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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Snow Day 2017

(Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Kim Photo On February 9th, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy had its first “snow day” of the 2016-17 academic year. Because the weather conditions were too severe, the Academy closed its doors, cancelling classes. This meant that the Corps of Cadets were left to themselves for a day (or days) of productive studying and relaxing. For some, it meant a stress-relieving time in the snow.

This video was made in conjunction with soon-to-be-blogger 4/c Nathan Ropp.

Royalty-free music used:
"First Walk" by GoSoundtrack http://www.gosoundtrack.com/
Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY 4.0
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/ezKeq6HHyVE

"Road Trip" by Joakim Karud https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/vpssnpH_H4c

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More about Matthew.

 

Fall Semester in Review

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo The fall semester was a long one and I’m certainly glad it is now over. So far during 3/c year I felt like I managed myself a lot better, but it certainly brought many new challenges.

 

Spring semester last year, I set the goal of getting a term GPA of 3.15 and making the Dean’s List. I did that last semester, but doing that again was harder than I expected. For most of the first half of the semester, I felt all my grades were where I wanted them, but quickly found out I had a lot of improvements to make if I wanted to stay on the Dean’s List. I really struggled with math this semester and my English grade was also not where I wanted it. Over the next two months I put a lot of time into my schoolwork and was able to raise the grades in most of my classes. I achieved my goal of staying on the Dean’s List, but getting there certainly had its sacrifices.

 

I felt that I did not spend as much time off as I wish I could have. I spent a lot of time on most weekends doing work. But I did march in the Veteran’s Day Parade in New York and that was a lot of fun. Being close to home, I also managed to take an extra weekend visit my family and was able to I bring friends from school.

 

Thanksgiving allowed me to catch up with some friends, but it seemed like a tease because I was home for only the brief period of five days and I had other work to do while I was there. After Thanksgiving I had just under two weeks left before winter break. With a lot of hard work, I was able to get out of the Physics final, leaving me with only two exams to take. After the first two days of final exams, I was home.

 

For Christmas, Golf Company went crazy with Christmas decorations. There were a lot of rooms that you could walk into and they did not feel like Chase Hall. I hung lights around my room, decorated a Christmas tree, and my door. I also put up a little Christmas village on the empty desk in my room.

 

Having two 4/c this semester gave me a lot of perspective and it was weird thinking that was me only a year ago. At the end of my semester, the other 3/c and I evaluated their performance at the end of the semester and they both did well for their first term. I did better than I expected and received the highest military score for an academic term yet.

 

Thus far, I have seen a couple friends from home over break, going skiing, hiking, and now I am off on a family trip to Great Britain. This coming semester I think will be a lot of fun. I have a ski pass to Killington to get away and here at the Academy I will have three different 4/c I am in charge of. My classes are also going to be more career-specific this semester as I am now done with general math and English classes. 125 weeks to go until commissioning, and Cadre Summer is on the horizon. I can’t wait!

 

More about Derek.

 

Greetings from the USCG Fleet!

(Just for Fun, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo So, I have not written as blog since right before I graduated so I thought I would send in a quick little message. It has been quite a journey since graduation. Well, I got stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. It defiantly wasn’t my top choice due to the fact that I am a Florida boy, but while we were in port over the summer I got to explore the island and take in all of its beauty. I really enjoyed all of the hikes and fishing that I got to do over the three months I was in Kodiak. We left for dry dock in the middle of August and that is when my journey began. I arrived in Seattle at the end of August and from there I went on a temporary assigned duty (TAD) to the CGC Seneca out of Boston.

 

It was a great experience sailing back in the warmth of the Caribbean with a brief stop in Roatan, Honduras. Honestly, you think Honduras and immediately disregard it but it was one of the best islands that I have ever visited. It was friendly, reasonably priced, and beautiful. It is home to one of the largest reefs in the world and from most spots you can just walk into the water from the beach and swim to them.

 

After that tour wrapped up in the beginning of September, I had the opportunity to go back to the Academy and help out in the Nautical Science department on the training vessels that the cadets train on. I was there for two weeks working with the instructors and 2/c and it was a blast. Honestly, I was hesitant at first but it provided me with the opportunity to not only catch up with friends but also get better at thinking further ahead when driving a ship. I really owe a great deal of thanks to CDR Mike Turdo and his team in the Naut Sci department for accommodating me for those two weeks.

