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cadet blogs

Summer Ocean Racing and Washington Adventures

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Chamberlin Photo Offshore sailors have the option to apply for a seven-week intense summer ocean racing (SOR) program during Phase I of the summer. I chose to apply after learning about all the leadership opportunities that are associated with the program. My onboard collateral duty was commissary! The big events that we participated in were SUNY Maritime Safety at Sea Seminar; a trip to Annapolis; the Maryland to Newport race, and Block Island Race Week. In the beginning of the program, everyone wasn’t very close, but when the program ended, no one wanted to leave. This is similar to the fleet because the Coast Guard is a family and is looking out for you.

 

After SOR, I went to United States Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment for four weeks to work alongside the enlisted in Ilwaco, Washington. I had never been to the Pacific Northwest before going this summer. Not only was the station well set up and responsive to many cases, but the environment surrounding Cape D was incredible. Another cadet was at the station with me, and we went hiking (in the Ape Caves of Mount St. Helens!), shopping, and exploring around the neighboring towns. Sector Columbia River hosted multiple cadets in the area and offered us a tour of the sector, USCGC Fur and USCGC Alert. We also got to fly in a helicopter one of the last days we were at the station. One of my most memorable experiences, but not my favorite, was getting pepper sprayed. I never want to go through that pain again…

 

After my time at Station Cape Disappointment, I went on three weeks of leave, which included spending time with my family and high school friends, flying back out to the west coast to visit my uncles, and going to Boston!

 

All in all, this summer was the best summer I have ever had. The academic year at the Coast Guard Academy is very intense and stressful, but the summer training programs make everything worth it!

 

If you have any questions about the summer, or Academy life, please feel free to email me at Amy.M.Chamberlin@uscga.edu. Have a great day!

 

More about Amy.

 

Division Leadership in the Corps

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo For this particular post I want to explain a little bit about my division here at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Within the Corps of Cadets, there are eight companies, all of whom reside in Chase Hall, the barracks for the corps. Within these eight companies there is a command staff made up of a company officer, company chief, and a cadet command staff. There are then division officers in each company that are all 1/c (senior) cadets. Each division has its own specific purpose and collateral tasks that they must take charge of throughout the semester. While there is a 1/c cadet that leads the division, there are also juniors, sophomores, and freshman assigned to each division. I am part of the inaugural room standards division, and I have two 2/c, two 3/c, and two 4/c cadets assigned to it with me. Our collateral is taking care of dayrooms and recycling, but our main focus this semester has been updating the regulations on room standards since they are slightly outdated.

 

Being a division leader has been a wonderful experience. I am fortunate to have very hardworking, talented individuals within my division that always challenge me to do my best seeing as they set such high examples themselves. You may think that as a division “leader” you are the one doing most of the teaching. While this is true, you do typically provide general oversight and knowledge into how the corps is run since you have been at this institution the longest. Something that surprised me about this semester is that I have received and learned more from my division than vice versa. Getting to know each of their individual personalities and seeing the family bond we have formed throughout the semester is inspiring and motivates me every day to set a good example. I don’t know where else in the United States you can find such a bond between people from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and personalities that come together to accomplish a mission. I am hoping that this division bond I have here at the Academy will carry out next year when I am assigned a division in the fleet.

 

More about Hannah.

 

Developing Identity and the Coast Guard Family

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020, Government) Permanent link
Hill Photo So, it is October now – my Dad’s birthday is on Halloween, and so far this Florida girl has yet to transform into an icicle from the cold (miraculous, I know). However, my poor friend from California was shivering on the way back from a Government major dinner with honorable guest Mr. David Guergen who worked under four presidents, one of them being Richard Nixon. He shared his insights on leadership with us and what our country’s future holds – he said we are a tough bunch and there is hope. I have been enjoying my classes this semester and the only math I have is Probability and Statistics! It has been interesting to delve further into the subjects of government, public policy, and current events – trust me, I thought that stuff was boring before, too. Class time consists mostly of my classmates arguing (intelligently) over current controversies. Diversity of opinions is crucial in government, but learning to compromise is even more important. So, yes, this semester has also been filled with plenty of naps, golf and badminton classes. Not to mention, my awesome roommate who is now my “sister,” after our adventures together on USCGC Eagle.

 

I have also been developing great relationships with the new 4/c, Golf Company, and the corps. The family atmosphere is ubiquitous. Additionally, cheerleading is going well – we are becoming more progressive with the stunts that we raise up into the air and are also getting issued (much needed) new uniforms!! The teamwork and social skills I have developed since my journey began on the Spirit Squad have helped shape my identity in a positive way. So, I will celebrate my Dad’s birthday from the sanctuary of the watch office as Junior Chase Hall Duty Officer on Halloween.

