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Wired and Jubilant

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Another week down and I am still trying to orient myself as a 2/c cadet. In my MES classes, in the cheer team, and in fall lacrosse! Each day is a whirlwind and even though a little windblown, I am having a lot of fun. We just had our biggest football game of the season: MMA, and I have to say it was unforgettable. For my past two games, we have been close, but not close enough to taking a stand against the Mariners. For the past two years, the pep rallies have meant well and the crowd has wanted to be rowdy and supportive and energized, but we have always seemed to fall short. This year though, the stars have aligned. We had a surprisingly fun pep rally, “rave” complete with black lights, strobe lights, fog, and glow sticks, the crowd was crazy and joyous, pumped for a number of reasons. The following days were full of spirit and we prepared for the game Saturday, determined to break the losing streak. The Bears came out strong but we had fallen behind by two touchdowns by the end of the first half. The cheerleaders led the crowd in chants and the entire corps remained focused and hopeful. Finally, we found our groove, the team scored, the fans wild, inspired by our Commandant, Admiral Z doing pushups beside the cheer leaders. I think the best part the game came in the form of a steady rain. The fans took it, in their tropical blue uniforms as if it was supposed to happen. With each success on the field came the explosion of confetti cannons and cheering, so much cheering. Toward the end, the crowd was dumping water bottles on themselves invincible to the rain and the water, completely wired and jubilant.


I didn’t even mind that I had night watch; I took a three hour nap and stood watch from midnight to 0400. On Sunday I did homework, helped with the Special Olympics event and then went to yoga! I’d say that all of my weekends have been that busy, throwing me full speed and accelerating through the school weeks.


More about Lucy.


Back-to-School Blues Following an Incredible Summer

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Back-to-School Blues: (Noun) The act of going back to school when all you really want to do is go to the beach, soak up some rays, and forget that school even exists for the time being.


Unfortunately, the back-to-school blues are a very real thing here at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The whole corps of cadets is lucky to participate in different summer training schedules every year and we are always upset when our time comes to an end. But before I jump into how sad I am that the school year is starting, why don’t I tell you a little bit about what my 2/c summer had to offer.


As a 2/c at the Academy, everyone is required to be a cadre in some shape or form. And before you ask, not every cadre is some mean, yelling 20-something year old, making the incoming freshman do push-ups or as we like to call it, “push deck.” There are several types of cadre including: Swab Summer, AIM, CGAS, Eagle, and the best one – Waterfront. I was lucky to be chosen as a waterfront cadre this summer where I spent my days teaching the swabs anything and everything that had to do with sailing. Being a cadre for three weeks was definitely a learning experience not only for the swabs, but for the cadre as well.


However, the highlight of my summer came from the Coastal Sail Training Program. In this program, groups of six to eight cadets and one to two safety officers are assigned a yacht and a port call schedule for about eight days and the cadets are in charge of sailing to each destination every day. Not only is this program a learning experience for leadership and followership, but it was also so much fun! We sailed to places that I have never been to before including: Block Island, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and other famous places in New England. This was a great way for everyone to be able to bond with their classmates and learn more about each other, while also learning more about nautical science.


Of course there were many other things I had a chance to do this summer including getting my pistol marksmanship (and shooting a gun for the first time), becoming Rules of the Road qualified which is a test every cadet must get a 90% on before they graduate, becoming proficient at driving the T-boats down at waterfront, and also spending at week at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City where we learned more about the aviation side of the Coast Guard. Also, on my three weeks of leave in the beginning of the summer, I got to spend a week in California visiting my best friend who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and also spent a week in Virginia Beach with my family.


Needless to say I had a very busy, but interesting summer this year so I am very sad to see it come to an end. However, I decided to try out for the women’s varsity soccer team this year instead of run cross country so I am excited to see how our soccer team does this year! School on the other hand…that’s a different story.


As always if you have any questions about anything feel free to email me!


More about Samantha.


We Made it to Nationals!

(Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo During the Spring Semester, the women’s sailing team has been diligently working toward qualifying and competing in Women’s Nationals. In late April, the Academy held the qualifiers. Teams from all over the Northeast, including Dartmouth, Boston College, Harvard, and Yale, just to name a few, came to compete for one of the nine spots the Northeast region could send to Nationals. Over the course of the weekend, we competed and our team in particular sailed really well – ending up 5th place and earned our spot to compete in this incredible competition.


Upon qualifying, we had a lot of work to do. We practiced everyday and trained to get ready for Nationals, which were held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis during the last week of May. Our training time was very limited though due to the training schedule and demands that the Academy tasks us with. So while some teams could be practicing all day, we were completing 100th week and learning Rules of the Road. And after spending long, tiring days doing this, we walked down to Jacob’s Rock and spend the rest of our energy training.


We arrived in Annapolis ready to sail and earn a podium finish. Sailing at Nationals is a really unique experience. We got to sail with all of the top teams around the entire country. You learn better techniques by watching other people, which you can then use in your own sailing. It is only at Nationals that you can truly match yourself up with the best college sailors around. The Lady Bears ended up 6th place in the country – the best-known finish for the CGA women’s team. We were all very pleased with this finish but look to improve next year! We are already looking forward to starting next fall’s season! Go Bears!



More about Kayla.


Open Fire

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Hi everyone! The summer training period here at the Academy is in its third week. Last week I had the opportunity to shoot pistol as part of our range week training, and I was also part of the commencement ceremony for the graduating seniors.


Range week was very interesting. Monday morning was spent in a classroom setting where we learned about the safety procedures for shooting at the range, and we also learned about the .40 Sig Sauer pistol. The Sig is the standard pistol used in the Coast Guard and it was very cool learning how to take it apart. In the afternoon, we were able to practice our aim at the pistol range with lasers that registered where our shots were landing on a computer that displayed the target. Tuesday was our first day of shooting. Many of my classmates had never shot before, but many others, including me, had shot pistols before. However, I found that my shooting experience didn’t really translate into higher scores. The minimum score to qualify as a marksman in pistol is a 114 out of 150, and I only got a 79. Some of my classmates qualified on the first day, but many returned on Wednesday. After some additional coaching, I felt much more comfortable shooting, and I ended up qualifying with a score of 118. That isn’t a really high score but I was happy to improve so much from the day before. There are three levels of qualification, marksman, sharpshooter, and expert (these range from the minimum qualification score to the maximum). I’m not sure exactly what the ranges are but sharpshooters and experts get to add a pin to their pistol qualification ribbon. Many of my classmates also qualified that day and by the end of the week, everyone qualified. The Academy range instructors pride themselves on a 100% qualification rate, so if you’re concerned about passing, have no fear! We have great teachers.


This blog only scratches the surface of my range experience but I really enjoyed it overall. I learned that experience does not necessarily translate into good technique, but with proper training and a little practice, it is possible to qualify quickly.


Commencement was a major event as well. I had the honor of being in the cordon, which is hard to explain to be honest. Our responsibility was to make an isle of bodies saluting as the official party arrived and departed. The official party was RADM Stosz, ADM Papp, and Secretary Johnson (the Secretary of Homeland Security). The commencement ceremony was great. There were speeches by the distinguished graduate (ENS Jocis), RADM Stosz, ADM Papp, Secretary Johnson, and CAPT McCauley. At the end of the ceremony, the new ensigns tossed of their cadet shoulder boards and covers, donning their new ensign covers and shoulder boards. Then, each of the new ensigns gave their first salutes. As part of Coast Guard tradition, the ensign gives a silver dollar to the first person they salute, so that was special to see. After commencement, the ensigns packed out of Chase Hall for the final time and they headed off to begin their careers as commissioned officers in the greatest sea going service in the world. It was a bittersweet day for those of us left behind, as we watched many of our friends, teammates, and mentors departing the Academy. I hope to serve with many of them in the future.


If you have any questions about any of the summer programs, admissions events, tours and visits here at the Academy, please email me at


More about Hunter.


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.