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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Hello :)

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo I am just taking a break from writing a paper for Fisheries Biology class and decided that there was no better time to take a moment to let you into my semester. WE HAVE REACHED MIDTERM. It is honestly crazy and very hard for me to grasp this and on top of that, I have just this past weekend finished fall ball for lacrosse with a play day in Massachusetts. Most of my classes are going well, and I have to say I am enjoying myself thoroughly in each of my endeavors as a cadet this year. I have found a good spot in Delta company, and as I member of the regimental planning division, I write the scripts for drill and have also with my roommate somehow advanced to seating the VIP guests for regimental drill.

 

I am having a great time on the cheerleading although this is the part in the season when the cold becomes just a little much and the wind equally as rough. Luckily, though, we have new running suits for warmth, and the cheering has been exciting this year.

 

In terms of my studies, I am very involved in my Marine and Environmental Sciences curriculum, conducting fish trawls on the river, presentations on Thames River fish populations, and discussing the importance of conservation of endangered marine species. It is weird but I have found that between football and lacrosse and homework and studying, I really haven’t had much free time, but I am happy to say that despite my many weekends spent at the Academy, I have enjoyed the free Sunday evening yoga classes and just relaxing on campus. The fall colors are exceptional, and I was lucky enough to get a room with a view of the river.

 

Parents’ Weekend is coming up and I am really looking forward to their visit. We are going to watch the football game and I am excited to show off our spirit with the cheerleaders.

 

GO BEARS, BEAT ENDICOTT!

 

More about Lucy.

 

Halloween at the CGA

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Halloween at the Coast Guard Academy is unlike anything you would experience in normal civilian life. To start, instead of getting to decorate houses with scary decorations, we decorate our small rooms with as many decorations as we can fit and put buckets of candy outside our rooms. Some people go all in, and even walking into their room can be a challenge. Then there are people like me who don’t decorate at all.

 

On a company level, there are actually some fun activities to do. On the Wednesday before Halloween, my company had a party. We set up a few tables and played a “cider pong” tournament, which drew a lot of attention. Also, we decorated the dayroom with tons of scary spider webs and Halloween decorations. As we decorated, people enjoyed a massive bucket of candy, pop corn, warm apple cider, and caramel apples. The party was pretty fun, and it was a much welcomed break from the monotony of the week.

 

On the Thursday before Halloween, the corps had a chance to participate in the festivities together. At 1830, we had our annual Halloween dinner. The entire corps got dressed up in their costumes and headed down to the wardroom for a festive dinner and the infamous costume competition. This year, the costumes were awesome. Some costumes were really scary, and others were ridiculously funny. Personally, I dressed up as Brad Pitt from World War Z. Why? Well, my rugby teammates decided that we were all going to dress up as different Brad Pitts from the movies he has appeared in. We had over 30 of our guys dress up as different Brad Pitts, and we all sat together at the dinner. The meal was pretty good, but the most fun part was the costume competition. There were several categories for the competition: most creative, scariest, most nautical, and best group. The winner of each category is whoever receives the loudest support, which is a sight to see in itself. The rugby team went up for best group costume, and we each introduced ourselves as “Brad Pitt from___”. Surprisingly, we were very well received, and we won the group contest. That was awesome.

 

After the meal, hundreds of cadets headed up the “hill” for treats and prizes. The “hill” is where ADM Stosz, the Commandant of Cadets, Assistant Superintendent, Master Chief, and Command Chaplain all live. Each house was giving out handfuls of candy, and the Commandant of Cadets was handing out prizes including: long weekends, late racks, and other rewards. I ended up getting a free pass for me and three friends to go to Monday night football, which is typically reserved for seniors only.

 

After visiting the hill, I went back to the barracks to walk around seeing everyone’s costumes and to check out the parties going on. Overall, I had a lot of fun. Halloween at CGA is very different from what I would normally do at home, but I really enjoy it. The weeks here are long, and celebrations like Halloween and Thanksgiving are great stress relievers. Plus, it’s fun to dress up with all my friends and go have fun for a night, instead of studying or doing work.

 

If you have any questions about any of my blogs, please feel free to email me anytime at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care!

 

More about Hunter.

 

Can I Go To Flight School, Now?

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Wow – it’s already October and I haven’t wrote a blog since the summer. This is unusual, and I’m totally sorry. This semester is flying by in a whirlwind, but I guess that’s a good thing! This semester I am the 2/c in the Parents Weekend Division, which means a lot of preparation, organizing, and work. I’m also busy at work with the Aviation Club and, now, the dance team which I just joined this year. So far, fall of 2/c year is great and I’m lovin’ it.

 

Reflecting on this past summer, which was by far the best one yet at the Academy, my favorite experience was the Cadet Aviation Training Program (CATP). I spent a week at Air Station Mobile in Mobile, Alabama to get a good taste of what aviation is like. I always knew before going that flying was something I wanted to do; however, after this week I was 100% assured of this. I left Mobile with the greatest sense of fulfillment. I felt like I really found my “purpose” in life. I love the aviation community, the missions of the various aircraft, and, most importantly, I love the sheer act of flying.

