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From California to New York…

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I remember when I was applying to the Coast Guard Academy, I had resigned myself to one (false!) idea – it’s the U.S. Coast Guard, so I’m not going to get to travel much farther than the states. Being someone with a huge travel bug (I had been to six other countries by the time I enrolled), you can imagine how discouraging that thought was. Fortunately, I dealt with my misconceptions, reported in, and had my preconceived notions blown completely out of the water. Not only have I had the chance to go international with the Coast Guard, I’ve been to states I had never seen, and taken day trips to cities that used to require weeks of planning!


Back in Nebraska, going to New York City was an exotic vacation spot; somewhere on that strange land they call the “East Coast.” That being said, I’ve now been there seven times, sometimes just for a day! The other popular destination is Boston – while I’ve only been there once, it seems like every other weekend there’s a flock of cadets headed that way! One can also check out Providence and Hartford for a pleasant day trip (not as popular destinations, however, as they’re still within the 75-mile zone in which underclass are prohibited from wearing civilian attire).


That’s all just on weekends during the school year – imagine where we go when we have more time! Over the summer, my classmates and I visited Canada and the Caribbean on the Tall Ship Eagle (including another stop in New York City on my phase – go figure), and some of us went to such places as Guam, Hawaii, Alaska (my first time there!), and Mexico! Over leave periods there are often international trips available. Some cadets save up their monthly paychecks and go on excursions to Cancun, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and other such places during their winter, spring, and summer leave periods. The Command Religious Program offers a trip during spring breaks – last year, they went to Israel, and this year will be going to Ireland. As much as I would love to join them, I haven’t been able to go on those trips because Glee Club does its own events during that time (by the way, if you really want to go places, join Glee – it’s responsible for half of my New York trips, and for taking me to Maine and California also for the first time!). Last year we enjoyed a few days in Florida, but even all that sunshine can’t trump the excitement I feel for this year’s spring voyage – Germany! Even better is the fact that I get to travel with my dad on that trip; turns out everyone can benefit from Coast Guard travel!


So, technically, the Coast Guard is in the Department of Homeland Security… but I’ll tell you what, that homeland is a whole lot more expansive than you might imagine.


More about Abby.


Five More Months

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo I need to start this off by saying, FIVE MONTHS UNTIL GRADUATION!! What? Where has the time gone? This year has been so bittersweet for me. I am so excited and ready to get out into the fleet, but I am also sad to leave this place that has taught me everything I know about the military and where some of my best friends have been with me throughout this incredible journey. I still have five more months with a lot of work and things to learn to help me in the fleet. The billet list came out last week, which is when this whole graduating thing really hit me. I feel like I was just dropped off by my parents yesterday! (I mean it feels a little longer than that, but you all know what I mean). The billet list is very overwhelming and has got me thinking of all the different options and opportunities I have moving forward. I still need to think about a lot of different factors, but I have a pretty good idea what I would like to do.


The corps just returned from a much needed Thanksgiving break. The morale of the corps is high right now since everyone is full of turkey and ready to push through the last week and a half of the semester. I will be in sunny Florida in two weeks, so I am excited and ready to push through.


This month has consisted of a fair amount of papers, tests, and diving meets every weekend. I also attended a Dierks Bentley concert at Mohegan Sun, which was one of the top three concerts I have been too. He was so interactive with the audience and it made for a very fun concert. I knew most of the songs that he performed, which always helps when singing along. I would definitely suggest seeing him in concert if you are a country music fan. This month also brought a celebration for the Class of 2015 at a local establishment hosted by one of our classmate's parents. It was a great time where our class was able to celebrate together and have fun. I cannot thank them enough for such a wonderful night and I am so thankful to have so many amazing people surrounding me at this institution and into the Coast Guard fleet.


More about Sara.


San Diego: Boats and Surfing

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Dahill-Baue Photo As the days grow shorter and darker, I have been reflecting a lot on the summer….


This past summer was one of the best summers of my life. I started my summer by reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle here in New London, Connecticut. Eagle was fun, but hard work. I loved climbing in the rigging, and had a lot of fun at our port calls in Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Cozumel.


