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cadet blogs

Performance Enhancement Platoon Cadre

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo I had the privilege of being what we call a Performance Enhancement Platoon (PEP) cadre. It is a one-on-one incentive training session with a swab of the same gender. We take underperforming swabs, openly confront their major discrepancies, and give them tools to hopefully make them want to turn around and perform better. A lot of the time when people hear about PEP, they think big and scary people yelling at an underperforming swab the entire time. It is more of like a horrible hour and 15 minutes. For me that is not why I wanted to do it. I put in for it because I was intent on being part of someone’s improvement, rather than see them continue to fail and eventually give up. At the end of the day I can say that I was able to motivate someone to want to stay here. The hours leading up to PEP, I kept thinking to myself I hope I don’t say the wrong thing that pushes them to the limit that makes them quit. I am not one for quitting at all. I didn’t want it riding on me that I could have influenced their decision and ended their career. I thought carefully about what I would say that could break them down mentally but only enough that I still had time to bring them back up by the end.


What was most motivating for me was that I got to see that breaking point for them. All I had been asking for them do was sound off why they wanted to be here, what motivated them, and the Coast Guard Core values. Something clicked in their mind at that point. I saw tears, which to me did not mean “poor me, I’m getting yelled at” but instead that they were ready to start changing. That was when I knew that I could begin to build them back up, and start motivating them to want to start performing better. For their sake, I am hoping some of the things I said to them will stick in their mind as they finish out the summer strong, and end up being a strong link in the class of 2017.


More about Cameo.


Ten Reasons

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost PhotoTen reasons why I love my job:


  1. Watching fireworks on Bastille Day in France from 140 feet in the air.
  2. Spending port calls in Bermuda, France, and Canada.
  3. Swinging off a line into the middle of the Atlantic for swim call.
  4. Climbing up a 140-foot mast to douse sails in the dark at 20 knots.
  5. Racing from Annapolis to Newport on a J-44.
  6. Shooting off flares for pyro-training on the 4th of July.
  7. Flying the biggest American flag I have ever seen when we pull into port.
  8. Seeing the Milky Way and shooting stars in the middle of the ocean.
9. Watching sunrise and sunset at sea.
10. Seeing whales, sharks, whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, and flying fish.


Ten more reasons why it's not for everyone: 

  1. Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning...dishes, toilets, showers, the bilge, the trash room...all of it.
  2. Getting less than four hours of sleep and getting up for watch.
  3. Being sea sick.
  4. Being soaked for days on end...
  5. Using baby wipes as showers.
  6. Never sleeping in a real bed.
  7. Working out on a boat.
  8. Being held into your rack with a lee cloth.
  9. Drinking powdered milk.
  10. Wearing issued swimsuits.

Despite everything, I wouldn't change my job for the world. I wish I got to experience the real fleet this summer. Eagle was basically just an extension of the Academy. Still, I learned a lot, and I am more eager than ever to eventually be in the fleet. Sure, some things weren't the most fun… but they created some of the best memories. 3/c summer training has been totally awesome. Nevertheless, I couldn't be happier to finally be on leave and get a break!


As always, feel free to ask me any questions at


More about Christi.