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cadet blogs

The Cadre Experience: Waterfront Cadre

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo The cadre experience has truly been one in a million. It is hard to fathom the impact that we have already had on these kids and how much their lives are changing each and every day. I don’t know if they can see themselves growing but I know that I can. Every single day they learn something new and grow closer as a platoon, as a company and as a class. It’s also hard to imagine that I, as only a junior in college, have the power to shape the outcome of someone’s life, of their future and their aspirations. This being said, I do, of course, take this job very seriously and am so very invested in the success of these swabs, this Class of 2020; after all, they are joining my Coast Guard and I want them to be prepared to do so.

 

I am unique in the sense that I am waterfront cadre so I don’t spend all of my time up in Chase Hall with the swabs in my platoon. Instead, I am down at Jacob’s Rock, the sailing center, preparing lesson plans, sailing AIMsters around in the Colgates, and teaching swabs about safety and the joy of sailing. I didn’t know very much about sailing before I became a waterfront cadre and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity not only to learn how to sail, but to learn how to teach others to sail as well. I have always loved being out on the water and so I thought that this would be the perfect fit for me and I was right. Teaching the swabs about sailing and being out on the water has been an invaluable experience. I never really wanted to yell at anyone or be mean and that certainly hasn’t changed. Sometimes I worry that I’m not the stereotypical yelling cadre that I should be, but I know that that just isn’t me and everyone has a different leadership style. I love being able to teach and talk to the swabs from every different company in a professional and relaxed learning environment.

 

I know this summer is all about being a swab, but sometimes I think that even they forget that they’re people too. I also get to sail the AIMsters around on the larger Colgate sailboats, which are an absolute blast to sail. Telling them all about the opportunities they could have here at the Academy is both fun and exciting and I hope maybe slightly influential, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Overall, being cadre had been one of the craziest and most rewarding experiences of my life and I can’t wait to see how the Class of 2020 continues to grow and develop. 2020, you’re half way there and you have so, so, so much left to look forward to. Just remember, 2018 will always have your back!

 

More about Cece.

 

Fourth Class Experiences

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Sukcha Photo It has been a while since my first post. There are exactly two more weeks left before I leave for summer leave. I am truly excited as I will be spending my entire summer break with two of my very close friends in Clearwater, Florida.

 

There are many things that I have done and experienced throughout my year as a fourth class at the Academy. Let’s start with the Pistol Team. In my first year on the team, I have traveled to quite a few places including West Point, New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Fort Benning, Georgia. It was a lot of fun to compete with the top teams in the nation. Fortunately, with the help of my friends and coaches, both military and civilian, I made it to the Pistol National Collegiate Championship.

 

In addition to pistol, I have also traveled with the Academy’s Glee Club. I am truly happy to be a part of this wonderful group of young, talented vocalists. We traveled a lot to entertain people throughout the country. I was lucky to be a part of a few performances in New York City and Quincy, Massachusetts.

 

And in my whole life, I had never yet experienced a snow day. It was fantastic playing in the snow. (View my photo gallery to see the fun pictures!)

 

During the holidays, I am not able to return to Malaysia due to the expense of the flights. However, I have wonderful friends who invite me to their houses. So far, I have been to Maryland, Virginia and soon to Florida. I will keep travelling whenever I have chance to see more of what the world can offer.

 

More about Saranjoe.

One Busy Month

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo The end of April is approaching and what a month it has been. April began with my 21st birthday. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity on my 21st to sing the national anthem at the U.S. women’s soccer game against Colombia in Hartford, Connecticut. It was an amazing experience. Being right there on the field next to these women and all of their fans that look up to them so much was inspiring. Glee Club has provided me with a lot of great opportunities, but this was definitely one of my favorites. We also got to sing at a dinner at the New York City Athletic Club last week. Every weekend thus far in April has been jam-packed with activities. Between lacrosse, glee, and two formals, it has been quite an eventful month.

 

Third class formal was the second weekend in April. Our Link in the Chain class, the Class of 1968, donated their rings to be melted and put into our rings for next year. We had a wonderful ceremony and got to see a video that was composed of pictures of both their class and ours during our times at the Academy. It was really neat to see how times had changed, but yet how there are many similarities due to the decades of tradition here at the CGA. Ring Dance was just as fantastic of a night. The ballroom as decorated with beautiful veils across the ceiling and the 2/c cadets had the chance to dip their rings in water from all over the world. Getting to see the 2/c get their rings as a mark of their progress through the Academy made me extremely excited for next year and finally becoming an upper-class. Overall, April has been busy and exciting, and with transition into the warm weather, I cannot wait to see what summer training brings!

 

More about Hannah.

