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cadet blogs


(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Effendi Photo As a cadet at USCGA I realize that Eagle goes one of two ways, either you love it or you hate it. For me, I loved my time on Eagle. Maybe I enjoyed my time because I never got sea sick, but I know that I had a lot of fun both on and off the ship. The experience felt once in a lifetime even though I could come back to Eagle in the future, but I have the feeling that each time will be an entirely new experience.


While on Eagle we worked hard, but all the while making the experience unique and interesting. Each division rotates through different duty sections of engineering, CIC, helm, lookout, and watch on deck. In each, my shipmates and I were mentored by the enlisted crew members and had a great opportunity to learn and experience new things. My favorite watch was engineering, despite the general consensus of the rest of my class. Yes, it was extremely hot in the engine room, along with noisy, but I found great interest below deck. Every time we went down we learned something new and the crew had set another learning goal for us to achieve. The crew made it fun to be down there, personable and professional. I learned a lot while on Eagle.


The port calls; I cannot say enough about the amazing times I had in Saint Martin, Aruba, Guantanamo Bay, and Saint Petersburg. The warm weather, beautiful beaches, and stunning scenery made it easy just to wander around the islands all day. In Guantanamo we rented mountain bikes and traveled the island, visiting different beaches, to end at the Eagle versus Guantanamo Bay All Star soccer game. Even when I had duty in port I could still make the best of it, telling little kids that I was almost a pirate, and explaining to their parents that, yes, we do still steer the ship behind the helm. The stories of what we did at each port call are endless, and I know that I will never forget a moment of my experience.


I had a wonderful time on Eagle and wish I could have stayed on longer. Sadly, my next station is back at USCGA for summer school, rather than another unit like the rest of my classmates, but I know I can make the best of it. It definitely feels good to be back on solid ground again, but I cannot wait to get back out into the fleet, whether it is Eagle or another operational vessel.


More about Ardy.


100th Week, CATP, Range

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Bilodeau Photo I cannot believe 3/c year is actually over. After finals week every member in the Class of 2015 participated in 100th Week, where the Cape May Company Commanders came to train our class to become leaders. It was a transformation week similar to the challenges and evolutions we faced during Swab Summer. At the end of 100th Week we completed obstacle and leadership courses with our fellow shipmates. The CC’s made us pick up and put down a pen on the floor (the deck) over and over again. We changed a countless number of times from gym gear to ODUs, and we read the infamous passage about “Discipline” from our Blue Jackets, which all of us remember word-by-word from Swab Summer. Upon completing 100th Week we finally got to put on our 2/c shoulder boards.


The following week, a group of us went to Mobile, Alabama to participate in the Cadet Aviation Training Program (CATP). CATP will forever remain the highlight of my 2/c summer. I absolutely loved talking to the pilots in Mobile. I was granted the opportunity to actually fly a Falcon with one of my other classmates. On the Thursday of CATP our group drove to Pensacola and toured the assets on base. We were hoisted in a basket from the water into a helicopter, given a lollipop at the top, and hoisted back down into the Bay. I get chills thinking about how much fun I had at CATP and learning about aviation.


Next, we had range week. We learned how to disassemble and reassemble a pistol. At first I had a hard time qualifying on the range, but after I realized what I needed to do to hit the center of the target, I successfully qualified.


More about Christina.


Wrapping Up the Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo I just completed my last summer as a cadet, and it was one of the best summers I have ever had during my time here. I did so many things that before joining the Coast Guard I never would have thought I would have the opportunity to do. I started my summer out in Marina Del Rey, California where I learned a lot about the Coast Guard and the different missions that we accomplish. The crew of the CGC Halibut helped me broaden my knowledge of the Coast Guard and discover what I want to do in the future as an officer. While on the Halibut I got to have many different experiences such as helping with drug busts and standing watch while in port. It was an amazing chance to see what happens in the fleet everyday.


After leaving the Halibut, I boarded the CGC Eagle. Eagle is the Coast Guard’s training vessel that all 3/c cadets go on to learn about seamanship and life on the water. As a 1/c cadet aboard Eagle, I was given the Ensign experience where I had the opportunity to lead a division, obtain qualifications, and work on extra projects that were assigned to me. I never had a moment to spare, and my classmates and I were always diligently working to make sure that by the end of the summer we were successful in all of the jobs we were given. We did have a few days during three different port calls where we could take some time off and relax. We first pulled into Bermuda, where the sand was pink and the sun was always shining. Bermuda is a beautiful island and it was a once in lifetime opportunity to visit. After we left Bermuda we travelled to Saint Pierre, France, a small island territory of France. While there we celebrated Bastille Day, which was amazing to see another country celebrate their independence and to participate in the festivities. Our last stop was Halifax, Nova Scotia where we visited the Halifax Citadel and walked around the city looking at all of the history that it had.


This summer has been amazing and I now have three weeks to relax and spend time with my family before I return to the Academy for my final year before I am commissioned as an officer in the Coast Guard. Time has flown by while I have been at the Academy, and this year I plan to make the most of all of the time that I have left.



More about Brianna.