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cadet blogs

My New Major...Management

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo As Winter Storm Juno hits New England, I finally get a chance to catch up on my cadet blogs. School was cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a nice break in the routine. January flew by, and starting next week it will be February! This semester for me so far hasn’t been as stressful as the last, as I am taking four less credit hours, and I am already adjusted to the duties of a 3/c cadet. I am excited to take classes in my new major, Management, like Financial Accounting and Organizational Behavior and Leadership. Financial Accounting has been a bit of a struggle for us all, but that’s just because it’s something most of us have never learned. I switched my major to Management because I wanted to learn about how the Coast Guard efficiently manages manpower, materials, and money. I am interested in a Human Resources ashore career between afloat assignments, and I think I can make a difference in how Coast Guard command cadre relates to its people through its Human Resources Directorate.

 

Watching workers complete the Academy-wide slate re-roofing project, I thought about my roots. I was born to a working class family and my community has given me an opportunity to attend college, a federal service academy at that. I am excited to learn the ins and outs of management today so that one day I can make a difference in the lives of Coast Guardsmen around the world. Pretty idealistic, so I better get to studying for my Physics II test tomorrow.

 

More about William.

 

For the Parents of Prospective Cadets

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I know this is blog is primarily intended for prospective cadets. That being said, I’m going to take the road less traveled and address a different demographic with this entry. Many of you readers have received or will be receiving appointments to the Academy, and for that I congratulate you. And I ask you now to call your parents over, who may have mixed reactions to this occurrence in your life, and ask them to give up a couple minutes of their time for this entry.

 

Why hello, parents, it’s very nice to meet you! Your child just got his or her appointment, and from what I’ve heard from my own classmates, either you’re thrilled or very worried. Regardless of which category you belong to, I have some advice for you. I got it from watching my own parents, and how they’ve walked with me from day one of my Coast Guard career, starting with when I originally considered applying.

 

You want the best for your child and so you might very well want to offer your insight into their college choices. When you do this, remember to consider whatever you believe will make your daughter or son happiest – not just now, but in the future. Not just what you think is best, but what you see as being best for them. My parents both attended the Air Force Academy, and I actually had appointments to both there and the Coast Guard. I often get asked if they ever pushed me into accepting my USAFA appointment. I am very fortunate to be able to say “no.” This is because my parents knew a very important truth about attending a service academy – to survive at one, to thrive, you must absolutely want to be there. My parents knew me well enough to know that the Air Force was a great place, and was their dream, but not the place that would ultimately make me happy. If there was any pressure, it was toward the Coast Guard because they understood that the missions of this force aligned best with my desires and aspirations. I know they would have leapt for joy had I become a Zoomie, but they did something I have always been thankful for – they encouraged me to take a path even they didn’t know much about, and become a Coastie. (They might be wondering what went wrong, considering I grew up ten minutes from an Air Force base, but God works in very strange ways.)

 

They supported my decision, and I could not be more grateful for that. Parents, your child has a huge decision in front of him or her. You’ll have your own thoughts on that decision, and they may or may not line up with what your child is thinking. Please, please, please, and please again – offer your positive support wherever he or she winds up going. You have no idea just yet how much of a difference it makes to know that, even when the cadre are in your face or the homework is piled on the desk, there are people at home who are proud of you and invested in your success. It’s a difficult school, and every cadet here has bad days and wants that encouragement. Help your child stick with the challenges of the Academy – and then you’ll get that idea I just mentioned. And I’ll bet you’ll find it feels awesome.

 

More about Abby.

 

A Month of Closure

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo December has been a month of closure. I say goodbye to 2014, and what a year it has been. 2014 was jammed packed with 4/c indoctrination boards, the end of 4/c year, 3/c summer on Eagle and a 210 foot cutter, and the first half of 3/c year. Last semester was challenging not only because I had 20 credit hours, but also because there was nobody constantly checking up on me. Unlike 4/c year, there isn’t a whole lot of pressure to keep up grades, room standards, or really much of anything. So it was a challenge to keep myself motivated when nobody was watching. At the Academy, there is a sponsor parent program, which pairs cadets with local adults around the Academy community to unwind during liberty hours. I was paired with a Senior Chief Petty Officer, who has helped me escape the Academy over the weekends to golf and enjoy good food.

 

Last week, I went to the International Debutante Ball in New York City, where the wealthiest families around the world introduce their daughters to high society. I got to go for free, and spend a few days in the Big Apple. The ball was amazing: the pageantry and showiness was like nothing else I’ve seen, and the ball started at 6:30 p.m. and ended around 2 a.m.! I met dukes, duchesses, and cadets from other Academies at the Waldorf-Astoria. Before the ball, I saw the United Nations Building, Rockefeller Center, and the New York City Library. It was nice to roam around aimlessly and not have to worry about school for a while.

 

More about William.

 

Returning Home to the Academy

(Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo For some reason this year, as I find myself returning to the monochromatic Chase Hall, there is no longer the sense of dread there was previously. I almost looked forward to returning and being with my friends and getting back into the routine of the Academy. By no means was winter leave unwelcome, a respite was both needed and gladly accepted, but there is something about a routine that helps me be much more productive than my lazy self on leave.

 

For the first time at the Academy, I earned a place on the athletic directors list. To do this, I had to score well enough on the fitness exam, which, while never being a concern of mine, has never been one of my strengths either. It was one of the prouder moments in my cadet career so far, I found myself finally able to see a concrete result of the work I had been doing.

 

This upcoming semester, I’m also starting a new program with the Connecticut College Orchestra, through which a few cadets will be able to participate in their program. I’ve been trying to revive cadet music, and this is a big step for us, because the program will allow for option for cadets who can’t participate in other groups due to time constraints, and allow a little more participation. On another musical note, our cadet-run brass ensemble had our first performance at the winter formal. Everything went smoothly, and we’re looking forward to another great semester of music.

 

Until next time!

 

More about Drew.

 

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.