Skip Navigation Links
APPLY | LOGIN | CREATE AN ACCOUNT | PARENTS | PROSPECTIVE CADETS | VIRTUAL TOUR | ESPAÑOL | SEARCH
FacebookFlickrTwitterYou Tube
CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

2/c Summer Part 1: 100th Week

(Overcoming Challenges, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo When most college students finish their finals, it is a relief. The end of finals week means either going home to see family and friends or going on vacation. Not for us. 2/c summer begins with 100th Week, which marks the halfway point in our time at the Academy (200 weeks). There are some great videos on YouTube that explain it but basically the Company Commanders (CCs) from Cape May, New Jersey, where enlisted Coast Guard members go through basic training, visit the Academy to train the 3/c for the cadre role that they will fulfill later in the summer.

 

On the Monday morning after finals, I was woken up at 0500 to yelling and strangers banging on my door. The voices screamed, “Get out on this bulkhead right now!” My roommate and I ran into the hallway and braced up into the position of attention against the nearest wall. Girls were yelled at for hair and earrings that were not within regulations and guys were yelled at for not shaving. It was like Swab Summer for the rest of the morning; we were given objectives and punished with exercises when we didn’t meet them. It was a lot better than Swab Summer for me though because things were explained to us. We didn’t do anything without a reason. They yelled at us to remind us how it feels. They were harsh with uniform inspections to remind us to respect the uniform and get us out of just going through the motions.

 

Throughout the rest of the week, it became more of a learning environment. The CCs would pull a few people aside to run inspections or incentive training sessions. This gave us the opportunity to practice being cadre and develop a command presence. It was a very valuable experience for future Swab Summer cadre.

 

We also spent time in the classroom working through team-building activities and developing leadership philosophies. I met with the other Eagle cadre, who I will be working with this summer, to come up with a description of how we want to lead and train the Class of 2019.

 

The week ended with a group run, a leadership reaction course and a surface rescue mission. The leadership reaction course provided each of us with the opportunity to lead a small group of people to find a solution to a problem. For the surface rescue mission, we broke into groups and used maps to locate life-size 100-pound dummies and carry them miles to reach a base area. Each task was challenging and brought my classmates together in ways we hadn’t experienced since Swab Summer.

 

Friday afternoon, we renewed the pledge we took on R-Day and earned our 2/c shoulder boards and the privilege to wear civvies (normal clothes).

 

More about Sarah.

 

Adapt and Overcome

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo It still hasn’t hit me yet that 4/c year is officially over. These 315 days since R-Day flew by in a whirlwind of emotions and experiences and, without wasting any time, we’re now being shipped out to every corner of the United States for our summer assignments! Two classmates and I are headed to Corpus Christi, Texas to work at Station Port Aransas for five weeks. We boarded the bus at 0330 on Saturday morning, excited to see the station, meet the people we will be working with, and for our full day of travel from Providence to Texas.

 

Unfortunately, it is now 1130 Sunday morning and we still haven’t gotten on our last flight connection from Dallas to Corpus Christi! Major thunderstorms and tornado warnings in Texas last night caused our flight to Dallas from Philadelphia to be delayed and standing in the window of the terminal B21, we watched our last connection from Dallas to Corpus Christi pull out onto the runway. After a few hours on standby for the next flight that was at 2230, we were told there was no more room, and that it was the last flight of the night. We booked new tickets for a 1030 flight the next morning and decided there was no way we were sleeping in the airport that we had just spent that last six hours in (especially in our trops because our bags with extra clothes were in limbo somewhere between Dallas and Corpus Christi), so we got a hotel room for the night and after being up for 20 hours and slept like babies. In the morning we woke up to thunder and lighting, and without much hope, headed back to the airport around 0800 for the 1030 flight. No surprise at all, we found out that it had been cancelled, so now here we sit, back in terminal B21, praying that the 1200 flight that we got seats on will bring us better luck!

 

To me, this whole situation is a sort of reminder of what we are doing here. Whether it be at the Academy, our summer assignments, or in the fleet as officers, this is a job, not a vacation, and it is not supposed to be easy! That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be plenty of fun and unique experiences, really cool port calls or incredible locations that we may be assigned to, because there will be! But it is all one massive learning experience, and I have no doubt it is going to be worth it in the end. The Coast Guard is all about reaction time, adjusting to changes on the fly, and overcoming any issues that may arise! So far, I think we’re doing alright.

 

More about Gabrielle.

 

Stress Comes in Waves

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo At the Academy, stress comes in waves. Sometimes you have control as if you’re perfectly balanced on a surfboard riding over the waves. Other times, it seems like everything is coming at you at once and you’re drowning in work.

