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cadet blogs

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.

 

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.