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cadet blogs

Medallions, Colors, and Perfect Water

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo While the Regimental Review for Homecoming Weekend and the football game the following Saturday afternoon have always been mandatory for cadets, this was the first Homecoming at the Academy that meant anything to me. It seemed like everyone was excited to see their older brother or parent that weekend; the alumni parked literally everywhere on campus Friday morning, including outside of our windows in the quad. Classes and trainings continued as scheduled, with one modification for the Medallion Ceremony to be held in the late afternoon.

 

Every year the class celebrating their 50th reunion from the Academy is invited to return specially for participation in the Medallion Ceremony. The Commandant of the Coast Guard is aided by three cadets, from Delta Company (the best company), in honoring each alumni with a medallion around their neck as their name and highest rank attained is read off by a senior cadet in the gymnasium. Surrounding the alumni, who sit on the court, in the bleachers as a Corps of Cadets is a powerful atmosphere in itself, but not the most personal. For me to feel connected to the events of Homecoming I needed more.

 

This year after assisting the Color Guard present the colors at the Regimental Review and Medallion Ceremony, I headed down to the boathouse for crew practice. Being a Friday and pretty late already around 5 p.m., I decided to go out on the water as soon as possible. Without waiting for my teammates I paddled down to Jacob’s Rock, about 300 meters, in my single rowing shell. Not far from shore I could hear alumni joining the women’s soccer team on the field, saw the lights illuminating the football field, and again, found cars scattered in every possible place around campus. Yet, there I was alone on the water with what felt like no connection to any of those cars or people.

 

Listening to evening colors as the sun sets at both the Coast Guard Academy and Naval Sub Base New London on the water rowing back to the dock is always breathtaking. The sounds echo from both sides of the river and on a clear night, the complete silence when the music stops seems to linger just long enough. On this night, however, the puttering burp of an engine filled that silence, along with the brushing of oars other than my own against the dock. Catching the gaze of the five men sitting in the boat across the dock was just what I needed for Homecoming to mean something. The tired looks of men who wrestled with calculus, stood years of midwatch, and had time to start families stared at me, who at twenty was exhausted from a paddle. One of them asked if it was a good row. “Yes, the water was perfect” was my response.

 

At the end of this year’s Homecoming Weekend I chose to reflect on the exchange with an alumni crew who still mustered the energy for a row. There were many reminders that there are thousands who have graduated before us, who wear medallions, and observe colors. Being tired is not a valid excuse not to care. It is a reason to keep searching and eventually, somehow finding the perfect water.

 

More about Sarah.

 

It Has Been a Long Time…

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo So it has been a very, very long time since I have written something and a lot of things have changed. First of all, getting the privileges of a second class has probably been the biggest reward yet. I can finally wear civilian clothes and blend in with the citizens of New London. I also started playing rugby for the Academy. The guys on the team are awesome, and it may be considered a very rough sport, but being on the pitch makes all of the Academy stress disappear. We have had a decent season and I am looking forward for the spring season as well. Becoming a second class also means that you fully integrate into your major. Besides one non-major specific class next semester, all of my classes either pertain to the Government major or life in the fleet. I have never been so happy being done with mathematics! My writing has improved and I love writing about the current events in the world. Remember if anyone has any questions let me know, and if you receive the bulletin check out my articles in the December issue!

 

Got a question? Email me Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu!

 

More about Nathan.

 

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.

 

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.