 

Fastest Four Years I’ve Ever Experienced

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo 0600: Wake up and splash some cold water on my face.
0620: Morning formation.
0625: Breakfast; try to make conversation with my division despite my exhaustion.
0645: Retreat back to my room; look at the calendar for my to-do list for the day.

 

…but wait, is that calendar correct? Is it really April 15th already? Where has the time gone?! There is still so much to do, but there is also so much to look forward to.

 

I honestly cannot believe there are now less than two weeks left of school and 33 days until the Class of 2016 graduates from this fine institution and will be heading out into the fleet. Seriously, I am in utter disbelief how fast the time has flown the past four years. However, I am also beyond ready to begin a new chapter of my life aboard the USCGC Hamilton, a national security cutter located in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

I am blessed to be heading to Charleston with one of my best friends, Jay Power. However, I cannot help but feel saddened that I will be separated from some of my other best friends. I truly believe that the Coast Guard Academy fosters deep friendships that will last a lifetime. I basically consider all of my best friends I have made here family. Don’t get me wrong, everyone here is a family. We have all been through so much together. From reporting in together as civilians who had no idea what they were doing, to surviving seven weeks of Swab Summer, getting through a strenuous work and passing boards 4/c year, creating and unveiling our class crest, sailing on the USCGC Barque Eagle, being introduced to the fleet, wearing our rec gear to numerous trips to Chili’s, Olive Garden and other liberty bus locations, making it through 100th week, indoctrinating the Class of 2018 as cadre, sailing around New England on $1 million yachts, getting civilian clothes privileges, starting to take command positions, going to Ring Dance and receiving our class rings, being introduced to the fleet as future junior officers, leading the corps through regimental reviews with our swords, attending Castle Dance at Rosecliff Mansion, dining in, enjoying billet night, and so many more memories, it’s hard not to become a family.

 

Looking back at my time here at the Academy, sure there are plenty of things I would do differently, but I would not want to go through it again with any other people. I am so thankful for everyone who has lent a helping hand to me, made me laugh, and showed me the way. I never thought that I would make it until the end of this extremely challenging, but rewarding, 200-week program, but somehow I did! (Knock on wood.)

 

I am so excited to continue learning out in the fleet and start my career, but of course I am also very nervous. However, I will continue to take life as it comes, one day at a time, and I am hoping I will have a long rewarding career – whether that be in the Coast Guard or civilian sector.

 

If there is one piece of advice I can give to those of you still in the Academy or about to join the best Corps of Cadets in the nation, it is to never take any experience you have here for granted. Sure, bracing up isn’t fun and no one wants to clean heads and passageways in their free time, but I urge you to make the best of every situation you’re put in. It’s amazing how much better your experiences will be if you look at the positive side of things and never take situations too seriously. Remember, whatever happens to you, the world keeps turning and time goes on. You will be okay and you will make it through the day.

 

More about Samantha.

 

Academy Traditions

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman PhotoOne thing that helps me get through my time at the Academy is the traditions we have here. There are many, and when I try to explain them to my friends, I usually tell them if they want to know they have to call me. Trying to explain it in a text message just isn’t going to work, but I’ll try to put some into words for this blog.

 

Hiding the Chain – On campus, there are massive links to a chain that was originally drawn across the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War, and this chain isn’t a little necklace; it was used to sink ships. During Homecoming Week, it’s a tradition that the 4/c hide the chain 24 hours before the Homecoming game and the 2/c have to find it. If the 2/c doesn’t find it by the start of the game, the 4/c have to get the chain to the 50 yard line in order to earn a week of modified carry-on. I mentioned the weight earlier because I was one of the 4/c that got up at 2 a.m. to drag the chain across campus and hide it. It was a long night and even longer day the next morning but the memories are worth it. 

 

100th Day/101st Night – 100th Day is when 4/c and 2/c trade places, but in order to do this, 4/c must earn the shoulder boards of a 2/c they select. To earn shoulder boards the week leading up to 101st night is filled with spirit mission where people’s rooms end up covered in toilet paper, in the shark tank, and sometimes people’s uniforms go missing or get swapped out with something else. This leads up to 101st night where the 4/c go back to being swabs and the 2/c go back to being cadre for a few hours. Once this is over 2/c and 4/c trade shoulder boards and 4/c get to carry on for a day.

 

Class Crest – Every class at the Academy designs a crest. This crest represents your class, it’s on your class rings, class shirts, and hung on the walls of Leamy Ballroom alongside the other classes that have gone before you. The class crest is revealed at 4/c formal which recently happened for the Class of 2019. Our crest now joins the long blue line of those classes before us.

 

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

 

More about Jill.