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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Service Academies Exchange Program

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo Each fall semester, the Coast Guard Academy participates in an exchange program with the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and West Point. (The Merchant Marine Academy is not able to participate due to their trimester (as opposed to semester) program.) Officers at each academy negotiate how many cadets to exchange; it is usually two to five per academy. The opportunity to participate in this semester-long exchange program is provided to cadets going into their 2/c (junior) year. It involves an application process during which you provide your GPA, PFE score, military score, and a paragraph explaining why you’re interested in being on exchange. They look for people who are well-rounded and can represent the Academy well. The connections these students will make with other cadets and midshipmen could become vital in joint service operations in the future.

 

I have been interested in this exchange program since my first semester here. One of my 2/c was an Army cadet on exchange here at the Coast Guard Academy. In spring semester of 4/c year, I started talking to Coast Guard cadets who had gone on exchange in the fall, asking them what they thought of the program and what their experience was like. They all said it was a great opportunity to see something different, make new friends and enjoy a big-school environment for a little bit. They all said, “Apply if you can,” so when the application came out at the beginning of the semester, I did. I should also mention that I was talking to one of my best friends about it and we decided to both put Navy as our top pick. Since her family lives about 20 minutes away from the Naval Academy, I’d have a sponsor family.

 

About a month and a half later, the list was released. Originally, I got West Point but I was also first alternate for the Naval Academy. At the time, the Air Force Academy and West Point were each taking five cadets and the Naval Academy was only taking two. Just last week, I found out that they decided to exchange one more with Navy, and I got it! I am so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to share more about this experience with you next semester!

 

More about Sarah.

 

Academics and the Music Program at the Academy

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Well, spring break is upon us yet again and it seems almost unbelievable that we are almost halfway done with our cadet careers. It feels like we just got done with our first week of classes 4/c year. This semester is the first chance I’ve had to focus almost entirely on engineering courses and it has been the most interesting time of my life. Even though some would dread learning the ins and outs of fracture formation and propagation, I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

 

On top of the academic load, I’ve been able to get more involved with the music program at the Academy. The Brass Quintet is preparing to play at some of the community dances in Leamy. This opportunity is something that I am very excited about and is going to hopefully get the group out there more. Possibly more exciting is an upcoming gig for the Jazz band. We are playing at a Coast Guard Auxiliary awards ceremony with performer Natalie Toro and it is yet another truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we’ve been given.

 

One of the proudest moments of my career so far was at the Military School Band Festival. I attended the drum major clinic, while three other cadets attended the band portion of the festival. Each of the other cadets placed highest in their section (Casey Dieter-Leeds on trumpet, Hope McGeady on horn, and Olivia Calabro on oboe). Hope was selected as the most outstanding instrumentalist and the Coast Guard Academy placed as the college with the highest average audition score. I was truly honored and humbled to be with such outstanding musicians.

 

More about Drew.

 

Pumped for Cadre Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Tousignant Photo Cadre summer can be a captivating experience because so much power is given to the cadre in a short time frame. I am not excited about the power I will have, but about the opportunity I will have to help shape these high school kids into leaders of America. This summer I will learn what it means to serve those I am leading. I will be able to try out different leadership philosophies with the desire to give my very best to the incoming swabs. By making the environment rigorous for the swabs, we are preparing them for the Academy and the fleet. My goal is to help them see the necessity of time management. I want them to see the value of their hard work. Most of all, I want to instill in them the importance of truthfulness and respect. This summer I will become a leader and the swabs will become part of our family.

 

More about Jackie.

 

Finding Your Focus

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Johnson Photo Another year and another semester, and would you look at that, I’m almost halfway to graduating from the Academy. It seems like only yesterday that I was telling my friend in English class during my senior year of high school that I was going to visit the Coast Guard Academy and I really wanted to attend school there. It feels like I have accomplished so much in the little time since graduating high school. Trust me on this; time goes by quickly when you have something you’re working your heart out for.

 

I know I didn’t write much my first semester as a sophomore at the Academy, but I can definitely say there wasn’t much going on. First semester was pretty much me buckling down on school and military performance. I had heard advice from senior ranking officers that sophomore year is a great year to pick a focus; for example, if you didn’t work out very much and cadre summer is coming up, you should work out to be fit for training the incoming swabs, or if you lacked in grades, focus on that a bit more because there isn’t an overload of responsibility as a 3/c. Don’t get me wrong, there are still responsibilities like being the role model to the freshmen, but there isn’t as much as, say, a junior that is in charge of the development of the 4/c. Last semester my intent was to work on military performance. I wanted to be able to teach the 4/c things that I wished my 3/c taught me last year about the Academy in all aspects.

 

Now that I worked on that, I earned my first Silver Star! By the way, the Silver Star is similar to an award for being in the top 25% of military excellence for that semester. It was extremely exciting. Now this semester, I am working on my academics a little more. So far, it’s been much better than last semester. My first three quizzes in Differential Equations have all been 80-90%.

 

Hope all is going well and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at AngelaRuth.A.Johnson@uscga.edu!

 

More about Angela.

 

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.