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Summer 2015 – Week by Week

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Looking back on the summer, it seems that Academy summers get better and better every year. The first one, Swab Summer, isn’t exactly fun, but you learn to make the best of it. 3/c summer is long, or at least mine was, as I was underway (on board a cutter) for 11 weeks. This summer however, I moved around every week, seeing new places, meeting new people, and learning about different Coast Guard missions every day. Here are some highlights of my summer, week by week.


100th Week: New London, Connecticut 


0400, Monday Morning: GET UP CADETS. YOU’RE LATE!
Company Commanders literally kick off 100th week by almost kicking my door down. 100th Week marks the halfway point in our cadet careers. The point of 100th Week is to pump us up for the coming summer, strengthen our class identity, and prepare us for cadre summer. The Cape May Company Commanders, or the drill instructors who train enlisted personnel, traveled to the Academy for 100th Week. They trained us for the first three days and reminded us of what it is like to be a trainee, and acclimated us to the environment of Swab Summer. The rest of the week we learned how to effectively train recruits, practiced confidence on the Stone’s Ranch Obstacle Course, and went over the basics of giving military presentations to superiors and subordinates. It was a tiring week, but it ended with a great ceremony when we became 2/c cadets.


Cadet Aviation Training Program: Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida 


0430, Saturday morning: I stumble out of my rack, and throw my sea bag on my back.
It’s time to climb into a government van to go to the Hartford airport. Groggy, tired, but excited, I finally land in Mobile, Alabama. Lieutenant Commander picks us up—the same LCDR who teaches math at the Academy flew out to be our officer in charge for the week. There were orientation and safety checks during the first few days, and before I know it, I’m in the cockpit of a helicopter. The pilot asks me if I’d like to take a shot at driving. Sure, I said. He switches controls over to my side, hundreds of feet in the air! He takes his hands off of his controls and pulls out a notebook, takes a sip of his water, trusting that I can drive the aircraft myself—on my first time flying! A rush of excitement and fear converge while I drive down the Alabama coast for almost 45 minutes. After growing up near Air Station Atlantic City and seeing helicopters fly overhead every day, I can’t believe I am now flying one. Time passes, and we visit the infamous “dunker” and aviation training center in Pensacola, Florida, which dunks aircrew candidates underwater, blindfolded, and without any air in a makeshift helicopter—what a sight! We visit the National Aviation museum, enjoy a few morale events with the aviators on the beach, play some volleyball, and fly in fixed wing aircraft on search and rescue missions at 0200 in the morning!


Summer 2015 – Week by Week (Continued) PDF;


More about William.


There’s More to New London Than the Academy??!

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo The school year could not have come any faster. I swear I was packing up my room’s contents into my trunk only yesterday, but that happened over three months ago. Although it can feel like I never left Chase Hall, I definitely am not the 4/c (freshman) that left for summer training. After being back at the Academy for a couple weeks, the experience on the faces and in the actions of my shipmates (and mine) shows. With the extensive time put in over the summer on Eagle and at stations, I appreciate the new sense of free time as a 3/c. This gives me the leisure to seek opportunities that I enjoy.


The other weekend, I finally got a glimpse of the sights, food, and activities around the New London area. First, I discovered that Rhode Island, only about 30 minutes away, has amazing beaches; one of which Taylor Swift has a beach house on. Second, there are various campsites around; 20 minutes south is Rocky Neck Park. Third, I love fruit and came upon a website that lists the local fruit that is in season, as well as the farms growing them. I actually got to “pick my own” blueberries, which tasted quite scrumptious. Also, I took advantage of 3/c rec gear by biking to Panera with a friend. It took the same amount of time as the Libo bus, but seeing the neighborhoods and enjoying the fresh air felt much more satisfying. I look forward to doing more exploring outside the Academy, especially since I should get familiar with the area since I’ll be here for another three years.


More about Amy.


An Absolutely Remarkable Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo Well, this last summer was most certainly a whirlwind of activity! Second class summer is particularly exciting, as you do several different programs through the 11-week training term. My two favorite programs were, without a doubt, being cadre for the swabs and going to the Cadet Aviation Training Program down in Mobile, Alabama.


There is nothing more rewarding than spending three weeks with the people who are going to be your replacements once you promote out in the fleet, teaching them the skills they need and giving every minute of your time to their development. It’s exhausting, to tell the truth; not a lot of sleep is involved, and you’re on your feet almost every second of the day. But, for me, it was always worth it to see how my swabs grew together as a team. The best times for me as cadre were the times I got to simply observe them working together to accomplish a task, whether that was at the ropes course, IC sports, or a challenge in the barracks. I loved seeing their team dynamic and getting glimpses of each swab’s personality, watching them start to gel as a team. Teamwork is absolutely critical at this school; there is no way you can make it through four years of intense academics and detailed training without your friends and classmates by your side. I am so grateful to have been one of the first people to work with Golf Company’s Class of 2019, and to be in the unique position of watching their growth from when the very first entered the Coast Guard!


