibility, but nothing that I can’t handle.

 

Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone who may be making your college decision. Remember that no choice is a bad one. Go to the place that will give you opportunities and bring you happiness along the way.

 

 


More about Benjamin.