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Summer Travels

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Jordan Keith It’s been an incredible summer so far! 3/c summer training is divided into two phases. We spend half of our summers aboard an operational cutter or small boat station and the other half aboard Eagle. I spent the first five weeks of my summer aboard the CGC Dallas, a 378-foot high endurance cutter home ported out of Charleston, South Carolina, which is an awesome city. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend very much time in Charleston as we got underway the next day. I spent the entire time underway, so it was perfect timing from a training perspective.

All of us were promoted to the rank of 3/c cadets the day following graduation. My five other classmates and myself participated in the tradition of throwing our green shields – the rank of a 4/c – overboard. We then donned our red shields. Even though it does not seem like a big deal, wearing a different colored shield marks a huge shift in our cadet careers. By tossing those green shields, we were getting rid of all of the tasks that we had to do as 4/c: bracing up, squaring meals and corners, marching in section, clocks, cleaning for formal room and wings.

I learned an incredible amount aboard the Dallas on how a cutter works, got to meet and interact with the enlisted crew. As 3/c cadets we act in the role of junior enlisted personnel so we stood the same watches and stayed in the same berthing areas as the seaman and junior petty officers. It’s part of the program. “You have to learn to follow before you can learn to lead”.

We did a Caribbean patrol on the Dallas, had a couple of law enforcement cases, and went to Panama and Cuba for port calls. Even though being underway can be really challenging, I can’t help but feel lucky; a lot of my friends from high school are working at grocery stores or Starbucks, and I’m getting to go all over the world doing a meaningful job.

Currently I’m on CGC Eagle, America’s Tall Ship in London. Everyone on phase II Eagle flew out last Friday. The flight took six hours, and it took a few days for me to adjust to the five-hour time difference. We were supposed to leave a few days ago, but we had some problems with our navigational equipment so we’re still in London. Not that I’m complaining! London is very different than Boston or New York City. There’s a deeper history here than in America, as well as a mix of modern and medieval architecture. Getting to see places like Big Ben or Buckingham Palace has been amazing, and I’m hoping to see more of it before we leave.

We’ll be making port calls in Reykjavik, Iceland as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia before we finish this journey in Boston, Massachusetts, which is ironically the city we flew out of America from. I look forward to answering any of your questions and telling you more about this chapter of my cadet career!

As Always,
3/c Jordan Keith

More about Jordan.