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cadet blogs

How Far We Have Come

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo Well, we are four days away from April 1 and we only have 23 school days left of our fourth class year. Everyone told me in the beginning of the school year that the two semesters would go by in a flash, but I had no clue how right they were until this moment. Last night, we had our class formal and it was awesome. The theme was Las Vegas and the place looked incredible. I had a great night of dancing and having fun with my friends, but more importantly our class crest was revealed. It is a big milestone for the fourth class and it makes us realize how far we have come since we arrived on R-Day. Looking back and remembering all that we have accomplished individually and as a class is a great feeling. I also realized how close I have become with my friends here and how close our community is. My company has one more person to pass Boards and then we will be allowed to have social media back! The lacrosse season is going pretty well so far and for an inaugural team that’s not bad at all.

 

This week was also a big week because we found out our summer assignments. Right after finals end in May, I will be reporting to the Coast Guard Station in South Padre Island, Texas. I am really excited because not only is it a gorgeous area, it also will be conducting some of the missions that I am very interested in. After I leave the station in June, I will be reporting to the Eagle to spend the next six weeks sailing down to Bermuda and then up the East coast. All of my friends are on this phase as well so it is going to be a great time. Really, all I am waiting for now is for the school year to come to a close and for the Class of 2018 to be granted carry on. Let’s hope it is sooner rather than later!

 

More about Mimi.

 

Flash Back, Flash Forward

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo There are screams coming from outside my door… But it’s for a good cause! After all, the academic day is being delayed from all the snow we’re getting. February came and went like the power nap I never have time to take. I guess the top three highlights of this month was 101st night, Presidents’ Day weekend and Boards.

 

101st night is a fun time; it’s a flashback into Swab Summer, complete with an equal amount of sweat, adrenaline and push-ups. As a company, we run around Chase Hall with our 2/c, being tested on Coast Guard knowledge that we’ll need to know for Boards. As some may have mentioned before, Boards is a 10-question indoctrination exam that entails everything we’ve learned since Swab Summer. This includes everything from the Academy mission to military rates and ranks. I spent the entire Saturday before the test with a couple of friends, with the Boards packet in front of our faces and the oncoming end of 4/c year in the backs of our minds.

 

Although we had no snow days this month, Presidents’ Day weekend was a small ray of light in this time they call “the dark ages.” That’s right, during the first two months of the year, New London becomes engulfed in a dark, wintry shadow as Jack Frost cackles maniacally at the cadets marching in below-freezing winds. (Fun Fact: The Academy was supposed to be in Florida).

 

Luckily, I’ll be spending this spring break in Orlando; with two awesome people I’m extremely lucky to call my friends. Not only will it be a chance to get away from the Academy, but a great escape from New England in general. The winter is nice despite the ice, but I’ll take the sun’s rays any day.

 

I’ll be sure to post about it provided that I don’t choose to stay there forever.

 

More about Olivia.

 

Time of Transition

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo Halfway done with the second semester of 4/c year and the next few months are a whirlwind of transition. First off, Billet Night was on March 5th for the 1/c cadets, which is when they each learn where they will be stationed for their first assignment as an ensign. The 2/c are waiting to hear where they will spend their summer out in the fleet, and preparing to take over the position as most senior cadets at the Academy. The 3/c are training to become cadre for this upcoming Swab Summer, and us 4/c are also waiting to hear where we will be assigned this summer, whether it be a station or a cutter, and which phase Eagle we will be on! Personally, getting fitted for our new liberty attire (“Rec Gear” as opposed to the Service Dress Blue uniform that we have to wear now) was one of the more exciting events of the past few weeks; we will soon be able to wear civvies while off-base like the upper-class!

 

Many 4/c are passing Boards, or the 10-question oral exam on all of the Coast Guard indoc that we have been studying since Swab Summer, which means that we are also one step closer to earning carry-on! Once the entire Class of 2018 passes Boards, we will have the opportunity to earn carry-on, which means we won’t have to square our food in the wardroom, we will be able to talk to classmates in the hallways, and can look around while we transit throughout Chase Hall. I am excited for all the upcoming privileges, and of course, spring break! Looking back, it has been a long journey, but with only one quarter left of 4/c year, I cannot believe how quickly time flies.

