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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

New Semester, More Responsibility

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Happy New Year, CGA blog readers! I hope you all had a great time celebrating the arrival of 2015, because I certainly did. I hope 2015 will be the best year yet. For me, it means in just a year and a few months, I will be graduating this fine institution. I am incredibly excited to get going this semester. Usually I am apprehensive coming back from leave or summer, but this semester I was excited to come back.

 

The week we come back from winter leave is called the Midyear Administrative Processing week (MAP week for short). We all get new roommates and move everything we own into new rooms. Usually, MAP week is pretty relaxed. We have all sorts of trainings to go to, but without the pressure of academics, MAP week is a breeze. For me, this MAP week has been very busy. In addition to all the trainings and the fitness test, I have a lot of extra responsibility this semester because I will be a guidon.

 

A guidon is the lead second class in each company. We are expected to be the standard for military excellence, and our primary responsibility is to train and supervise the fourth class for the whole semester. As a guidon, I have a lot of responsibility, but I also have a lot of flexibility to do what I want to train the fourth class in the most effective manner. I have wanted to be a guidon since I was a fourth class because I have always endeavored to better myself and to pursue leadership opportunities. As a leader, I take my responsibility very seriously, and I approach every opportunity to lead with an open mind to change. I take great care to ensure that I balance the demands I place on my subordinates. The mission, to effectively train the fourth class, must be balanced with taking care of them as people. Guidons can be known for making the fourth class’ lives much more difficult, but I strive to make their lives more enjoyable. I plan to motive them to do their jobs because they see the value in doing it for themselves. I will use every tool I have to motivate them, but I plan to use rewards and recognition of good performance as the primary tools to encourage them to be the best that they can be.

 

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for me to tell you everything I have to as a guidon. However, if you are the parent of a fourth class, or if you know one, I can assure you that I will take good care of them. I have put in hours of work every night this week to organize and think up ideas to train these cadets. All of the guidons here care about the fourth class, and we are working hard to transform them into better cadets, people, and future officers.

 

If you want to know more about MAP week and the trainings, or about what I am asked to do as guidon, please feel free to email me anytime at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu. Happy New Year! Go 2015! I hope to hear from you soon.

 

More about Hunter.

 

Militarily, Academically, Athletically

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo Hi everyone!

I’m so sorry that it has been so long since I have written last; my semester has been one of the busiest I have had so far! I’ll give you a little look at what I’ve been up to last semester militarily, academically and athletically.

 

Militarily – Last semester I was the Support MAA for Foxtrot Company. This position helps the Guidon train the 4/c as well as helps the 1/c Support Department Head with their duties. With this responsibility I worked with the 4/c and I answered questions and supported the Guidon with their roles. This was a great experience for me because I got to learn about my own leadership style and figure out ways to improve it.

 

Academically – This was my best semester yet academically. I took very interesting major-specific classes. I took Fisheries Biology, where I learned everything I could ever want to know about fish and took an awesome field trip to Mystic Aquarium! I took Ocean Dynamics where I learned about how water travels in the ocean and the physics behind it. The last MES class that I took was GIS or Geographic Information Systems. This is a class where you create a map using computer software that you can then use to spatially analyze data. It was one of my favorite classes that I have taken and at the end of the course we got to work in groups and solve a marine problem from beginning to end. I really enjoyed all my classes and can’t wait to take more major-specific courses.

 

Athletically – Once again, I sailed last semester. The team had one of its best seasons in a long time. The women’s team was ranked 1st in the entire nation for a month! So that being said, we really did have a great season. We worked hard on and off the water to do that well and we are going to continue working hard to get ready for the spring season and hopefully qualify for Nationals again this year!

 

Now that I let you know a little of what I have been doing, I’ll give you a heads up on the things I have coming up in the future! I have so much to be excited for – Ring Dance, school, sailing, and 1/c summer! I’ll make sure I write more often this semester! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu.

 

More about Kayla.

 

On Exchange from USAFA

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Leech Photo Not gonna lie. I’m homesick. Dreadfully so. I miss my bold, brilliant mountains and my equally bold, brilliant friends. I miss the Air Force culture and how easy it is to navigate. Granted, I’m completely biased, having spent over two years immersed in it and just about a month immersed in the Coast Guard experience. The services value different ideals, and have significant differences in priorities, for good and for bad. Adjustment has not been easy and I’ve certainly been stumbling over myself and the expectations upon me.

