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cadet blogs

New Year, New Outlook

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill PhotoSo, this summer was rewarding – I had the chance to experience my favorite things: sun, shipmates, and the South! I learned SO much on USCGC Eagle and how to deal with challenges and time stresses (even more). And I didn’t get seasick—yay! I also made so many new friends in the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2018. After Eagle, I ventured down to Station Charleston, South Carolina for six weeks where I made connections with fellow Coast Guardsmen and learned about the enlisted side of things.

 

Currently, I am trying to adjust to my new role as a 3/c by learning how to be a mentor/leader for my 4/c cadets who, I am proud to say, are very exceptional young men and women. I am excited for these extra responsibilities and no more 0800 classes!! Things were stressful during Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week just because we were all adjusting and preparing for the Formal Room and Wing inspection but, like they somehow always do, all our resources came together and we ended up having a beautiful, super-clean Golf Company wing area.

 

Gotta teach those 4/c how to get to bed on time though!

 

Ready to use my new privilege of wearing khakis and letting my hair down on liberty.

 

I really love my great girlfriends on the cheer team and in my Bible study! My confidence has skyrocketed since last year and knowing all the teachers and the different study/organization methods that work for me have improved my quality of life here at the CGA (not to mention the fact that I don’t have to square anymore).

 

I genuinely have a home-away-from-home and love my new family here.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Be the reason someone smiles today :)

 

3/c Kelly Hill

 

More about Kelly.

 

Rolling on the River

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo The academic year is rolling along here on the Thames in New London and I could not be more excited to be a third class cadet. It was great to return to the Academy from leave and see my friends and teammates, some of whom I had not seen in over three months. Last time my class walked the halls together we wore green shields on our uniforms and bore no stripe on our shoulder boards. Now we have returned wearing red shields and having earned a single diagonal stripe. This year will bring so many new adventures, new lessons, new friends, and perhaps most importantly the privilege to look at my food again. Third class year is a transition out of followership and into role-modeling. For my class, we will be setting an example for fourth class, holding ourselves accountable, and finishing out our core classes.

 

At the end of fourth class year, cadets are shuffled and moved to new companies where they will remain for the duration of the next three years. I was an Alfa fourth class and was placed in Charlie for the next three. I am interested to learn about Charlie’s role in the corps and what I can do to be a part of it as a third class. I am also eager to help fourth class get through this year because although it is tough, it is worth it, but that can be difficult to see while you’re experiencing it.

 

I am also excited to start taking major-specific classes and really begin to understand the Operations Research major. This semester I am taking two math classes, a computer language class, American Government, Rescue Swimming, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Spanish. I am really looking forward to the computer language and math classes. Outside of class I am part of the women’s rugby team this season as well as Cadets Against Sexual Assault, Spectrum Council and Women’s Leadership Council.

 

Go 3/c year and Go Bears!

 

More about Francesca.

 

3/c Summer: Three Weeks of Leave

(Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Turner Photo It’s been a while everyone so let me break down my leave experience for 3/c summer. By far it was a great way to end my summer in preparation for the school year. It was three weeks of continuous action. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

 

The first few days were hectic. I had driving school my first few days, then on the first Monday of leave, my summer took off. My friends and I planned a trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was convenient that my friend lives right in the area. We were there from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning.

 

Tuesday was the day we took over Busch gardens; it was a blast. We also managed to get into the park for free. That’s a wonderful thing about the Academy; it serves as a gateway to make lifelong memories with your friends, at an affordable price. After going on all the roller coasters, we threw a mini dance party at the end. It was a great end to the day.

 

Wednesday was a much-needed relaxing day. We walked along the Virginia Beach boardwalk and then just hung out at a local mall. Another reward of going to the Academy is that you can reflect on moments like this and truly appreciate how close you can get to others. And when you have an opportunity to relax after a nonstop 11-week summer, it’s amazing.

 

Thursday was a long day. I drove from the beach back to D.C. then I linked up with my high school friends in the city. We spent the whole day hiking on Theodore Roosevelt Island, and just explored the Georgetown neighborhood. It was so nice to be able to fully reconnect with my homies. Keep in mind, this was the first few days of leave.