 

More about Gabrielle.

 

Mr. Friedman Visit

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo Hey, CGA blog readers! It is almost spring break time here and that means a flurry of trainings, corps-wide lectures, and, most dreaded, midterms! Despite everything on our plates as we approach break, spirits have been pretty high at the Academy. This past week, we had health and wellness week, so we got to try out some awesome smoothies in the wardroom, sleep in a few days, and we even had a dodge ball tournament. Also, the fourth class are starting to take Boards, their cumulative indoctrination test, and many of them passed on the first time around!

 

With everything going on, I could write forever. However, I will focus on one day that I thought was very interesting. Mr. Thomas Friedman, an internationally renowned columnist for the New York Times, came to the Academy to give a lecture. Mr. Friedman has written six books, mainly about globalization, which is the increasing inter-connectedness of world affairs. He is a very engaging man and his writing provokes you to think about how technology is bringing the world closer together than ever before. If you haven’t read his work, I recommend skimming some reviews on the internet because it is definitely worthwhile.

 

During Mr. Friedman’s visit, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an exclusive lecture for some government majors. During that class, I was really impressed with Mr. Friedman’s work, his character, and humor. His public speaking and writing are presented in a manner that anyone can understand and he is very in touch with his audience.

 

After the class, I had the privilege of leading Mr. Friedman on a tour of our barracks. Needless to say, I was very nervous. I spent most of the morning before the tour familiarizing myself with his work, because I anticipated having to answer questions about what he had written. However, Mr. Friedman was more interested in learning about the Academy and the cadet experience. Like many of our visitors, he was not intimately familiar with what the Coast Guard does and he didn’t know much about the Academy. It was a pleasure leading him around the barracks, discussing cadet life, our opportunities, and mission. He was very attentive and interested in learning everything. I hope he will write a column about us!

 

During the evening, the corps gathered in Leamy to hear Mr. Friedman speak. I was drawn in by his presentation, and it made me think a lot about the United States’ role in the future and how the Coast Guard will factor into the accelerating pace of globalization. The cadet reaction to Mr. Friedman was impressive. Cadets, even non-government majors, seemed to like his lecture.

 

I am so thankful that I go to the Academy because I realize that we have outstanding opportunities here. The Academy does a great job developing us into well rounded officers, with knowledge in issues outside of our majors, and, as always, the Academy is dedicated to molding us into the officers of the future.

 

If you want to know more or have any questions about my previous blogs, please feel free to email me at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 

I wish the best to applicants, prospective cadets, and parents!

 

More about Hunter.

 

Class of 2015 Billet Night

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Although this month was full of schoolwork and fun adventures there is only one thing on my mind and that is BILLET NIGHT. Billet Night is only four days away and I can barely sleep or think straight about anything other than Thursday night.

 

Now, you may be wondering, why is she so excited about Billet Night? What is that? Well, for anyone asking themselves these questions, Billet Night is the ceremony at which the first class cadets (seniors) find out where they will be stationed after graduation for either two or three years. I don’t know all of the details about what exactly happens that night because they try to keep it a secret to make it as exciting as possible. I know that there will be a dinner before, then our names are called and we walk up on stage to open our billet in front of the rest of the class. It is going to be such an exciting and nerve-racking night for all of us in the Class of 2015. I personally am hoping to go to Portsmouth, Virginia on a 270’ cutter. Some of my friends want different types of cutters located all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska to Florida. Some want sectors and some want flight school.

 

For me, Billet Night will be very exciting, but also a little bit sad. The only reason I say sad is because it will be a definite reminder that after graduation, my best friends who I have been able to live with for four years may be across the country. We have already planned to take a girls’ trip once a year, but the reality of it, with everyone on different cutter schedules and all over the country, is it may not always happen. No matter where we all end up, I know I will stay up-to-date on their lives and how they are enjoying their first units, but it will be hard to not get a hug from them on a bad day.

 

As Billet Night quickly approaches, I wish everyone in the Class of 2015 luck and hope we are all happy and make the most out of our first experience in the fleet.

 

More about Sara.