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cadet blogs

My Not-So-Relaxing-But-Crazy-Awesome Summer Leave…And We’re BACK!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Writing to you once again from USCGA, but this time the whole corps is back, one day and a half into our academic year. Having the corps of cadets back was a very welcoming experience compared to last year. This year, coming back meant being reunited with good friends and familiar faces, everyone smiling and saying hi, as if I was a new person, transformed from the untouchable 4/c I was last year. It was awesome!


I am enjoying my classes so far, although my schedule is very full of larger-credit courses compared to last year. I am now a Marine and Environmental Science major and I am taking the classes Marine Biology and Meteorology this semester. I am excited to take the new MES boats out for biology labs and to learn more about the organisms with which we share the seas. I am very excited about my major and about all of the things I am about to experience.


Speaking of experiences, over leave, my family took a two week trip to the northwest United States. We spent a few days in Washington, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and the Teton Mountains. I didn’t expect to see much of the Coast Guard when I left the Academy, but as we explored the coastline of Washington State on a whale watching tour, I found that we were everywhere. My dad excitedly told many people about my Coast Guard connection as a cadet, and the captain of the boat we were on asked for me to take the helm as we brought her back into the marina. It was pretty embarrassing as I was photographed by the majority of the people on board for the tour, but it was fun and something I’ll never forget.


Although academics are going to be keeping me busy, I am looking forward to this year!


A Bustling Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Gurtler Photo Another summer here and gone, leaving me to wonder how it ended so soon. However, the more I reflect on the past three months, I realize it’s not a question of how the summer flew by so fast, but rather a question of how it was humanly possible to fit in as much as my classmates and I did in three months.


My summer began with three weeks of leave in Wisconsin, where I visited with friends and family and celebrated my younger brother’s high school graduation. When I returned back to the Academy, I found myself immediately swept up into a busy week-by-week schedule. My initial week back was spent at the shooting range, qualifying with a Sig Sauer pistol. The following week consisted of classes focused on the ‘Rules of the Road.’ Fortunately, I passed the test that culminated all of the ROTR information we had learned throughout the week so I did not have to worry about retaking it during CAP Week. My third week back was a week dedicated to preparing to be a cadre. 2015 participated in a mock R-Day, as well as numerous trainings on how to handle certain situations as a cadre. This was all in preparation of what was to come the following week…


My three weeks as cadre were the three most exhausting but rewarding weeks of my life. As a cadre, I worked to be stern but fair. I learned early on that if I did not hold them accountable for their actions, little would be learned by them and by me. At the same time, I strived to be a mentor – someone that they could come to not just during the summer training period but during the academic school year as well. Granted, I did yell a time or two, and I may have forced Hotel Company to do a little intensive physical training, but I did this out of respect for my swabs. I wanted nothing but for them to succeed. When Hotel swabs received their shoulder boards I wanted them to know they had earned them. Additionally, my brother was a swab in Bravo Company this past summer. Words cannot describe how proud I am of him, and it only furthers my bond with 2017.


My summer concluded with one week spent at Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina, one week working on T-Boats, and two weeks aboard a 44-foot sailing vessel that stopped at a number of different ports including Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport, Rhode Island.


See what I mean when I say I was busy?! Bottom line is that I experienced so much this summer with my class. I am thankful for my fellow cadre and for my swabs for allowing me to learn from my highs and lows and teaching me so much about leadership, followership, and myself along the way. This summer has left me contemplating the possibility of applying for next summer’s command staff. I would love to be a part of 2018’s R-Day experience…


More about Victoria.