 

But the one place I haven’t been stumbling is on the dance floor. I was born a dancer, always ready to shake my “thang” out on the floor. And I might not have been the most graceful of people (and I still am not) but I can pop, lock and drop with the best of ‘em. And I truly love it. I’m not stretchy at all though I’m working on my splits (only two hand lengths away from a full!). Every day, I run down to the gym and catch the tail end of wrestling practice in their padded room. I hook up to the massive speakers and just let it go. And all the stress and muddle of the day melts away and I can finally be free.

 

I do love sports period for this reason, and it’s one of my favorite parts about this place. USCGA integrates time every day to physically get out there, and get away from the stress of Chase Hall (the dormitory) and academia. I don’t even think about homework before 2000 because I’m going to be out there, dancing.

 

Speaking of dancing, I didn’t even mention ballroom dance. This year, I’ve joined the International Ballroom Dance Club, which teaches cadets dances such as the tango, the waltz, the foxtrot, the salsa and other dance styles. Having been a devoted blues dancer for some time, I’m absolutely enjoying it.

 

Oh, I didn’t even mention my acting career, which has begun (and will probably end) here at USCGA. I’m playing Martha Gillette in “The Game’s Afoot”. It took me almost three weeks to figure out my voice for the play, and the lines themselves are coming along. Sorta. Kinda. Okay, fine I’m still reading them out of the script but at least I have the right voice in which to read them. If you are going to be in the neighborhood of New London on Friday October 24 or Saturday October 25, swing on by and watch me work the stage with my coasties. We’d love to have a full house.

 

Regardless, I love what I’m doing for extracurriculars, and though the military and academic change is slow going, with the happiness everything else I’m doing gives me, I’m sure I will catch up, and catch up soon.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration, Very Respectfully,
2/c Brenna Leech, USAFA Exchange Cadet
USCGA Foxtrot Company

 

More about Brenna.

 

Busy and Blustery

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo I can’t say I didn’t see this coming: me drowning in a ridiculous amount of work. Fish Bio lab final, PECS test, lacrosse, community service, Probability and Statistics homework, quizzes, more homework…so much stuff. Regardless, Thanksgiving was great, too short, but relaxing quality time at home. I was able to take my little brother on a run, and to spend a lot of time with my little sister and best friend, who studied in New Zealand all of this past semester. I thankfully didn’t have any work to do apart from study, so I was able to escape from the Academy for almost a week. This is my last full week of class for my second class first semester! I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. Cheer season ended two weeks ago in Boston at a night game. Now I am focusing on lacrosse and I am getting excited for the spring season.

 

Over winter leave, I hope to stay busy. I will divide my time between community service, running for the PFE, spending time on my grandmother’s farm and hanging out with my siblings and friends. I know that even though we have a long break this year, it will go fast, propelling us all into another semester and a very cold few months of January and February.

 

I hope everyone has a nice break, let me know if you have any questions, or if you want to hear about something in particular!

 

Email me at Lucy.M.Daghir@uscga.edu. :)

 

More about Lucy.

 

Flying By Fall

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Life has been nothing short of crazy here at the Coast Guard Academy. The leaves have changed into their vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow, fall sports have begun to end and winter sports have commenced, and midterms have come and gone. I personally cannot believe how fast this semester is flying by. It seems like the older you are at the Academy, the faster everything seems to go. I remember being a 4/c like it was just the other day and dreaming about the day I would get civilian clothes and Friday night liberty. Now here I am as a 2/c cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy and I love every minute of my crazy cadet life!

 

Joining the women’s soccer team has definitely been the best decision of my Academy career. That’s not to say that I don’t love cross country because at times I do miss it, it’s just that soccer provides so much more of a team atmosphere to me. I love that everyone has to work together for one common goal–to win. If one person is out of tune, it throws the whole team off so teamwork is extremely important. Our team performed well enough this season to get a chance to compete in the NEWMAC tournament as the #7 seed. Unfortunately, we lost our first tournament game against the #2 seed– Springfield College. It was a great game though!

 

Parents’ Weekend was a couple weeks ago and I must say that weekend is always my favorite weekend here at the Academy. The campus is buzzing with proud parents, family members, and loved ones. I love showing my parents what a typical day consists of for me. I think they are always tired by the end of the day from all the walking we have to do and the hours of classes we sit through, which is always amusing to me. This year there was a search and rescue demonstration in the Thames River which featured helicopters and small boats from nearby Coast Guard stations. Most of the parents were very interested in that to see that their sons or daughters could be doing something like that one day. Of course my dad had to throw in his pitch to try to get me into aviation after that. I always tell my parents I belong on the water, but of course anything could happen.

 

Well as always I am never too busy to answer any questions about cadet life or the Coast Guard in general! Email me at Samantha.E.Corcoran@uscga.edu.

 

More about Samantha.