I did three weeks straight as cadre with the swabs then I got to end my summer with a week of flight. I travelled with seven other classmates down to the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in Alabama. Lordy, was it hot there…but, in spite of that, I got some incredible exposure to a fascinating field within the Coast Guard! We visited the flight training school in Pensacola, toured the base, and of course spent hours in the air. I actually got to pilot some of the aircraft, namely a C-144 and a 65 (Dolphin helicopter)! It was certainly a rush, and definitely a game changer in my career plans. I had been on the fence about putting in for flight school, and CATP helped me realize that flying is what I want to do in the Coast Guard. I really love how the Coast Guard is so willing to throw cadets into new situations and push us to our limits – no one outside this service would ever dream of letting an untrained 20-year-old fly a plane over Mobile Bay. What a privilege, and a great model for us to follow in our careers as we travel and experience all sorts of foreign things with ensign stripes on our shoulder boards!


Second class summer was absolutely remarkable, and I’m excited to have that continue into the school year. I have a lot on my plate with clubs, company leadership, and of course my own spiritual and personal life and I know every minute I spend on those things will be repaid with an amazing year and an even more amazing career! Time to get the school year rolling!


More about Abby.


Returning to a New Role and Extracurricular Activities

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo So, I am finally back at school after a long, adventurous summer of sailing on Eagle and working at Station Ketchikan, Alaska. The school year is kicking off with Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week. I have gotten my schedule, which consists of a heavy load of science and math. I am super excited to begin my engineering classes, although slightly nervous. Coming back after fourth class year, I was not sure what to expect. Getting greeted for the first time by a fourth class stunned me. But I am excited to fulfill my place in the corps as a “role model” and I hope that I can be as good of a third class to my fourth class as mine were to me last year. I am also going to do my best to hold myself accountable and not fall into the “under the radar third class” slump.


Fall sports are starting up and I am participating in Triathlon Club for the first time. I am running my first triathlon this upcoming weekend! The team has been extremely welcoming. I have always loved long distance sports, so I am enjoying the sport thus far. The best thing about the Coast Guard Academy is having the opportunity to try new things, and I am attempting to take full advantage of as many of the options that are available while I am here. Glee Club is going to be very busy this year. I am in three singing groups: Glee Club, Fairwinds, and the Octet. Fairwinds is reworking their sound right now and we are attempting a new style of music. We have been singing the same songs for many years, so it is time to move on to some new pieces. Overall, this is going to be a very hectic year. There is a lot to learn before next summer when the Class of 2020 comes, and we will have to take on the mentor role of cadre. I am hoping to prepare myself as best as I can throughout the 2015–2016 school year.


More about Hannah.


July: The Eagle Experience

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo As I am writing this, I am one week into my summer leave and two weeks away from my 3/c year at the Academy. To say that the past 11 weeks out in the fleet were exciting would be an understatement. Leaving South Padre, I was excited to see my friends from school, but also sad to be leaving all the awesome people that I met while at my station. The Coast Guard is truly an amazing community and I learned that firsthand while in Texas. After a day of travelling to the Academy, a night of no sleep and then a bus ride leaving the Academy at 4 a.m., we arrived in Staten Island, New York. There we were able to catch glimpses of the other half of our class leaving as we shuffled onto Eagle in our trops with sea bags over our shoulders. We were given the lowdown and attended safety briefs before they granted us liberty, which meant we were allowed to go out and explore New York City. After leaving New York, we sailed for a little over a week down to Philadelphia for a tall ships festival. During that week, we encountered a storm that tore our main course sail. It was around 6 a.m. and the emergency sail stations alarm went off. This created a whole lot of chaos in a room of 15 sleeping girls. We all got dressed as fast as we could and reported up to our masts. It was pouring rain and thundering and lightning. Luckily, we were able to take down the sail and the situation didn’t end too badly. At the time it was not a very fun experience, but it gave us some good sea stories to tell while giving tours in port.


It was really cool coming into Philadelphia because we got to see the other tall ships and there were a lot of people watching us pull in. While on liberty we were able to tour our sister ship the Sagres and many others in the area. After Philly, we had four days underway before we reached Bermuda. On the 4th of July we arrived at the beautiful island of Bermuda. The water was a gorgeous clear blue and the weather was perfect. We had three days on the island and they were filled with (many) trips to the beach, shopping in the small towns, and tasting the different cuisines. I had one day of duty when I gave tours and it was really interesting because the question that I was asked a lot was what it was like to be a woman in the military. Many of the people that came on board were from different countries and the idea of women in the military was very unusual to them. After Bermuda, we sailed 11 days to Maine and finished up getting our qualifications as well as passing the Damage Control Test. We completed our journey in Boston and while I was going to miss seeing my friends every day, I was very excited to be heading home. Eagle was a lot of hard work and the sleeping situations weren’t ideal but it was a great bonding and learning experience for the Class of 2018.


More about Mimi.