However, the highlight of my summer was working at the Coast Guard Station in San Diego, California for the second half of my summer. I was stationed there with my friend, 3/c Carlie Gilligan, and we worked toward getting qualified as a member of the boat crew and our pepper spray qualification (yes, you get sprayed point-blank with military-grade pepper spray and then you have to fight someone off and gain control of the situation while your eyes are on fire). The boat crew qualification was a lot of hard work, encompassing everything from learning how to drive the boats to first aid.


However, it wasn’t all work all the time. We worked two days on, and then would have two days completely off, so Carlie and I got in a lot of surfing, beach time, Padres games, and adventuring.


On days we could leave early from the station, the typical day looked like this:


0645: Rise and shine!


0700: Breakfast in the galley


0800: Workday begins


0800-1045: Cleaning boats, working toward qualifications


1045-1230: Lunch, working out, relaxing


1230-1400: More cleaning boats, working toward qualifications, going out in the boats, having fun


1500: Leave base, drive to pick up fellow 3/c stationed on USCGC Boutwell, also in San Diego


1600-1900: Surfing in Coronado


2000: Mexican food dinner in Downtown San Diego


2200: Back on Base, hanging out, ready to repeat!


Overall, it was an AWESOME summer!


More about Clara.


Flying By Fall

(Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo Life has been nothing short of crazy here at the Coast Guard Academy. The leaves have changed into their vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow, fall sports have begun to end and winter sports have commenced, and midterms have come and gone. I personally cannot believe how fast this semester is flying by. It seems like the older you are at the Academy, the faster everything seems to go. I remember being a 4/c like it was just the other day and dreaming about the day I would get civilian clothes and Friday night liberty. Now here I am as a 2/c cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy and I love every minute of my crazy cadet life!


Joining the women’s soccer team has definitely been the best decision of my Academy career. That’s not to say that I don’t love cross country because at times I do miss it, it’s just that soccer provides so much more of a team atmosphere to me. I love that everyone has to work together for one common goal–to win. If one person is out of tune, it throws the whole team off so teamwork is extremely important. Our team performed well enough this season to get a chance to compete in the NEWMAC tournament as the #7 seed. Unfortunately, we lost our first tournament game against the #2 seed– Springfield College. It was a great game though!


Parents’ Weekend was a couple weeks ago and I must say that weekend is always my favorite weekend here at the Academy. The campus is buzzing with proud parents, family members, and loved ones. I love showing my parents what a typical day consists of for me. I think they are always tired by the end of the day from all the walking we have to do and the hours of classes we sit through, which is always amusing to me. This year there was a search and rescue demonstration in the Thames River which featured helicopters and small boats from nearby Coast Guard stations. Most of the parents were very interested in that to see that their sons or daughters could be doing something like that one day. Of course my dad had to throw in his pitch to try to get me into aviation after that. I always tell my parents I belong on the water, but of course anything could happen.


Well as always I am never too busy to answer any questions about cadet life or the Coast Guard in general! Email me at


More about Samantha.


Halloween at the Coast Guard Academy

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Hello, readers. It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but this has been my busiest semester yet. While I love some things about Regimental Staff more than others, Halloween 2014 was one of the highlights.


My friends and I spent almost two weeks debating amongst the nine of us what costumes we would wear. We finally decided on the Avengers, and all got costumes to dress up for the Corps’ Halloween dinner and the annual trek up the hill to the senior leadership team’s houses. There were many good costumes, awesome photos, and fun times at the corps’ dinner and on the hill. The best part for me was that Captain McCauley, the Commandant of Cadets, got wind of our plans to dress as the Avengers, and dressed up as Nick Fury, the Avengers’ leader. It was quite the surprise—we didn’t expect him to do that at all!


Captain “Fury” was one of the many surprises from this semester, and I hope that there are more in the coming months. While I’m counting down to graduation, don’t hesitate to email me with questions at Until next time…


More about Peter.