 

Besides hanging out with friends, I attended three different concerts during my remaining two weeks of leave. To all my new age hip-hop fans, I saw Logic, J. Cole, Playboi Carti, and Joey Bada$$. The whole atmosphere of each concert was just phenomenal. Yes, I was lucky to see most of my favorite artists in such a short time span.

 

While leave seems like a time to kick back and have a whole lot of stupid fun, it is also about the business. My parents made me finish driving school. I know it’s funny, I’m a 3/c now and still do not have my license. Stuff happens, ok?

 

Summer leave is such a good time to go out and just have a large amount of fun. There is no better feeling than hanging out with your friends under the beating sun. Even after 4/c year and the 11-week 3/c summer training period, those three weeks of leave will seem like a blessing, so enjoy every second of it. Until next time, I’m out!

 

More about Anthony.

 

More Opportunities Than Time

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Swift Photo Hey y’all! I’m Delaney Swift, a fourth class (third class, finally!) here at the good old CGA. I was born and raised in Portales, New Mexico – a little rural land-locked farm and ranch town. Coming to Connecticut has been a bit of a shock to the system for me. I traded soil, sun, big skies, and the high plains for beautiful trees and a river in my back yard. That definitely has its perks! Though my heart will always be in New Mexico, it doesn’t have a whole lot of coast to guard.

 

I have two younger brothers, Jack (15) and Noah (12), who (despite always being up to no good) are pretty much my best friends. I’m a very family-centric person, which I thought would be a challenge for me in coming to the Academy, but it turns out that my family just got bigger – it now includes a whole bunch of cadets! As a fourth class, my main hobbies were keeping my eyes in the boat, bussing around campus, and squaring my corners, but really, the highlights of my day are all the extracurricular activities offered here. As a third class, life has gotten so much better; I now spend my time working in the major I love, seeing my friends at Glee, theater, and ballroom dance, and looking out for 4/c! Growing up in a small town meant that things to do were always hard to come by, but there’s never a dull moment at the Academy – there’s always shenanigans of some sort afoot, just like home! You can never tell what the future will bring at this school – you’ll literally have more opportunities than you have time for. One thing I can tell, though, is that my final three years here are going to be the adventure of a lifetime. If you ever have any questions, or just want to talk to a cadet, shoot me an email at Delaney.L.Swift@uscga.edu.

 

More about Delaney.

 

An Amazing 3/c Summer

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo This summer was one for the books. The day after I finished my spring finals, I boarded USCGC Eagle for a five-week cruise with about 140 of my classmates. We started just down the street in downtown New London and had port calls in Hamilton, Bermuda; Port Canaveral, Florida; and Norfolk, Virginia. During the cruise, cadets stood watches and got qualified for Helm and Lookout and Auxiliary Engineer and after daily trainings we took a test to become Basic Damage Control qualified. Eagle was a unique experience that I will never forget and that I can share with all Academy graduates. I learned so much about being underway, but more importantly I grew closer to my classmates.

 

In Norfolk, I left the Eagle for a six-week stint at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale with one other cadet. There I learned to stand communications watches from non-rates and petty officers and in about two weeks’ time I sat for a board and earned a qualification for Communications Watchstanding. This enabled me to be put in the watchstanding rotation thus enabling them to use their skills to participate in maintenance and trainings. In the process, I got real experience manning radios and interacting with Sector. I also completed the bulk of the boat crew member PQS and enjoyed time underway with the crew conducting helicopter operations and patrols. In the last few days at Station Fort Lauderdale (STAFTL), I had the opportunity to be pepper sprayed. Although it was not the highlight of my summer, I am glad to have completed it at an early stage in my Coast Guard career. With the help of STAFTL command, I had the opportunity to take part in a helicopter flight from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and participate in a dive boat inspection at Coast Guard Station Lake Worth. Both experiences allowed me to see possible career paths come graduation. My time at STAFTL was special because the command and crew took time to train me and to help me understand their missions.

 

After leaving Florida, I headed home to Dallas for three weeks of summer leave. I drove to Chattanooga with my younger sister to watch her play in nationals, visited my cousins in Colorado, and spent time with my family and friends at home. I will carry my experiences and lessons from Eagle and STAFTL for the rest of my career. I could not have asked for a better summer or better people to meet and work with. The Coast Guard is truly amazing.

 

More about Francesca.