 

April put me in that drowning state. It was a challenging month for me, as I planned the 3/c formal, worked on numerous end-of-semester projects, took my last few tests, and then prepared for finals. It was that last push of the semester. I knew that the summer would come soon and they say that 2/c summer is the best one at the Coast Guard Academy. Still, it was so hard to find the motivation to finish the semester strong.

 

At the beginning of April, I was working on planning the 3/c formal. I had signed up to be on the planning committee and although it ended up being a lot more work than I expected, it was so rewarding to see my vision come together. The week of the formal was really stressful because other events in Leamy Hall prevented my classmates and me from setting up decorations until the night before the dance. It was a scramble to get everything set up but it was truly beautiful to see my class come together to get it all done and make Leamy look and sound amazing for the dance.

 

Throughout that week and the next few, I had tons of group projects to finish. Most of our professors assign us projects at the end of the semester to give us a way to pull together what we’ve learned and as an opportunity to boost our grades.

 

It was a relief to get to finals week, which provides us with a lot more free time than most other weeks at the Academy. The only things we have to focus on are studying and moving out of our rooms. 4/c and 2/c move their stuff into the trunk room and pack for their summer assignments. 3/c and 1/c move their stuff into other rooms for the summer or temporarily until graduation, respectively. Although it keeps us busy, it is mindless work that is a relief after taking a final.

 

The day after finals week, we start our summer assignments. I’m so excited to see what this summer holds for me in all the training programs on the itinerary for my class. As we learn to become cadre and grow into our role as 2/c, a new wave of stress will crash and we’ll take on the responsibility of training the Class of 2019.

 

More about Sarah.

 

Fantastic April

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Another fantastic month has come and gone. It’s hard to believe with all of the schoolwork and military obligations that graduation is right around the corner. Only two and a half more weeks of school and we are in the final stretch to commencement. The feeling is just beginning to become real and a little scary. I don’t want to leave all of my amazing friends but I am also so excited and ready to head to my first ship. It is such a strange feeling and is very hard to explain.

 

Billet Night was an incredible night full of excitement and memories. I will be headed to CGC Legare, a 270-foot cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia! I am beyond excited to report aboard and be given the opportunity to carry out the missions of the Coast Guard. It will be a challenging two years full of learning but I am so ready to perform to my highest potential and serve this great organization well.

 

Another awesome event for the Class of 2015 this past month was Castle Dance. This is the 1/c formal held at a castle in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a very classy night with a lot of dancing and fun with my classmates. Additionally, it was nice to wear a dress and be able to have my hair down for this formal event.

 

Last weekend was Easter and a group of us went to my friend Carolyn’s house in upstate New York. Her family was so welcoming and made our Easter weekend so incredibly special. It is so nice to be able to get a home-cooked meal and feel like a part of a family when your own is so far away.

 

One of the things that I cherish most about the Academy is the lifelong friends and family you make in just four short years. I did not ever imagine myself being fortunate enough to be a part of so many families and it is so nice to have constant support from so many wonderful people.

 

I hope spring has sprung for many of you reading this and that warmer weather starts making its way up here soon.

 

More about Sara.

 

Finding Your Focus

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Johnson Photo Another year and another semester, and would you look at that, I’m almost halfway to graduating from the Academy. It seems like only yesterday that I was telling my friend in English class during my senior year of high school that I was going to visit the Coast Guard Academy and I really wanted to attend school there. It feels like I have accomplished so much in the little time since graduating high school. Trust me on this; time goes by quickly when you have something you’re working your heart out for.

 

I know I didn’t write much my first semester as a sophomore at the Academy, but I can definitely say there wasn’t much going on. First semester was pretty much me buckling down on school and military performance. I had heard advice from senior ranking officers that sophomore year is a great year to pick a focus; for example, if you didn’t work out very much and cadre summer is coming up, you should work out to be fit for training the incoming swabs, or if you lacked in grades, focus on that a bit more because there isn’t an overload of responsibility as a 3/c. Don’t get me wrong, there are still responsibilities like being the role model to the freshmen, but there isn’t as much as, say, a junior that is in charge of the development of the 4/c. Last semester my intent was to work on military performance. I wanted to be able to teach the 4/c things that I wished my 3/c taught me last year about the Academy in all aspects.

 

Now that I worked on that, I earned my first Silver Star! By the way, the Silver Star is similar to an award for being in the top 25% of military excellence for that semester. It was extremely exciting. Now this semester, I am working on my academics a little more. So far, it’s been much better than last semester. My first three quizzes in Differential Equations have all been 80-90%.

 

Hope all is going well and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at AngelaRuth.A.Johnson@uscga.edu!

 

More about Angela.