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The Academy Summer Experience

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Seaman Photo One of the main things that attracted me to the Academy was the summer experiences cadets have. Unlike most other colleges, the Coast Guard Academy allows cadets to work in the operational Coast Guard by sending them to cutters, small boat stations, and air stations depending on which class you are. For the first part of this summer, I worked at a small boat station in Fort Lauderdale for five weeks. This experience was extremely rewarding and it served as a great transition from 4/c to 3/c year. Station Fort Lauderdale opened my eyes to a part of the Coast Guard that I had not been exposed to yet. I learned about the station’s responsibilities and daily routines and was able to contribute by earning qualifications. Along with achieving a communications qualification and making ground in becoming a boat crew member, my classmates who were with me and I were exposed to even more experiences the Coast Guard has to offer. We shot pistol, learned defense tactics, and even got getting pepper sprayed out of the way. These involvements taught me a lot about ways I can improve because it is impossible to be perfect one hundred percent of the time. It also boosted my confidence by giving me valuable interactions with Coast Guard members.


Since the main goal of this summer is to learn the junior enlisted member’s role in the Coast Guard, I spent time getting to know the crew members and engaging in the work they do on a daily basis. I observed that their role in carrying out the mission is huge, thus teaching me to value and respect the hard work of everyone. This summer was informative and a blast. I am grateful for the experience I gained and the preparation it gave me in becoming a 3/c cadet.


More about Rachel.


Always on Your Toes

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo I have caught myself calling Chase Hall “home” more and more often now. It worried me at first, until I realized that it just means that I’m actually getting into the hang of things here, and this doesn’t just feel like some extended AIM week anymore! It’s been hard for me to realize that this is my life for the next four years. Monday and Friday morning drill practice, early morning military trainings before class, the long school days, and busy nights of homework just seem like a test that I have to pass to get back home. (In this case, home being my high school in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts). But that is not the case! This is home now, and it’s becoming more evident every week. I find myself stressing with my roommate about things that I know my friends at UMASS will never encounter, like if we buffed our floor enough, if our beds are wrinkled when we wake up in the morning, or if our blinds are secured before we leave the room. Then we laugh hysterically when we’re walking down the ladder wells in Chase and we see another 4/c do a spin move in the corner instead of squaring, risking demerits just for the fun of it, or when we see someone wait an extra 30 seconds in their doorway before exiting for an upper class to walk by, just to avoid having to greet them in the hallway. Now if I came back from a soccer game at a civilian college, I wouldn’t have to think twice about the transition from laughing and joking with the team outside the dorm, to opening the door, squaring the corner, and locking my eyes in the boat. The little things that make the Academy unique and fun are starting to become more evident and unite us even more.


However, life can’t get too comfortable here at the Academy! Teachers start planning for midterms which are quickly approaching, Cadet Evaluation Reports (CERs) are due, the first military testing period opens up, and to add onto it all, I tore my ACL and meniscus during a soccer game. Now there is another stressor to deal with that seems like it will be much harder to get used to. Luckily, the support here is better than anywhere else I can imagine. My roommate has been more than helpful, my shipmates are even more supportive than they already were, and my teachers are very understanding about arriving a few minutes late to class due to the painstakingly slow speed of crutching, or with making up missed work because of doctor’s appointments, surgery and PT visits. (But sadly it doesn’t make it easier to get from Satterlee to Smith in a reasonable time!) So, now this month and a few weeks beyond will be spent trying to adjust to another challenge that I will hopefully adapt to just as quickly as the others – the Academy on crutches.


More about Gabrielle.


Big Decisions

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Wright Photo Hi everyone.


I know that the Class of 2019 application is open, so there are probably a lot you wondering whether or not you want to attend the Academy. My first piece of advice in making that decision is to visit. There are ton of different ways to do this: Cadet for a Day, Open Houses, Genesis Council, etc…


When I came for an Open House I was interested in the Academy. As we drove away I literally asked my parents to leave me here (they refused). This may sound crazy but it could happen to you. The visit gave me a taste of the amazing camaraderie, activities, and academics that go on here. My second piece of advice is visiting. Visiting can really make or break the deal. My third piece of advice is to visit. I’m sure someone has told you this before but it really is worth it. This place isn’t for everyone and you want to come for the right reasons. My fourth piece of advice is to write down all of the reasons you want to come and then write down all of the things you are unsure of or worried about. Then talk the lists over with someone you trust and respect. If you are still unsure about certain aspects of life here feel free to email me or any other blogger. We will try to answer your questions as best we can.


I will leave you with a few of the reasons I love this place. The biggest one is the opportunity to serve a higher calling than myself. The people are amazing; you will come out of Swab Summer with thirty new brothers and sisters. I love the challenge of this place and opportunities it brings. The academics are tough but you learn a lot more than you realize. There are tons of great clubs and activities. I’m getting paid to go to college. I don’t have to worry about finances or insurance. And at the end of four short years I will be an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard with a guaranteed job.


More about Erin.


Why the Coast Guard?

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
 Martorell Crespo Photo First of all, coming to the Coast Guard was and is a blessing. It is an opportunity that not everybody gets. Coming to another country and knowing that English is not your first language is tough, a challenge, but not impossible.


When I was in 10th grade, I watched the military channel with my brother and started to love the military. But to sum it all up, my brother was my inspiration and motivation to join this service. He was the one who told me about the Coast Guard, even though he wanted me to join the army. I told him what I wanted, my dreams, and my goals. Based on that, he told me about the Coast Guard and I was able to apply. It was a challenge for me because I had to take lots of exams before coming here and waited two months to get an answer, but in the end I was that fortunate one who won the scholarship to come here and study for four years, out of 12 or more applicants from different countries.


I am now a cadet in the United States Coast Guard Academy, representing my country Honduras. I want to become an officer and after graduating, return to my country and put into practice everything I learn here and apply it there.


I just love what the Coast Guard does and offers to us cadets and humanity as a whole because it is a lifesaving service, protecting all natural resources, maritime traffic and commerce and last but not least it is part of the national defense. I will not only help my country but try to help Honduras become a better place.


More about Irene.


Getting Fresh Air

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Choi Photo Wow, it’s already been three months since I’ve arrived at the Academy. Life for me has changed so much during that period of time. It seems like just yesterday I was toiling through Swab Summer. Now I’m an official 4/c cadet at the USCGA. Life here is very busy, and it’s rare to be able to find a time to just sit down, relax, and not do anything. However, even with the heavy academic course load, I am still able to have a good time. As long as you have friends and a good attitude, it’s hard not to find some sort of entertainment.


One thing that my friends and I enjoy doing here is going out to breakfast in New London on Sundays. There are two establishments that are particularly noteworthy, DJ’s Campus Kitchen and Mr. G’s Restaurant. The food at both of these places is delicious and also reasonably priced. The highlight at both of these restaurants is the pancakes. If you ever go to one of these businesses, please don’t underestimate the pancakes. They are actually bigger than your face and you deserve a reward if you can finish a platter.


Going out to eat is not all about the food however. It feels swell to just be able to take a break from the Academy and have fun with some close friends. To me, it’s important not to get too wrapped up in the stresses here. It is a relief to go out from time to time and get some fresh air.


Although life at the Academy can be quite hectic, I enjoy every single moment of it. I appreciate what I am able to be a part of, and that’s being a member of the world’s greatest military service.


Go Bears!


More about Chris.