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cadet blogs

Escaping (For an Hour a Day)

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo I’m starting to realize that the longer I’m here, the harder it is to find things to write about and the more I want to write about something other than the Academy. It’s funny because you would think that, with all the firstie responsibilities, my Capstone project, and upcoming billets, I wouldn’t be able to stop talking about these things but they all kind of meld together into a giant mass of “stuff that needs to be done.” So, I’m going to leave the Academy and enroll in classes at Connecticut College across the street.

 

However, leaving the Academy at this point would’ve made AIM, CGAS, and the past three years all for naught (and put me in a serious amount of debt.) So, instead of leaving for good, I trek over to Conn College for about an hour a day to take a class in Mandarin Chinese. It’s pretty nice, really. I am lucky to have an awesome academic advisor and a good enough memo to convince the Academy to let me to take Chinese for my language requirement as a Government major. I grew up speaking Chinese, so this is a great opportunity for me to build up on my skills, especially reading and writing. I can even see my improvement every time I call home or listen to Chinese music. The class itself is a lot of fun—my professor and classmates are all very welcoming, and it’s a very relaxed environment. Not only that, but I get to wear civilian clothes and experience a bit of traditional college, even if it’s only for an hour a day.

 

More about Olivia.

 

Firstie Division Work

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo Every year brings new responsibilities as well as new benefits for cadets. The most obvious rewards come after 3/c year when we are able to wear civilian clothes during liberty hours and we also have ‘shorts’ (unlimited overnights from Saturday to Sunday). From 2/c year to 1/c year, the big ones for me were being able to keep my Prius on base to drive myself around and liberty on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

 

On the flip side of the upper-class rewards is the division work and new military obligations. As a first class, each month I stand about six Officer of the Day (OOD) watches, which consist of maintaining accountability of the company for the entire day and handling the situation if any dire event occurs. In addition to OOD, 1/c also stand about one or two Regimental Command Duty Officer (RCDO) watches, which require the RCDO to ensure the safety of the corps, brief the Superintendent, and check on the other watch standers.

 

Finally, the last large responsibility taken on as a 1/c is division work. By senior year, 1/c cadets manage a six to eight-person division composed of 2/c, 3/c, and 4/c. Each division has a unique field of work ranging from morale/community service to planning Parents’ Weekend. This year, I am overseeing the yearbook, known as Tide Rips. Fortunately, I have two divisions to assist in the creation of the yearbook over the course of the year. I plan for this year’s yearbook to focus especially on the individuals of the corps because sometimes being a ‘sea of blue’ makes us overlook how unique the Academy’s cadets are.

 

If you would like to be a part of the yearbook, we have a new app called “Yearbook Snap” or online at yearbookforever.com, password “uscga,” which allows anyone (friends, family, and cadets) to upload Academy photos for the 2017-2018 school year. The yearbook team can use photos from that picture bank when creating the various pages, such as Homecoming, sports events, dances, and Parents’ Weekend, etc. The more help the yearbook team has receiving photos of the most memorable moments of the year, the better this year’s yearbook can be!

 

More about Amy.

 

I'm Designing an Icebreaker

(Academics, Class of 2018, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo This semester has been a whirlwind. We were assigned our Capstone groups for the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major almost as soon as we returned to the Academy after summer training. I am part of a group of four who are working on creating a medium icebreaker with a focus on scientific research. For the first couple weeks, we concentrated on creating our design philosophy, and now we are moving on to actually developing our icebreaker using Rhino, a computer program that allows us to build a ship hull. Initially, I experienced some major struggles using the software, but thankfully after many hours in the ship design lab, I am slowly becoming more proficient at the program, and it is amazing to see ideas come to life.

 

Our Capstone group has also undertaken a yearlong interview/photo/social media initiative with the Public Affairs Office following our project. Last week, we were interviewed in the Henriques Room in Hamilton Hall. We were given the opportunity to speak with the Public Affairs personnel about our project and plans. Getting interview experience and public speaking practice, I believe, will help me immensely next year when I become an ensign, and getting to hear my groupmates talk about their outlook on the project was eye-opening as well.

 

Well, I realize this post has been almost entirely about academics but, presently, that is what my life is most centered around. Don’t get me wrong, military trainings, Glee Club, Fairwinds, friends, and athletics are still an essential part of my daily routine, but like me, completing our Capstone project is what most first class cadets are focused on. Have a great week, and feel free to email me any questions about anything! Hannah.M.Eshleman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Hannah.

 

1/c Life

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Martorell Crespo Photo So far, life as a first class cadet is not bad. As a 1/c cadet, I am held to a higher standard than everyone else and we, as a class, are the leaders of the Corps of Cadets. I was given the opportunity to be a division officer and actually have the authority to set high expectations for our division members and even myself to complete our division’s goals. Although it is nice to lead, it is also a challenge because not only do I have to be aware of the members in my division, but also manage my own responsibilities.

 

As a firstie, I have a lot of work to do in the barracks but also in academics, especially with my Capstone project. In your last year at the Academy, you get assigned a major project that you have to work on throughout the semester and it’s not easy. Not only will you have to put a lot of work into it to finish with a successful project, but it will require some late nights and even no sleep on other nights. But overall, life as a 1/c cadet is fun and challenging. Even though you have a lot to worry about, the motivation to graduate and become an ensign is what keeps everyone’s hopes up!

 

More about Irene.

 

Allow Me to Break the Ice

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chen Photo The fall semester has started and let me tell you what a doozy it has been. Last semester, I was informed that I will be part of an advanced research project with two of my classmates for the 2017-2018 year. This project is part of our Government major capstone requirement. My classmates and I were selected to do a project focused on the Arctic. Over the summer, I was given some readings in order to have some basic knowledge on the situation in the Arctic.

 

During the first few days of school, our group was told that we were going to Iceland to kick off our research project. After a couple weeks and a lot of paperwork, we made our way to Iceland. We were able to observe and participate in the first ever multinational live SAR exercise between Arctic countries; this was called Arctic Guardian 2017. Various Arctic nations worked together to recover life boats and personnel if a major catastrophe were to take place in the future. We were able to interact with leaders of other coast guards and even talked with Admiral Z while aboard the Pierre Radisson, the Canadian icebreaker that hosted the damage control drills for all of the nations. It was remarkable, noticing the similarities and differences of our countries.

 

We also had some free time to explore around the city. Did you know that Icelanders have a fascination with hot dogs, also known as pylsurs? I bought a pylsur from Baejarins Beztu Pylsur in Reyjavik, the stand that President Clinton visited. Hands down, that was the most amazing hot dog I have ever eaten; they make their dogs differently and put special toppings on it. It definitely is worth checking out if you’re ever in Iceland. Other than my new obsession with pylsurs, we had the chance to walk around downtown Reykjavík and drive by many beautiful landforms. I even got to see the Northern Lights.

 

I never would have thought that I would get the chance to travel to Iceland and honestly, I have the Academy to thank for that. I have been given an amazing opportunity and cannot wait for many more to come.

 

More about Sarah.