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cadet blogs

1/c Life

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Martorell Crespo Photo So far, life as a first class cadet is not bad. As a 1/c cadet, I am held to a higher standard than everyone else and we, as a class, are the leaders of the Corps of Cadets. I was given the opportunity to be a division officer and actually have the authority to set high expectations for our division members and even myself to complete our division’s goals. Although it is nice to lead, it is also a challenge because not only do I have to be aware of the members in my division, but also manage my own responsibilities.

 

As a firstie, I have a lot of work to do in the barracks but also in academics, especially with my Capstone project. In your last year at the Academy, you get assigned a major project that you have to work on throughout the semester and it’s not easy. Not only you will have to put a lot of work in it to finish with a successful project, but it will require some late nights and even no sleep on other nights. But overall, life as a 1/c cadet is fun and challenging. Even though you have a lot to worry about, the motivation to graduate and become an ensign is what keeps everyone’s hopes up!

 

More about Irene.

 

Coastal Sail

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo 2/c summer is a big transition for cadets here at the Academy. It’s when you transition from a follower to a leader and go through different training programs to help you discover your leadership style and ultimately develop a leadership philosophy. One of the highlights of 2/c summer is the Coast Sail Training Program.

 

The Academy has 44-foot leadership sailboats that our awesome alumni bought for us to use. Seven or eight cadets under the supervision of a safety officer will take the sail boat out for two weeks and sail around to some of the best ports in New England like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and more. It’s not a vacation though. There are jobs on the boat that everyone will rotate through as well as permanent collateral. My collateral was commissary officer so I was in charge of making sure we had enough food, water, and making a meal plan for the sail. The rotating jobs vary from deck hand, cook, navigator, etc.

 

The most notable day is the day you are watch captain. As watch captain, you are in charge of the boat for the day. You need to work with your navigator to make sure you get to where you need to be because the safety officer is just that, a safety officer. They only step in if they feel a situation is going to become unsafe, otherwise they’ll let you sail in the wrong direction or make other mistakes so you understand what it feels like to be in charge and have everyone look to you if things go wrong.

 

On my watch captain day, we hit a storm coming out of Martha’s Vineyard. We had about 3-foot seas and winds sustaining 15 knots, with gusts up to 20, which is pretty notable on a 44-foot sail boat. On top of that, our sister ship had a steering casualty so we had to divert course and quickly prepare to pull into a new port. It gives you the “oh no” moment when all of your classmates look at you for a decision on what to do next, but that’s the point. It puts you in the spot where you have to make a quick decision with a safety officer who is there to stop things when they can potentially become dangerous. This is so when, not if, you are put in a stressful situation later in your Coast Guard career that it’s not unfamiliar and you’re used to making decisions under pressure. It was a stressful day but was an experience I learned a lot and grew a lot from.

 

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

 

More about Jill.

 

New Year, New Outlook

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Hill PhotoSo, this summer was rewarding – I had the chance to experience my favorite things: sun, shipmates, and the South! I learned SO much on USCGC Eagle and how to deal with challenges and time stresses (even more). And I didn’t get seasick—yay! I also made so many new friends in the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2018. After Eagle, I ventured down to Station Charleston, South Carolina for six weeks where I made connections with fellow Coast Guardsmen and learned about the enlisted side of things.

 

Currently, I am trying to adjust to my new role as a 3/c by learning how to be a mentor/leader for my 4/c cadets who, I am proud to say, are very exceptional young men and women. I am excited for these extra responsibilities and no more 0800 classes!! Things were stressful during Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week just because we were all adjusting and preparing for the Formal Room and Wing inspection but, like they somehow always do, all our resources came together and we ended up having a beautiful, super-clean Golf Company wing area.

 

Gotta teach those 4/c how to get to bed on time though!

 

Ready to use my new privilege of wearing khakis and letting my hair down on liberty.

 

I really love my great girlfriends on the cheer team and in my Bible study! My confidence has skyrocketed since last year and knowing all the teachers and the different study/organization methods that work for me have improved my quality of life here at the CGA (not to mention the fact that I don’t have to square anymore).

