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cadet blogs

100 Days of Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo Fun fact! The 14 weeks that are set aside for summer training here at the Academy works out to be exactly 100 days.

 

The first two weeks of the summer went by in no time. We started with 100th Week when they brought up the Cape May Company Commanders who run the enlisted boot camp to teach us basically how to be cadre. It started out with them just treating us like enlisted recruits, but became more and more about us assimilating into the role of cadre. The rest of the week included classroom leadership training and a trip to Stones Ranch where we did team-building exercises on their challenge course. The next week was largely helping out with graduation and getting to see the Commander-in-Chief give a speech at commencement right in front of me. After the Class of 2017 left, the campus fell dead silent and I had two days to practice navigation skills out on the T-boats.

 

Then I had three weeks of leave, the bulk of which was spent at home helping my dad fix up our sailboat. I also went hiking in New Hampshire for two days with a friend from home. Additionally, I went to Vail, Colorado to hang out with a friend working at a golf course and we had four days of just straight hiking and playing golf.

 

Returning to the Academy, I had a week of shooting to qualify in pistol, where I just barely passed by getting the necessary target score on the last day. Then we had prep week before the swabs arrived when we set up their rooms and prepared down at Jacob’s Rock for waterfront cadre.

 

The next three weeks I was entrusted with the awesome responsibility of training 36 new members of the Coast Guard and one member of Georgia’s armed forces as well as interacting with every member of the Class of 2021 down on the waterfront. I had to work with my classmates in ways different from any way I had worked with them before. It started out a lot of fun, but it got pretty tiring by the end, and we really had to work to keep up the intensity of the training for the swabs.

 

After cadre, I went down to Mobile, Alabama for a week of training called the Cadet Aviation Training Program. I got to go up in a Jayhawk and even got hoisted by a rescue swimmer.

 

I probably went home for five different weekends during the summer since I live so close to hang out with friends, go sailing, and even take another hiking trip up to New Hampshire.

 

Having grown up on Cape Cod, the Coastal Sail Training Program was a really cool way to see home. Venturing all over New England like that was awesome, and I was even able to host 26 of my friends at my house for dinner. The summer ended back in the classroom with the Rules of the Road exam.

 

So, there it is. 100 days of summer, which is one more for the books and I am looking now to starting the school year strong.

 

More about Derek.

 

All for Clubs and Clubs for All

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo The summer is starting to wind down and Cadets are getting ready to head back to the Academy for the start of the academic year. The week before classes start is Cadet Administrative Processing or CAP week, when cadets set up their class schedules, get books, move into their new rooms, take the PFE, and any other tasks the Academy needs us to complete before the school year starts. As part of CAP week, there’s the annual Cadet Activities Fair when the whole corps goes down to lower field for a cook-out lunch and clubs set up tables to let everyone learn more about the club and sign up if they’re interested. I’m in Women’s Leadership Council, Culinary Club, Diversity Peer Educators, Cadet Activities Council, Class of 2019 Formal Committee, (obviously) Blog Club and others I’m forgetting right now.

 

One of the other clubs that I’m in is the Women’s Rugby Team. We’re a club sport because we compete under USA Rugby instead of the NCAA. We’re a division II team and went to the final four last season. It may sound intimidating, like you have to have played since you were six years old to be on the team, but this is the farthest thing from the truth. Anyone who wants to play is welcome. In high school, I played volleyball and swam but I decided to change it up when I got to the Academy so I started playing rugby and I love it. The team is super close and welcoming. We practice Monday through Thursday during sports period and lift in the morning before the military training period on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have our games on Saturday mornings at a field the Coast Guard Foundation owns off base. After our games we have a cook out with the other team and get back to the Academy shortly after liberty is granted. It’s a great way to get off base, meet new people, and create a positive representation of the Coast Guard for people who may not know a lot about our service.

 

I am also the president of the Jewish Hillel on campus. The club has lunch together every other week and the wardroom does a great job of catering it. They make challah, matzah ball soup, and other traditional foods. The lunches and club is not just for Jewish cadets, most of the club members are not Jewish; they come to learn more about Jewish heritage and their shipmates who are Jewish. In addition to the lunches we organize outreach events. Last semester alone, we hosted a visit from members of the Israeli Defense forces; a Passover Seder; a Holocaust remembrance lunch, which over 100 cadets attended; and more.

 

While the Academy is a very stringent and regulated place, there is also the opportunity to express yourself and explore your interests. You just have to take the initiative to join the club related to your interests, or create it yourself. Last year alone the Diversity Peer Educators, German American Council, Archery Club, and Field Hockey Team were created.

 

If you have any questions, about clubs or anything else, feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Swab Summer: One Day at a Time

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
King Photo Dear Families of 2021,

 

How’s it going? Are you still adjusting to Swab Summer? It’s an intense seven weeks for sure. I am writing this at the beginning of the second week. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a week! Swab Summer flies by faster than you think.

