Time truly fries. More than a year ago I completed Swab Summer! Over summer leave I was with my two fellow shipmates enjoying New York City and our break from the Academy when we relived the very same day last year we were going through our grueling last day of Swab Summer also known as Sea Trials. I am amazed a year has past by so quickly and I am looking forward to this year.
Summer has been more than I expected it to be. I got the chance to be on Eagle for six weeks, which was more fun than I had anticipated. I got to get a lot closer with my classmates especially since during the school year I did not get the chance to mingle with people outside of my isolated company on the 4th deck. It was especially hard for 2015 to get to know our whole class since we stayed in the same company since Swab Summer. It was nice to meet, work with, and learn with new people on Eagle and also enjoy the War of 1812 Commemoration. I got to see a bunch of tall ships as we traveled together from Savannah, Georgia, to New York City for Fleet Week, to Norfolk, Virginia and then ending in Baltimore, Maryland. Although it would have been nice to travel to Europe or the Caribbean like the class of 2014 and 2013, however this experience was unique since you never really get to see all these tall ships together in one place. There were tall ships from around the world, from Indonesia to Ecuador and Columbia.
After phase I, I got the chance to go to the Naval Academy and experience their Yard Patrol ships. They are around 108 feet and since there are fewer crewmembers there were more responsibilities for the cadets and the midshipmen. Through my experiences on the YPs I got the chance to get more familiar with navigating and plotting 3 minute fixes. We were given roles that the 1/c on Eagle, like Conning Officer and Navigator, were responsible for so it was a bit intimidating at first, but rewarding when we succeeded. I got to explore Annapolis with four other Coasties and we enjoyed the little town outside of the academy. The Naval Academy itself was a gorgeous campus and really big. We got to stay in Bancroft Hall while we had trainings about the YPs and met a lot of midshipmen. I enjoyed my experience at the Naval Academy, but the experience also made me realize how much I appreciate being at the Coast Guard Academy because of how small and intimate the service is. I like how people at the Coast Guard Academy actually know each other and genuinely care for one another and the incoming class.
Now, coming back from summer leave and relaxation and being at home with my friends and family, I get the chance to be a role modeler for the class of 2016. As the academic year gets started I have a lot of goals for myself, but I also want to help out the 4/c as much as possible. Being in a small academy, you get close to your company and within a week I have learned a lot about the 4/c in Alfa Company and really care for them and hope that they are able to succeed. Now as a 3/c, I get the chance to help my 4/c the way my 3/c helped me and if so, even more. I remember the feeling of support when I was a 4/c and knowing that people around me are helping me get through the first hard initial year at the CGA.
I am looking forward to a fresh start with a new academic semester, being in a new company with a new roommate in a new room and no longer being a 4/c!
More about Ellie.