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cadet blogs

Developing Identity and the Coast Guard Family

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020, Government) Permanent link
Hill Photo So, it is October now – my Dad’s birthday is on Halloween, and so far this Florida girl has yet to transform into an icicle from the cold (miraculous, I know). However, my poor friend from California was shivering on the way back from a Government major dinner with honorable guest Mr. David Guergen who worked under four presidents, one of them being Richard Nixon. He shared his insights on leadership with us and what our country’s future holds – he said we are a tough bunch and there is hope. I have been enjoying my classes this semester and the only math I have is Probability and Statistics! It has been interesting to delve further into the subjects of government, public policy, and current events – trust me, I thought that stuff was boring before, too. Class time consists mostly of my classmates arguing (intelligently) over current controversies. Diversity of opinions is crucial in government, but learning to compromise is even more important. So, yes, this semester has also been filled with plenty of naps, golf and badminton classes. Not to mention, my awesome roommate who is now my “sister,” after our adventures together on USCGC Eagle.

 

I have also been developing great relationships with the new 4/c, Golf Company, and the corps. The family atmosphere is ubiquitous. Additionally, cheerleading is going well – we are becoming more progressive with the stunts that we raise up into the air and are also getting issued (much needed) new uniforms!! The teamwork and social skills I have developed since my journey began on the Spirit Squad have helped shape my identity in a positive way. So, I will celebrate my Dad’s birthday from the sanctuary of the watch office as Junior Chase Hall Duty Officer on Halloween.

 

HAPPY ALMOST BIRTHDAY, DAD!

 

More about Kelly.

 

Alpha Lambda Delta

(Academics, Class of 2020) Permanent link

Chamberlin Photo On Tuesday 24OCT2017, fifty members of the Class of 2020 were inducted into the Academy’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD). To be an inductee, a cadet has to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5. It was an extraordinary night, with Lieutenant Melissa K. McCafferty (a former blogger) as the keynote speaker. Her words of wisdom about striving to put others before yourself, working hard toward your dreams, and staying humble throughout your journey touched everyone. Dr. Alina Zapalska, the advisor of ALD, commented that there were more inductees in the Class of 2020 than usual, which she was very excited about. Being a part of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society is just the beginning of a great academic career at the Coast Guard Academy. As LT McCafferty told the inductees and special guests, there are scholarship opportunities for high-standing cadets, such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, and Rhodes Scholarship. LT McCafferty was awarded the Truman Scholarship in 2011, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Truman Scholars Association. My favorite part of the night was when all of the inductees got their certificate and stood reciting the pledge of the Alpha Lambda Delta society with a “flame of knowledge” (a lit candlestick)! 

 

If you have any questions about Alpha Lambda Delta or anything regarding cadet life, please email me at Amy.M.Chamberlin@uscga.edu.

 

More about Amy.

 

Fast Forward to the Future: Homecoming is a Peek into What We May Be and Could Be?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Noble Photo The USCGA’s Homecoming is a great tradition for the school that serves many purposes. Although many think of Homecoming as an event for the alumni, cadets also are very involved in the festivities.

 

For the alumni, it is a momentous weekend – a much-awaited time to reminisce, reconnect and revitalize bonds. For those who are still active in the service, Homecoming offers a chance to relax in a place close to their hearts. For those who have retired, Homecoming is a time to cherish the good (and perhaps not-so-good) memories that have become a part of their lives. To the families of graduates, it is a time to reflect on the service of their spouses, parents and siblings.

 

For the cadets, it’s a glimpse of the future five, 10, 20, 25 or even 50 years from now. That’s how we might look. That’s how we might walk and talk. It’s a foretaste of the kind of family that we might have. That’s us…someday.

 

No matter how much we are struggling at CGA, we will miss the institution when we depart. No matter how many petty tensions we have with our classmates, we will miss them and long to be reconnected with them after graduation. Why? Because the bonds that we develop will be very strong, borne by the struggles that we have overcome together as roommates, classmates and schoolmates. That bond is going to endure for years and over distances.

 

For these reasons, the Homecoming parade is always a special time. At that moment, the alumni are the stars and the families are their fans – and that’s something that no one gets tired of watching. No matter how many times we may have heard the songs, cheers or announcements, they take on a special meaning at the Homecoming because they celebrate those graduates who came before us.

 

As an international cadet, Homecoming is an extra special event for me. I look forward to seeing the international alumni, especially those from my country – the Philippines. They are the chosen few from their country – like me and my fellow international cadets. I try to look for them and find out what became of them after graduation. Did they go home or did they stay in the U.S.? Did they go back for a while and decide to come back? I track their footsteps and consider whose path I would want to follow. For the international cadets, the alumni are our forerunners and benchmarks. They are role models, but we don’t just want to emulate them. We want to surpass their legacies.

 

We hear about their stories and escapades and we make the comparison. Now that they have retired, they said that they never forgot what they learned in New London. I enjoy talking to them and listening to their advice and tips. I especially take to heart their biggest lessons from the Academy and how they used it in their careers in the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard.

 

During this 2017 Homecoming weekend, I was privileged to meet a ’77 grad and an ’82 grad who was the former Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command for the Philippine Navy and was a classmate of Admiral Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the USCG. He majored in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and during his time at the Academy. He told me back then it was not a Swab Summer, but a swab year. What a horrible thought.

 

The Philippines’ alumni are great men and I was very sad when they had to leave. However, I will continue to keep in touch with them and they will always be an inspiration to press on in service to our country and our people.

 

This year’s Homecoming had a special bonus for me. One of the alums brought a special friend with him – my father, Police Superintendent Eric Noble. My father is the newly installed Police Attaché at the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco. I am truly grateful for CDR Crabtree and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship for hosting them at the Shepherd’s Fold.

 

This year’s event surely hit a home run for me, the corps, the alumni and the CGA community as a whole. To the project officers and CGA staff who labored over Homecoming, your efforts were not in vain! Year after year, Homecoming is a testament to the Academy’s investment of time and talent in the corps. Homecoming is a great tradition, and I look forward to many more Homecomings as a cadet and (hopefully) an alumni.

 

More about Eric.

 

The First Full Month

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo September started off with a long weekend for Labor Day (yay!). I took the train to Washington D.C. to spend some time with my grandparents. We toured the Capitol building and all the big monuments and memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery. It was a great way to spend the first long weekend of my 3/c year. Upon returning to school on Monday, I felt as though I never left and began preparing for the short, but busy, week ahead. We had a uniform inspection, an unexpected power outage due to a storm, and our first regimental drill of the season.

 

The next two weekends, I played a couple of rugby matches, one against the University of New Haven and one against the University of Vermont. On the 18th after morning the colors, there was a small service honoring the 70th birthday of the Air Force that I attended. Before I knew it Parents’ Weekend had arrived. I had a non-traditional Parents’ Weekend this year. It overlapped with my dad’s 30th reunion at West Point so I could join my family in New York for that instead of them coming to visit me here.

 

The temperature is finally dropping and fall is officially here! Go Bears!

 

More about Francesca.

 

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.