 

Some advice for both the parent and swab is to take it one day at a time. If you look at it as seven weeks, you’re going to get overwhelmed. Break it into manageable chunks, sometimes you just got to make it to the next meal. One thing I told myself is that anyone can do anything for five minutes, and just make there.

 

Another piece of advice to both is that the swabs are in good hands. Today, I was sailing by Jacob’s Rock and saw the waterfront cadre in action. They were very professional and created an engaging learning environment. I know in Chase, the cadre are more focused on the military and teamwork aspects.

 

To the parents, don’t be worried if your swab’s letters are brief. In the beginning, it’s usual for the letters to be short. However, toward the end of the summer, they’ll get longer and a bit more upbeat as they learn time management and get used to Swab Summer.

 

To the swabs, realize that the cadre were once in your position. Only two short years ago, I was marching around and sounding off with the rest of them. I squared my meals, I pushed deck, and I was far from perfect. Cadre are human too, and I can guarantee you that they made the same mistakes you are making.

 

Finally, don’t forget to laugh. I know that sometimes it’s hard but keep a positive attitude. You’re going to fail, but you’re also going to get back up.

 

Last year, I wrote an article on advice for Swab Summer. Here is the link: http://uscga.edu/blog.aspx?id=65657.

 

Very Respectfully,
2/c Deborah King

 

More about Deborah.

 

Marine Safety Training

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo During 2/c summer, cadets participate in a variety of programs to aid in our professional development. As part of this, cadets are scheduled for aviation training but have the option to trade it out for marine safety program at Coast Guard sectors across the country or naval engineering at the Coast Guard Yard. I worked with the command at my station last summer and was able to go to an air station for a day and shadow the pilots there. While I had a great time, I know that I don’t want to be pilot so I opted to do the Marine Safety Training Program this summer in lieu of the aviation training.

 

A classmate and I were sent to Sector Maryland - National Capital Region to work in their prevention office. We were able to observe domestic inspections, which are conducted on all qualifying U.S. flagged vessels. We were also able to participate in a multi-agency strike force operation (MASFO) for the Port of Baltimore. Working with counterparts from other agencies including Customs and Border Protection, the harbor police, Department of Transportation investigators, and multiple others, we searched containers departing and entering the United States on cargo vessels to fight against drug smuggling, human trafficking, and assure the containers were stable for sea to facilitate a safe transit. Later that week, we were able to observe a port state inspection, which is an inspection conducted on foreign vessels entering the U.S. We inspected a coal tanker after it completed its first ever transit.

 

The best part the experience was the crew from the prevention department. Everyone we worked with was welcoming, passionate about prevention, and willing to teach us about their work. We had a great time working with them and learning about possible career tracks in the Coast Guard.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Dear Class of 2021

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo First off, congratulations on receiving your appointment and on deciding to come to the Academy. As Swearing-In Day gets closer, the excitement of receiving your appointment has probably transformed into nerves for Swab Summer to come; so, here are my tips for your summer ahead.

 

Don’t try to find or get the Running Light ahead of time. Trust me; you will have plenty of time to learn it this summer and during 4/c year. Spend the time between now and Swearing-In Day with your family and friends.

 

Come in mentally and physically ready. I usually recommend that you are able to do 30 minutes of running, upper body, lower body, and abs. If you can hit that mark great, if not, don’t let it ruin the rest of the time you have left at home with stress. The more important thing is that you can push yourself and never quit. A large part of Swab Summer is learning how to deal with failure and high-stress situations. Come in knowing that you’re not perfect, you are going to fail and that is okay. Learn from it and move on.

 

Don’t take things personally; this goes with being mentally prepared. Nothing your cadre do will be personal. There needs to be a drastic transformation in a relatively short amount of time and this requires all discrepancies to be addressed immediately. We are simply trying to get the action up to standard. People who take corrections personally and let them fester usually have a rougher time during the summer than those who learn the lesson and move on.

 

Ask your friends and family to write to you and send care packages. Getting mail during Swab Summer is super motivating. When my parents sent me mail during my Swab Summer, they would write corny jokes on the card. It is something little but it helped me a lot. Also, tell your parents to send you food if they can. You will be given enough time to eat and as much food as you want, but, as a swab you’re constantly moving so you’re constantly hungry.

 

Females, practice putting your hair up in a bun. Don’t cut your hair within two weeks of Swab Summer to give you a chance to get used to dealing with it. Bring extra hair ties and hair gel. If you think hair ties disappear fast at home, you’ll be amazed at the rate they go missing during Swab Summer.

 

Enjoy the time you have between now and swearing in. I know anticipating the summer is stressful but try to relax and enjoy this time. The summer will come and go; it is only seven-weeks out of your 200-week experience at the Academy. Your cadre are there to help you become a basically trained military member and an effective 4/c cadet. Believe it or not, we want you to succeed and complete the summer. We were in your shoes not too long ago.

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu. I know most bloggers put this at the end of their entries, but we mean it. We volunteer to write these blogs because we remember how much they helped us when we were in your shoes so please do feel free to reach out, whether you’re in 2021 or not, we want to help you.

 

More about Jill.