 

From there I travelled down to Charleston, South Carolina to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) to begin boarding officer school. I honestly have to say it was the best time I have had in the Coast Guard so far. This training provides boarding team members with the opportunity to learn more about Coast Guard and U.S. policy when conducting boardings in the high seas and in U.S. waters. We had liberty on the weekends to explore the area. It was great working with other classmates and enlisted members from different parts of the country and getting to know each and every one of them.

 

From there I flew back to Seattle where Munro was still dry dock for a short week and I was off again (TAD) to the CGC Legare. I honestly have to say that I enjoyed every moment on board. We conducted fishery patrols and I got to experience a .50 caliber shoot along with a MK-75 shoot (that’s the big gun on front of a 270’). We also got to conduct helicopter operations and a large number of small boat operations. It was truly rewarding. I got to finish a lot of my progress on board in regard to my underway deckwatch officer qualification. I also got to catch up with my classmates that were also on board.

 

You think this would end my adventure, but it doesn’t! At the beginning of January, I flew from the Legare on a MH-60 inbound for Myrtle Beach. After spending a day in Myrtle Beach I flew up to Norfolk, Virginia. My flight wasn’t scheduled until later in the week so it gave me a few days in Virginia, an area that has a large Coast Guard presence. I was able to catch up with a few friends, along with my academic advisor and professor from the Academy. I departed at 0300 on a Friday inbound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where I met up with yet another 270’ from Virginia. As of right now I am currently underway on the CGC Forward with yet more classmates! We have had an exciting patrol so far and have had a busy schedule. My classmates on board are all studying for their boards (which is a test) for their deck watch officer letter. I am close to having mine as well so it has been great studying with them!

 

Since graduation I have travelled over 10,000 miles and have had the opportunity to meet up with tons of classmates all over the East Coast. It has been quite a trip so far, but I am ready to head back to my ship. Hopefully, that will happen soon—but in the life of a junior officer, you never know!

 

If you have any questions regarding the academy or life as a Coast Guard junior officer, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at Nathan.D.Belanger@uscg.mil!

 

More about Nathan.

 

A Whole Semester

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo I can’t believe it has been a whole semester since the end of Swab Summer and now I sit anxiously waiting to start my second semester with new classes and new challenges. Now that my classmates and I have figured out how to be fourth class, we must start thinking about passing boards and becoming third class. We will also find out where our summer assignments will be and what company we will be moved to for the remainder of our cadet careers. This semester will bring a new set of challenges, but in the end rewards, and together as a class we will make it.

 

On a side note, being from Texas I have seen very little snow in my life and the first weekend back from winter leave we got almost 6 inches of snow and it was one of the craziest things I have ever experienced. The last time I had seen snow was when I visited the Academy as a senior in high school almost a year ago, and decided to make this place my home for the next four years. With first semester and Swab Summer behind me, I know I made the right choice. I really struggled to make a decision on where to attend college and after returning from winter leave and gearing up for second semester, I could not be happier with my decision.

 

Go Bears!

 

More about Francesca.

 

2016: The Year in Review

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This year is one that has been filled with surprises, joys, concerns, and milestones. In January, we began work on preparing for the arrival of the Class of 2020. The spring semester flew by and before we knew it, there were 300 swabs at our doorstep. This summer was excellent, as we trained more swabs than ever with less cadre and resources. This summer I got to see Alaska and the great American west, which was an awesome experience. I went on search and rescue cases, swam with icebergs, and earned my in-port junior officer of the day qualification. This semester I was assigned to the community service logistics division again, and we are in the process of finishing a house for Habitat for Humanity in downtown New London. We are also hoping to sponsor a house in the coming months for the Class of 2018 and beyond to construct.

 

I became very involved in my local United Methodist Church this semester as well. I am taking a 40-week bible study with a group led by our pastor, and I am attending a conference in January for people interested in the ministry. I am also considering pursuing ministry after my commitment to the Coast Guard. One step at a time, however…

 

This semester I also honed my golf game. I spent many hours at the Stonington Country Club golf course, and I found myself a great new hobby to pursue when the weather is fair. Golf is a game where perfection is the standard and effort is the means, but nonetheless I am enjoying my time learning and improving my game.

 

Last month I was selected to serve as the spring Regimental Chief of Staff, which has obstacles of its own that lay ahead. I am looking forward to serving on Regimental Staff again, and graduation will be here before we know it!

 

More about William.