 

HAPPY ALMOST BIRTHDAY, DAD!

 

More about Kelly.

 

Fast Forward to the Future: Homecoming is a Peek into What We May Be and Could Be?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Noble Photo The USCGA’s Homecoming is a great tradition for the school that serves many purposes. Although many think of Homecoming as an event for the alumni, cadets also are very involved in the festivities.

 

For the alumni, it is a momentous weekend – a much-awaited time to reminisce, reconnect and revitalize bonds. For those who are still active in the service, Homecoming offers a chance to relax in a place close to their hearts. For those who have retired, Homecoming is a time to cherish the good (and perhaps not-so-good) memories that have become a part of their lives. To the families of graduates, it is a time to reflect on the service of their spouses, parents and siblings.

 

For the cadets, it’s a glimpse of the future five, 10, 20, 25 or even 50 years from now. That’s how we might look. That’s how we might walk and talk. It’s a foretaste of the kind of family that we might have. That’s us…someday.

 

No matter how much we are struggling at CGA, we will miss the institution when we depart. No matter how many petty tensions we have with our classmates, we will miss them and long to be reconnected with them after graduation. Why? Because the bonds that we develop will be very strong, borne by the struggles that we have overcome together as roommates, classmates and schoolmates. That bond is going to endure for years and over distances.

 

For these reasons, the Homecoming parade is always a special time. At that moment, the alumni are the stars and the families are their fans – and that’s something that no one gets tired of watching. No matter how many times we may have heard the songs, cheers or announcements, they take on a special meaning at the Homecoming because they celebrate those graduates who came before us.

 

As an international cadet, Homecoming is an extra special event for me. I look forward to seeing the international alumni, especially those from my country – the Philippines. They are the chosen few from their country – like me and my fellow international cadets. I try to look for them and find out what became of them after graduation. Did they go home or did they stay in the U.S.? Did they go back for a while and decide to come back? I track their footsteps and consider whose path I would want to follow. For the international cadets, the alumni are our forerunners and benchmarks. They are role models, but we don’t just want to emulate them. We want to surpass their legacies.

 

We hear about their stories and escapades and we make the comparison. Now that they have retired, they said that they never forgot what they learned in New London. I enjoy talking to them and listening to their advice and tips. I especially take to heart their biggest lessons from the Academy and how they used it in their careers in the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard.

 

During this 2017 Homecoming weekend, I was privileged to meet a ’77 grad and an ’82 grad who was the former Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command for the Philippine Navy and was a classmate of Admiral Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the USCG. He majored in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and during his time at the Academy. He told me back then it was not a Swab Summer, but a swab year. What a horrible thought.

 

The Philippines’ alumni are great men and I was very sad when they had to leave. However, I will continue to keep in touch with them and they will always be an inspiration to press on in service to our country and our people.

 

This year’s Homecoming had a special bonus for me. One of the alums brought a special friend with him – my father, Police Superintendent Eric Noble. My father is the newly installed Police Attaché at the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco. I am truly grateful for CDR Crabtree and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship for hosting them at the Shepherd’s Fold.

 

This year’s event surely hit a home run for me, the corps, the alumni and the CGA community as a whole. To the project officers and CGA staff who labored over Homecoming, your efforts were not in vain! Year after year, Homecoming is a testament to the Academy’s investment of time and talent in the corps. Homecoming is a great tradition, and I look forward to many more Homecomings as a cadet and (hopefully) an alumni.

 

More about Eric.

 

The First Full Month

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Farlow Photo September started off with a long weekend for Labor Day (yay!). I took the train to Washington D.C. to spend some time with my grandparents. We toured the Capitol building and all the big monuments and memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery. It was a great way to spend the first long weekend of my 3/c year. Upon returning to school on Monday, I felt as though I never left and began preparing for the short, but busy, week ahead. We had a uniform inspection, an unexpected power outage due to a storm, and our first regimental drill of the season.

 

The next two weekends, I played a couple of rugby matches, one against the University of New Haven and one against the University of Vermont. On the 18th after morning the colors, there was a small service honoring the 70th birthday of the Air Force that I attended. Before I knew it Parents’ Weekend had arrived. I had a non-traditional Parents’ Weekend this year. It overlapped with my dad’s 30th reunion at West Point so I could join my family in New York for that instead of them coming to visit me here.

 

The temperature is finally dropping and fall is officially here! Go Bears!

 

More about Francesca.