 

I had the opportunity to actually fly a 65 (a type of helicopter) which was THE coolest thing I’ve ever done. I still feel slightly embarrassed recalling the pilot who laughed at me saying I looked like a little kid on Christmas when I took the controls. However, I am proud of that. It just goes to show that I’ve truly found my little piece of happiness in the Coast Guard. I loved my experience so much that I plan on requesting assignment to an air station my 1/c summer. And, of course, I am going to apply to flight school. Hopefully I will be honored with that opportunity come billet night.

 

But billet night is a long way away. As for now, I’m focusing on getting good grades, setting a good example for now my 3/c and 4/c, and staying positive about life in general. I guess it goes without saying that I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and I’m excited for what the rest of 2/c year has to bring.

 

Please email me with any questions you may have about anything. I love helping out prospective kaydets! :)

 

More about Allie.

 

New Year, New Responsibilities

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo The new school year has finally started and I couldn’t be busier. After a seemingly short summer, this past month has been a blur. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to do a bunch of really cool things; my favorite being the Cadet Aviation Program (CATP), and the Coastal Sail Program.

 

For the CATP, I got to fly down to Elizabeth City, North Carolina for a week and ride on Coast Guard aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary. I also had the opportunity to get hoisted from the water into a helicopter, which is easily the coolest opportunity I have gotten while at the Academy.

 

The Coastal Sail Program is a two week transit on a 44-foot sailing yacht around New England to places such as Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Cape Cod and Nantucket. I was on a boat with seven of my classmates and a safety officer. This trip taught me a lot about leadership and what kind of leader I wanted to be because of the high amount of exposure to peer leadership. It was really cool to be sailing around New England and stop in such cool places as well.

 

The biggest thing of second class summer though is being cadre. I got to be Swab Summer cadre second phase, which was both tiring and rewarding. It served as a good transition into the school year because this fall I am my company’s guidon. The company guidon is basically the senior second class in charge of the training of the fourth class over the semester. Being Swab Summer cadre allowed me to get to know each of my fourth class very well, which has helped this semester.

 

Besides being guidon, I am very busy with my own academics and with rugby. This year is my major’s toughest year, and I am still trying to find a balance between school, sports, being guidon, and having a social life. Things are getting better each week though, and I am generally content with how life is going. I know that this semester will be very rewarding for me.

 

More about Jade.

 

Fifteen Things I Didn't Expect to Learn at West Point

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Frost Photo Going on exchange to another service academy is a unique opportunity that I'm lucky to get to experience. After six weeks of being at West Point, I've finally settled into a schedule with classes and grown closer with the triathlon team. Here are some things that I've learned and experienced over the past several weeks:

 

  1. At less than 5,000 cadets, West Point would be considered a small college to anyone, but it still seems ginormous to a Coastie. And, when everyone asks what the biggest difference between West Point and Coast Guard, the answer is the size every time.
  2. Thinking that because you are just one in a sea of 4.5 thousand, no one will notice you is the biggest lie you could tell yourself because navy blue ODUs do not blend in at all with Army green ACUs. You can be pinpointed from a mile away.
  3. Submersing yourself in a new environment is more challenging than expected, and it gives you a renewed understanding for what the 4/c are going through.
  4. No one understands how you talk; they don't understand your saltiness. The "deck" becomes merely the floor, "p-ways" are hallways, "bulkheads" are hallways, and "shipmates" are battle buddies.
  5. Everything has an acronym, and it's impossible to keep track of them.
  6. People will and do look at you like you have two heads for saying "Bears!" And "Go Bears!" to everything, and it's impossible to explain what needs no explanation to any CGA cadet.
  7. All 2/c cadets a called "cows." It's weird.
  8. You salute without a cover on in the Army and in both gym gear and cadet casual (a.k.a. rec gear).
  9. People will ask you what branch you are going into, and they are blown away when you say your options are flight school, deck watch officer, engineering officer in training, or sector. You quickly learn it's not worth trying to explain that it's not really "branching" like it is in the Army.
  10. Everyone thinks that "The Guardian" is representative of the entire Coast Guard, and they ask you every time if you're going to be Ashton Kutcher.
  11. You will spend all your money at Starbucks and the cadet restaurant, especially if you live closer to it than the mess hall, like me.
  12. Optional breakfast is the greatest thing a cadet could ask for, and West Point does it right. We're talking Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, Nutella, Starbucks iced and hot coffee... It's good. However, you will quickly miss the wardroom dinner selection.
  13. A lot of really awesome speakers come to talk to cadets almost every week, and they are opportunities that you want to take advantage of.
  14. There are so many club sports teams and clubs to join. Joining the triathlon team here has been my best decision yet. You meet amazing people that are completely welcoming to exchangers, and it gives you a close-knit group to experience the semester with.
  15. You learn a lot about yourself. You learn how you handle change when you feel like you're the only one going through it, you learn what a different service values compares to the Coast Guard, and compared to your own, you learn how to lead others when you still need guidance yourself, and you learn how to learn from those whom you lead.

 

More about Christi.