 

I genuinely have a home-away-from-home and love my new family here.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Be the reason someone smiles today :)

 

3/c Kelly Hill

 

More about Kelly.

 

100 Days of Summer

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo Fun fact! The 14 weeks that are set aside for summer training here at the Academy works out to be exactly 100 days.

 

The first two weeks of the summer went by in no time. We started with 100th Week when they brought up the Cape May Company Commanders who run the enlisted boot camp to teach us basically how to be cadre. It started out with them just treating us like enlisted recruits, but became more and more about us assimilating into the role of cadre. The rest of the week included classroom leadership training and a trip to Stones Ranch where we did team-building exercises on their challenge course. The next week was largely helping out with graduation and getting to see the Commander-in-Chief give a speech at commencement right in front of me. After the Class of 2017 left, the campus fell dead silent and I had two days to practice navigation skills out on the T-boats.

 

Then I had three weeks of leave, the bulk of which was spent at home helping my dad fix up our sailboat. I also went hiking in New Hampshire for two days with a friend from home. Additionally, I went to Vail, Colorado to hang out with a friend working at a golf course and we had four days of just straight hiking and playing golf.

 

Returning to the Academy, I had a week of shooting to qualify in pistol, where I just barely passed by getting the necessary target score on the last day. Then we had prep week before the swabs arrived when we set up their rooms and prepared down at Jacob’s Rock for waterfront cadre.

 

The next three weeks I was entrusted with the awesome responsibility of training 36 new members of the Coast Guard and one member of Georgia’s armed forces as well as interacting with every member of the Class of 2021 down on the waterfront. I had to work with my classmates in ways different from any way I had worked with them before. It started out a lot of fun, but it got pretty tiring by the end, and we really had to work to keep up the intensity of the training for the swabs.

 

After cadre, I went down to Mobile, Alabama for a week of training called the Cadet Aviation Training Program. I got to go up in a Jayhawk and even got hoisted by a rescue swimmer.

 

I probably went home for five different weekends during the summer since I live so close to hang out with friends, go sailing, and even take another hiking trip up to New Hampshire.

 

Having grown up on Cape Cod, the Coastal Sail Training Program was a really cool way to see home. Venturing all over New England like that was awesome, and I was even able to host 26 of my friends at my house for dinner. The summer ended back in the classroom with the Rules of the Road exam.

 

So, there it is. 100 days of summer, which is one more for the books and I am looking now to starting the school year strong.

 

More about Derek.

 

From USCGC Legare Until Now

(The Cadet Experience, Life as a Junior Officer, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang PhotoA snippet from the beginning:

 

Well, it’s been a week since I’ve arrived on the USCGC Legare and I’ve learned some things about what life will be like as a brand-new ensign. First, you’re pretty much as lost as the new non-rate on board and the learning curve is a straight shot upward. You need to get your bearings quickly, but apparently being underway is a lot better than being in port. (I think I can attest to that, since there’s not much to do after the workday is done.) There are also a bunch of Academy grads in the area, including a few of my former cadre. It just goes to show that you never fully escape it. But all that aside, I’m excited to see what I can do here and what will come.

 

A snippet from the end:

 

I had my doubts about coming aboard the Legare. I was a bit skeptical about going on any platform smaller than a 378’ and was depressed by the thought of being in Portsmouth, Virginia. Upon arriving, my skepticism died down a little, but not by much (we were still in Virginia and suffered some technical difficulties). However, by the end of six weeks, I can say that I wouldn’t have traded my experience on Legare for anything else in the fleet.

 

I’ve learned so much from the Legare crew. It always amazes me how a short time underway can really make you bond with the people around you, and it was bittersweet leaving the boat. I think the reason why I took away so much from this assignment is because the lessons weren’t always about being a good officer. It comes from the little things, such as checking on the lookouts outside or telling someone they’re appreciated. Everywhere you go, there are so many different personalities, and when all those characters are put on a confined platform for an entire patrol, it gets interesting. Basically, you don’t need to remember every little detail of being a good officer; just be a good person and the rest will follow.

 

More about Olivia.