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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.


No Longer a 4/c

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ledzian Photo Under a month to go until summer assignments! There is one last round of exams, a few more track meets, and projects that have to be done. It seems as if summer is within my grasp and yet there is so much to do until I can leave. After what seemed like an eternity, boards came and went, everyone passed, and we have wardroom carry-on. It’s weird that we have been braced up in the wardroom for nine months but after three weeks of wardroom carry-on I can’t imagine ever going back. The privilege of being a normal human being is slowly returning.


On the subject of humanity, winter seems to have abated at last. For the first time in months I can feel the sun again and we can (occasionally) wear uniforms without windbreakers or parkas. The weather is even nice enough to sit out on the infield during track meets. As of now the countdown is in full swing, closer to Eagle, and closer to no longer being a 4/c!



More about Patrick.


For Sail

(Athletics, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Capuzzi Photo Life here at the Coast Guard Academy is stressful, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s kind of like a tug-of-war, only instead of just two sides, there are like twenty, all pulling on you and competing for your most precious commodity: your time. One of the best escapes we have from the everyday grind is our sports program. In my case, that would be the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team.


Before I came to the Academy, I had never sailed a day in my life. When I saw the fantastic facilities and equipment the sailing programs had, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. Fortunately, during Swab Summer, everyone learns some sailing basics. It can be kind of nerve-racking, since they give you some basics and then put you in a boat and say, “go!” I wasn’t particularly good at it (lots of capsizing), but I enjoyed being on the water.


Toward the end of Swab Summer, you’re afforded the opportunity to go to what is called coach’s time. It’s kind of like a sample of each sport. I decided to go to the Offshore Sailing Team coach’s time. My rationale was that they sailed bigger boats than the Intercollegiate Dinghy Team, so I could sail with a lot of upperclassmen and learn from them.


Nearly four years later, I look back on this as one of the best decisions I made at the Academy and in life in general. I’ve raced in Annapolis. I’ve raced in Los Angeles. I’ve raced all the way from Newport to Bermuda. I’ve been to some of the nicest yacht clubs in the world. I’ve met some of the best sailors in the world, including Olympians and America’s Cup winners. My membership on the team has allowed me to do so many things that I otherwise would not have gotten the opportunity to do.


As you can probably imagine, sailing can be cost-prohibitive. Boats are expensive. The Coast Guard Academy has a large fleet that you get to use for free! J/70s. Colgate 26s. Leadership 44s. A J/44. And soon a Melges 32. I can’t imagine ever having more access to sailboats than I have right now.


Don’t think the Offshore Sailing Team is a place to take a boat out for a pleasure cruise, however. Four days a week, we’re practicing hard on the Thames River, refining our skills and developing new ones. There’s a new regatta almost every weekend, so we always have to be training. The commitment is big, but the reward is much bigger.


One of my favorite things about the sailing team is how it makes me forget about Academy life. For two hours a day, I’m not a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, but simply a sailor on the Thames River. And that is how I keep my sanity.


To wrap this up, if you should find yourself coming to the Academy, I would highly encourage you to give Offshore Sailing a try. In every sense of the word, it can take you places.



More about Nick.